A computer engineer is an engineering professional who not only possesses the training of an electrical engineer, but also has credentials related to the field of computer science. The combination of the basic engineering skills that are the province of all engineers with an extensive knowledge of software design and implementation provides the engineer with a skill set that is very attractive in the business world today.
Computer engineering involves many aspects of computer design, the creation of individual components for computer equipment, networking design, and integrating software options with the hardware that will drive the applications. A competent engineer can secure work in any environment where computers play a role in the operation of the business. Because the engineer will have an extensive understanding of such electronic devices as microprocessors, local and wide area networks, and even supercomputers that form the basis for worldwide communications, the career paths are wide and varied. Computer engineers can find work in such fields as telecommunications, transportation, manufacturing, and product development.
Some of the common tasks associated with the engineer include software design that is customized for a particular industry type. Operating systems that are peculiar to the culture of a given company often require the input of a computer engineer, ensuring that the functionality of the custom design meets all the needs of the application. In general, the engineer is not only part of the design process of a new application, but also continues to provide service and support as new versions of software are released, and in implementing additional customizations or fixes to existing software.
One area where opportunities are expanding for qualified engineers is in the robotics industry. The unique skills of the computer engineer is helping to move robotics forward, by making the best use of traditional electronic technology and the latest in computer generated applications. The computer engineer can find significant opportunities within robotics to purse the design of new motors, improved communication devices, and more sensitive sensors that can help robotic equipment function more efficiently.