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Want to become the best possible computer engineer you can possibly be? If so, you might want to consider earning an online master’s in computer engineering.
Sure, you can get a great job by earning just a bachelor’s degree. But why stop there? A master’s will provide you with the skills you need to work on more advanced projects, earn a higher salary, lead others, and become a true innovator. If you want to get ahead in your career, advancing your education is the best way to do so.
There’s never been a better time to pursue a graduate degree in computer engineering. From smart cities to autonomous vehicles and everything in between, a degree in computer engineering will enable you to make a major impact both behind your computer screen and beyond.
You’ll learn the skills you need to innovate micro-technologies as well as those that will make a global impact. As our devices and systems become “smarter” and more complex, there’s a huge demand for professionals who know how to advance technologies to change the world.
No matter where your interests lie in hardware and software applications, a degree in computer engineering is the right choice. A bachelor’s degree in this discipline is a great starting point—it will make it possible for you to study up-to-date industry trends and technologies in things like robotics, machine learning, data science management, and artificial intelligence.
However, only a master’s degree will truly enable you to hone in on these unique areas and focus on the aspects of computer engineering that interest you most. You’ll conduct hands-on research in state-of-the-art laboratories and work alongside some of the brightest minds in the field.
Many graduate students participate in experiences like study abroad, research, fellowships and teaching assistantships, and much more. Where will you let your studies take you?
When you earn a master’s degree in computer engineering, the sky’s the limit. Plus, since so many programs are now available online, there’s never been a better time to pursue your studies.
Without a doubt, there’s likely one major question that’s lingering in the back of your mind. Is an online degree right for me?
For the vast majority of learners, an online degree is not only as good as a traditional, on-campus program, but it’s better. Far better, in fact, when you consider the flexibility and affordability afforded to you by such a program of study.
When you choose to study online, you don’t have to sacrifice quality for convenience. Most graduate schools offer online programs that are identical to their on-campus counterparts. You don’t have to settle for a cut-rate degree to gain the flexibility of living and learning from home. Instead, you’ll be able to work with the same world-class faculty and study the same topics that you would on campus.
Many online programs even allow similar options for hands-on activities like study abroad and research!
So what are you waiting for? With all these reasons to consider an online master’s in computer engineering, there should be nothing holding you back—besides finding the perfect program, that is. Don’t worry. For that, we’ve got you covered.
See Also: 10 Best Master’s in Industrial Engineering
What Are the Best Computer Engineering Degrees?
We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following five aspects:
25% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school
25% Graduation Rate: Number of students who start at the university and actually finish there
20% Earnings Potential: Average mid-career salary of school alumni
20% Selectivity: The number of students who apply versus the number who actually get accepted
10% Online Graduate Offerings: The number of programs offered online in each department
At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals.
#1. University of Florida
Online MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering
A public university founded in 1853, the University of Florida is just a couple of miles from downtown Gainesville. Its unique location has made it a hotbed of student activity. Here, you can participate in NCAA Division I Southeastern Conference athletics (you’ll be cheered on by the quirky Albert and Alberta the Alligators mascots) or partake in the infamous Gator Nights.
However, you don’t have to study on-campus to benefit from all this activity, innovation, and academia. The university also has many well-regarded graduate programs through the Warrington College of Business, the Levin College of Law, and the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, among others, available entirely online.
This best Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering is referred to simply as ECE EDGE (Electronic Delivery of Gator Engineering) at the University of Florida. It’s an innovative program that features the same quality, hands-on instruction from preeminent educators that you would get in a traditional program on-campus.
You’ll take 30 credits, or ten 3-credit courses, entirely online. You can specialize in outside fields such as computer science, innovation, entrepreneurship, or other areas of engineering, too. Even if you aren’t fully committed to the decision to study online, this one is an excellent choice. There are on-campus and hybrid options you can turn to if you change your mind.
The curriculum includes in-demand courses such as:
- Image Processing and Computer Vision
- Stochastic Methods for Engineering
- Hands-on Hardware Security
- Foundations of Digital Signal Processing
You can even pursue an additional certificate in things like hardware and systems security, microsystem technology, or machine learning. This is an affordable, highly customizable Electrical and Computer Engineering program that’s right for just about anyone.
