With a solid growth rate and high earning potential, a career in computer engineering provides a ton of promise.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that computer hardware engineers will continue to be in demand with a job growth rate of five percent between 2016 and 2026. Moreover, computer engineers made an average salary of $115,120 per year, as of May 2017.
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Starting a career as a computer engineer calls for obtaining a degree in computer engineering. But if you want to know where to pursue your computer engineering degree, then it's a good idea to take a look at the schools that make it to the top of the lists for offering the best programs.
What Should You Look for in a Computer Engineering Degree Program?
When considering schools that offer a computer engineering degree, it's important to explore the different services and support options they offer.
Some of the best computer engineering schools have offer career services that help you connect with professionals in the field via networking events, internships, and mentorships.
You may also want to consider schools that offer academic support services to help you on track with completing your degree program, such as schools that offer writing services and tutoring for rigorous math and computer science courses. You may want to consider programs with a high graduation rate and low student-faculty ratios, too.
Also, it's vital to check if the school you plan to attend offers the type of degree, specialization, courses and postgraduate opportunities you want. Even some of the oldest engineering schools in the world offer a wide variety of engineering degree programs and specializations.
For instance, if you want a program that offers a dual degree option, it's ideal to look for schools that offer this option so you can save time while pursuing your degree.
Look for ABET-accredited schools, too. Schools that hold an ABET accreditation offer high-quality technical education programs that meet global standards to prepare you to work as a computer engineer.
You may even increase your chances of getting hired by organizations who seek graduates from an ABET-accredited program as ABET is recognized by companies across the world.
What are the Top U.S.-Based Computer Engineering Programs for Undergrads?
If you want to get a job as a computer engineer, then you'll typically need to get a computer engineering degree.
In fact, most computer engineers who enter the field hold at least a bachelor's degree. There are several schools that you can attend to obtain a computer engineering degree. But some schools outshine the rest. Some of the best computer engineering schools, according to College Factual:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT):
Students at MIT can enjoy several academic and support services from its ABET-accredited program, including flexible learning paths and funding opportunities for a startup via its MIT Sandbox Innovation fund.
Students also may take advantage of mentorships and work experience opportunities to work as a problem grader, teacher assistant or lab assistant.
Carnegie Mellon University:
Carnegie Mellon undergraduate students can take advantage of its cooperative education program and summer internship program for work experience before graduation.
You can even explore its integrated bachelors and masters of science degree program. Students of Carnegie Mellon's undergraduate program can also continue their education at the masters- or doctorate-level degree in electrical and computer engineering with the opportunity to study abroad in Portugal and Thailand.
California Institute of Technology:
As one of the top 10 best engineering schools in the United States, Caltech offers a wide variety of learning opportunities for aspiring computer engineers, including the ability to pursue double majors and take elective courses in electronic circuits and optoelectronics.
The school also has experimental lab facilities on campus so you can explore various research opportunities. Students can also expect more individualized attention from faculty thanks to Caltech's low student-to-faculty ratio. For every three students, the school has one faculty member.
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology:
This school not only holds an ABET accreditation but it also offers students a wide selection of courses and interdisciplinary learning opportunities.
Rose-Hulman offers an optical communication certificate that students can pursue in addition to their degree program for exploring optical and electrical engineering alongside core courses in its degree program, such as AC Circuits, DC Circuits, and Electronic Device Modeling.
Graduates of this program often make as much as 15.7 percent more than other graduates from other computer engineering programs.
The program helps prepare students for work as computer engineers by providing a curriculum that covers various technical areas, such as artificial intelligence, embedded systems, and computer architecture.
You can also expect several opportunities for real-world experience thanks to opportunities for internships and co-op experiences.
What are the Best Computer Engineering Schools for Graduates in the U.S.?
Graduate schools offer a chance for you to further your education in computer engineering with opportunities for research, specialization and teaching. Here are some of the top schools for aspiring computer engineers, according to U.S. News & World Report:
- Stanford University (California)
- Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia)
- University of Michigan--Ann Arbor (Michigan)
- University of Illinois--Urbana--Champaign (Illinois)
- Purdue University--West Lafayette (Indiana)
- University of Washington (Washington)
- Princeton University (New Jersey)
Finding the right school to pursue a computer engineering degree calls for identifying the factors that are important to you. Whether it's having the most affordable ABET-accredited program or the career opportunities you seek, the school you choose is a personal choice. But by exploring what some of the best computer engineering schools have to offer, you can narrow down your list of schools you're considering and find the right school for you.