Jobs in Computer Hardware and Networking
Most computer hardware engineers need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited computer engineering program.
Most entry-level computer hardware engineers have a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, although a degree in electrical engineering or computer science generally is acceptable. A computer engineering major is similar to electrical engineering but with a heavy emphasis on computer science curriculum.
Many engineering programs are accredited by ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). Employers may prefer students from an accredited program. To prepare for a major in computer or electrical engineering, students should have a solid background in math and science.
Because hardware engineers commonly work with computer software systems, a familiarity with computer programming is usually expected. This background may be obtained through computer science courses.
Some large firms or specialized jobs require a master’s degree in computer engineering. Some experienced engineers obtain a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). All engineers must continue their learning over the course of their careers to keep up with rapid advances in technology.
Some students participate in internships while in school to gain practical experience.
Analytical skills. Computer hardware engineers analyze complex equipment to determine the best way to improve it.
Creativity. Computer hardware engineers design new types of information technology devices.
Critical-thinking skills. These engineers use logic and reasoning to clarify goals, examine assumptions, and identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions to problems.
Problem-solving skills. Computer hardware engineers identify complex problems in computer hardware, develop and evaluate possible solutions, and figure out the best way to implement them.
Speaking skills. Engineers often work on teams and must be able to communicate with other types of engineers as well as with nontechnical team members.