Computers have, now-a-days, become the most important aspect of human life. This piece of technology has found its use in each and every field ranging from medical science to artificial intelligence, from sports to space research and what not. But all this advancements are only possible due to constant research and development programs undertaken by computer engineers.
There are basically two types of computer engineers- computer software engineer and computer hardware engineer. These both professionals have a different set of jobs which are quite different. A computer software engineer mainly works on the development of new applications and software which are essential as per user/client requirements. Whereas computer hardware engineers are more like an electronic engineer who specifically works on computers like designing and developing various chips and circuits useful for computers. There are, however, some basic requirements to be followed in order to be a computer engineer which include-
Requirements: A college degree in engineering is required for almost all engineering jobs. To become computer software engineer, degree in software engineering or computer science engineering is needed; for computer hardware engineer, degree in computer or electrical engineering is useful. However a master's degree in the related field is essential for specialist jobs in high-profile companies. Good background of mathematics, science, English and computers provide assistance in formal education. Apart from these educational requirements, additional requirements like analytical mind, creative, critical thinking are useful. As compared to computer software engineers, there are few hardware engineers.
Payment: Software engineers, mostly work in good offices for at least 40 hours a week, extended according to deadlines and client projects; whereas, hardware engineers may have to go on-field as per requirements. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics record of May 2011, the average annual wages of computer engineers are as follows- software engineer $92,080; hardware engineer $101,360. In Missouri, there are approximately 12,250 people who are software engineers and around 130 hardware engineers with average mean salary of $83,350 and $80,770 respectively. The expected growth in this field is predicted to be around 30% and 9% i.e. total job openings of around 277,200 by 2020.
As a formal engineering degree is required to undertake this profession, there are quite a few colleges and universities in Missouri which provide these courses. Some courses like software engineering, hardware engineering, computer engineering are provided in these colleges-
The number of software engineers is going to rise at a tremendous rate as many new software and applications are required for both computers as well as modern day smartphones. On the other hand, hardware engineers' rise is steep with only 9% job openings by 2020 but they are needed the most as businesses require good platform to run good software. Hence, a career in computer engineering is beneficial in coming years.