Complete Guide to Top Online Computer Engineering Degrees

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Quick Facts
Accreditation: ABET
Degree Levels: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, and Certificate
Avg Tuition: $26,091
Avg Salary: $93,217

Online computer engineering degrees are available at 36 accredited colleges and universities. Online computer engineering degrees are available at the associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate levels. Computer engineering is a type of engineering that combines electronic engineering with computer science. Job tasks as a computer engineer may include improving internet security, supervising computer manufacturing, testing new computer models, developing robotics technologies, or creating biomedical systems. Computer engineers work in a variety of industries such as healthcare, gaming, finance, communications, and avionics.

When seeking a degree in computer engineering, students should make sure that the program they are interested in is accredited. Additionally, our top online colleges ranking list provides a variety of affordable and academically strong programs to consider.

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Comprehensive List of Accredited Online Schools - Computer Engineering Degrees (36)

Top Online Colleges Offering Computer Engineering Degrees

Computer Engineering-Top Online Colleges-2017-Badge

The 22 online schools on this list are the top online computer engineering schools of 2017. With an average academic strength score of over 72%, these schools provide top notch online computer engineering degrees at affordable tuition rates. Top-ranked Iowa State University offers an online Master's of Engineering in Computer Engineering for $8,145 per year. Old Dominion University (#7) is one of only two schools on this list offering an online bachelor's degree in computer engineering, making it an excellent choice for students just beginning their computer engineering education.

All schools considered for this list offer fully online computer engineering degrees at the bachelor's level or higher. View our methodology for more details.

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Rank School Annual Tuition Academic Strength
#1 #1 Iowa State University Annual Tuition $8,145 Academic Strength 72%
#2 #2 Colorado State University-Fort Collins Annual Tuition $9,735 Academic Strength 71%
#3 #3 Mississippi State University Annual Tuition $9,393 Academic Strength 69%
#4 #4 Georgia Institute of Technology Annual Tuition $16,300 Academic Strength 84%
#5 #5 Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus Annual Tuition $8,475 Academic Strength 61%
#6 #6 University of Michigan - Dearborn Annual Tuition $13,770 Academic Strength 69%
#7 #7 Old Dominion University Annual Tuition $12,000 Academic Strength 64%
#8 #8 Missouri University of Science and Technology Annual Tuition $18,455 Academic Strength 78%
#9 #9 University of New Mexico Annual Tuition $14,078 Academic Strength 67%
#10 #10 University of Arizona - Engineering Annual Tuition $14,925 Academic Strength 68%
#11 #11 Southern Methodist University Annual Tuition $20,250 Academic Strength 81%
#12 #12 Purdue University - Main Campus Annual Tuition $17,970 Academic Strength 74%
#13 #13 University of Delaware Annual Tuition $17,490 Academic Strength 73%
#14 #14 North Carolina State University Annual Tuition $20,426 Academic Strength 75%
#15 #15 University of Southern California Annual Tuition $25,830 Academic Strength 86%
#16 #16 Illinois Institute of Technology Annual Tuition $22,400 Academic Strength 77%
#17 #17 Syracuse University Annual Tuition $21,645 Academic Strength 72%
#18 #18 New York University Annual Tuition $24,690 Academic Strength 79%
#19 #19 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Annual Tuition $23,462 Academic Strength 75%
#20 #20 Morgan State University Annual Tuition $15,029 Academic Strength 56%
#21 #21 University of Idaho Annual Tuition $19,980 Academic Strength 66%
#22 #22 Florida International University Annual Tuition $30,120 Academic Strength 71%
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Online Computer Engineering Degree Overview & Career Information

Aspiring computer engineers can seek online education at a variety of different levels beginning with an online associate degree. Although an online associate degree is not sufficient to work as a computer engineer, graduates may be able to work as computer support specialists. They will also be prepared to move on to the next level of education.

An online associate degree can typically be earned in two years through 60 credit hours of coursework study. The next degree level is an online bachelor's degree, which students can complete in four years. After completing the required 120 credit hours for an online bachelor's degree, graduates may go on to work as computer hardware engineers at entry-level. An online master's program will prepare graduates for increased responsibilities within the industry. Students can usually graduate within two years of beginning an online master's program.

Individuals who desire an even more advanced study of the field can earn an online doctoral degree, which can take five to seven years to complete and includes a dissertation. An online doctoral degree may qualify graduates to work in advanced positions including software engineer, telecommunications director, VOIP engineer, and aerospace engineer. Doctoral degree holders may also work as professors at the university level. 

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Online Associate Degrees in Computer Engineering

An online associate degree may help launch the careers of aspiring computer engineers by introducing them to the basics of electrical and electronics design. By completing 60 to 67-credit hours of study students can graduate with their degree in two years. Required classes include precalculus, engineering and ethics, programing essentials, digital electronics, fundamentals of DC circuits, fundamentals of AC circuits, and technical writing. General education courses will also need to be completed.

While an online associate degree is not sufficient enough to go on to work as a computer engineer, graduates may be able to find work as computer support specialists. Students will also be well prepared to move on to an online bachelor's degree program, which is the minimum education they will need to work as a computer engineer. Before beginning the application process for an online associate degree, applicants will need to ensure that they hold a high school diploma or a GED. Aspiring computer engineers can apply for admission into an online associate degree program at community colleges, universities, and technical colleges. 

