Computer Engineer Education Requirements

This article provides an overview on the basic requirements to become a computer engineer and also the key skills necessary to excel in this career.

TCM Staff

5th September 2020

Computer engineers are an important part who deal with computer-related technologies and bring new differences to the world through their innovations and ideas.  Most students complete their education by graduating with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college. However, career-oriented students tend to continue their education by pursuing graduate and doctoral degrees in computer engineering to advance their careers and attain higher positions in organizations.

There are a number of easy ways to Become a Successful Computer Engineer and it is necessary to complete the education required to excel in this career. Going further, we will discuss the key skills and qualifications required to become a computer engineer.

Computer Engineering Requirements

To become a computer engineer, there are several requirements and they are broken down into categories like education requirements, certification, and training.

Educational Requirements

Among the various degree levels available, the bachelor's degree is considered as the minimum qualification from the employer's perspectives. Students also choose master’s and doctoral degrees to continue education. While pursuing a degree, you will be able to figure out how long it takes to become a computer engineer.

  • Associate’s degree: It is a degree chosen by students to gain surface level education to gain an entry-level job. It usually offers 60 credits to complete the course work where you could easily transfer them to your further degree and complete in lesser time. The courses offered are fundamental principles in computer engineering and electronics design, including programming, communications, and networking

  • Bachelor’s degree: This degree offers 120 credit hours to complete the coursework. The first two years are concentrated on general courses such as english, sociology, history, and others. The next two years are programming languages, databases, electro-mechanical systems, and computer and network architecture

  • Master’s degree: Students are offered 30 credits to complete the course which includes hardware and computer architecture, software, cybersecurity, computer communications. The program also includes research work and writing a thesis. 

  • Doctoral degree: With 36 credits, students cover topics such as computing theory, software, hardware, and computing applications and also competitive exams such as research examination, comprehensive examinations.

Training programs 

Every profession requires training programs to gain practical experience. Hence, students can choose to gain experience while still pursuing education. By handling a project in a relevant field, enrolling in training programs, or attending internships will give you sufficient knowledge. Students will also get on-the-job training in a specific field after landing on a particular job hence we advise students to get off-the-job training while still at college. 

This is gained by attending conferences, seminars to learn new technologies, skills, and industry trends under the guidance of professionals. Students can choose to complete their training program and earn a degree simultaneously by joining an accredited online college for computer engineering. This offers various courses and helps you manage responsibilities efficiently with a flexible schedule.

Certifications and Credentials

Certification plays a major role in representing your knowledge in various software, hardware, and programming languages. You can add them to your resume and enhance your credibility and employability. Computer engineers can look forward to completing certain certification programs such as - 

  • Professional Software Engineering Master Certification: After completing a 4 years program, you could choose to complete this certification which demonstrates your proficiency in 12 areas including Software Engineering Design, Software Engineering Construction, Software Engineering Testing. Applicants are required to clear 2 exams to obtain this certificate sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society.

  • Certified Information Security Manager: It is an advanced certification sponsored by the ISACA that represents that the candidate has obtained skills in design, development, and overseeing the security systems. Applicants must have 5 years' experience in information security and are required to clear an exam. Also, candidates are required to maintain the certificate by renewing once every three years.

  • Cisco: Cisco offers various certification for candidates with various degree levels. The CCNA program is designed to suit IT roles by covering topics such as Network fundamentals, Network access, Security fundamentals, Automation, and programmability. This helps you network planning, implementation, troubleshooting, advanced routing protocols, and integration strategies

  • Microsoft: Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certifies expertise in Microsoft solutions. Also, it offers Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer after earning an MCSA ad clearing a development and programming exams while appraising one’s skills and potentials. 

Skills required for a Computer Engineer

Typically, when you get hired as a computer engineer, the key skills you must possess to perform better at your workplace are,

  • Design and develop a new product with creative ideas

  • Understand the computer concepts and come up with an effective solution

  • Test the software and scripts 

  • Good at programming and coding

  • Knowledge of various operating systems such as Windows and Linux

  • Knowledge of the network systems and security

  • Technical skills on programming languages such as C++, C, Java, and other object-oriented languages

  • Effective communication to convey the ideas

  • Work well with teams

  • Time management


Computer engineering is a challenging career where every year there are a number of engineers graduating as a major in computer science, mathematics, and other relevant disciplines. Hence, to stand out you must meet the necessary requirements and implement the skills in your work to bring out innovative ideas. 

If you're interested in becoming a computer engineer, consider other relevant careers:

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