What Can I Learn in an Online Master's in Computer Engineering Program?
Online master's in engineering students learn how to design computer networks, build devices based on emerging technologies, and optimize hardware for current and cutting-edge applications. Master's programs also let students choose a specialization. Students can pursue specializations in a specific industry, such as network security or software development, or in a specific role, such as systems analyst or web-based developer.
What Common Courses Are Offered in a Master's in Computer Engineering Program?
This course covers advanced computer architecture concepts, such as parallel and array processing, abstract analytic models, embedded computing, and memory systems. Students can apply skills and knowledge from this course when working on compilers, operating systems, and application software.
This class covers security tools and techniques and how they protect stored information in computer systems and networks. Learners study the theories behind a variety of security measures and processes, learning how to implement and adapt them to meet the requirements of future clients.
This course examines how to extract relevant information from generated data using various statistical and data mining methods. Learners study the principles and theories of data mining and how to apply them to real-world problems.
In this course, learners study the complete library of the standard C++ programming language. They study the fundamentals of object-oriented design and learn how to illustrate design principles using C++ code. A popular programming language, extensive knowledge of C++ helps computer engineers perform various tasks in software design and implementation.
This class covers various aspects of software engineering, including design technologies, data structures, functional decomposition, and testing strategies. Students learn how to assess current industry standards in software development and adapt them to an organization's digital infrastructure.
What Exams or Projects Should I Expect?
Some online master's in computer engineering programs require students to culminate the degree with a comprehensive exam, while others require a capstone project that synthesizes degree knowledge and skills. Additionally, some programs may give students the option to choose between a thesis or non-thesis track. Students should research the requirements at each prospective school to find a program that aligns with their goals and interests.
What Specializations Are Available in a Master's in Computer Engineering Program?
Computer engineers can choose from a variety of specializations, including cybersecurity, bioinformatics, computational geometry, and interface design. We outline three common computer engineering specializations below.
This specialization focuses on safeguarding digital data, physical servers, and devices from unlawful and unauthorized access. Students pursuing this specialization usually take courses in cryptology, advanced data structures, and computer network security.
Networking, Mobile and Distributed Computing
This specialization focuses on creating efficient and reliable networking protocols that facilitate data transmission between internet endpoints. Learners pursuing this specialty may take courses on topics such as wireless networks, distributed algorithms, and digital communications.
Cyber Physical Systems
Cyber physical systems specialists explore the nexus of computing and physical processes. Their work has led to groundbreaking developments in the automotive, aerospace, and medical device industries. Courses in this specialization cover topics like robotics, smart environments, and big data applications.
What Can I Do with a Master's in Computer Engineering Degree?
Graduates with an online master's in computer engineering enjoy diverse career options with strong job growth potential. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs in the computer and information technology sector to grow 12% by 2028. We highlight several common careers for graduates below.
Computer and Information Research Scientist
Computer and information research scientists help companies and organizations solve complex computing problems and incorporate new technology into their existing infrastructure.
Computer Hardware Engineer
Computer hardware engineers develop, implement, and maintain hardware systems; modify and upgrade existing systems; and research emerging technologies for integration into an existing system.
Computer Network Architect
Computer network architects design data communication networks, upgrade hardware and software, and research new networking technology to improve a company's network capabilities.
Software developers design applications and computer systems for companies and organizations. They also monitor software and anticipate upgrades and enhancements to ensure optimum performance.
Information Security Analyst
Information security analysts monitor an organization's network and systems infrastructure for possible security threats. They must know how to take immediate remedial action in case of unauthorized access.
How Much Can I Make with a Career in Computer Engineering?
Thanks to their specialized knowledge and skills, computer engineers enjoy lucrative salaries. However, salaries vary by factors like location, industry, and experience. The following table outlines the average salaries for several popular computer engineering jobs.
|Career||Median Annual Salary||Job Growth (2016-2026)|
|Computer and Information Research Scientist||$118,370||16%|
|Computer Hardware Engineer||$114,600||6%|
|Computer Network Architect||$109,020||5%|
|Information Security Analyst||$98,350||32%|
Online Master's in Computer Engineering Program Accreditation
Prospective students should look for schools and programs with accreditation. Accreditation expands employment, financial aid, and education opportunities and indicates that a school meets high academic standards. Schools may hold national or regional accreditation, with regional accreditation generally considered the more prestigious of the two.
