Career Overview of Computer Engineer

Are you good at mathematics? Does your logical reasoning skills rival those of Mr. Spock from Star Trek? Well then maybe you are cut out to do well in the field of computer engineering. Find out more…

Computer engineers are involved with the hardware and software aspects of computer systems; design and development. They apply theories and principles of computational science, mathematics, material science, electrical technologies and digital technologies to design computer hardware, software, peripheral equipment like printers, computer networks and systems.

Their work can be divided into various areas:

Design and development of computer hardware: This involves research, design, and development of microprocessors, various components of computer systems like CPU (Central Processing Unit), ROM (Read Only Memory) chip, RAM (Random Access Memory), monitor, HDD (Hard Disk Drive), and CD drive.

Design and development of customised microprocessor: Customised microprocessors are used for specialised application like the microprocessor used for mobile telephony.

Design and development of networking hardware: Computer engineers are involved in design and development of various components for internetworking and intra networking (network of offices of a company at various locations).

VLSI (Very Large-scale System Integration) design: Various large companies need macro scale computer systems to integrate their complex operations. These systems typically involve the use of computer terminals, networking hardware, system software (those which are critical in running a computer system), application software (those which are used for performing specific tasks like calculating total sales of a product across various locations in India), and various networking software. Computer engineers specializing in VLSI design are involved in design, development, and implementation of these macro scale systems.

Hardware manufacturing and testing: Computer engineers are involved in manufacturing various computer hardware components as well as the assembling of components. They are involved in testing of the assembled computer systems to check whether they are working as per standard.

Hardware maintenance: Computer engineers are also involved in servicing and maintenance of computer systems. They work in trouble shooting of hardware.

Network Engineering: In medium to large-scale companies, computers (generally called desktops) are mostly connected to one another or connected to one or more servers. Servers are very advanced and powerful computers, which serve the computing needs of many client machines (i.e., the desktop computers, which are connected).

Networks can be of various types right from LAN (Local area network) through which a number of computers in a building or office space are networked to Internet through which millions of computers can be connected. There is WAN (Wide Area Network), MAN (Municipal Area Network), GAN (Global Area Network), etc. There are also the concepts of Intranet through which all the computers of a particular company in all its offices globally are connected.

Computer engineers are involved in Network Engineering along with the Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering.

Software Engineering: Software is the tool, which helps us to use the power of computer in various applications right from high-end scientific ones to low-end customized ones. Software is used in a range of areas right from e-commerce, mobile commerce, manufacturing, business, research and education. There are system softwares, which are essential to run a computer system (example, Windows 2000, XP), specific application software (example, MS-Office), and customised application software (example, software used by a company to prepare salary bills for its employees). Computer engineers working in software engineering are involved in analysis, development, commissioning, and testing of various types of software.