Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Degree Programs of 2022

Computer engineering is a blend of computer science and electronic engineering. Computer engineers may be involved in developing networks, designing high-tech devices and sharing their knowledge on the “body” and “mind” of computers, among other responsibilities. 

One way to learn about this field and work toward a career in it is with a computer engineering degree. A computer engineer degree program helps prepare students to conduct research and develop solutions in the field of computer science and with congruent technologies. Students in computer engineering degree programs also learn about the interdisciplinary roles they can potentially pursue and the different industries available to them. 

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Syracuse University

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Master of Science in Computer Science

Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science offers an online Master of Science in Computer Science focusing on subjects crucial to understanding emerging systems.

  • Complete in 15 months
  • No GRE currently required

Vanderbilt University

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Master of Science in Computer Science

Aspiring computer scientists can earn their M.S. online from the Vanderbilt School of Engineering.

  • Complete in as few as 12 months
  • No GRE scores required

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If you plan on teaching courses in computer engineering at the college level, want to advance in your current computer engineering career or you’re just looking to expand your learning, an online computer engineering master’s program may be a viable pathway for you.

Is a Master’s in Computer Engineering the Right Degree for You?

An online master’s in computer engineering may be a suitable option for you if you are unable to relocate or take time off from your job to earn your degree. Online programs generally allow you to complete coursework on your own schedule. 

A number of online computer engineering master’s programs require around 30 credits, and completion of your degree depends on enrollment status and program type. Each program may offer you different options. Some programs offer electives and thesis options while others will require the completion of a project before awarding your computer engineering degree. It may be helpful to discuss the following questions with an advisor or admissions counselor to find the best computer engineering program for you:

  • How will an online master’s in computer engineering help my career? Will a master’s degree help you get further in your current role? How will your salary change, if at all?  There is a move toward the definitive integration of technology in various aspects of our lives, according to a Pew Research Center article on the future of digital life. Consider how obtaining an online master’s in computer engineering might affect your role in this progression.
  • What is the difference between a bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer engineering? A bachelor’s degree in computer engineering sets the foundation for individuals to learn about and explore a variety of roles in the field. Earning a master’s degree in computer engineering may help to prepare students for managerial positions as they cover complex topics in depth. Graduates of computer engineering graduate programs may work in research and development for private or government firms.
  • What does an online master’s degree in computer engineering look like? Generally, online programs don’t differ much from their on-campus counterparts. In an online computer engineering program, you can expect live classes that allow students to interact in real time with instructors and peers. However, not all programs will be synchronous, and some may combine asynchronous course content with scheduled classes. Schools may offer academic planning and career support to their online students as well as suggestions for networking opportunities.

Application Requirements 

Each master’s degree program in computer engineering will have a specific set of requirements, so it’s important to confirm the eligibility requirements with the institution you’re applying to. Generally, institutions require a bachelor’s degree in the STEM field or a closely related one as well as a minimum GPA. Sometimes the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for entry, but you may also come across programs in your search that waive this requirement. 

Curriculum

As mentioned, accredited online graduate computer engineering degree programs offer similar core coursework that is equivalent to the on-campus counterparts. In addition to the topic areas we described previously, you may enroll in the following courses as a part of your online computer engineering program:

  • Computer Architecture: In this class, students explore the concepts of memory systems, run-time optimization, parallel processing, cache design, and analysis and data flow architectures.
  • Hardware/Software Design: Students may learn partitioning of hardware and software systems. They’ll also develop an understanding of actuators and embedded control, software development life cycle and system level modeling.
  • Computer Networks: This course emphasizes techniques for networking tasks, such as error and flow control, switching, routing and traffic control. Students can expect to conduct a review of data communication networks as well as principles of network and protocol design.

College of Engineering and Computer Science

info

Master of Science in Computer Science

Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science offers an online Master of Science in Computer Science focusing on subjects crucial to understanding emerging systems.

  • Complete in 15 months
  • No GRE currently required

infoSPONSORED

Faculty

Graduate programs generally have professors and instructors who are leading experts within their fields. These faculty members may also work on real-world solutions and research. You can review faculty profiles to learn more. 

Common Computer Engineer Skills

What are some of the key skills computer engineers might use? There are various skills that may come in handy in this profession, and depending on your role, one may prove more useful than another. On the whole, being a computer engineer often calls for technical and analytical skills. In the same vein, rational reasoning may help these professionals complete work tasks, accomplish goals and invent new technological structures.

Another skill computer engineers employ is creativity—especially when it comes to problem solving or creating new technical systems.

Technology is rapidly evolving. Computer engineers do well to maintain a current knowledge of key programming languages and software tools so that they know their way around a computer’s hardware and software components and can apply principles of design, science, physics and mathematics across various scenarios. Though some of a computer engineer’s work may be done in isolation, some professionals invest in honing their communication and teamwork abilities. By doing so, they learn to collaborate with members of their team as well as external stakeholders, depending on the work environment. 

