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2023 Computer Engineering Degree Guide

Do you love learning how computers work? Does analyzing, developing, and designing computer hardware and software sound like your dream job? If so, Computer Engineering may be the major for you. The field of computer engineering has drastically changed our way of life over the last few decades. Computer engineering includes working with operating systems, computer networks, artificial intelligence, robotics, computer architecture, and computer-aided design. You will also learn about electronic circuits along with hardware and software aspects in this major.

Some courses that you may come across could include: computer architecture, computer assisted design, calculus, digital imaging, introduction to data structures, physics, programming languages, systems programming, electricity, circuitry, and electro mechanics.

A Spike in Computer Engineering Degrees

#56 Most Popular Major
18k Degrees Awarded
5.9% Increase in Graduates

Computer Engineering was the 56th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 17,987 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 5.9% increase in CE degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 16,932.

Our 2023 Best Computer Engineering Schools ranking analyzes 233 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for computer engineering students. Explore this or one of our many other custom CE rankings further below.

2023 Best Colleges for Computer Engineering
2023 Overall Best Computer Engineering Colleges >

Best Computer Engineering Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Computer Engineering
Bachelor's Degrees in Computer Engineering
Master's Degrees in Computer Engineering
Doctorate Degrees in Computer Engineering

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Computer Engineering

Do you enjoy working independently, while still being part of a team? This major will require spending time on your own time solving complex problems, as well as presenting solutions to others and listening to feedback. You should enjoy solving complex problems with advanced mathematics.

Creativity is also an important element of this work as you create and design new devices. Your professors will be asking you to think outside the box and to create something new and useful. Thinking of ways to improve current computer and devices or designing new ones should be something you find enjoyable. Communication skills are also important in this field. You will spend time working with your team members, your professors, or other professionals, so speaking skills are imperative.

Engineering students tend to spend long hours studying and finding answers to difficult problems. Those who persevere will have a satisfying and exciting career of coming up with new, innovative products.

Prior Education for a CE Program

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Specific CE careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Computer Engineering Degree Types

There are many different CE degree levels. You can get anything from a in computer engineering to the highest CE degree, a . Different computer engineering degrees vary in how long they take.

DegreeCredit RequirementsTypical Program Length
Associate Degree60-70 credits2 years
Bachelor’s Degree120 credits4 years
Master’s Degree50-70 credits1-3 years
DoctorateProgram required coursework including thesis or dissertationAt least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to CE, with approximately 54.4% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to CE tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of EducationPercentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree59.6%
Master’s Degree18.9%
Doctoral Degree6.1%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)4.1%
Post-Secondary Certificate4.0%

89.5% of CE workers have at least a bachelor's. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in computer engineering have obtained.


This of course varies depending on which CE career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In CE Graduate

Above Average Number of Jobs
$73.3k Average Starting Salary
19% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Obtaining your degree in computer engineering will allow you to go in many different directions. Right after graduating you could get a job with a digital hardware design firm, software engineering companies, or a telecommunication firm. This major is usually closely linked with electrical engineering so you could work in that field if desired. Some students will attend graduate school in either Computer Engineering or even Business or Law.

To increase your chances of finding work in computer engineering you should make sure your college offers an ABET-accredited program.

High Growth Projected for CE Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your CE degree? Computer Engineering careers are expected to grow 19.4% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to computer engineering.

Occupation NameProjected JobsExpected Growth
Software Applications Developers1,086,60030.7%
Systems Software Developers472,10011.1%
Architectural and Engineering Managers190,0005.5%
Computer Network Architects173,2006.5%
Computer Hardware Engineers77,6005.4%

How Much Money Do CE Grads Make?

Computer Engineering graduates between 2017-2019 reported earning an average of $73,283 in the 2019-2020 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $38,443 to as high as $137,584. As you might expect, salaries for CE graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid CE Careers

Salaries for computer engineering graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers CE grads often go into.

Occupation NameMedian Average Salary
Architectural and Engineering Managers$148,970
Computer Hardware Engineers$117,840
Systems Software Developers$114,000
Engineering Professors$113,680
Computer Network Architects$111,130

Getting Your Computer Engineering Degree

With over 802 different CE degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased CE school rankings to help you with this.

One of 40 majors within the Engineering area of study, Computer Engineering has other similar majors worth exploring.

CE Concentrations

MajorAnnual Graduates
General Computer Engineering13,520
Software Engineering4,251
Other Computer Engineering149
Computer Hardware Engineering67

View All CE Focus Areas >

Related MajorAnnual Graduates
Mechanical Engineering46,178
Electrical Engineering28,844
Civil Engineering21,388
Chemical Engineering12,917
Biomedical Engineering12,811

View All CE Related Majors >


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