#2. Texas A&M University
Online Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering
You’ll find one of the best master’s for computer engineers at Texas A&M University. This school is a public institution that was founded in 1876. Enroll here and you’ll become an Aggie, a proud distinction that’s held by thousands of alumni all around the world. As an Aggie, you’ll have access to more than 1000 clubs and organizations, including more than four dozen different fraternities and sororities.
You will also be able to study in some of the most highly ranked graduate offerings in the nation. Texas A&M is well known as a research institution and has a variety of unique programs, including the only school of veterinary medicine in this state. Of course, this is also where you will find one of the top computer engineering programs, too.
This top Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering is available both on-campus as well as online. It is ranked as one of the best in the country by the U.S. News & World Report and all classes are small and taught by Ph.D.-level instructors. The faculty here have won dozens of government awards, including NSF Career recognitions.
In addition to core courses, you’ll be able to pursue areas of focus in your coursework and research. These in-demand areas include robotics and human-robot interaction, graphics, visualization and computational fabrication, parallel and distributed computing, and much more.
#3. Florida International University
Online Master’s in Computer Engineering
Located in Miami, FL, Florida International University is a school that truly surpasses its borders. Although most students will take classes in North Miami, the university also has a campus in West Miami-Dade County as well as one that’s accessible fully online.
This school has a reputation for breaking down barriers that are both tangible and invisible. IT is one of the most diverse schools in the nation, with a student body that is more than 60% Hispanic students. As a result of this diversity (and a myriad of other factors, including its affordability and quality academics), Florida International is ranked as a Best Value School, a Best College for Veterans, and a top National University by U.S. News & World Report.
The online master’s in computer engineering here will give you the skills you need to become an industry leader—and you can do it all within just ten months. You’ll take core classes in topics like ethical hacking, network security, malware analysts, forensics, and more, while also earning a specialization in network security.
The curriculum of this program is under constant revision, with industry professionals weighing in regularly so that the skills and knowledge you acquire will always be in demand. You’ll learn from engineering faculty members who are leaders in the field and be able to pursue the most in-demand professional certifications such as Certified Ethical Hacker, Network+, and Security+.
Florida International is one of the few schools in the country that has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. You will complete 30 credit hours of study and pay tuition and fees that are among the lowest in the country—an average of just $25,000 for the entire program.
#4. North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Online Master’s in Computer Engineering
Sometimes referred to simply as NC State, North Carolina State University at Raleigh is the largest four-year college in the state. You’ll be able to choose from more than 100 majors here, but some of the best are found within the highly-ranked engineering school.
The university is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top national university as well as a best value school and a best college for veterans. These rankings serve as testaments to the school’s quality, affordability, and academic prestige. This inexpensive computer engineering degree is available both online as well as on-campus and is designed for candidates who already possess backgrounds in engineering.
You’ll take classes in everything from networking to very-large-scale integration (VLSI) systems. It’s a 30 credit hour program that does not require the completion of a thesis. You can take classes on a full- or part-time basis and will be paired with an academic advisor when you apply.
The best part? This program is highly affordable. You’ll pay the same tuition as on-campus students, with credit hour charges capped at a full-time courseload. There are plenty of financial aid opportunities available for this cheapest Online Master’s in Computer Engineering, too, including grants and loans.
#5. Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus
Online Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
A public institution founded in 1885, Georgia Institute of Technology is home to the Yellow Jackets, an NCAA Division I team that competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference. But that’s not all there is to “buzz” about! This school also has some of the best and most research-oriented programs in the United States.
Home to six colleges, Georgia Tech has a number of highly ranked graduate schools, including the Scheller College of Business and the College of Engineering. This program will allow you to pursue advanced technical interest areas like:
- digital signal processing
- systems and controls
It includes 30 credit hours of study with courses offered in all three terms (spring, fall, and summer). You can complete your degree in as little as one year if you choose to take classes during all terms. As a student here, you’ll have access to all kinds of academic and financial support services, including advising, career services, fellowships, health services, tutoring, a women’s resource center, and more.
This top online Master’s in Computer Engineering program includes both thesis- and non-thesis pathways, making it a good option for the student interested in academia as well as the one who wishes to enter directly into the workforce. There is even a joint degree that makes it easy to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s in just five years of study.
