Definition of computer engineering
Computer Engineering is defined as the discipline that embodies the science and technology of design, construction, implementation, and maintenance of software and hardware components of modern computing systems and computer-controlled equipment. Computer engineering has traditionally been viewed as a combination of both computer science (CS) and electrical engineering (EE). It has evolved over the past three decades as a separate, although intimately related, discipline. Computer engineering is solidly grounded in the theories and principles of computing, mathematics, science, and engineering and it applies these theories and principles to solve technical problems through the design of computing hardware, software, networks, and processes.
It can also be seen as the branch of engineering that integrates electronic engineering with computer sciences. Computer engineers design and develop computer systems and other technological devices.
BRANCHES OF COMPUTER ENGINEERING
The Following are the branches of computer engineering
- Computer Hardware Engineering. …
- Computer Software Engineering. …
- Computer Networking (Cable and Wireless) …
- Computer Architecture, Processing, and Robotics. …
- Computer Security, Cybersecurity, and Cryptography.
- Artificial Intelligence
- Cloud Computing
- Augmented Reality
- Digital Marketing
- Web Design
- Computer Graphics
ROLES OF COMPUTER ENGINEERS
Computer engineering blends together computer science and electrical engineering to further advancements in digital technology, computer networking and computer systems. In turn, computer engineers use their extensive knowledge of hardware and software design and computer programming to make computing platforms and applications more efficient and effective. Seamlessly integrating the latest innovations, computer engineers develop new computer hardware, design and implement software applications, and enhance the capabilities of networks and communications systems.
Computer engineers work with hardware and software, ensuring that the two are seamlessly integrated and functioning properly. Computer engineers focus on innovation—making computing systems safer, faster and more powerful. At the career level, there are two main avenues: hardware and software engineering. Hardware engineers focus their skills on computer systems and components, designing microprocessors, circuit boards, routers and other embedded devices. On the software side, these engineers create, test and debug programs and applications that run on computers, mobile devices and more.
Just as there are countless apps, software programs and computers that function for specific tasks, there are just as many career options for those who wish to enter the computer engineering profession. From robotics to wireless networks, and operating systems to aircraft design, there is a specialization for any interest. Example employers for computer engineers include research laboratories, technology manufacturers, semiconductor companies, and digital consulting firms.
HOW TO QUALIFY AS A COMPUTER ENGINEER
To qualify and become a computer engineer,you need to study computer engineering in any of the institutions of higher learning across the world as a global village.You should also write engineering profession examinations and become a member of societies of engineers in your country.
Computer Science vs Computer Engineering: Roles and Responsibilities
One strategy for determining which path is right for you is to consider your career goals. For instance, if you are looking to work in cybersecurity or as a systems administrator, computer science may be a good fit for you. If your goal is to eventually become a software architect or developer, a degree in computer science or computer engineering will equip you for the job. Advanced computer science curricula thoroughly cover how networks and systems security protocols work while teaching programming and appropriate mathematical concepts.
Computer scientists typically have an understanding of:
- programming languages such as Java, SQL, and Python;
- how to run, maintain, and fix Linux and Windows operating systems;
- data structures and algorithms;
- basic cybersecurity and cryptography;
- knowledge of designing, coding, and testing software;
- how computer networks work and how to manage them.
Some common skills a computer engineer utilize include:
- A complete understanding of how computer hardware and architect works;
- knowledge of designing, coding, and testing software;
- flexibility to work with a wide range of software, which can be highly specialized depending on the company and/or industry;
- ability to build your own PC systems and repair/maintain device drivers.
CS vs CE: Market Outlook
The technology industry is booming with growth and opportunity. Careers in computer and information science are predicted to grow 19 percent by 2026, and computer hardware engineer jobs are expected to increase 5 percent in the same timeframe.
The salary for both computer scientists and computer engineers is also highly attractive for prospective professionals. Computer science majors can earn 40 percent more than other college majors, and all occupations in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) pay more than non- STEM careers by 12-30 percent across all education levels. On average, computer scientists can earn $118,370 per year and computer engineers make $114,600 per year.
Not only do these career paths boast lucrative salaries and stable job growth, but earning a degree in either field can pave the way for many different career options. For example, you can advance from traditional database management or IT jobs and pursue data analytics or cryptocurrency positions with a computer science degree, as you learn how to apply statistical methods to large datasets with computational methods.
