Online Computer Engineering Degree

By Brandon Mario D`Souza

Updated March 16, 2024

Brandon Mario D’Souza

Brandon is a registered social worker with Social Work England. He obtained his master’s in social work (personnel management & industrial relations) and used it in fields such as water treatment, construction, software, and education. Then he transitioned to the health and social care sector with an M.Sc. in health psychology. Brandon loves to write, cook, and play musical instruments (piano, guitar, melodica, ukulele, and kazoo) and enjoys the calmness and serenity of nature.


Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.

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Computer engineering is an engineering discipline that combines electrical engineering and computer science. Engineers in computer science create devices, computer networks, and new technologies. They are curious about how to optimize computer hardware for different applications by understanding how software interacts with hardware. An online computer engineering degree program enables students to obtain a broad education while focusing their studies on either hardware or software specializations. Computer engineering is not a one-size-fits-all profession, with numerous career opportunities in various sectors and settings. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a computer hardware engineer earns a median annual salary of $128,170, making this a much-sought degree. Read on to find out all there is to know about the computer engineering degree online, including the courses to expect, career options, funding possibilities, and more.


Best Online Computer Engineering
Degree Programs

Finding top bachelors in computer engineering degrees is not as simple as one might think. Prospective students must consider the college’s infrastructure, the availability of labs and technical facilities, the qualification and experience of the teaching staff, accreditation, graduation rates, and other factors when looking for them. Based on these and other considerations, FBD teams have compiled a list of some of the best bachelors degree in computer engineering programs in the United States: *

St. Cloud State University (SCSU), founded in 1869, is a public university in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The university offers over 200 majors, minors, and pre-professional programs in 6 colleges and schools, enrolling more than 16,000 students.
Univ Address Tuition Grad Rate
Saint Cloud State University 720 Fourth Ave. South, Saint Cloud, Minnesota 56301 $8,009 47%

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

What to Expect from the Online Computer
Engineering Degree Program

An online computer engineering equips students to apply engineering, scientific, and mathematical principles to solve complex problems, making it a very marketable degree. With a bachelor’s of computer engineering, graduates could work to develop the abilities required for these times of quick technological adoption. One could study how to design and build within different constraints in addition to a core curriculum in computer engineering, which covers the design, development, and testing of tools ranging from tiny embedded systems to supercomputers. Computer engineering programs are frequently combined with electrical engineering or computer science programs at universities, providing students with a valuable breadth of knowledge and a solid grounding for a long-term professional career.

With between 120 and 130 credits required for this degree program, students can take their classes online, offline, or in a hybrid delivery model that combines the two. Some programs would include a thesis, while others may have a project, lab work, or internship to be undertaken. The coursework would depend on the chosen specialization, but in general and in addition to math, calculus, and algebra courses, students can expect courses such as:

Computer Architecture

This course covers the basic ideas and methods in computational design and relevant mathematics, such as modern processor architecture, assembly language, and logic circuit design.

Digital Logic Design

This course investigates digital logic, logical systems with gates and functions, and the theoretical underpinnings of circuits for electrical and computer systems.

Data Structures & Algorithms

This course studies the creation of information representation and deployment structures and examines abstract building blocks and implementation strategies used in programming languages.

Digital Systems Design

This course focuses on database analysis and design tools and techniques. Students pay close attention to relational database design, normalization, and data modeling when using contemporary database applications.

Some examples of other courses bachelors in computer engineering students can expect include but are not limited to:

  • Algorithms and Optimization
  • Modeling, Design, and Analysis
  • Machine Learning
  • Operating Systems
  • Introduction to Computer Science
  • Engineering Ethics & Profession
  • Programming Languages
  • Probable, Statistical & Quantitative Methods with Lab
  • Network Architecture
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Engineering Foundations
  • Systems Thinking and Approach
  • Database Fundamentals
  • Programming
  • Software Engineering

Read the Guide to Bachelor Programs for more information on undergraduate degrees.

Degree Types for Online Computer Engineering
Degree Programs

Prospective students can choose from two types of computer engineering to pursue their undergraduate studies – the Bachelor of Arts in Computer Engineering and the Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering.

Bachelor of Arts in Computer Engineering

The Bachelor of Arts in Computer Engineering, also known as the BA in Computer Engineering, prepares students for computer engineering careers that focus on people by combining liberal arts and computer engineering topics. Students will learn how computer engineering relates to management, law, science, and business.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, or BS in Computer Engineering, studies theories and focuses on research. Most engineers graduate with this bachelor’s degree and immediately begin working as engineers.