#6. Iowa State University
Online Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering
Iowa State University is located in the small town of Ames, IA. Just half an hour from Des Moines, this tiny city is the perfect location for students who are interested in a quiet, more laidback campus vibe. However, if you’d rather study from your own city, you can do that, too, since Iowa State offers many of its quality graduate programs exclusively and fully online.
The online master of engineering in computer engineering is just one example of all that this school has to offer. Designed for the student who already has a background in computer engineering, this computer engineering master’s degree is available 100% online and is perfect for working professionals who want to get ahead in their careers without having to sacrifice their day jobs (or their sanity).
You’ll need to have a 3.0 GPA to apply, but once you get in, you’ll find that this top online Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering program is the perfect fit. You will complete a total of 30 credit hours of coursework with the option to complete a variety of independent study courses. Both thesis and non-thesis pathways are available.
The classes you take will vary depending on which electives and specializations you pursue. However, most students will take courses such as:
- Optical Communication Networks
- Fault-Tolerant Systems
- Wireless and Sensor Networks
You have the option of pursuing a practicum in cybersecurity or participating in an engineering internship.
Of course, you can’t overlook this best computer engineering school’s reputation for research, either. As a student in this program, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to conduct hands-on research of your own.
#7. The University of Texas at Austin
Online Master of Science in Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering
With a student-to-faculty ratio of just 18:1, you can’t beat the kind of hands-on attention you’ll get at the University of Texas at Austin. This top electrical and computer engineering school, located in Austin, TX and founded in 1883, is one of the largest schools in the nation yet has a small-town charm and uniqueness all its own. Here, you’ll learn from prestigious faculty with impressive industry backgrounds—yet you’ll always feel as though your instructors are personally invested in your success.
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to succeed and grow, both as a professional and as an individual. In addition to your classroom experiences, you’ll be able to participate in more than 1000 clubs and organizations and hundreds of different research and study abroad programs.
The University of Texas at Austin is home to one of the best computer engineering schools, with many of its courses offered entirely online. The program is highly interdisciplinary, allowing you to pursue one of nine different academic tracks. If none of the tracks interest you, you can complete your electives by taking courses in other departments at the university, too.
You’re sure to find the courses that will help you meet your goals at the University of Texas at Austin such as:
- computer systems
- embedded systems
- electromagnetics and acoustics
- power electronics and power systems
- software engineering and systems
The department has many other integrated, hands-on programs in computer engineering you can pursue, too. Alternatives include a Ph.D. in computer engineering, a professional master’s in software engineering, and an integrated BSEE/MS for students who have yet to earn their undergraduate degrees but are interested in earning both a bachelor’s and master’s in as little time as possible.
#8. Florida Atlantic University
Online Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Founded in 1961, Florida Atlantic University is a public institution that’s ranked as one of the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report. It has received accolades and recognition for being one of the top public schools and national universities while also being one of the top performers on social mobility, according to this ranking publication.
Class sizes are small, with an average student-to-faculty ratio of just 21:1. As an engineering graduate student, you’ll be able to interact closely with your instructors as you pursue opportunities for research, travel, internships, and more.
Although the Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology at Florida Atlantic is an excellent precursor to the Master of Science in Computer Engineering here, you don’t have to have attended FAU as an undergrad in order to apply. You’ll just need a 3.0 GPA and a background in computer science. However, there is a 4+1 program available if that’s what you’re looking for.
The Master of Science on its own is enough to prepare you for the career of your dreams. You’ll gain the skills you need to work as a computer systems architect, or cryptographic engineer, network engineer, or even a robotics engineer (among many other career opportunities). You’ll build a solid background in software development, computer architecture, embedded systems, machine learning, and more.
In total, you will complete 30 credit hours of study. You can choose from both thesis and non-thesis options, depending on your career goals and background.
#9. University of South Carolina-Columbia
Online Master of Science in Computer Engineering
The University of South Carolina-Columbia, located in Columbia, SC, has a reputation for its quality academics and vibrant student life. Just a few hours from the cities of Charlotte and Charleston, this school also has an exceptional online campus where you can take enough classes to complete your entire degree.
The online Master of Science In Computer Engineering is just one of the many research-focused programs here. In fact, the university operates a number of research centers including:
- Center for Digital Humanities
- Center for Colon Cancer Research
- Center for GIS and Remote Sensing
It’s one of the best institutions to consider if your professional aspirations lie in academia.
