Career Research Project

By Joel Lopez

Career Overview

Computer Engineers design and test computer hardware and software.

Computer engineers are part of a team of workers who develop computer equipment (hardware) and programs (software). They apply their knowledge of math and science to computer design. They help solve technical problems for team members who do the programming or create the equipment.

Before starting a project computer engineers talk to clients to find out more about their needs. They also learn about the time line, security needs, and cost limitations.

Engineers monitor systems and repair those that are not functioning properly. Hardware and software engineers work together to make sure that the client’s computer hardware can handle the demands of new software.

Software and hardware engineers have unique duties.

Career Skills and Interests

Listen to others and ask questions. Speak clearly so listeners can understand. Read and understand work-related materials.

Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. Use reasoning to discover answers to problems. Combine several pieces of information and draw conclusions. Analyze ideas and use logic to determine their strengths and weaknesses.

Use math skills to solve problems.

Manage the time of self and others. Check how well one is learning or doing something.

Change behavior in relation to other's actions.

Determine the causes of technical problems and find solutions for them. Determine the tools and equipment needed to do a job. Analyze needs and requirements when designing products. Write computer programs.

Career Working Conditions

Almost always work as part of a team of engineers. Communicate by e-mail, phone, and in person on a daily basis. Have a medium level of social contact. They meet with clients and staff, but also spend time alone designing systems. Have some responsibility for the work done by others.

Always work indoors. May share office space with others.

Must make sure that all details are performed and are completed accurately. Errors could cause computer systems to malfunction. Regularly make decisions that impact clients and their company's reputation. They rarely consult a supervisor before deciding a course of action. Set nearly all their daily tasks and goals without consulting another. Must meet strict weekly and monthly deadlines.

Work 40 hours per week. May work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines or solve a problem for a client. Generally work a set schedule.

Career Wages and Outlook

Wages for computer engineers vary by field. Wages vary by employer and specialty. The engineers level of experience, training, and responsibility also affect wages.

Computer engineers who work full time usually receive benefits. Typical benefits include sick leave, paid vacation, and health insurance. Some employers also provide a retirement plan and stock options.

Hourly Wage- $37.61

Salary Wage- $78,230

In Minnesota the outlook is very high.

Career Related Occupations

The occupations listed below may have similar work duties, use similar skills, be in the same career ladder, have a similar level of education, or be related in another way.

Aerospace Engineers

Computer Programmers

Program of Study - Game and Interactive Media Design

Program Overview

Game and interactive media design programs teach people how to design and program interactive media for computer and video games and internet applications.

Program Admission

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.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

  • Art
  • Commercial Art
  • Computer Science and Programming
  • Creative Writing
  • General Computer Applications
  • Graphic Arts and Printing
  • Keyboarding

Program Typical Course Work

In this undergraduate program, you typically take courses such as the following:

  • 2D and 3D animation
  • Computer programming
  • Digital imaging
  • Drawing and anatomy
  • Game design
  • Game modeling
  • Level design
  • Scriptwriting

Related Programs

Animation, Video Graphics, and Special Effects

Art and Fine Arts, General

Computer Programming

Computer Science

Graphic Design

Multimedia and Intermedia

Schools that Offer my Program of Study

Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design

Art Institute of Colorado

College Choice

Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design