Computer Engineering Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What is Computer Engineering?

Computer Engineering combines the fields of electrical engineering and computer science to create new computer hardware and software.

Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, and test computer systems and components such as processors, circuit boards, memory devices, networks, and routers. They’re involved in the design of computer architecture and function across roles as software and hardware engineers.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering Computer Engineering courses in the following subject areas:

  • Computer Engineering – Gain the skills and knowledge necessary for a career in the computer, software, and electronics industry.
  • Computer Science: Software Engineering – The study of software engineering across industrial and commercial sectors.
  • Bachelor of Engineering ICT Engineering – The study of Computer Engineering or Network Management or Electronic Communications
  • MEng In Electronic and Computer Engineering – The study of the theory, analysis, design, modeling, and manufacture of electronic and computer systems.
  • Masters Engineering Qualifier: Electronic & Computer Engineering – Gain the knowledge, experience, and skills to access a Master’s program in Electronic & Computer Engineering.

Studying Computer Engineering in college

Many Computer Engineering courses take place over 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover all theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials, and taught modules. Assessments will take place continuously with written examinations and practical assignments combined to achieve a qualification. You may be able to undertake a year in industry as part of your course, typically between the second and third years. This allows you to apply the skills learned on your course, learn new ones and help you to build your network.

You could also consider work experience through course-related placements, opportunities to work shadow or a year in the industry. Relevant work experience is a good way of demonstrating a genuine interest in computing and is regarded favorably by employers.

Work Experience will not only allow you to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, but it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

A range of experience is useful in areas such as hardware, operating systems, or software and if possible you should tailor your experience to suit the career you’d like. You could create a skills portfolio to showcase your artistic work or your ability to code in programming languages as well as specific software tools you can use.

Career options

After completing a course in Computer Engineering you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of Computer Software or Computer Hardware.

You could be employed by a company specializing in software engineering/development or other areas of IT, which may be broad in scope or specific to an area, such as an app or website development. You could also be employed in-house in an IT role, such as a software engineer/developer, for companies across a range of sectors.

Companies range in size from those with only a few employees to large multinational organizations. Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a growing part of the IT industry and may also have opportunities.

Another option is to set up your own business or work as a freelancer, providing software or other IT-related services. Consultancy is another area where software engineer jobs arise. The role may include other elements, such as analysis, implementation, and support.

Working hours will depend on whether you are employed by a company with set business hours or if you are contracted to various facilities or companies. The hours are usually full-time, Monday to Friday. You should expect to work some evenings when deadlines are due, although weekend or shift work is uncommon.

Related jobs include:

  • Applications developer
  • Cybersecurity analyst
  • Game developer
  • Information systems manager
  • IT consultant
  • Multimedia programmer
  • Web developer
  • Web designer
  • Software engineer
  • Application analyst
  • Database administrator
  • Forensic computer analyst
  • IT technical support officer
  • Software tester
  • Sound designer
  • Systems analyst

Further study

After completing a course in Computer Engineering you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skillset. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practice in certain career areas such as Manufacturing, Finance, Healthcare, Information Technology, Media, or Public Utilities.


What is the difference between computer engineering and computer science?

Computer science focuses mostly on troubleshooting issues on a software level. Expect to learn different programming languages, how to work with operating systems, and how to maintain databases. Computer engineering focuses on solving problems and designing hardware and software interfaces.

What skills do computer engineers need?

These soft skills include critical thinking, communication, and project and time management. Computer engineers should be detail-oriented, analytical, excellent problem solvers, and able to identify, analyze and craft solutions to complex problems.

More specific skills include knowledge of computer systems and technologies, technical competency, and ability to learn new skills and technologies quickly, and an awareness of current issues affecting the industry and its technologies.

Where can I study Computer Engineering?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

· Only about 10% of the world’s currency is physical money, the rest only exists on computers.

· TYPEWRITER is the longest word that you can write using the letters only on one row of the keyboard of your computer.

· The first-ever hard disk drive was made in 1979 and could hold only 5MB of data.

· The first 1GB hard disk drive was announced in 1980 which weighed about 550 pounds and had a price tag of $40,000.

· More than 80% of the emails sent daily are spam.

· The worst U.S. security breach of all time happened because of a USB Stick. Someone found the stick (which a foreign intelligence agency had infected) in the parking lot and plugged it into their computer. The computer had links to the U.S. Central Command. The attack happened in 2008 and resulted in the theft of thousands of classified and unclassified documents. The Pentagon spent about 14 months cleaning up the damage from the worm.


Mariza Halliday

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