Bachelor of Computer Engineering

The Bachelor of Computer Engineering offers the most real-world application of the computer engineering degree. This degree prepares professionals for analysis, design, implementation, and system management activities in computer science, automation, and digitalization. This type of degree emphasizes the practical application of computer engineering theories and skills.

Computer Science vs.
Computer Engineering

Many students are perplexed by the distinction between computer science and computer engineering. Although the two disciplines are similar, they are not identical. Computational theory-related topics are the focus of computer science. Among them are the virtual components of computers, which focus on software rather than hardware. Computer science is a discipline that, like mathematics, employs theoretical concepts to address practical issues. Computer engineering, on the other hand, focuses on hardware rather than software, teaching students how to build devices using a combination of physics, computer science, and electrical engineering. People fascinated by processes and eager to apply their knowledge to create new computer architectures may be drawn to a computer engineering program.

Areas of Specialization in Online Computer
Engineering Degree Programs

The best way to find a job that one truly enjoys is to specialize in a field and become an expert in it. Furthermore, it is the most effective way to improve one’s pay and career prospects. Many schools consider computer engineering a subfield of computer science, but an equal number offer concentrations in computer engineering as well. Here are a few examples:

Area of SpecializationDescriptionCareer Options
Hardware SystemsThis specialization focuses on the design, development, and analysis of computer hardware systems to make them more durable, efficient, reliable, dependable, and secure. Students study the foundational theory of hardware components and their functioning.Various roles in the computer hardware industry
Cyberphysical SystemsThis specialization investigates the interaction of computing and physical processes, as well as computer behavior in isolation. Students are taught control theory and systems, computer-aided verification and synthesis, complex networks, and programming models.Various roles in the computer hardware industry
Big Data Analytics and SystemsThis specialization investigates the fundamental theories, techniques, methodologies, and technologies for broad big data applications. Students learn to analyze genomic data, mine data, and perform computational genomics.Various roles in the data management and analytics companies
Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and CyberneticsThis specialization focuses on developing algorithms in robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and interfaces that can learn, generalize, communicate, plan, and extrapolate. Students also learn how algorithms interact with humans and how an algorithm’s performance can be guaranteed under certain conditions.Various roles in robotics, cybernetics, and artificial intelligence
Networking, Mobile, and Distributed ComputingThis specialization looks into the mechanisms that allow a group of devices to sense their surroundings, collaborate, and draw conclusions about them. It also looks into efficient networking protocols important for moving large amounts of data between Internet endpoints.Various roles in the networking and mobile computing industries
Hardware and Computer ArchitectureThis concentration emphasizes the engineering side of computer engineering. Students learn how to design and build physical computer equipment through the study of Modern Active Circuit Design, Advanced Digital Design with Verilog & FPGA, etc.Various roles in the computer hardware industry

Some of the other specializations students can consider include but are not limited to:

  • Embedded Systems
  • Human-Centered Computing
  • Computational Geometry
  • Foundations and Theory
  • Bioinformatics
  • Trust, Reliability, and Security
  • Computer Architecture and Parallel Processing
  • Software
  • Computer Graphics and Visualization
  • Reconfigurable Computing
  • Machine Learning
  • Medical Image Computing
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer and Network Security
  • Interface Design

Why should I do an Online Computer
Engineering Degree?

The online computer engineering degree is a comprehensive program that exposes students to computer programming, circuit theory, analog & digital hardware, computer architecture, and more. The knowledge gained from this program will enable them to foray into robotics, the internet of things, cybersecurity, gaming, embedded systems, defense, electronics, and various other sectors. Students interested in computers and how they work and desire to design and build something new that can impact people’s lives are best suited for this degree program.

Everyone needs computers to complete tasks; unfortunately, few people are skilled in building and understanding them. With a degree in computer engineering, students are prepared for employment opportunities almost anywhere and are highly valued by employers.

Among the many skills graduates would have acquired at the end of their programs, they would have the ability to:

  • create and carry out the proper experiments, examine and decipher the data, and use engineering judgment to reach conclusions;
  • apply new knowledge as necessary by using the right learning techniques;
  • utilize engineering, scientific, and mathematical principles to identify and solve identified complex engineering problems;
  • work well as a member of a team that demonstrates leadership, fosters inclusivity and collaboration, sets goals, plans tasks, and achieves goals;
  • make informed decisions that must take into account the impact of engineering solutions in economic, environmental, societal, and global contexts;
  • effectively communicate with a variety of audiences through technical writing and graphical representations;
  • apply engineering design to create solutions that address specific needs while taking into account public health, safety, and welfare as well as regional, national, international, social, cultural, and environmental aspects; and
  • recognize ethical and professional obligations in engineering situations.

