Specializations within the fields of electrical and computer engineering

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computer engineering

Engineers have changed how humans live. They combine scientific breakthroughs with commercial applications to better our lives. From tiny microchips in our cellphones to the complex electrical systems of automobiles and aircraft, they design, develop, test and supervise the manufacturing process and keep them running smoothly.

If you are a student looking forward to becoming part of a team that applies innovative ways to use electricity and electric materials to create new technology or are a seasoned professional who wants to change careers, consider taking an electrical and computer engineering course.

The course equips you with practical skills applicable across a diverse range of industries. This career field has many designations, each with unique skills and capabilities. Learning to differentiate these paths allows you to choose a path that aligns with your career goals. This article focuses on some of the electrical and computer engineering specializations you can pursue.

Understanding electrical and computer engineering

Electrical and computer engineering students are prepared for the job market by being taught how to design, produce and operate devices and systems that use electricity, electrons and electromagnetism.

Electrical engineering students focus on signal processing, power systems and telecommunication, while computer engineering students focus on computer chips, software design and robotic and sensor systems. Despite these differences, the two fields are integrated into one program.

Electrical engineering entails the understanding and utilization of electricity in developing valuable, efficient and economical products and services. Electrical engineers design, produce, study and operate devices and systems that use electric and electromagnetic energy.

Computer engineering entails researching, testing and designing computer components and systems. The field integrates electrical systems and components (hardware) and program development (software).

Working as an electrical and computer engineer puts you on the cutting edge of research and development of vital and sophisticated technology.

You become part of the engineering team designing and building innovative health and wellness functions for watches and smartphones, nanotechnology or advanced autonomous robots.

In order to pursue this type of position, you should first develop a solid foundation by undertaking a degree from a reputable university such as Kettering University Online. By enrolling in a Kettering ECE master’s degree, you can gain the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary for roles in either the electrical or computer engineering industries. The program is designed to offer technical expertise that plays an integral role in designing and developing mobile robotics and electric and autonomous vehicles, among other dynamic systems.

Specialization areas in computer engineering

Computer engineering students can study various specialized fields, such as:

  • Hardware systems

If you are looking for one of the most exciting and arguably fastest-growing fields in computer engineering, you should specialize in hardware systems. A growing need for sophisticated, reliable, powerful and energy-efficient electronic products is driving high demand for computer engineers in the hardware systems field.

The breakthrough advances in hardware systems have led to the emergence of servers, supercomputers, industrial electronics, cell phones and data centers. Computer engineers are involved in designing, developing and analyzing such systems to make them more efficient, robust and secure.

Through topics such as very-large-scale integration (VLSI), computer architecture, hardware verification and testing, computer-aided design and logic design, one can kickstart a career in computer engineering and becomes a sought-after expert in the hardware industry.

Artificial intelligence, robotics and cybernetics

If you dream of building machines that mimic human actions, you should specialize in artificial intelligence, robotics and cybernetics. Professionals in this area create algorithms that learn, generalize, communicate, plan and extrapolate. They create intelligent devices and robots that interact with humans to deal with new or unexpected problems, make predictions or complete complex tasks.

Some of the skills attained in the field include predictive modeling, mathematics and analysis and algorithm development. These skills prepare a graduate to work as an artificial intelligence architect, machine learning engineer or artificial intelligence researcher.

  • Information security

Information security experts oversee every aspect of an organization’s security, such as software applications, storage hardware, networks and devices. Such professionals have a deep knowledge of security vulnerabilities and understand how internal and external attackers exploit them to access the system.

Some of the skills that information security professionals acquire after undertaking computer engineering courses include threat/vulnerability management, communication and knowledge of security compliance rules and regulations. The course also enables graduates to work as system security analysts, security engineers and network security analysts.

  • Networking

A networking specialist designs, maintains, monitors and repairs computer network systems such as intranet, extranet, local area network and wide area networks to ensure they work optimally. They consistently maintain the best possible performance, network security and flow of information. Some career paths in networking include network administrator, network architect and network engineer.

  • Web development

A web developer creates, designs and maintains company or personal websites. They develop creative solutions to solve technical problems through their technical skills in web design, problem-solving and communication.

