How Long Does it Take to Become a Computer Engineer

Get more details on how many years it takes to become a computer engineer and the time you can consume to earn degrees and requirements to become qualified.

Updated by TCM Staff on 9th October 2020

Computer engineers are professionals who are well versed in computer software and hardware with extensive knowledge of digital technology, computer networking, and computer systems.

Their roles include innovating new technologies, designing new products, testing, debugging, troubleshooting, software development, and enhancing communication systems. 

Every student interested in computers and programming strives to become a Computer Engineer. The career path is simple, where you must follow the step and prepare well accordingly. 

The demand for computer engineers is increasing due to their impact in various fields such as communication, healthcare, manufacturing industry, transportation, and others. They usually have better job opportunities and salaries after completing a bachelor's degree. 

How many years does it take to become a Computer Engineer?

With the technological advancement, the candidates are highly competitive, skilled, and qualified. By gaining a formal education at an extensive college, it usually takes up to four to seven-years long to become a computer engineer.

Students are required to earn a Bachelor’s degree of 4 years and can continue education by choosing a master’s degree for 2 years to advance your career.

Career-oriented candidates can also take up a Ph.D. in computer engineering to achieve professional goals and research in-depth on the concepts. 

Degree programs for a Computer Engineer

Depending on what degree level you prefer to study, you could determine the time you could take to become a computer education. If you are in school and are thinking of choosing this career path, the prerequisites such as strong mathematics, science, and computer knowledge. 

There are specific qualifications required to become a computer engineer. It is by completing a degree and gaining skills. Some degree programs that can help you are, 

Associate’s degree- 2 years

An associate’s degree is a program that gives you surface knowledge on computer-related technologies and systems. It offers 60 credit hours to complete the coursework and gives you the necessary education to land on an entry-level job.

The courses offered are fundamental principles in computer engineering and electronics design, including programming, communications, and networking, electronic systems, computer hardware and software, electronic systems, instrumentation, and maintenance and repair.

Bachelor’s degree- 4 years

A bachelor's degree considers as the minimum degree required to apply for a job as per the employer's perspective. It offers 120-128 credit hours, where there is a smooth transfer of credits among the chosen degree levels.

The first two years focus on the engineering prerequisites and general education courses.

In contrast, the next two years are concerned with the complex problems in computer systems involving the interaction of hardware and software components and the performance of computer systems.

you can also read; what are credits?

Master’s degree- 2 years

To advance your career and get a high earning job, you are required to have a Master’s degree. It usually offers 30-33 credits where candidates can complete the degree in 1.5 years based on the completion of the research. It gives you management and administrative positions in an organization.

You also gain in-depth knowledge on the subject by writing a thesis, researching, and completing coursework such as hardware and computer architecture, software, cybersecurity, computer communications, and networks. 

Doctoral degree- 4-5  years 

The degree program offers 32-36 credits to complete the course work, but the primary importance given to the applied research consisting of post master’s coursework and a dissertation.

It takes about 4-5 To years to earn a Ph.D. while you are required to take competitive exams such as research examinations, comprehensive examinations, and others.

Online Degree Program

Students can also choose online education to become computer engineers, where it provides a flexible schedule and various courses at an affordable cost. You could also transfer credits and complete training faster in 3-4 months. We recommend you to choose the program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc (ABET) to get better opportunities. To help you with this, Online Computer Science Degree Programs have a list of programs based on your requirements, discipline, and significance. 


Becoming a computer engineer requires hard work and commitment. You invest time and money to get a proper education, which approximately takes about 4-7 years to complete undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, depending on your interest.

The necessary prerequisites and practical experience, such as an internship, will help you achieve your education sooner.

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