Free Courses for Online Computer Engineering
Degree Students

Numerous free computer engineering courses are available on the internet. Although these free courses rarely result in certification recognized by academic institutions or some employers, they do provide additional information on the subject and may be useful for research, assignments, or exams. Here are a few to look into:

CourseDescriptionProvided by
Topics Related to Computer EngineeringUdemy is a go-to destination for those looking for free courses. The site offers free courses at various learning levels on topics such as Mathematics for Engineering, Logic Gates, Data Engineering, etc.Udemy
Topics Related to Computer EngineeringCoursera offers hundreds of free courses, guided projects, and specializations at various learning levels. Topics include Advanced Object-Oriented Technology, Machine Learning, etc.Coursera
Topics Related to Computer EngineeringMIT OpenCourseWare offers several free online courses from accomplished professors on topics such as Introduction to Algorithms, Signals, Systems and Inference, Microelectronic Devices and Circuits, etc.MIT OpenCourseWare

How to get into the Online Computer Engineering
Degree Program?

Many universities have stricter admission standards for students pursuing an online bachelor’s degree in computer engineering than they do for other students. Some colleges require first-year students to graduate in the top 25% of their class. In high school, applicants must have completed geometry, elementary analysis, algebra, calculus, physics, chemistry, computer science, and higher-level math. Mechanical computer engineering majors must also have a reasonably high Grade Point Average (GPA), particularly in science and math. Apart from these, some of the standard online computer engineering admissions requirements include:

  • Admission or Application Form with its prescribed fee.
  • Official Academic Transcripts.
  • A High School Diploma or General Education Development (GED) Certificate.
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.8 or more.
  • American College Testing (ACT) / Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) Test Scores
  • Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose (varies by school)
  • 1 to 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Proof of English Proficiency (if the native tongue is or education was not in English)

How Long does it take to complete the Online Computer
Engineering Degree Program?

Most online bachelor’s degrees in computer engineering can be earned in four years or less. But many things could change how long it takes to finish the program. Those who take 12 credits per semester and 6 in the summer could finish sooner, while others could take more than the typical four years to finish if they spread out their courses and take on lighter loads. Usually, it takes between 120 and 130 credits to get a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering. The number of credits needed depends on the type of computer engineering one wants to study. Here’s a quick rundown of the duration of the program:

  • Time to complete full-time computer engineering degree online program: about 4 Years.
  • Time to complete part-time computer engineering degree online program: between 4 and 6 years.
  • Typical number of credits: 120 to 130 (average range; varies by program)

Accelerated Online Computer Engineering
Degree Programs

It is rare to find a computer engineering online degree that can be completed in less than the required four years. Nevertheless, some students use various means to reduce their time spent in school. Transfer credits, work experience credits, accelerated course schedules, and other techniques are frequently used in accelerated computer engineering degree programs to make obtaining the degree faster and more seamless. Of course, those with an associate’s degree in computer engineering can easily complete their bachelor’s in computer engineering in about two years. Another option to spend less time in higher education is to opt for a combined bachelor’s and master’s program that allows students to complete both in 5 years instead of the usual 6 years. These degrees are the best option for working adults who want to improve their credentials quickly and earn more money while reducing their time in school.

Accreditations for Online Computer Engineering
Degree Programs

Accreditation is a key indicator of quality and worth. It demonstrates that a program’s curriculum adheres to generally accepted standards and produces graduates capable of achieving professional success. The Accreditation Board for Computer Engineering and Technology may accredit colleges or programs in the computer engineering field (sometimes in addition to national/regional accreditation) (ABET). The primary accrediting body for computer engineering programs is ABET. The organization uses curriculum, student outcomes, student performance, facilities, faculty, and resources to evaluate computer engineering programs.

Furthermore, colleges can be accredited nationally or regionally by independent agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Regional accreditation is the most common type of accreditation in the United States, and it is granted by six bodies:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Students should check whether their chosen program is accredited by ABET, a regional or national accreditation authority, or both. Read the Guide to College Accreditation to learn more about accreditation.

How to Pay for an Online Computer Engineering
Degree Program?

