Factors ranging from flexibility to potential savings may tempt you to pursue an online degree in computer engineering.
But researching online programs can be daunting, so knowing what to expect before enrolling will allow you to focus on making the best choices.
This page will take you through online computer engineering degrees, from course difficulty to cost.
What is a degree in computer engineering?
Online computer engineering courses teach students to combine electrical engineering with computer science. The degree integrates hardware and software and builds critical thinking skills.
As an online computer engineering major, you can expect to learn advanced math; Informatics; and software, hardware and electrical engineering.
LOOK: Computer Science vs. Computer Engineering: What Should I Learn?
Computer engineering degrees are offered at all levels. You can earn a certificate, a master’s degree in computer engineering or even a doctorate.
Subdisciplines in computer engineering include:
- Cyber protection
- Software development
- Hardware and computer architecture
- Computer communications and networks
This degree can prepare you for careers as a computer hardware engineer, computer programmer or software developer.
Use our handy guide to the best online computer engineering degrees to find the program that best suits your goals.
What to expect from computer engineering courses
Certificate programs take two to twelve months and teach only the essentials.
Associate programs last one to two years and bachelor’s programs last three to four. These program levels teach the basics of the discipline and prepare students for entry-level computer engineering.
If you are interested in continuing education for more career opportunities, a master’s or doctoral program may be for you. Master’s programs take one to three years and doctoral programs take three to six years.
Each program is also different in terms of rigor and courses and specializations offered.
You will take basic computer classes plus electives that interest you.
Computer engineering students should expect to first take lessons in basics such as mathematics, circuit analysis, and computer programming languages.
Basic classes such as engineering ethics and business communication prepare you for real-world scenarios you may encounter in your career.
Once you have mastered the basic courses, you can take electives in the areas you are interested in, such as:
- IT security
- Advanced digital design
- Computer architecture
- Digital integrated circuit design
The courses will be a mixture of theoretical and practical.
Computer engineering degree programs emphasize both theory and practical skills.
It is important for students to understand the theory behind computer engineering skills. Knowing what to do and why it works makes you better rounded professionals.
These basic skills also allow you to complete the virtual lab work and home lab kits needed for your program.
Expect to spend time on computer engineering projects.
As a computer engineering major, you can expect to participate in group projects or laboratory sessions, both individually and in groups.
Hybrid programs require students to spend time on campus, often to complete projects.
Others allow full virtual completion.
Many programs require students to complete a major project before graduation to demonstrate all of their newly acquired knowledge. This basic project challenges students to solve a serious problem or design an original computer model.
You may want to learn and practice skills outside of your courses.
You can benefit from learning and practicing computer engineering skills outside of class.
Although this is not a requirement, some students choose to prepare for this area by improving their math and science skills or practicing coding problems before applying to programs.
We hope you continue to work while earning an online degree? Be sure to research the commitment that your particular program requires outside of class.
Their program may require students to complete an internship program. Technical internships build practical experience in preparing students and can help job prospects after graduation.
Many schools offer help in finding an internship program that suits your interests. You can “test” your career before you officially start it.
How difficult is a computer engineering degree?
Computer engineering diplomas are rigorous due to their challenging math courses and programming language requirements, but they are not impossible.
Students who are already interested in the source material may find their courses easier than students who are new to it. Online training programs require self-motivation and dedication to stay on top of the course load.
Don’t be discouraged from earning your degree in computer engineering if you have no experience in computers. Even inexperienced students can be very successful.
These courses are still feasible if you remain motivated to get your degree and start your new career.
How much will I spend as a computer engineering student?
Tuition fees vary depending on the program, school and location. Some schools charge a flat rate for all students, but many colleges and universities charge higher tuition for students outside the state.
According to NCESthe average cost of public education is $ 13,900 and $ 27,200 in private institutions in 2019-2020.
Students can expect to spend money on textbooks, study materials and other necessary technologies.
If you want to reduce costs, research online schools that provide computers to students.
Computer engineering degrees are a valuable resource with growing demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the professions in the field of computer and information technology are expected to grow by more than 660,000 new jobs until 2030
Success in pursuing an online degree in computer engineering comes down to skills, motivation and professional goals. If you are curious about how to earn this degree, start researching a program to find the right one for you.