How to become a Computer Engineer

Computer engineers are involved in the installation, repair and servicing of computers and associated equipment.

Personal requirements of a Computer Engineer

  • Able to understand and communicate with a wide variety of people
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Logical approach to work
  • Self-reliant and able to work independently
  • Active interest in learning and maintaining technical skills and knowledge
  • Able to investigate, identify and solve problems quickly and efficiently
  • Enjoy electronics, computers and electro-mechanical equipment
  • Good customer service skills
  • Able to make informed decisions about a wide range of complex business and technical issues

Education & Training for a Computer Engineer

To become a computer engineer you usually have to study electronic, computer, computer systems or software engineering at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, chemistry and physics are normally required. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For full details, refer to the entries on the website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au or university handbooks.

Duties & Tasks of a Computer Engineer

Computer engineers may perform the following tasks:

  • devise and undertake a regular service program, including support of operating systems
  • analyse problems and develop and implement solutions
  • provide input on matters associated with site preparation and installation of large computer systems
  • install cables for computer networks
  • assist staff with establishing the computer hardware and associated equipment required to run IT systems
  • manage projects and supervise staff (in senior computer engineering roles).

Employment Opportunities for a Computer Engineer

Computer engineers can work in IT-specific industries, which can be large or small, as well as in other industries requiring IT expertise. Computer engineers are often employed by equipment vendors and work closely on client hardware and software installation, and also provide general product support. With experience and sufficient start-up money, there are opportunities for self-employment.

Specialisations:


Hardware Design Engineer

A hardware design engineer plans, designs, constructs and maintains the hardware equipment of computers. They may also monitor the development of hardware according to design specifications and carry out repairs and testing of computer equipment.


Network/Systems Engineer

A network/systems engineer designs, installs, analyses and implements computer systems or networks. They may also work to ensure that the existing network is effective and determine how it should evolve to meet new requirements of the organisation or business.


Software Engineer

A software engineer creates, maintains and modifies computer and software programmes such as business programmes, games, operating systems, communications software, utility programmes, compilers and database handlers. They may also evaluate new programming tools and techniques and analyse current software products.

Additional Information
Membership of the Australian Computer Society is available to those who hold, or are working towards, suitable qualifications. There is a range of membership types available, allowing progression through the various levels as a member’s career develops. Graduates may be eligible for membership of Engineers Australia. Visit their websites for more details.
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