Programs within a school may also hold programmatic accreditation. ABET is the foremost accrediting body for computer, engineering technology, engineering, and applied and natural sciences programs. ABET only accredits computer programs at the bachelor's level, but it accredits both undergraduate and graduate engineering programs.
How to Pay for a Master's in Computer Engineering Degree
Pursuing a master's in computer engineering online or on campus requires a significant financial investment. However, computer engineering students can take advantage of several financial aid opportunities to help minimize the cost of the degree.
Techniques for Financing a Master's in Computer Engineering
- Employer Assistance
Some companies offer to partially or fully pay for an employee's degree, particularly if it is related to their current job. However, this assistance may come with the condition the employee stays with the company for a set time period after graduating.
- Professional Organizations
Some professional organizations offer financial aid opportunities for members, such as grants and scholarships. Students should research opportunities at both local and national organizations.
- Government Aid
State and local government agencies may offer financial aid opportunities such as work-study programs, scholarships, grants, and low-interest loans.
Scholarships for Master's in Computer Engineering Students
- CyberCorps Scholarship for Service
- Who Can Apply: Students pursuing a computer science degree focused on cybersecurity qualify for this scholarship opportunity. Awardees must complete a summer internship.
- Amount: $34,000 stipend, full tuition and education-related fees, and $6,000 professional allowance to cover certification, travel, and SFS Job Fair attendance
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Scholarships
- Who Can Apply: IEEE offers several scholarship, grant, and fellowship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Qualification criteria vary by program.
- Amount: $1,000 – $5,000
- Intel Growing the Legacy Scholarship (American Indian Science and Engineering Society)
- Who Can Apply: Applicants for this award must be tribal citizens or have Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander lineage. They must also be enrolled in an accredited computer engineering program with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
- Amount: $10,000
- Society of Women Engineers Scholarships
- Who Can Apply: SWE maintains several scholarship programs for female undergraduate and graduate students in ABET-accredited programs who plan to pursue a career in computing or engineering.
- Amount: Varies per scholarship
- Women Techmakers Scholars Program
- Who Can Apply: Female students currently enrolled in or accepted to a master's in computer engineering program can apply for this scholarship opportunity. Applicants need a strong academic and leadership background.
- Amount: $10,000
Professional Organizations and Resources
Online master's in computer engineering students and graduates can take advantage of many professional organizations and resources to advance their careers and support their studies. Benefits include financial aid, continuing education, professional development, and networking opportunities. We highlight several professional organizations and resources for computer engineering students and graduates below.
Maintained by Cornell University, this website provides more than 1.5 million open-access e-prints in fields including computer science, quantitative finance, and electrical engineering. Computer science articles cover topics such as cryptography and security, computational engineering, and machine learning.
ACM members can access a variety of online learning resources, such as books, courses, and video tutorials. The association's education initiatives include compiling and disseminating curricular recommendations for computer-related fields, which are highly valued in the professional community.
- Members of this association gain access to an exclusive job board, informative webinars, local and national volunteer opportunities, and a bimonthly e-newsletter. ASSI&T also maintains a digital research library.
- AWC supports the advancement of women in computing by sponsoring regional and national conferences, providing in-person and online networking and mentoring opportunities, and offering continuing education programs.
- Members of CRA can access a searchable job database, a peer-reviewed scholarly publication, and workforce reports for computing professionals. Members can also attend career mentoring workshops and an annual jobs and technology summit.
- This free online research library provides open-access white papers on technology-related topics, such as enterprise applications, software development, IT management, and wireless communication.
- ITSMF provides leadership training opportunities with the goal of increasing the number of African Americans in top leadership roles in technology-related industries. It also offers scholarships to minority students pursuing an accredited STEM program.
- A leading organization for computer and engineering professionals, IEEE maintains several industry-recognized certification programs. Members gain access to insurance discounts, publications, a digital library, webinars, and conferences.
- Partnering with various institutions and organizations, like NASA and the Museum of Modern Art, Khan Academy offers instructional videos and practice exercises in several subject areas, including computer science and engineering.
- Visitors to this website can access virtually all of MIT's courses, some of which include lecture notes and reading lists as well as exams and faculty insights.