25 Best Online Masters in Computer Engineering Degrees [2021 Guide]

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Course topics include digital design, radio and microwave engineering, electronics, analog design, and more. Explore online masters in computer engineering degrees for 2021. Compare career paths, salaries, job growth, and degree programs now.

Masters in Computer Engineering

Whether you’re beginning your master’s for the first time, returning to class to switch careers, or an undecided college student looking for a degree to help you in the marketplace, there are many reasons why an online master’s in computer engineering degree might be the choice for you.

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Computer engineering is a wide field with many different applications in an ever-growing job network, making it a popular online engineering degree program.

Computer engineers have the know-how to fix problems, produce creative solutions, and thrive at the forefront of innovation, all while earning a living in the exciting world of modern technology.

Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Degrees

If you want to get a computer engineering degree online, a wide-range of opportunities are available.

Select the program that most interests you to jump to that section of the guide:

Regardless of the specialty you select, each one can help you build a strong foundation in computer engineering, computer science, and related courses.

Online Master’s in Computer Engineering

Computer Engineers checking models of their project

The master’s degree in computer engineering assumes students are already familiar with the basics of the field. You may be met with rigorous coursework and become an expert on the systems and principles that make up the contemporary computer world.

Computer engineers use critical thinking alongside creativity to design new systems and construct new computerized equipment, from cell phones to microwaves, satellites to laser-printers and construction drills.

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From information technology to robotics systems, microchips to processors to circuits, the student who becomes a master in computer engineering likely has a well-rounded skill set in both theoretical mathematics and its applications.

Online Master’s in Computer Science

software engineers working together in a project

The master’s degree in computer science deals with the gritty details that make computers function. It can help you become an expert in hardware on your journey to master the systems of computation and information processing that go into automation.

Computer languages skills are essential, as well as an understanding of algorithms and computational problems. A master in computer science program can help you learn how to develop the internal systems that make the pieces a computer engineer puts together function the way they should.

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You may prioritize hands-on solutions in areas like programming or software engineering, or go into more theoretical fields such as data structures, computational language theory, and performance analysis.

Online Master’s in Software Engineering

Software Engineers working on their computers in the office

Software engineers, even more than computer scientists, are involved in the labor of coding and development of software and applications.

From web browsers to database programs, software engineers are the computer mechanics who design the systems which translate user inputs into applications for day-to-day operations.

Unlike computer engineers, whose specialty is choosing hardware based on what a project needs, software engineers create the software details that go into a specific piece of hardware.

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Versed in computer engineering principles, software engineers are the computer language-heavy developers who build the specialized software that technology corporations package and sell to their customers.

Computer Engineering Careers and Salaries

Computer Engineering Careers and Salaries

An online master’s in computer engineering can help qualify you for a wide variety of jobs and careers. In fact, though the courses are quite challenging, many students find that these may be among the easiest engineering degrees to earn in order to get a job.

From systems developer to programmer, software engineer to data analyst, knowledge of computer engineering provides a skillset used in a plethora of careers in the technology industry.

The education you will have gained with your master’s in computer engineering can help open many doors into technology, academia, public service, and the corporate marketplace. Any industry you can imagine that has software and hardware needs computer engineers qualified to fix, develop, and improve their systems.

There will likely always be a demand for your newly acquired skills as people in the technology field work to innovate and change the systems that make up the modern world. Computer engineers are typically paid well for their work, with the median income for a computer engineer far exceeding minimum wage.

Careers Annual Median Salary
IT Director $151,150
Computer and Information Research Scientist $126,830
Computer Hardware Engineer $119,560
Network Engineer $116,780
Software Engineer $110,140
Systems Software Developer $106,160
Electrical or Electronics Engineer $103,390
Computer Systems Analyst $93,730
Mechanical Engineer $90,160
Computer Programmer $89,190

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the projected job growth rate in computer and information technology at 11%. New opportunities in technology and in the corporate world are becoming available to people with experience and knowledge in computer engineering.

You may also choose to do freelance work, as some developers hire engineers on an as-needed basis for specific projects.

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Whether you choose to primarily pursue data and algorithm analysis in your studies, hands-on hardware work, software design and programming, or any of the other myriad specialities in the science, there are plenty of jobs you may be qualified for once you complete your degree and enter the workforce.

