Day in the Life
engineers are concerned with the design, development, and implementation
of computer technology into a wide range of consumer, industrial,
commercial, and military applications. In automobiles design, for
example, computers are integrated into many systems, including air
conditioning, navigation, audio and video systems, and even tire
pressure alert systems. As more and more products incorporate or
interact with computers, computer engineers are challenged to develop
computer applications that improve the quality of life while being
sensitive to manufacturing and distribution costs.
Almost all jobs in engineering require some sort of interaction with
coworkers. Whether they are working in a team situation, or just asking
for advice, most engineers have to have the ability to communicate and
work with other people. Engineers should be creative, inquisitive,
analytical, and detail-oriented. They should be able to work as part of
a team and to communicate well, both orally and in writing.
Communication abilities are important because engineers often interact
with specialists in a wide range of fields outside engineering. Writing
and presentation skills are also vital so engineers can share their
research and experiences with colleagues through topical meetings,
professional associations, and various publications.
engineers work on hardware, software and the interface between the two.
They work in teams with other engineers and others from other areas to
design, build, and maintain systems that incorporate or use computers.
Working as a computer
engineer requires expertise in both computer hardware and software, and
requires the engineer to be able to recommend tradeoffs between hardware
and software to create a system or product design that is cost effective
Computer engineers usually work in offices or laboratories in comfortable
surroundings. They usually work about 40 hours a week -- the same as
many other professional or office workers do. However, evening or
weekend work may be necessary to meet deadlines or solve specific
problems. Given the technology available today, telecommuting is common
for computer professionals. As networks expand, more work can be done
from remote locations through modems, laptops, electronic mail, and the
Internet. Computer Engineers
are employed in industry, government, education and consulting. It is
difficult to find a company that doesn't require the expertise of
computer engineers for its products or systems.
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Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department
of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.