An online bachelors degree in computer engineering is usually a pricey endeavor. Although students do not have to pay for transportation, food, or other campus-related expenses when attending classes online, those who choose the online option still must pay a high tuition fee, which can run into tens of thousands of dollars. Students with financial constraints can take advantage of the following outside funding options to help decrease their financial burden:


Being easy to locate and not requiring repayment makes scholarships popular among students. Students who are deserving and meritorious are given these awards based on their academic performance.


Grants, like scholarships, do not require repayment. Unlike scholarships, which tend to be awarded on academic merit, grants are typically awarded based on a student’s financial need.

Work-Study Programs

students can pay for school expenses by working part-time while enrolled in a work-study program. Most of these positions are connected to the student’s academic or volunteer pursuits. One can also gain valuable work experience by participating in work-study programs.

Student Loans

Taking out a student loan is another option for students needing additional funding. A variety of banks, financial institutions, and the federal government are involved in distributing student loans. Taking out a loan to pay for one’s education will raise the total cost because interest is added to the loan. Understand how one can apply for loan forgiveness to avoid repaying student loans by reading about Donors for Student Loans and Grants for Student Loans.


The Free Application For Student Aid or FAFSA is an application for federal financial aid that all prospective and current college students must complete to check if they are eligible for aid and receive the best financial aid package possible. The FAFSA Student Aid guide explains more.

Read about What is Financial Aid? and find out everything there is to know about college funding in the How to Pay for College guide.

Scholarships for Online Computer Engineering
Degree Students

Scholarships are a fantastic way to support one’s college education. Because they are free money, students will find it simpler to avoid taking out loans and graduate debt-free. Several universities, community groups, businesses, and individuals offer scholarships to deserving students. Here are a few to explore:

Scholarship Description Amount/AwardApplication Deadline
Bay Atlantic University ScholarshipsBay Atlantic University offers tuition assistance and various scholarships to qualified students each year. These specified number of scholarships are for tuition only and cannot be used for student fees or living expenses.VariesTBA for 2024
Rice University ScholarshipsThe George R. Brown School of Engineering, Rice University, offers several awards and scholarships to deserving students, such as the Rice Engineering Alumni Scholarships, Chevron Scholarships, and more.VariesVaries
Google – Build Your FutureThe many scholarships handed out by Google assist aspiring computer scientists in excelling in technology and becoming field leaders. Scholarships will be awarded based on each candidate’s diversity impact, demonstrated leadership, and academic background.VariesVaries
AES Engineering ScholarshipsAES Engineering provides scholarships to deserving students to help them further their education in various fields of study. They are awarded based on the applicant’s character determined by their submitted essays.$500October 8, 2024

FAQs Related to the Online Computer Engineering
Degree Program

What does a computer engineer do?

Computer engineering is an umbrella term for three engineering disciplines: hardware, software, and networking. Primarily, they research and develop computer hardware and software, design and test computer hardware elements like processors, circuit boards, networking equipment, and others, and maintain network systems.

Can I do a computer engineering degree online?

What can you do with a computer engineering degree?

Which specialization of computer engineering is best?

Is a computer engineering degree worth it?

How hard is a degree in computer engineering?

Computer science vs. computer engineering – what is the difference?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after an Online
Computer Engineering Degree

With the introduction of technology in almost every aspect of life, computer hardware engineers can also be assured of work in tech companies, businesses, and governmental agencies. Common roles include but are not limited to Computer Network Architect, Software Developer, Computer and Information Systems Manager, Computer Hardware Engineer, Robotic Engineer, Product Designer, etc. It is noteworthy that the degree specialization determines the role and salary.

The employment of computer hardware engineers is expected to increase by only 2% between 2020 and 2030, but there will still be about 4,500 openings annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Listed below are some examples of computer engineering jobs, along with information on job growth and median annual salaries.

