Is Computer Engineering A Good Career? After 20+ Years In It

With over 20 years in IT, I’ve been through the ups and downs of computer engineering. As the world becomes increasingly digital and interconnected, the need for various types of IT engineers will continue well into the future, but what most people want to know is: is  computer engineering a good career?

Computer engineering is a good career for those who enjoy working directly with technology. Since computer systems are now found in every industry, new openings are generally available, and job security is high. There is always an opportunity for knowledge and salary growth as a professional.

Let’s dig into whether computer engineering is a good career for you based on some easy questions. By the end of this article, you’ll also gain some understanding of what it takes to be a competent computer engineer.

A computer engineer, male sharing his interests in technology

Are You Naturally Interested In Technology?

The best thing you can do is explore your interest in technology. On one hand, many people are often scared off by the technical aspects of computers, but on the other hand, if you are really interested, you should be alright.

Luckily, some signs can usually be pinpointed if you have a natural interest in technology. 

For instance, you can ask yourself a few questions:

  • Have you ever taken apart electronic devices to see how they work and then rebuilt them?
  • Are you someone who can’t wait to get their hands on the latest technology?
  • Do you enjoy playing with new mobile apps or websites?
  • Are you frustrated when technology doesn’t work well, and do you have ideas on how to make it better?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, computer engineering is likely a good fit for you.

You’re not limited to programming software since computer engineering spans many technical jobs and industries. In fact, as the world continues to become more computerized, the need for more qualified engineers will only grow, so job security and good pay are likely to continue.

Are You Looking For Job Security & Great Pay?

One of the main reasons job seekers may consider a career in computer engineering is the high pay and reliable security. Tech jobs like computer engineering are showing some signs of future growth.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer hardware engineers have an annual projected growth rate of 5%, which is considered an average rate. Software engineers, on the other hand, have an above-average annual growth rate of about 25%.

Now, computer engineering does still hold some stability over other careers due to its high demand. Consequently, job competition is similarly increasing, which may make it more difficult to land a job. To gain the upper hand, you need to distinguish yourself from other applicants.

That’s why, for computer engineering to be a stable job, you’ll need to always keep up with upcoming trends to incorporate into your work. To do so, you can attend tech conferences, be willing to converse with your colleagues in a professional setting, and periodically observe tech news.

In terms of salary, earning a career in the tech field is highly rewarding due to the six-figure pay. Broadly speaking, the median salary for computer hardware engineers is around $115,000 to $176,000. Meanwhile, software engineer salaries can range from $82,000 to $126,000.

A table filled papers, mind-maps, and code while doing research for software project

Are You Good With Overcoming Challenges & Research?

Before considering a job in computer engineering, it’s worth taking a step back and seeing the big picture. This includes looking at all the challenges and skill requirements of the job. Now, computer engineers face multiple current and future issues.

For instance, there’s always an overarching debate over whether artificial intelligence will replace IT. Luckily, today’s AI still requires more advancement to replace a computer engineer’s job responsibilities. Nonetheless, you also need to think about how you can overcome this future challenge.

In this instance, you can advance your skill set in the AI field to keep up with the trends rather than fall behind and lose your edge. The job opportunities could then be updated to reflect tasks involving AI testing and engineering.

This is ultimately where your research skills need to be refined. Before updating your roster of knowledge, you need to build a stable foundation of coding and IT comprehension. This will come in highly handy when you’re trying to overcome a challenge.

Subsequently, when solving an issue, you have to do your research from multiple sources to find an educated solution. The good news is that research software engineers are there to provide you with educational reports to assist you through the process of testing and problem-solving.

Now, on a more small-scale level, other challenges may arise, such as a lack of business knowledge. In other words, you may need to develop skills such as team building and collaboration to interact with users. This is especially true if you’re trying to climb up the ladder and attain a superior role where you manage a group of engineers.

An introvert male working on his laptop, two extrovert females laughing and discussing, all of them are computer engineers

Are You An Introvert or An Extrovert?

More often than not, people picture IT workers in a dark room with a PC lighting their faces as they type away some code. In this case, you may associate this job with being an introvert or someone who is typically distant from crowds and shy.

Contrary to this popular belief, computer engineers don’t have to be introverted. In some cases, they need to have exceptional social skills to communicate with a team of workers. Luckily, IT is a highly versatile industry that’s inclusive of both introverts and extroverts.

For example, computer systems analysts will need to be able to talk to their peers about any problems with or ways to improve an organization’s computer system.

On the other hand, software engineers don’t have to talk to people as much because they do most of their work remotely and alone.

A software engineer showing innovative app he is building on his laptop

Are You Looking For An Opportunity To Innovate?

Computer engineering provides a great avenue to explore the depths of innovation. Technological breakthroughs occur every day, and computer engineers get the chance to apply their creativity to creating something new.

For instance, computer hardware engineers get to develop new products from scratch, such as state-of-the-art PCs and intricate motherboards. Meanwhile, software engineers could be developing smart cities that use data analytics and AI for better public safety measures and creating more efficient healthcare systems through digital health platforms.

These innovations have the potential to become game-changing solutions that can benefit many people in the long run. In other words, you can truly make a difference if you’re willing to take up the challenge and be at the forefront of computer engineering.

So, if you want a job that will let you explore your creative side and work on new projects with interesting opportunities, computer engineering is a great choice.

Variety of computer engineering fields including ai, it, algorithms, computer hardware

Are You Looking For A Career With Lots Of Opportunities?

The computer engineering field has a wide variety of specializations to choose from.

You can immerse yourself in the world of cyber security – safeguarding systems against malicious attacks; delve into web development for creating apps or websites; study artificial intelligence (AI) as a means of building smart machines – all these are just some examples.

And with colleges and online programmes offering a wide variety of computer engineering courses dedicated to each area, it’s easy to try out your options until you find one that truly sparks your passion. All it takes is some technological curiosity and maybe even a little experimenting – so why not take advantage of this amazing field?

Is computer engineering a good career? After 20+ years in it

Final Thoughts On Why Computer Engineering Is A Good Career

I have been fortunate enough to be part of this ever-evolving field, and it has been a truly fulfilling career. The main motivators that make computer engineering a good career choice are its versatility, potential for innovation, abundance of opportunities, lucrative salaries, and great job security.

So if you believe that this field is for you, then go ahead and give it a try. You could soon be the one building meaningful products that change people’s lives and make a real impact on the world. Good luck!

Mike Chu

Mike is a web developer and content writer living as a digital nomad. With more than 20 years of devops experience, he brings his "programmer with people skills" approach to help explain technology to the average user. Check out his full author bio by clicking here.

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