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Field of Study: Computer Engineering Technology

Introduction

Computer engineering technology programs prepare people to help engineers design and build computer systems.

 

Overview

Computer engineering technology programs include topics such as:

  • Computer electronics and programming
  • Prototype development and testing
  • Systems installation and testing
  • Computer systems design
  • Computer electronics
  • Computer architecture
  • Computer programming
  • Programming language
  • User interfaces
  • Networking
  • Software testing and evaluation
  • Report writing

Concentrations
In computer engineering technology programs, students may be able to specialize in:

  • Computer software technology
  • Computer hardware technology

Schools
Many community colleges and technical schools offer certificate and associate degree programs in computer engineering technology. A certificate program usually takes a year of full-time study. An associate degree program at a community college usually takes two years of full-time study to complete.

Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in computer engineering technology. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Very few universities offer graduate degrees in computer engineering technology. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

 

College preparation

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

  • Trigonometry
  • Computer Science and Programming
  • English Composition
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics

 

Typical course work

An associate degree program in this field typically includes courses in the following subjects:

  • College Algebra
  • College Trigonometry
  • English Composition
  • Engineering Physics
  • Electronic Circuits
  • Digital Logic
  • Introduction to Computer Science
  • Programming in C++ and/or Visual Basic

A program that emphasizes software also includes courses such as the following:

  • Algorithm Design and Analysis
  • Data Communications
  • Machine and Assembly Language
  • Networking and Internet Technologies

A program that emphasizes hardware also includes courses such as the following:

  • Computer-Assisted Circuit Design
  • Microprocessor Technology
  • Solid State Devices

A bachelor's degree program in this field usually emphasizes engineering technology. It often assumes that you have taken the math courses listed above while in high school. It typically includes the other core courses listed above. It also includes those listed for the software emphasis, plus the following:

  • Applied Differential Calculus
  • Chemistry
  • Data and File Structures
  • Operating System Design
  • Microcomputer-Based System Design
  • Software Engineering
  • Senior Design Project

 

Things to know

Many jobs in this field require a lot of writing and clear communication. Taking writing and speaking courses will develop your communication skills.

With a bachelor's degree in an engineering technology, you may be able to work either as an engineer or as a technologist. Your options depend on what state you live in and whether your state requires a license.

If you want a license, you usually need a bachelor's degree from an engineering technology program recognized by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. You also need several years of work experience and must pass an exam.

 

Similar fields of study

Careers you may qualify for

Applications Software Developers
Computer Programmers
Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technicians
Systems Software Developers

 

Resources

Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
http://www.abet.org/

American Society for Engineering Education
http://egfi-k12.org

Discover Engineering
http://www.discoverengineering.org/

IEEE Computer Society
http://www.computer.org/

National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering
http://www.nacme.org/

National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies
http://www.nicet.org/
Select "Certificants."

The Society of Women Engineers
http://www.swe.org

Technology Student Association
http://www.tsaweb.org/

Schools that offer program

Click on the school name to see a list of their programs related to this field of study.

Academy College - Bloomington, Located in Metro
Anoka Technical College , Located in Metro
Excel College - Edina, Located in Metro
ITT Technical Institute - Eden Prairie, Located in Metro
MRC-Minnesota Resource Center - Minneapolis, Located in Metro
Minnesota State University, Mankato , Located in Southeast
Minnesota West Community and Technical College - Canby , Located in Southwest
Minnesota West Community and Technical College - Granite Falls , Located in Southwest
Minnesota West Community and Technical College - Jackson , Located in Southwest
Minnesota West Community and Technical College - Pipestone , Located in Southwest
Minnesota West Community and Technical College - Worthington , Located in Southwest