A web developer also ensures websites are appealing to visitors and easy to use and navigate. Some career paths in web development include web developer, web administrator and web designer.

  • Software engineering

Software engineering is the detailed study of engineering that focuses on designing, developing and maintaining software. Today, there is a rising demand for software engineers due to the immense speed at which user requirements and the environment in which the application is supposed to work are changing.

Software engineers with the right skills and expertise work to design software that is easy to use for the end user. They ensure products are functional, dependable, usable and safe.

They also ensure software products are portable and ready to use even after changing from one platform to another. They develop flexible software programs designed for constantly changing environments.

  • Cyber-physical systems

Today, computers are embedded in a physical environment for monitoring and controlling. This makes it is essential to understand such computers’ behavior in isolation. Engineers are now looking at the interaction of computing and physical processes, which has given birth to the computer engineering field of cyber physics systems.

When specializing in cyber-physical systems, you develop expertise and skills in a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field. You become an expert in developing tools for computers and physical processes and become a sought-after professional in technology-related industries.

Specialization areas in electrical engineering

Electrical engineers are responsible for designing, developing, testing and managing electrical equipment. Here are some of the most marketable specialization areas to consider:

  • Communication and signal processing systems

If you are looking for the fastest-growing field in electrical engineering, consider the communication and signal processing systems path. Communication and signal processing engineers are specialists who analyze and improve digital signals for enhanced accuracy and reliability. They develop, manage and update algorithms to improve digital signal efficiency.

The field consists of communication and networking, and signal and image processing. Communication and networking address challenges that hinder the efficient delivery of information from one place to another. On the other hand, signal and image processing entails designing efficient and effective algorithms and systems for extracting information.

A signal engineer enjoys job positions as a defense engineer, space specialist, research scientist, machine learning engineer, digital signal processing engineer and computer vision engineer. Technical organizations always pursue communication and signal-processing professionals with the skills and expertise to develop current products and platforms.

  • Power systems

If you look forward to pursuing a low-profile, less demanding and less stressful engineering post, consider becoming a power systems engineer. Power systems engineers assess interconnection standards and transmission feasibility of electrical components. They also conduct system impact, facility studies and test components to ensure efficiency.

A power systems engineer can pursue job posts such as power system analytics, generator paralleling, switchgear controls and automation, power system assessment and relay protection and automation.

  • Electromagnetic

An electromagnetic engineer designs and develops electromagnetic components, devices and systems, such as MRI, electromagnetic locks and loudspeaker electromagnets. They model and simulate electromagnets or electromagnetism products using specialized design software and assess the viability of the products. They also examine the product’s physical parameters for a successful production process.

The electromagnetic field prepares graduates to work in electromagnetic technology and hardware development. Some of the jobs in the field include motor electromagnetic design engineer, electromagnetic compatibility test engineer, electromagnetic environmental effects engineer and electromagnetic compatibility engineer.

  • Microelectronics

Microelectronics engineers do the magic in designing and prototyping electronic circuit chips, semiconductors and circuit boards. They build prototypes using their skills and expertise in mechanical systems and electronics. They also write semiconductor reports through their advanced understanding of technical writing and interpretive skills in reading, writing and compiling progress reports.

Microelectronics engineers are currently in demand due to the rising need for low-cost devices. Reliable professionals with excellent research and manufacturing skills are employed in positions such as development engineer, photolithography engineer, manufacturing yield engineer, research engineer and process integration engineer.

  • Electrophysics

As scientists look for ideas to describe how and why things happen, engineers use these ideas to solve human problems. Electrophysics has become a crucial part of this concept. Electrophysics engineers take ideas from fundamental physics and develop them with system engineering into practical reality.

As an electrophysics student, you will learn how to create sophisticated devices and systems by understanding the basic physics that governs them. The best part is that electro physics is the basis of most electrical engineering, so you equip yourself with plenty of career utility once you graduate.