Other booming fields that are hiring both computer scientists and engineers are the artificial intelligence (AI) and the virtual reality (VR)/augmented reality (AR) industries. The AI market is forecasted to be a $3.9T market in the future and needs computer scientists to program and code intelligent machines. Computer engineers are also needed to program and engineer the hardware of AI machines.
The VR/AR industry is predicted to be a $9.9 billion field by 2022 and has seen a 93 percent increase in job demand in the past year. Virtual reality isn’t just a glorified gaming system, but instead is revolutionizing health care, architecture, military and defense, and education. A degree in either computer science or engineering will be valuable for anyone wanting to break into this industry.
CS vs CE: Degree Programs
Many computer science and computer engineering jobs require a bachelor’s degree and pay well after graduation, but earning a master’s degree can help you earn $30,000 more per year. If you’re considering an advanced degree to further your career, comparing programs can help you make your decision.
While these computer science and computer engineering degrees share similar courses and are both great choices for a strong technology career, there is a major difference to note. Computer science focuses mostly on troubleshooting issues on a software level. Expect to learn different programming languages, how to work with operating systems, and how to maintain databases.
Computer engineering focuses on solving problems and designing hardware and software interfaces. Expect some similarities between the degrees and job titles, since computer engineers can be responsible for the development and prototyping of software and hardware simultaneously.
Both degrees allow students to specialize in concentrations within each discipline, including cybersecurity, aerospace, or robotics. The Master of Science in Computer Science program at Northeastern University, for example, allows students to specialize in database management, security, game design, graphics, or programming languages.
IMPORTANCE OF COMPUTER ENGINEERING
Computer engineers in the military aerospace industry contribute to the design of radars , rockets , missiles and integrate computers with complex systems that involve electronics , lasers & optics , The computers programs implement all major image acquisition & the image enhancement in modern biomedical imagery using X-rays , ultrasonics , computed tomography (CAT scans) & magnetic resonance .
Bio-engineering & Biomedical Engineering have emerged through the integration of engineering & the life sciences , Computer engineering plays an important role in the biomedical engineering in the areas such as design & control of diagnostic , therapeutic devices , on-line monitoring of patients , implanted devices & automated measurements .
Computer engineering integrates the electrical engineering & computer science to develop the computer hardware & software , Computer engineers have training in the electronic engineering (or electrical engineering) , the software design & the hardware-software integration instead of only software engineering or electronic engineering .
Computer engineers design the micro-controllers , microprocessors , personal computers , supercomputers & the circuit design , Their work involves integration with control systems , commercial & the industrial actuators and the elctro-mechanical devices , Engineers develop new operating system architecture , program analysis techniques & new techniques to assure quality .
They write the firmware & the software for embedded micro-controllers , designing VLSI chips , designing analog sensors , designing mixed signal circuit boards & designing operating systems , They work with the robotics research , that relies heavily on using digital systems to control & monitor the electrical systems such as the motors , the communications & the sensors .
Computer hardware engineers work full-time , Approximately 33% of their work requires more than 40 hours a week , They are able to design , research , develop & test many computer equipment , This can range from the circuit boards & the microprocessors to the routers , They work in the research laboratories & high-tech manufacturing firms .
Computer software engineers can develop , design & test software , They can construct & maintain the computer programs , as well as set up the networks such as the intranets for the companies , Software engineers can design or code new applications to meet the needs of the business or the individual , Some software engineers can work as freelancers & sell their software products/applications to the enterprise or the individual .
Computer engineering offers many areas such as Coding , cryptography & information protection , Computer engineers develop new methods for protecting various information , such as the digital images & music , fragmentation , copyright infringement & the other forms of tampering , such as work on the wireless communications , multi-antenna systems , optical transmission & digital watermarking
Computer engineers work in the telecommunications systems & the networks ( especially wireless networks ) , the modulation , the error-control coding & the information theory , High-speed network design , interference suppression and modulation , design & analysis of fault-tolerant system , storage & transmission schemes .
Computational methods are applied to formulate & solve complex mathematical problems in engineering , the physical & the social sciences , Examples contain the aircraft design , the plasma processing of nanometer features on the semiconductor wafers , VLSI circuit design , the radar detection systems , the ion transport through the biological channels & much more .