As you can see, computer engineers employ a combination of hard and soft skills. The goal of an online degree in computer engineering is to help you develop relevant knowledge and skills for a career in the field. Once you obtain work in the field, you can further your education with certifications in key areas like cybersecurity to continue developing new skills.

What Does a Computer Engineer Do?

Computer engineers are in the business of problem-solving. They synthesize concepts from computer science and electrical engineering to improve and develop systems, applications and technologies. The field evolved out of electrical engineering as computers became more and more common. Today, the two disciplines share some characteristics. 

Computer engineers are well-versed in hardware and software. The solutions and ideas they dream up may involve finessing either or both. They often focus on making computers more powerful, intelligent and accurate—all as devices shrink in size. Unlike electrical engineers, who may work outside of an office and on building infrastructure, computer engineers might work in government buildings, corporate offices, colleges and more, shuffling between computers and devices. 

Computer engineering isn’t limited to personal computers or laptops. Today, computer engineers help to develop a wide range of emerging technologies, from virtual reality (VR) to robotics to artificial intelligence (AI). Their work can be found in multiple facets of daily life. For example, they may develop the computers found in medical equipment, cars and even smart home devices (for instance, a mattress or a coffee pot).

Bachelor’s vs Master’s in Computer Engineering Degree

If you’re beginning your journey toward becoming a computer engineer, you may be wondering what level of education you’ll need to break into the field. A number of entry-level computer engineering jobs require, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Overall, education requirements for computer science and STEM careers vary. But similar to other industries, an advanced degree may help you gain a competitive edge, as noted in a BLS article on the value of master’s degrees. Possessing a master’s degree could lead to opportunities like more on-the-job responsibilities or a higher salary. 

A bachelor’s degree generally takes longer to complete than a graduate degree—approximately four years as opposed to one to two years. Remember that the average curriculum will have core courses and electives built in per your institution’s guidelines. Computer engineering majors typically kick off their course of study with the core classes. Among the topics covered are calculus, data structures and digital systems design. Electives delve into technical areas like systems programming, wireless communications and nanoelectronics. At the master’s-level, students take a deep dive into subsets of the field, such as machine intelligence and high performance architectures.

Cost is another factor to consider when deciding which degree may be best for you. Tuition rate per credit hour varies by program—when totaled, the total cost of a program may be thousands of dollars. As you budget for your education, you may consider scholarship and grant opportunities geared at students enrolled in STEM graduate programs. A number of schools, government agencies and private corporations offer such opportunities. Confirm the eligibility requirements for scholarships just as you would for admissions requirements because they may vary. 

The degree that is right for you depends on your career goals, interests and current needs. The good news is that both degrees are designed to equip candidates with knowledge and skills to work in the field—and some schools offer online programs. 

Job Outlook and Salaries

With the increase of technological advances, we may find ourselves relying on the expertise of computer engineers and related professionals more often. The BLS projects that electrical and electronic engineers jobs will grow 7% between 2020 and 2030. Job outlook will differ from position to position. Keep in mind that industry and location may also affect employment outlook.

The median annual salary for electrical and electronic engineers was $100,830 in May 2020, according to the BLS. The highest 10% of these professionals earned more than $159,520. Like job outlook, computer engineer pay varies. A number of factors can affect how much you earn. Take industry for example: The median yearly wage for those working in research and development in the physical, engineering and life sciences earned an average salary of $116,050. The BLS also reports that the median annual salary for computer hardware engineers working in the semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing industry was $107,680.

A master’s degree in computer engineering may open the door to a variety of jobs. And for those who are already in the field, earning this advanced degree might allow you to take on more job responsibilities or advance to a senior role in the workplace. Depending on your job title, you’ll perform multiple technical tasks such as completing designs for integration of devices in processors and other components of computers. With a deep knowledge of analytical softwares, computer-aided design, object or component orientation, and operating systems, computer engineers are also likely to be relied upon in the development and maintenance of new and existing computer systems.

FAQs

Is a master’s in computer engineering worth it?

Determining whether or not a master’s in computer engineering is worth it depends on your career goals. As noted above, an advanced degree may help you gain a competitive edge and could lead to opportunities like more on-the-job responsibilities or a higher salary. It’s also important to note that some specialized jobs may require a master’s degree.

What can I do with a master’s in computer engineering?

There are numerous opportunities for those who hold a master’s in computer engineering. It is important to check education requirements when researching roles to ensure you have an appropriate background for the job you want. According to O*NET OnLine sample reported job titles for electrical engineers include circuits engineer, design engineer, test engineer, and instrumentation and electrical reliability engineer.

Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Programs

We’ve compiled a list of online computer engineering programs to assist you in your search for the best degree for you. You may also consider program options that do not appear on this list. If you represent a university and would like to contact us about editing any of our listings or adding new programs, please send an email to mastersindatascience@2u.com The university’s website is the best place to find the most up to date information on program offerings.

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA].

Last updated November 2021.