How Long Does Computer Engineering School Take?

Technology has reached a point where businesses and organizations are now relying on computers for the smooth running of their operations. Computers have to be constantly upgraded in order to make them more powerful and efficient enough to meet the ever-increasing demands of businesses. The design, testing and building of both computer hardware and software are undertaken by computer engineers.

If you believe that you have what it takes to craft and actually make cutting-edge computers, workstations and even computer-based systems that are found in vehicles and phones, among others, then you are no doubt interested in a career as a computer engineer. To do that, you need to go to computer engineering school.

A bachelor’s degree in computer engineering or related field typically takes four years to complete and is the most common entry point for a career as a computer engineer. At the Cullen College of Engineering at the University of Houston, there are two pathways to become a computer engineer. One plan is to obtain the bachelor of science in electrical engineering degree where you will have electrical engineering as a major with emphasis in computer engineering. The other path is to obtain the bachelor of science in computer engineering degree where you essentially become a computer engineering major.

In some schools, a computer engineering technology program can be obtained online. At DeVry University, for example, the bachelor of science in engineering technology-computers is an online degree program that can be finished in nine fulltime semesters. Students need to complete 139 credit hours to graduate. At present, this online program is not accredited by ABET.

One of the top programs in computer engineering is offered by Carnegie Mellon University. This private school offers the bachelor of science in electrical and computer engineering is a 379-unit course which can be completed in four years.

A bachelor’s degree is generally sufficient to get good jobs in the computer industry. A master’s degree in computer engineering may be required by large companies or it may be needed for advancement. At Boston University, a master of science in computer engineering degree requires completion of 32 graduate level credits. It also has a specialization requirement as well as a practicum requirement.

This program can be finished in one year and one summer although students who are supporting their education through teaching fellowships or research assistantships can complete the degree in two years. If a student enrolls part-time and takes two courses every semester, they can also finish the program in two years.

If you wish to teach at the university level or want to do independent research in the field, you can work towards a PhD degree in computer engineering. This can take anywhere from three to five years to finish. Cornell University offers a PhD degree program at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering with a concentration in computer engineering while Santa Clara University offers a PhD in computer science and engineering.

Career Spotlight: Computer Engineer

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