The engineers work with Computer networks , mobile computing & distributed systems , They build integrated environments for computing , communications & information access , Examples contain shared-channel wireless networks , adaptive resource management in many systems & improving the quality of service in mobile & ATM environments , They work on wireless network systems & fast Ethernet cluster wired systems .
Engineers can work on the research projects which allow for reliable , secure & high-performance computer systems , The projects such as designing the processors for multi-threading , parallel processing are included in this field , The development of new theories , algorithms , and the other tools that add performance to the computer systems .
In computer vision & robotics , The computer engineers focus on developing visual sensing technology , The gathered three-dimensional information is implemented to perform a variety of tasks , These contain improved human modeling , the image communication & the human-computer interfaces as well as the devices such as special-purpose cameras with versatile vision sensors .
The embedded systems are found in many devices from a small FM radio to the space shuttle ,Ongoing developments in embedded systems contain automated vehicles & the equipment to conduct search and rescue , automated transportation systems and the human-robot coordination to repair the equipment in space .
Computer engineering use integrated circuits , VLSI design , testing & CAD that requires adequate knowledge of the electronics & the electrical systems , The engineers work on enhancing the speed , reliability & energy efficiency of next-generation very-large-scale integrated (VLSI) circuits and micro-systems , This specialty is work done on reducing the power consumption of VLSI algorithms & architecture .
Computer engineers develop the improvements in the human–computer interaction , such as speech recognition & synthesis , medical & scientific imaging or communications systems , The other work in this area contains the computer vision development such as recognition of the human facial features
The hardware engineers create & test the physical components of computer systems , such as the circuits , the chips and the boxes , as well as the peripherals , such as the routers , the keyboards and the printers , Their developments are used in many industries , including the telecommunications , entertainment & the computer manufacturing .
Computer Engineers are trained to solve the problems in the hardware , the software , the systems & the networks that the devices − from a laptop to an airplane − work properly , They gain their unique expertise from both the electrical engineering & the computer science disciplines .
The electrical engineering background integrates the theory & design of electronics hardware with the knowledge of electronic circuits and devices , digital logic , digital systems , microprocessors , embedded systems , hardware organization & computer system architecture .
Computer engineers work on components , devices , programs , algorithms & systems that are used in computers & on techniques of computation , analysis & implementation that are applicable to single computers or to systems of computers , Computer engineers & electrical engineers are well versed in both the hardware& software and provide hybrid solutions on a regular basis .
There is a wide use of the computers across the industries & the applications , Computer engineers design application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) for use in cellular phones , they devise and program field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) for control systems in manufacturing plants & power stations .
Computer engineers develop the microprocessors for personal computers , They introduce the embedded systems into diverse applications such as the digital watches , portable music players , traffic control systems & the systems that control nuclear power plants .
They design large systems that integrate many components & computers , One example is computational grids , which harvest the resources of hundreds , even thousands of computers for performing intensive computations that are beyond the capability of a single computer .
Data grids also allow sharing & management of large amounts of distributed data (such as health information of patients in a country by the hospitals , or meteorological & other environmental information collected by thousands of sensors in the ocean ) .
Many computer engineers are involved with communication networks that connect multiple computers , sensors , actuators & special-purpose devices , Computer engineering is intertwined with the design & operation of devices & sensors , So , the line between computer engineering & electrical engineering is often hard to define .
Computer engineering gives the society many critical utilities , The computers & computer engineers have impact on public welfare & safety , as well as on health and healthcare , the environment , quality of life , transportation , the food supply , computing & leisure .
Most electrical engineers have to study & understand topics such as the computer architectures , the databases , the computer graphics and the computer languages , They are involved with the software that controls their devices & systems .
The computer engineers can design new architectures & new computer circuits , They can develop large clusters of interconnected computers , They work in communication system design & in all major varieties of communication systems , These contain broadcasting , telephony ( landlines and cellular telephony ) , terrestrial & satellite communication , networks & communication across the Internet .
They can design & implement the computer networks , They can develop communicating handheld devices & media players ( e.g., blackberries , iPods and iPhones ) , Large & small communication systems are controlled by computers .
Most developers of computer games hire computer engineers to design of both hardware (e.g., play stations) and software , The banking and finance industry offers many positions both in analysis and forecasting and in the computer-related areas .
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