Choosing an Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Degree

Master’s in Computer Engineering Degree student studying online

Consider the following facets of each program to find the best online master’s in computer engineering for you:

  • Faculty: Who will be your professors, your teachers? What are their qualifications? They might be primarily academics, or coming from the job market. Both have their pros and cons. Who do you want to learn from?
  • Job Experience: Does the degree work with leaders in its field to provide on-the-job experience for its students, such as internships, assistantships, or work studies?
  • Infrastructure: How does the university or college support their program? Check where you can for funding, as well as details on what software you will be using to take classes online.
  • Support: If you are a person with a disability which may require additional assistance from your program, be certain that you will have the access you need to succeed.

Some programs will be more or less restrictive in who they select than others. Compare universities to determine their admissions requirements as they vary widely.

Computer Engineering Curriculum and Courses

Computer Engineers working on an application

You will probably take a varied and challenging course load throughout your master’s in computer engineering program, which may include courses similar to the following:

  • Advanced Computer Architecture: This class discusses optimization, processing, analytic models, memory systems, and other key components of computer architecture.
  • Principles of Operating Systems: This course covers classical and modern operating systems and how they function, from memory management to drivers and file systems
  • Machine Learning: Explore critical theory of machine learning and its real-world applications.
  • Programming and Formal Methods: This class can give you the opportunity to study design and application of programs, including their data structures and procedures.
  • Algorithm Design and Analysis: This course can help you achieve a greater understanding of a wide array of algorithms, including data structures, numeric algorithms, graph algorithms, and more.
  • Internet Security: This class covers the ins and outs of internet security, from how viruses and other hazards may attack a system, and what tools can be used to keep systems secure.
  • Object Oriented Programming C++: This class can give you the opportunity to engage your real-time programming skills and help take them to the next level as you learn advanced principles and techniques in this coding language.
  • Biometrics: This course can help you learn how cutting edge technologies in fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, and voice recognition are designed and function in this fast-growing technology and its industries.
  • Fundamentals of Data and Knowledge Mining: This class discusses advanced principles of data mining and its applications in various fields.
  • Cryptography: Whether introductions or more advanced classes, this class covers both classical and contemporary systems, principles, and techniques related to cryptography, in addition to ethical questions raised by the emergence of cryptography in the technology world.

This is by no means an exhaustive or fundamental list of the courses you may study in your online master’s in computer engineering, but it is a strong sampling of the types of education you may get over the course of your degree as it helps to prepare you for the complex modern world of technology.

Admissions Requirements

Computer Engineering student studying on his laptop

Different universities and colleges will have different admissions requirements, and it is important to check your choice of school for specifics.

  • A bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as engineering, technology, or computer science
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average, typically of 3.0 or higher
  • GRE or GMAT scores, if required
  • A personal statement describing your reasons for applying to the master’s program, your background, and what you might intend to do with a degree after you graduate
  • Letters of recommendation from previous employers or professors, detailing your work ethic, personality, responsibility, and dedication to your studies and/or employment

These are just a few of the typical admissions requirements for an online master’s in computer engineering.

Accreditation

Masters in Computer Engineering Accreditation

It is important that you pay attention to regional accreditation and be certain that your degree is from an accredited institution. This means that the government and Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) have approved that your degree meets a standard of academic excellence.

If you get a degree from a non-accredited school, employers may not recognize your degree. Not to worry: a list of accredited secondary institutions is available on the CHEA website, which you can cross-reference your list of potential colleges and universities against to make certain you get the accreditation you need.

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Engineering programs can also achieve a higher level of accreditation through the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

Financial Aid and Scholarships

financial aid for masters in computer engineering students

A post-secondary education can be expensive, to the point of being prohibitive to those who cannot afford it. There are options you can check out to make certain that an online master’s in computer engineering is affordable for you.

Beyond hoping for a scholarship from your institution (if your application is good, some schools may give partial scholarships) or private party, state aid and federal aid offer loans that can assist you in making it through school. For federal aid, see the FAFSA website for more information.

You may also want to check if there are any work aid and other employer programs that can help you pay for your education while securing either a job you already have, or lining one up for the future, with your employer helping out with the costs of your schooling.

What Can You Do With a Master’s in Computer Engineering?

Hardware Engineer working in a facility

A master’s in computer engineering can help prepare you for a variety of jobs across a spectrum of fields and disciplines.

From more research related work in computer science to technology work as a software or hardware engineer, database administrator, or programmer, you may have a long list of career choices once you finish your degree.

