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What is Computer Engineering and why should you study it?
What is computer engineering and why you should study it

What is Computer Engineering and why should you study it?

News & tips on your studies and career!

Technology today plays a big part in our lives since day one, and there isn’t a single toddler that can’t handle a smartphone like they were taught in the womb. Meanwhile, school curriculums are being enhanced with courses in computers, robotics, AI, and other new and exciting technological fields from the early educational stages. As a result, more and more teenagers seek to expand their knowledge of technology and even take it a step further and consider building their professional future around it.

So when the time comes to pick their studies, it seems fit that they opt for a technology-oriented discipline, like computer engineering, and seize the chance to become a small but significant part of the future world.

Tip: Ireland is considered one of Europe’s leading tech hubs, so studying in Ireland can be a great opportunity for your future career.

What is computer engineering

Computer science and engineering studies are known to combine a large number of scientific fields. Universities provide future scientists and engineers with a strong academic foundation along with vast opportunities to specialize in various areas of their general field of study.

Computer engineering is a blend of electronic engineering and computer science. It’s a combination of all the sub-fields required to master the development of new and innovative hardware and software. A bachelor of science in computer engineering offers training both in computer software design and electronics. Computer engineers must know everything about hardware-software integration and have the ability to incorporate any type of computer hardware into larger, more complicated systems.

In short, computer systems engineering provides the final connection between the intangible and tangible aspects of contemporary information and computing technology.

The diverse prospects of computer science engineering

Just like any other scientific field, computer science engineering can lead a student to different but equally exciting paths and specializations, from theory to practice and beyond! When studying for a computer engineering degree, you learn everything there is to know about computing devices and their applications in the real world.

Depending on your talents and preferences, though, you can choose to become an expert in:


A software engineer specializes in designing, developing, analyzing, testing, and optimizing computer programs for all types of technological systems.

Their required skills include a deep knowledge of multiple coding languages, database architectures, operating systems, cloud computing, etc. Computer software engineering can be described as the construction and maintenance of the most crucial part of any type of computer-based infrastructure: its brain!


Hardware engineers are in charge of developing and building new, advanced physical components for use in computer systems at all levels: from personal (e.g., smartphones) to industrial (e.g., automated assembly lines).

Computer hardware engineering includes understanding system architectures, working with hardware design models and prototypes, and bringing together in harmony all the pieces of a well-orchestrated computer-based system.


A network engineer is the main architect behind small or large-scale computer networks that connect remote systems and infrastructures efficiently and securely.

These computer engineering experts’ responsibility is to design, build and maintain networks and network components based on the basic principles and multiple techniques of hardware and software design, network protocols, data management, cyber security, distributed computing, server maintenance, cloud computing etc.

More computer engineering specializations

Besides those three basic fields of expertise, a computer engineering degree can help you specialize in:


An interdisciplinary branch of computer engineering, robotics is the art of designing and constructing machines with the ability to replicate human activity (i.e., robots and robotic systems).

A computer engineer specializing in robotics must be proficient in designing, building, and testing prototypes by combining a diverse set of software, hardware, electrical, electronic, and mechanical engineering skills.

Embedded systems

Embedded systems are dedicated computing devices built to perform specific functions within the larger system they are part of (e.g., the power train in a self-driving car).

As a specialization of computer engineering, embedded systems engineering requires a broad skill-set that includes knowledge of microelectronics and circuit design, microcontroller/microprocessor programming, and IoT devices and frameworks.

And that’s not all!

A diploma in computer engineering offers first-class opportunities to pursue a career in a constantly growing list of quite intriguing technological fields like processor/CPU design, information security, computational science, computer vision, artificial intelligence systems, and many more.

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Computer engineering vs computer science

When someone has set their mind to becoming a computer scientist, the next important step is deciding what kind of computer scientist they prefer to be. That might seem hard at first because of how different scientific fields mesh with each other to create new ones that require a more diverse set of interests and talents. Nevertheless, it’s easier to perceive each field as a different road towards the same destination: a strong knowledge capital that leads to a sea of opportunities.

In that light, both computer science and computer engineering are bound to make you an expert in computing technology. The difference between computer science and computer engineering may be fundamental, but these popular fields of study are an integral part of the same academic and industrial ecosystem.

The difference between computer science and computer engineering

Computer science is the study of computation and information theories, data structures and algorithms, and how they are implemented in technological systems and applications. As opposed to computer engineering, it’s a mainly academic approach to computing technology that offers a deeper understanding of the origins, problem-solving capacity, and limitless possibilities of computer systems.

Plus, the ability to apply this theoretical knowledge to practical fields like software design, information security, human-computer interaction, machine learning systems, video-game development, etc.

Computer engineering, on the other hand, is mainly about building the hardware, devices, or large-scale infrastructures that make the most out of the algorithms, methods, and solutions studied and optimized by computer science experts. It’s more of a hands-on approach to the capabilities of computing systems that offers a real-life experience with the many challenges and miracles of technology.

One could say that compared to a computer science diploma, a computer engineering master's degree is a perfect fit for candidates with a more practical mindset. Youngsters who aspire to a professional life that includes moving from research to blueprint to prototype to production and back are destined to thrive in computer engineering.

What to expect from a computer engineering course

Among the world’s top colleges and universities, there are many that offer some of the best computer engineering courses available today. These courses combine several subjects from both the electrical engineering and computer science disciplines.

On their way to a degree, computer engineering students learn everything about fundamental computer engineering subjects like math, physics, electronics, computational theories, and computer programming. At the same time, they are allowed to sink their teeth into more specialized subjects like operating systems, database structure, microprocessors, mechatronics, and a lot more.

Enough talk, though! To get a better feel of what to expect from a first-class computer engineering course, take a look at our three expert picks:

Why study computer engineering

By now, we hope we have provided enough information about seeking a diploma in computer engineering to help anybody interested in becoming a computer engineer make a wise decision. After laying down the gist of what it means to acquire a computer engineering degree, it’s quite obvious there are many benefits to it:

  • Academically, you are introduced to some of the best aspects of two already exciting fields of study: engineering and computers.
  • Ambition-wise, you get to participate in designing, building, and applying cutting-edge technologies that will probably shape our future lives.
  • Professionally, you evolve into a technology-oriented problem-solver and maker, trained in one of the more sought of crafts of our time.

It’s true that there is more to a degree than merely getting it. It’s whether you can actually make a good living out of it. Computer engineering can lead you to many different professional pathways, depending on your special interests, skills, or goals.

You might work with hardware, software, networks, or machines; you might have the role of designer, developer, analyst, or administrator; whatever you do, there’s a high probability that you’ll have a highly-paid job in a growing industry.

Computer engineering in a nutshell

Picking your studies is not an easy choice since it’s an investment in your future, and there’s little room for mistakes. Computer engineering seems like a solid passport to becoming a full-fledged scientist, and a computer engineering salary will probably match the work you have put in to earn your degree.

So, before deciding to pursue a bachelor of science in computer engineering, just ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you want your studies to be a constant array of challenges and knowledge milestones?
  • Are you looking for a diploma that can help you launch an exciting and lucrative career?

If the answer to these questions is “yes!” then think no more. Combining computer science and engineering studies is one of the best choices out there for you! Now, all you need is to find the right computer engineering course by taking the Brive's university compatibility test!

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