OccupationJob DescriptionSkills RequiredMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (up to 2030)
Computer Hardware EngineersComputer hardware engineers are responsible for the research, design, development, and testing of computer systems and components, including circuit boards, processors, memory modules, routers, and networking devices.Critical-thinking skills, analytical skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills$128,1702% (slower than average)
Computer and Information Systems ManagersComputer and information systems managers, also known as information technology (IT) managers or IT project managers, plan, coordinate, and direct an organization’s computer-related activities. They help determine an organization’s information technology goals and are in charge of putting those goals into action through computer systems.Organizational skills, communication skills, analytical skills, business skills, decision-making skills, leadership skills$159,01011% (faster than average)
Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and TestersSoftware developers design computer applications that enable users to perform specific tasks, as well as the underlying systems that power devices or control networks. Analysts and testers in software quality assurance design and execute software tests to identify problems and learn how the software works.Interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills, analytical skills, communication skills, detail-oriented, creativity$110,14022% (much faster than average)
Computer and Information Research ScientistsComputer and information scientists devise novel applications for new and existing technology. They research and solve complex computing problems in science, medicine, business, and other fields.Logical thinking, problem-solving skills, math skills, analytical skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, detail-oriented$131,49022% (much faster than average)
Information Security AnalystsInformation security analysts design and implement security safeguards for a company’s computer networks and systems. They develop security standards and check for vulnerabilities in computer and network systems.Creative skills, problem-solving skills, analytical skills, communication skills, detail-oriented$102,60033% (much faster than average)

Certifications and Licensing for Online Computer
Engineering Degree Students

Professional credentials in computer engineering supplement and broaden the knowledge and skills gained through degree programs. Advanced credentials are intended to demonstrate technical proficiency in a specific area of the computer engineering profession. Although, in some cases, additional qualifications along with some work experience may be required to be eligible for certification, many companies and organizations offer general, vendor-specific, and vendor-neutral (third-party) certifications to bachelor’s degree holders. Some examples are:

Certified Computer Security Incident Handler (CSIH)

The Certified Computer Security Incident Handler (CSIH) certification demonstrates that an individual knows to detect, contain, and mitigate security incidents. Through this certification, one learns the fundamentals of incident response as well as the tools of the trade that incident responders use regularly.

ARM Accredited Engineer (AAE)

The ARM Accredited Engineer (AAE) certification demonstrates a person’s overall understanding of ARM architecture. This industry-recognized certification covers software development tools as well as software-related aspects of the ARMv7 Architecture, with a focus on the Cortex-A and Cortex-R profiles in particular. Software development, debugging, and optimization takes up more than half of the AAE curriculum.

Microsoft Certifications

Microsoft offers about 71 certifications in Azure, Functional Consultancy, Administrator, Windows, Dynamics 365, and more at the intermediate level, which is suitable for bachelors degree graduates.

IEEE Computer Society Software Developer

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society offers three levels of certifications for software development – the Associate Software Developer, Professional Software Developer, and the Professional Software Engineering Master – that demonstrate proficiency in software design, construction, and testing.

Google Developers Certification

Google provides several certifications for computer hardware and software professionals, such as the Associate Android Developer, TensorFlow Developer Certificate, Google Cloud Certified – Professional Cloud Architect, Google Cloud Certified – Professional Data Engineer, Google Cloud Certified – Associate Cloud Engineer, and more.

Additional Resources for Online Computer
Engineering Degree Students

A professional association or organization may provide education, conferences, networking opportunities, job leads, field research, and other resources. Computer engineering students should explore and, if possible, join these organizations, which will be very helpful to them in the long run. The following associations may be beneficial to future computer engineers:

International Association of Computer Science and Information Technology (IACSIT)

The International Association of Computer Science and Information Technology (IACSIT) is a registered international scientific association of eminent scholars dedicated to advancing computer science and information technology. IACSIT organizes keynotes and conferences, distributes news, and aids education and research.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the world’s largest non-profit technical professional organization devoted to the advancement of technology for the benefit of humanity. IEEE provides its members with conferences, publications, education and career advice, and other benefits.

Association of Computer Engineers and Technicians (ACET)

The Association of Computer Engineers and Technicians (ACET) is a non-profit organization based in the United Kingdom that promotes professional standards in the IT industry. With over 14,000 members worldwide, ACET provides a wide range of services to its members, including accounting and training programs, as well as product discounts and invoicing.

National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)

The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) is a nontechnical, all-inclusive organization representing licensed professional engineers’ interests. Members of the NSPE have access to seminars and conferences, publications, and licensure.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association (ECEDHA)

The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Head Association (ECEDHA) is the most prestigious academic organization of its kind, representing all major electrical engineering, computer engineering, and related programs at universities across North America.

Author Bio:

Brandon Mario D’Souza

Brandon is a registered social worker with Social Work England. He obtained his master’s in social work (personnel management & industrial relations) and used it in fields such as water treatment, construction, software, and education. Then he transitioned to the health and social care sector with an M.Sc. in health psychology. Brandon loves to write, cook, and play musical instruments (piano, guitar, melodica, ukulele, and kazoo) and enjoys the calmness and serenity of nature.


Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.


The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners.