Computer engineering is a discipline that integrates several fields of electrical engineering and computer science required to develop computer hardware and software. Computer engineers usually have training in electronic engineering (or electrical engineering), software design, and hardware–software integration instead of only software engineering or electronic engineering. Computer engineers are involved in many hardware and software aspects of computing, from the design of individual microcontrollers, microprocessors, personal computers, and supercomputers, to circuit design. This field of engineering not only focuses on how computer systems themselves work, but also how they integrate into the larger picture.
Scope of Computer Engineering
Computer Engineering drive the world and has become an indispensable part of human civilization. For every learned individual, it is an asset for the knowledge economy. Computer Engineering not only grooms research scientists who have passion for invention and novel design of new technology and explore new vistas for the use of existing technology. Prospective computer technologists are supervised and guided by experts to study and solve complex problems in computing in all walks of human endeavour especially in business, science, medicine, and education sector.
Computer engineering is the scientific and practical approach to computation and its applications. It is the systematic study of the feasibility, structure, expression, and mechanization of the methodical procedures (or algorithms) that underlie the acquisition, representation, processing, storage, communication of, and access to information.
Computer engineering is about designing, implementing, and managing information on both software and hardware.
There are two major specialties in computer engineering: hardware and software.
Computer hardware engineering
Most computer hardware engineers research, develop, design, and test various computer equipment. This can range from circuit boards and microprocessors to routers. Some update existing computer equipment to be more efficient and work with newer software. Most computer hardware engineers work in research laboratories and high-tech manufacturing firms.
Computer software engineering
Computer software engineers develop, design, and test software. They construct, and maintain computer programs, as well as set up networks such as "intranets" for companies. Software engineers can also design or code new applications to meet the needs of a business or individual. Some software engineers work independently as freelancers and sell their software products/applications to an enterprise or individual.
Different courses/disciples associated with Computer Science Engineering is:
- Theory of Computation
- Software Programming
- Operating Systems
- E-commerce & ERP and Multimedia Applications
- Database Systems
- Computer Architecture & organization
- Hardware Design
Skills and Competencies needed in Computer Engineering
Remember that computers all run on data, which is basically mathematics in its purest form. Computer engineering requires excellent math skills, both for the construction of hardware and the programming of software. It’s time to brush up on those math skills if you really want to become a computer engineer.
No computer engineer does everything on his or her own; they are nearly always part of a team. Being part of a team means you will need to be able to communicate well, interact with others, and stay abreast of team progress.
As a computer engineer, a good deal of your work will be performed by the software on your computers. You will need to know how to design a program, write the code, and then test the software for bugs. You will need to know how to write scripts, software test procedures, compatibility, and MORE - all related to software.
You need to know how a computer is built, as well as the various components that go into the computers. This doesn’t just apply to Windows computers, but also Macs and any computers that run open-source OSs like Linux.
You have no idea how many different programming languages are used to create computers and computer programs in this day and age. But as a computer engineer, you will be required to do a lot of low-level system and hardware programming that is not as user-friendly as programming in languages like Python or Java. You will need to have excellent knowledge of languages like Perl, C++, C and Assembly just to name a few.
A good deal of your time is going to be spent sitting and doing nothing but writing code. This is a task that requires A LOT of patience, which is why patience is a skill you CANNOT succeed without.
If you want to get ahead in the field of computer engineering, you’ll need to lead a team of computer engineers. If you don’t have management skills, you could end up stuck in the same position - never able to advance in your career!
Anyone who has ever tried to write computer code knows how important it is to get EVERYTHING right. One tiny mistake can ruin an entire program, and it takes a mind skilled in problem-solving to find those errors and correct them.
This goes hand in hand with problem-solving skills but is more along the lines of trying to root out mistakes by identifying the problem they are causing. Carefully examining operating errors can help you realise what is behind the issues.
You will spend a lot of your time as a computer engineer learning about new software and hardware. The ability to learn new skills fast is a quality that every employer looks for, and it will help you advance a lot further in your career!
Career Prospects and Job Opportunities in Computer Engineering
As a dynamic professional field, computer engineering offers varied career paths in both hardware engineering (e.g. microprocessors) and software development—each which drive computing advances in industries ranging from aerospace to healthcare.
In this information age, the demand for computer engineer is high. At the career level, there are two main specialties: hardware and software engineering. Hardware engineers focus their skills on computer systems and components, designing microprocessors, circuit boards, routers and other embedded devices. Software engineers create, test and debug programs and applications that run on computers, mobile devices and more.
Some jobs you can do as a computer engineering graduate
- Software Engineer
- Software Tester
- Project Manager
- Application Developer
- Software Developer
- Computer Lecturer
- Hardware Engineer
- Microprocessor Engineer
- Microprocessor Designer
- High School Teacher
- Product Engineer
- Product Designer
Admission Requirements for the study of Computer Engineering in Nigeria
The O'level subject combination and requirements needed to study Computer Engineering;
You require; Five SSCE credit passes to include Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Chemistry , Physics and English Language.
In UTME, please note that English Language is Compulsory for this course. Therefore, the three (3) other JAMB UTME subject combination needed to study Computer Engineering include;
Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.