A Career in Computer Engineering Technology
Computer engineering is about hardware and software systems and about getting them to work together efficiently. Computer engineering technologists work within the industry in supportive roles. The pathway to a computer engineering technology job can be shorter than it is with a traditional engineering degree -- you may break into the field with either an associate's or a bachelor's. If you do opt for a four-year-degree, you'll get a slightly different education than if you opted for computer engineering. Computer engineering technology is more focused on pragmatics than theory. You won't need as much engineering, and you may not need as much calculus either.
Computer Engineering Techs may work as network and computer systems administrators making nearly $72,00 according to the BLS.
What can you actually do with your education? Plenty. Purdue University calls engineering technologists practitioners, noting that some engineering programs grew out of the 1950's and 1960's push to be the most technologically adept nation. Excellence in this new frontier required conceptualizers -- people who could create new knowledge. Only a portion of today's engineering jobs, though, actually require conceptualizers; the other require practitioners. Graduates of high caliber engineering technology programs do take on engineering roles, though they can't compete for all the positions they could if they had an engineering degree and an engineering license.
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The ABET accrediting agency notes that associate level computer engineering technologists are prepared to take on tasks like building, testing, maintaining and operating; baccalaureate candidates can also develop and implement systems. The computer engineering technology curriculum will give you a foundation in computer engineering concepts like electrical circuits, semiconductors, and embedded systems.
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What are computer engineering technologists doing on the job? Options include quality assurance, computer integrated manufacturing, technical documentation, and computer repairs. Schools also report that their graduates have been hired as computer systems engineers, computer test engineers, and software engineers. Prospective students should be aware that many engineering positions do favor those with bachelor’s degrees.
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