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Online Bachelor's Degrees in Computer Engineering

People can pursue an online bachelor's level program in computer engineering at universities and vocational schools. An online bachelor's degree program in computer engineering is designed to equip students with the skills to develop software, design wireless networks, and design computer hardware. The classes required to obtain these skills include computer architecture, introduction to UNIX, operating systems, digital design, product design, introduction to website development, fundamentals of networking, differential equations, and solid state physics. Classes typically total at least 120 credit hours and will take students four years to complete.

Graduates may go on to work as computer hardware engineers where they will design and develop computing components to create fast and powerful computers that are in line with current industry standards. First time freshmen will need to submit their high school transcripts; if they did not graduate from high school, a GED will be required. Applicants who have attended any post secondary school will need to submit their college transcripts, which will then be reviewed for possible transfer credits. An admissions essay or statement of purpose is also a common requirement. 

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Online Master's in Computer Engineering

Online master's degree programs are designed to help students develop their project management and leadership skills that will prepare them for increased responsibility within the industry. Students can complete the required 30 to 48 credits in two years or less depending on the type of program. Some online programs are designed to be taken part-time, and these may take up to five years to finish. Core education courses include modern computer architecture, modern computer design, computer engineering capstone, computer systems security foundations, modern solid-state devices, modern electronic design, leadership and ethical decision-making, and systems engineering. Students will also participate in elective courses throughout their time of study. Some online programs may even offer internship opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience before graduation.

Along with a general application, prospective students must have three letters of recommendation written by a professional or academic reference that can attest to the student's likely success in the program. The applicant must also write a letter of intent to showcase his or her own personal goals. GRE test scores may be required for admission. 

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Online Doctoral Degrees in Computer Engineering

Graduates of an online doctoral program may be capable of going on to work in advanced positions for companies around the world. Such advanced positions include software engineer, technical analyst, telecommunications director, VOIP engineer, aerospace engineer, computer network architect, and the like. Graduates may also have the option of remaining in research or teaching at the university level as professors. This level of program can take anywhere between five to seven years to complete depending on if the student is enrolled full or part time, and how long they take to complete their research and dissertation. The courses that students will participate in include algorithm design and analysis, operating systems, principles of programming languages, human-computer interaction, bioinformatics, advanced compiler design, and principles of computer architecture. In some cases, students may also be required to participate in a quarter of teaching assistance.

In order to be admitted to an online doctoral program, applicants will need to turn in official transcripts from each university-level institution attended. A statement of purpose is also an important part of the selection process for online doctoral programs. The statement of purpose should describe the student's past experiences and accomplishments within the realm of computer science. Three letters of recommendation from either professional or educational references outlining the student's academic promise will also be required. Lastly a resume showcasing the applicant's professional experience will be necessary for admission. Aspiring doctoral students can pursue their degrees at universities and technical schools. 

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Online Certificates in Computer Engineering

Online certificates in computer engineering and related disciplines are available at the undergraduate and graduate level and can be pursued at colleges and universities. This level of online program is typically made up of 18 semester hours of computer science and engineering systems study, but credit amount and length of time to completion will vary depending on the program. Required courses may include software development, introduction to theory of computing, data structures, microcontrollers, logic design, digital signal processing, and design of digital systems.

Admission requirements include high school transcripts or a GED for undergraduate certificates, and an undergraduate degree for graduate certificates. Some online graduate certificate programs will require additional application materials, such as letters of reference. Depending on the type of online certificate that is earned, the job opportunities available upon graduation will vary. For instance, an individual who earns an online undergraduate certificate may be equipped to go on to work as an entry-level computer support specialist. 

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The Importance of an Accredited Online Computer Engineering Degree

Prospective students should take accreditation into consideration before making their final commitment to an institution or program. Regional accreditation means an independent organization evaluated the school by reviewing the curriculum, facilities, faculty, student resources, and testing procedures. Accreditation may affect a students transfer process, as institutions may require course credits to be from an accredited school in order to be transferred.

Programmatic accreditation is another type of accreditation that students should keep in mind when selecting an online degree program. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) is the main accrediting body for computer engineering degrees at the associate, bachelor's, and master's level. They require engineering programs meet certain standards and cover certain material in order to ensure that graduates will have the skill-set necessary to work as engineers. Some employers may prefer to hire employees who have a degree from an ABET-accredited program. There are also online master's degree programs that require applicants to have an undergraduate degree from a program accredited by ABET. 

Careers in Computer Engineering

Computer engineers have duties that revolve around creating new technologies and finding solutions to existing computer hardware-related problems. They work to improve on the technologies we already have, making them faster and more efficient. Computer engineers work in a variety of industries, such as banking, health care, retail, and gaming, and on a variety of projects, like increasing internet security, improving robotics technologies, or working with digital forensics. Computer engineers need at least a bachelor's degree. While Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts only a three percent increase in jobs between 2014 and 2024, there is a high earning potential for those interested in this career. Computer hardware engineers earned a median annual salary of $111,730 in 2015.

References

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