Technology companies and academic institutions alike all need more computer engineers to design new systems, operate these systems, keep their data safe, and much more. Browse the Bureau of Labor Statistics to get a look at the possible opportunities available to you after your master’s in computer engineering.

How Much Does an Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Cost?

Computer Engineers working overtime in the office

The cost of an online master’s in computer engineering will vary depending on your university or college, but it is reasonable to expect somewhere in the range between $450 to $700 per credit hour.

Keep in mind the potential additional costs of software, textbooks, and your usual budget for living expenses in addition to tuition.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Master’s In Computer Engineering Online?

On average, it takes between two to three years to complete an online master’s in computer engineering, depending on the program, its courses, and how quickly the courses can be completed. It is possible to graduate early from some universities by taking a higher-than-average course load.

You may also find yourself needing to slow down, potentially transitioning to part time, if there are life situations you must prioritize over your degree. Be certain to be aware of your capabilities, and choose the pace that best suits your lifestyle and career goals.

Are There Any Affordable Online Computer Engineering Master’s Programs?

Master's in Computer Engineering student studying online together with her colleagues

In short, yes, there are affordable online master’s programs in computer engineering. When researching colleges and universities, be sure to get check their per-credit-hour rates and average tuition.

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Certain universities may also be more affordable depending on the types of scholarships and financial aid they make available to their students, which can be something to emphasize as you research school if affordability is one of your main priorities.

How Much Does a Computer Engineer Make with a Master’s Degree?

The average salary of someone with a master’s degree in computer engineering is an annual wage of $101,000 (Center on Education and the Workforce).

Entry-level jobs may make a little less than this, and as you gain experience, you will likely climb higher.

What is the Difference Between Computer Science vs. Computer Engineering?

Computer Engineer checking the connection in data center

An online master’s in computer science typically focuses on:

  • Troubleshooting issues on the software level
  • Database & operating system expertise
  • Proficiency with programming in different languages
  • Often more abstract: data, models, and algorithms feature prominently

An online master’s in computer engineering usually focuses on:

  • Hands-on solutions and experience with hardware
  • Knowledge of both hardware and software interfaces
  • Build computing systems best suited for all varieties of jobs

Although there is overlap between computer science and computer engineering, it is a general rule that in computer science you are much more likely to deal with principles and theories, while in computer engineering you are more likely to be the “engineer” who puts those theories into practice.

What is the Difference Between Computer Science vs. Software Engineering?

Hardware Engineer testing computer parts in a laboratory

An online master’s in computer science usually focuses on:

  • Troubleshooting issues on the software level
  • Database & operating system expertise
  • Proficiency with programming in different languages
  • Often more abstract: data, models, and algorithms feature prominently

An online master’s in software engineering typically focuses on:

  • Software maintenance, troubleshooting, and fixes
  • Building and developing new software for an employer or customer’s needs
  • Proficiency in programming, debugging, testing, and verification

Computer science and software engineering contain many similarities. Both involve an expertise in programming.

While a master in computer science might research new principles and test new theories on how a code might be written, a master software engineer might take on the practical task of writing new code, testing it for errors or bugs, and making sure a piece of software runs correctly.

What is the Difference Between Computer Engineering vs. Software Engineering?

software engineer checking the connection in data center

An online master’s in computer engineering usually focuses on:

  • Hands-on solutions and experience with hardware
  • Knowledge of both hardware and software interfaces
  • Build computing systems best suited for all varieties of jobs

An online master’s in software engineering usually focuses on:

  • Software maintenance, troubleshooting, and fixes
  • Building and developing new software for an employer or customer’s needs
  • Proficiency in programming, debugging, testing, and verification

Both of these master’s degrees involve hands-on applications of computer science theories, and those with these degrees often work together in various fields. The job of a computer engineer is to primarily decide what hardware would best run the software designed by software engineers.

Is an Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Worth It?

Computer Engineers working in the office

Yes, an online master’s in computer engineering is worth it for many professionals. Jobs in computer and information technology field are projected to grow at a rate of 11% in the next 10 years (Bureau of Labor Statistics), much faster than the average growth for all occupations.

Common computer engineering careers in this field include software developer, software engineer, data analyst, project engineer, and programmer.

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With most jobs in computer engineering being centered in the technology industry, working for a corporation may also give you supplemental benefits such as raises, healthcare, life and other types of insurance, sick leave, and others depending on your future employer.

Universities Offering Master’s in Computer Engineering Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Colorado State University

Colorado State University

Students interested in computer engineering have two options at Colorado State University. They can earn a Master of Engineering with a computer engineering concentration or a Master of Science in Computer Engineering.

Courses are designed to teach students valuable skills like tracking industry trends, conducting research, and solving advanced engineering problems.

  • MEng in Computer Engineering
  • MS in Computer Engineering

Colorado State is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.

Colorado Technical University

Colorado Technical University

Students at Colorado Technical University can complete their Master of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in software engineering using laptops, smartphones or tablets at their own paces.

Topics include mobile computing, technical challenges in web services, cloud computing, virtualization and more. Terms run for only five and half weeks before completion.

  • MS in Computer Science – Software Engineering

Colorado Technical University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Florida International University

Florida International University

At Florida International University, students can earn their Master of Science in Computer Engineering in as few as 10 months.

The program has received numerous accolades over the years and prides itself on its faculty of professional engineers and the numerous professional certifications students can earn including Network+, Security+ and Certified Ethical Hacker.

  • MS in Computer Engineering – Network Security

Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Tech offers a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering degree through its School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The school has SACSCOC accreditation and offers loans and tuition assistance to qualified graduate students.

Georgia Tech also offers on-campus and online academic advising, student support services and enrichment opportunities to students.

  • MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Georgia Institute of Technology is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Iowa State University

Iowa State University

The Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering degree at Iowa State University is designed specifically for working professionals looking to advance their careers. Students only take one course a semester, and there’s no thesis, capstone or creative component. It’s a coursework-only degree that requires 30 credit hours to fully complete.

  • MEng in Computer Engineering

Iowa State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University

Students earning a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering at John Hopkins University have the option of choosing a specialization in either photonics or communications/networking. The program allows students five years to complete the required ten courses. Students may even choose to substitute a course with staff approval.

  • MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Johns Hopkins University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Kansas State University

Kansas State University

The Electrical and Computer Engineering Master’s Degree at Kansas State University combines courses from the electric power systems program and the communications and network program to help students develop a well-rounded knowledge base to advance their careers.

Although all coursework is done online, there’s one required trip to Kansas at the program’s end.

  • Master’s in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Kansas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University

At Mississippi State University, students can enroll in either the Master of Science or a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering program. The programs are both designed to prepare graduates for advanced, high-level careers in the electrical or computer engineering fields.

A premium is placed on education, consulting, development, product design, and research.

  • MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Mississippi State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University

The 30 credit hour Master of Science in Computer Engineering program at North Carolina State University can be undertaken by full-time or part-time students. Students have six years after beginning the program to complete it, and each student will have his own academic advisor to create the educational plan that works for him.

  • MS in Computer Engineering

North Carolina State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University

At Old Dominion University, students can enroll in the Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering program online. The exceptional faculty has decades of combined expertise and are well-versed in teaching both practical engineering and engineering theory.

Students may also get hands-on experience from collaborating with the University’s various on-campus partners.

  • MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Old Dominion University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Pennsylvania State University – World Campus

Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University – World Campus offers an online Master of Software Engineering program. Students may learn to develop software and services and analyze and troubleshoot software, as well as learning about design and architecture, system verification, and data storage.

  • Master of Software Engineering

Pennsylvania State University – World Campus is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Purdue University

Purdue University

The Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University is designed specifically to teach students a firm, in-depth knowledge of electrical and computer engineering, to develop innovative critical thinking strategies and advance their careers.

Purdue is also one of the few schools that offers fellowships to qualified online graduate students.

  • MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Purdue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Stevens Institute of Technology

Stevens Institute of Technology

Stevens Institute of Technology’s computer engineering master’s program is for working professionals looking to learn more about embedded and real-time systems, image processing and media, security systems, digital system design and more.

The school also offers students a multitude of networking opportunities, as well as the opportunity to earn a dual degree.

  • MEng in Computer Engineering
  • MS in Computer Engineering

Stevens Institute of Technology is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Syracuse University

Syracuse University

Students enrolled in the Master of Science in Computer Engineering program at Syracuse University work via an immersive online platform that includes live, weekly classes. The curriculum’s comprehensive, but pacing is flexible.

The program requires 12 core credit hours and 18 elective credits, allowing students the opportunity to gain specialized skills in areas of interest.

  • MS in Computer Science

Syracuse University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Texas A and M University

Texas A and M University

Texas A&M University offers a Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering program through its Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The program requires 30 credit hours, six of which can be transferred from a peer university. Final, comprehensive examinations aren’t required for this particular degree as long as it’s non-thesis.

  • Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering

Texas A and M University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Arizona

University of Arizona

The University of Arizona’s Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering course was designed with input by industry leaders and is comprised of experienced professionals as faculty.

The curriculum is both flexible and customizable, and students can focus their studies into concentrations such as computer networks, high-performance computing, wireless networks and more.

  • MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering

The University of Arizona is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Delaware

University of Delaware

The University of Delaware offers a 30 credit hour online Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering that includes courses in efficient algorithm design, networking, information processing, advanced wireless communications, cryptography strategies, cyber security, Wi-Fi and 3G, 4G, and 5G cellular networks.

It’s a very comprehensive computer engineering program.

  • MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering

The University of Delaware is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of Florida

University of Florida

The University of Florida calls its online electrical and computer engineering master program EDGE, short for Electronic Delivery of Gator Engineering. Students can take EDGE classes on a class-by-class, non-degree-seeking basis, or they can enroll in the full program.

The course has heavy tech design, information technology systems, and cyber security components to it.

  • Master of Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering

The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Idaho

University of Idaho

Students at the University of Idaho have two options for earning a master’s in computer engineering: a Master of Engineering (non-thesis to graduate) or a Master of Science (requires thesis to graduate). Both programs require 30 credit hours of courses.

There are three main areas of concentration: digital hardware design, digital systems design, or computer systems.

  • MEng in Computer Engineering
  • MS in Computer Engineering

The University of Idaho is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

University of Michigan – Dearborn

University of Michigan Dearborn

The Master of Systems Engineering in Computer Engineering at the University of Michigan Dearborn consists of a 30 credit hour on-campus, 100% online or blended curriculum featuring both required courses and technical electives.

The school believes in hands-on experience and provides students with a lot of it concerning computers, microprocessor-based systems and high-performance workstations.

  • MSE in Computer Engineering

The University of Michigan-Dearborn is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of New Mexico

University of New Mexico

The thing that makes the University of New Mexico’s computer engineering master’s program so unique is that it offers a concentration in “Internet of Things (IoT).” IoT comprises basically any type of device that can be used to log onto a network. This concentration teaches students to analyze, troubleshoot and solve problems in IoT.

  • MS in Computer Engineering – Internet of Things

UNM is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of South Carolina

University of South Carolina

The University of South Carolina offers both a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering. Both programs feature advanced courses in computing, analysis of algorithms, digital design, computer architecture, system performance evaluation, robotics and more. There are also eight concentrations in which students can choose to specialize.

  • MS in Computer Engineering

The University of South Carolina is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Southern California

University of Southern California

For students looking to go into nanotechnology, power engineering, broadcast technology, systems design, or other computer and technology fields, the University of Southern California offers a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering with a concentration in computer engineering degree.

The school’s online program is fully integrated with the on-campus classes, allowing remote students to engage directly.

  • MS in Computer Engineering

USC is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Villanova University

Villanova University

Villanova University offers a Master of Science in Computer Engineering designed for working professionals with families to finish school while maintaining a work/life/school balance. The online system allows students to watch lectures in real time and engage with the class or view recorded lessons on their own time.

  • MS in Computer Engineering

Villanova University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

At Worcester Polytechnic Institute, students can earn their Master’s in Electrical and Computer Engineering in only ten courses. Students work directly with personal faculty advisors to create a customized and flexible plan of study that’s right for them.

Course topics include digital design, radio and microwave engineering, electronics, analog design, and more.

  • Master’s in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Worcester Polytechnic Institute is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Getting Your Master’s in Computer Engineering Online

Master’s in Computer Engineering student studying online at home

An online master’s in computer engineering can help you develop the knowledge and skills to enter a cutting edge field, with pay that can secure your future. With specialization flexibility and job growth in almost all areas, you may focus on an aspect of your career that you enjoy while making tangible contributions to the technological world.

If you are a creative, hard-working individual, you may thrive in the computer engineering environments that your degree helps prepare you for. The journey to getting your master’s in computer engineering can start with exploring which accredited university or college is right for you.

Ready to start your journey?
James O'Leary
WRITTEN BY
James O'Leary
James has a bachelor's degree in English from Northern Arizona University, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College (2021). An aspiring teacher, James is passionate about all things education. A poet and editor, you can find James's poetry and other creative work in journals and magazines around the internet.