Top 10 Skills Needed for a Job in Computer Engineering

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Looking to get a job in computer engineering? Given that it’s a mix of computer science and engineering (two of the university majors with the highest drop out rates) it may seem like there are just too many skills you need to learn!

Here are some of the skills you will need to add to your CV if you are going to be a computer engineer:

See also: How to Become a Game Programmer

1. Mathematics

Remember that computers all run on data, which is basically mathematics in its purest form. Computer engineering requires excellent maths skills, both for the construction of hardware and the programming of software. It’s time to brush up on those maths skills if you really want to become a computer engineer.

2. Communication

No computer engineer does everything on his or her own; they are nearly always part of a team. Being part of a team means you will need to be able to communicate well, interact with others, and stay abreast of team progress.

3. Software engineering

As a computer engineer, a good deal of your work will be performed by the software on your computers. You will need to know how to design a program, write the code, and then test the software for bugs. You will need to know how to write scripts, software test procedures, compatibility, and MORE - all related to software.

4. Hardware experience

You need to know how a computer is built, as well as the various components that go into the computers. This doesn’t just apply to Windows computers, but also Macs and any computers that run open-source OSs like Linux.

5. Programming languages

You have no idea how many different programming languages are used to create computers and computer programs in this day and age. But as a computer engineer, you will be required to do a lot of low-level system and hardware programming that is not as user-friendly as programming in languages like Python or Java. You will need to have excellent knowledge of languages like Perl, C++, C and Assembly just to name a few.

6. Patience

A good deal of your time is going to be spent sitting and doing nothing but writing code. This is a task that requires A LOT of patience, which is why patience is a skill you CANNOT succeed without.

7. Management

If you want to get ahead in the field of computer engineering, you’ll need to lead a team of computer engineers. If you don’t have management skills, you could end up stuck in the same position - never able to advance in your career!

8. Problem solving

Anyone who has ever tried to write computer code knows how important it is to get EVERYTHING right. One tiny mistake can ruin an entire program, and it takes a mind skilled in problem-solving to find those errors and correct them.

9. Troubleshooting

This goes hand in hand with problem-solving skills but is more along the lines of trying to root out mistakes by identifying the problem they are causing. Carefully examining operating errors can help you realise what is behind the issues.

10. Learning

You will spend a lot of your time as a computer engineer learning about new software and hardware. The ability to learn new skills fast is a quality that every employer looks for, and it will help you advance a lot further in your career!

With these skills, you stand a much greater chance of success!

This article was originally published in January 2015.