Career opportunities in computer engineering

There are numerous career opportunities in computer engineering, such as:

  • AI designer/developer
  • Business systems analyst
  • Computer security analyst
  • Computer engineer
  • Hardware systems designer
  • Robotics specialist
  • Software engineer
  • Software security engineer
  • Inventory control manager
  • Interface designer
  • Video game programmer
  • Web designer
  • Satellite communications specialist
  • Patent/computer lawyer
  • Network security specialist
  • Telecommunications engineer
  • Career opportunities in electrical engineering
  • Special effects technician
  • Sound engineer
  • Nuclear engineer
  • Electronics engineer
  • Electrical engineer
  • Design engineer
  • Control and instrumentation engineer
  • CAD technician
  • Broadcast engineer
  • Aerospace engineer
  • Acoustic consultant

Why study electrical and computer engineering

If you are enthusiastic, motivated and ready to learn electrical and computer engineering, here are some more reasons why choosing this major as your career choice is a brilliant move:

  • Career opportunities

Undoubtedly, very few majors can compete with electrical and computer engineering courses as a career choice. This major has numerous fields to choose from according to your skills and interests. From an electrical engineer, circuits engineer, test engineer, design engineer, project engineer, network engineer, systems integration engineer to hardware design engineer, you have plenty of choices to explore for a career path.

  • Job opportunities

Electrical and computer engineers are some of the most in-demand professionals worldwide. Organizations in different industries, such as healthcare, retail, security, renewable energy, telecommunications and gaming, rely on professionals who can design, create, implement and supervise electrical equipment and systems. As a result, there is a rising demand for engineering professionals with cutting-edge skills in solving technical problems.

  • Opportunities to study abroad

If you want to spread your wings and expand your horizon to gain immense insights into your career choice, an electrical and computer engineering degree offers you numerous opportunities to study abroad at some of the top engineering schools.

Studying abroad allows you to learn about different cultures, new languages and engineering approaches and techniques to enhance your career. You can also earn credit for your engineering degree and explore various aspects.

  • The degree is always in demand

Electrical and computer engineers develop various products, from small handheld gadgets to complex aircraft electrical systems. These products require constant upgrading and enhancement to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers.

This means that electrical and computer engineers continue to be sought after to design, develop, test and maintain these applications and systems. Engineers in this sector are integral, and their value will likely remain high for many years.

  • Opportunities to work everywhere

Once you choose a computer engineering career, you enjoy the convenience of working from anywhere in the world. The career is very mobile, so you can work from an office or the comfort of your home, providing you with numerous flexible working arrangements. Working online gives you flexibility and saves time and money you could have spent traveling to and from the office.

  • Constant innovation

If you are worried about boredom caused by doing the same thing year in and year out, a degree in electrical and computer engineering should resolve this stress. Keeping in mind that technology is constantly evolving, new ideas and updates to existing technology are constantly being developed.

This means that something is always to be done, and someone needs to do it. Electrical and computer engineering professionals have regular opportunities to learn and update their skills. As a result, they are never bored with doing the same thing for the rest of their careers.

How to choose the right electrical and computer engineering specialization

As mentioned earlier, there are numerous electrical and computer engineering fields, and choosing the right one can feel tedious and confusing, especially if you have yet to identify your interests. Fortunately, these tips can guide you in making the right choice:

  • Explore your interests

Before choosing an engineering path, it is vital to evaluate your interests by creating a list of everything that excites you within the technology field. For instance, if you are thrilled with analyzing and building new computer parts, you will likely excel as a hardware engineer. Also, consider choosing an engineering role that excites you. Once you discover where your interests are, you will then be able to make a more decisive career choice.

  • Research different positions

Consider visiting career boards and reviewing the job description to get a better glimpse at what each field entails and what will be demanded from you by taking each route. Make a list of career titles that interest you the most.

  • Choose a specialization

Choosing a specialization early is a brilliant move, as it helps you specialize in certain areas and build cutting-edge technical skills. You will also find an engineering role that suits you, and you will easily advance your career.

Electrical and computer engineering is an ever-growing field. With the right specialization, students can advance their careers and enjoy great potential for future growth. Each specialization field offers many skills that prepare graduates for the job market and offers huge employment opportunities. Researching different positions and deeply exploring your interests will help to ensure you choose the best career path for yourself.