Although computers today have become ubiquitous, the number of skilled workers they necessitate have not kept pace, creating pent-up demand that will increase the employment of qualified candidates in the field drastically. Careers involving in-depth knowledge of computers have proliferated to include a variety of different positions, which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts will grow accordingly through 2024:
- Web Developers: 27%;
- Computer Systems Analysts: 21%;
- Software Developers: 17%;
- Database Administrators: 11%;
- Network and Computer Systems Administrators: 8%.
A Computer Engineering Master’s Degree positions graduates to capitalize on these trends, creating a foundation on which to build a lifelong career. Not only is job security practically ensured, but remuneration is high, with median wages of up to $100,690 annually. The rapidly advancing field of Computer Engineering, where new technology and applications are being unveiled almost daily, also ensures a lifetime of work that’s both valued and exciting.
Master of Science in Computer Engineering
Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science offers a 30-credit M.S. in Computer Engineering program delivered online. Students learn to create innovative hardware and software solutions for new and emerging systems, while developing the expertise to solve challenging technical problems. The program offers a rich academic experience for professionals interested in practical application while advancing in their career.
Program Start Dates:
January, April, July, and October
The M.S. in Computer Engineering can be completed in as little as 15 months.
Computer Engineering Master’s Programs
A Computer Engineering Master’s Program trains students to create hardware and software solutions for new and emerging systems. Students develop strategies to solve Computer Engineering challenges in areas like computer architecture, advanced programming, network systems and cybersecurity. In addition to theoretical learning, many programs also include practical experiences to prepare students for real-world application, honing their analytical, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills through exercise.
Admissions RequirementsWhile the necessary qualifications for Computer Engineering Master’s Degree Programs vary, requirements typically include:
- A bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering or a related field from an accredited institution;
- An average GPA of 3.0 or more;
- One or more letters of recommendation;
- Official transcripts from all attended academic institutions;
- Official GRE scores;
- GRE scores may be waived for applicants with GPAs of 3.0 or more, four or more years of full-time work experience in a related professional field or a previous master’s degree;
- A resume with relevant professional experience, including titles, dates and full-time or part-time status.
For International students, Computer Engineering Master’s Degree Programs may require:
- An english proficiency examination;
- A credential evaluation report.
The curriculum for a Computer Engineering Master’s Degree Program typically begins with core courses on programming languages, computer architecture, algorithms and operating systems. From there, the curriculum diversifies through electives in software engineering, computer security, machine learning, knowledge mining and more. Some programs also complement these formal courses with various practical experiences, such as immersions.
Common core courses include:
- Structured Programming and Formal Methods;
- Advanced Computer Architecture;
- Design and Analysis of Algorithms;
- Principles of Operation Systems.
Common elective courses include:
- Object Oriented Programming C++;
- Software Engineering;
- Android Programming;
- Object Oriented Design;
- Mobile Application Programming;
- Software Modeling;
- Computer Security;
- Internet Security;
- Malware Analysis;
- Machine Learning;
- Fundamentals of Data and Knowledge Mining.
Common practical experiences include:
Immersions, which allow students to work with their peers, learn from industry experts and participate in collaborative workshops. Immersions offer hands-on experience that helps students translate their formal education into real-world skills and to understand the Computer Engineering industry through personal contact.
2U-Powered Computer Engineering Programs
2U partners with top universities to offer their degree programs online, including master’s programs in Computer Engineering. Students in 2U partner programs benefit from the highest-quality online learning platform available, with access to an online campus from anywhere they have an Internet connection. University faculty lead all academic issues related to programs, including instruction and curriculum development. 2U-powered programs feature:
created by faculty and available 24/7.
in a collaborative online classroom.
between students and universities.
at field placements or immersions.
from application through graduation.
What to Look for in an Online Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering
It goes without saying that all Computer Engineering Master’s Programs are not created equal. For students pursuing their Online Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering, it pays to be even more discerning to ensure that your investment will eventually yield the desired career goals. When considering programs, these are a few things to look out for:
A worthwhile Computer Engineering Master’s Program will be offered by a school that is regionally and governmentally accredited, and by a department within that school that is professionally accredited. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, for example, accredits public and private universities and colleges in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, while the New York State Education Department accredits schools within the state. Similarly, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology accredits post-secondary educational programs in Applied Science, Computing, Engineering and Engineering Technology.
Other forms of acknowledgement beyond formal accreditation, such as recognition by government or professional agencies, can also be helpful in evaluating Computer Engineering Master’s Programs. The National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security, for example, designate universities such as Syracuse as Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research.
While school rankings can be useful, it’s worth recognizing that they are not definitive. They can reveal the relative strengths and weaknesses of a program as compared to other programs according to a set rubric, but they may have blind spots, such as overlooking recently launched programs or ignoring key features important to you but not accounted for in their calculations. Of paramount importance is the source of the ranking and whether or not that source is trustworthy journalistic or educational outlet. More specifically, understand exactly what it is that’s being ranked, whether it be the school at large, the specific department or the individual program.
Computer Engineering vs. Computer Science
Prospective students may be uncertain whether a Master’s in Computer Engineering or a Master’s in Computer Science is the degree that will best help them achieve their career goals. For those most interested in the practical application of knowledge, in using their educations to design, build, maintain and improve computers and their functions, a Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering would be the most fitting. For those students interested more in conceptual knowledge, in achieving a greater understanding about the feasibility, structure, expression and mechanization of computers for knowledge’s sake, a Master’s Degree in Computer Science would be best.
Career and Support Services
Just because you’re pursuing a Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering online rather than on-campus doesn’t mean you should sacrifice career services and student support. These resources are integral parts of any education, making or breaking the learning experience, and should be included in a worthwhile program. Student support should begin at admissions and continue through your time in the program via technical assistance and advisement. Career services should also be there throughout and after graduation to help you put your degree to the best possible use, supporting you with networking opportunities and a strong alumni network.
It is, of course, the faculty that make the school. The same standards that exist for on-campus staff, such as professional qualifications and research credentials, should apply to online instructors as well. In fact, some of the best Computer Engineering Master’s Programs will employ the same faculty to lead their on-campus and online courses, showing no preference to one medium over the other.
As the learning platform will be your primary method of interacting with your professors, classmates and course materials, it should be of immense consideration. An effective platform is engaging and available in flexible formats, with aspects that function online and offline, at your desktop or on your mobile device, for real-time learning and completing assignments at your leisure. This creates not only a robust learning environment with every benefit of an in-person classroom, but presents its own unique benefits as well – such as allowing you to pursue your degree while still meeting your professional and familial obligations. The technology should always enhance the learning experience, not hinder it.
As previously mentioned, the ubiquity of computing has lead to a proliferation of careers requiring in-depth knowledge of computers and their systems. Graduates who have earned their Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering can put their knowledge, skills and experience to use in a variety of positions, such as Web Developers, Computer Systems Analysts, Software Developers, Database Administrators or Network and Computer Systems Administrators. While each career presents it’s own unique rewards, they share in common the fact that employment in each is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations – up to 21 percent in some cases. This ensures that your Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering will keep you in demand throughout your professional life.
Education Required to be a Computer Engineer
While entry-level positions in all of the careers listed above only require a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related field (in some cases, only an Associate's Degree is needed), a Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering will improve your hireability, qualifying you for the best-paying positions in management and at more innovative ventures.
How to Become a Computer Engineer
Depending on which of the above positions you choose to pursue, becoming a Computer Engineer requires formal educational and practical experience in a number of different fields, including web development, systems analysis, software programming, database administration and networking technology – all subjects covered by Computer Engineering Master’s Programs.
Is a Computer Engineering Master’s Degree Worth It?
As mentioned, a Computer Engineering Master’s Degree qualifies you for a number of careers in which employment is expected to expand rapidly and for which remuneration is much higher than average – with median wages of up to $100,690 annually. For those looking for a career change, the return on investment could not be better. For those looking to excel further in their current Computer Engineering careers, an Online Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering Program can provide the qualifications necessary for promotion while offering you the flexibility needed to balance your education with your professional and social commitments.
PhD in Computer Engineering
A Doctorate or PhD in Computer Engineering is the highest degree in the subject. It can qualify degree-holders for some of the most in-demand, best-paying jobs in the field, such as Computer and Information Research Scientist, for which employment is predicted by the BLS to grow 11 percent through 2024 and for which the 2015 median annual pay was $110,620. A Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering is an excellent stepping stone to a PhD in Computer Engineering Program, demonstrating excellence in the field to admissions departments while also cultivating the skills necessary to succeed in the academic program itself.