Available on campus as well as online, the master of science in computer engineering is designed for the student who wants to gain a competitive advantage in the job market. There are thesis- and non-thesis options available. All students will take courses in things like:
- advances in computing
- analysis of algorithms
- computer architecture
- advanced digital design
You’ll also be able to take electives in topics such as robotics, computer networks, and parallel computing.
You can easily tailor your electives and research to your specific interests, making it possible for you to strengthen your computer engineering skills and to apply those skills to various areas of industry. Multiple areas of specialization are available, including those in neuromorphic computing, nanoscale electronics, mobile computing, and wireless networking, and the internet of things.
An affordable engineering program, this degree is offered with low tuition rates and plenty of generous financial aid opportunities. You’ll be supported throughout every step of your journey by professionals such as career coaches, peer mentors, and advisors. You can join an engineering or computing club like the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Women in Computing, or Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the Honor Society for Computing and Information Disciplines.
#10. University of Michigan-Dearborn
Online Master of Science in Engineering in Computer Engineering
The University of Michigan-Dearborn was founded in 1956 on land that was donated by Ford Motor Company. In fact, the Henry Ford Estate is located on the campus and is considered a national historic landmark.
The school’s enterprising and inspiring origins carry through to all of its programs both on-campus and off. This school offers innovative programs of study in more than 60 different fields (including master’s in about thirty). Among them is one of the top computer engineering online master’s programs in the nation.
A 30-credit hour program, the computer engineering program consists of technical electives and required core courses. All of these courses will provide you with hands-on experience in high-performance workstations, computers, and microprocessor-based systems.
You’ll have plenty of flexibility in how you choose to complete your studies. You can complete your courses on campus, entirely online, or through a blended format. Core classes include:
- computer networks
- operating systems
- reconfigurable computing computer architecture
Not only that, but you can customize your degree by adding a specialization. Available options include intelligent systems, multimedia engineering, networks and communications, computer architecture and design, and multimedia engineering.
What will I learn in a computer engineering online master’s program?
The course requirements for a master’s in computer engineering online master’s program will vary. However, most require anywhere between 30 and 50 reidt hours of coursework (if you don’t have a background in computer engineering, most schools will require that you take additional credits to provide you with the foundational training you need first).
You’ll take courses covering topics such as:
- network and computer security
- real world computing
- machine learning
- natural language processing
- information management
- software systems
Often, you’ll be able to choose from a variety of specializations as well. Available specializations vary depending on the institution but may include things like:
- software engineering
- data analytics
- artificial intelligence
- computer networks
Through your courses, both required and elective, you’ll gain a solid foundation in programming and computing skills so that you can pursue an advanced computing or research-based profession. If you want to pursue a Ph.D. after earning your master’s, it’s a good idea to select a master’s degree that will require you to complete a thesis track. This will help you gain more academic writing and research experience.
Is a Master’s in computer engineering worth it?
Without a doubt, earning a master’s in computer engineering is worth the time, money, and effort The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates an estimated growth of more than 10% for most professions in the computer and information technology sector within the next ten years.
A bachelor’s degree is a great place to start, but a master’s degree will serve as a valuable stepping stone that will help you move into a management position or higher-level (and higher-paying) career.
Not only will a master’s degree take your studies to the next level, allowing you to hone in on an area of interest in greater detail, but it will also enable you to gain more hands-on experience. You’ll be able to work with real-world technologies and techniques (often with actual companies in the tech industry) to build your skills and practice what you’ve learned in the classroom in a more realistic setting.
You’ll also be able to tap into a professional network that will serve you well as you are looking for a job and building your career. You will be learning among some of the best and brightest minds in the world, after all!
What can I do with a master’s in computer engineering?
The field of computer engineering is one that is rapidly growing. Within the next decade, hundreds of thousands of jobs are expected to be created, all of which are high-paying and incredibly lucrative.
One job you might pursue is as a computer network architect. In this kind of career, you will build networks that a company can use to transmit and relay information. Another option is to work as a computer systems analyst, which will let you work to improve the ways that a company uses technology.
Working as a database administrator is another option. In this role, you’ll be responsible for managing an organization’s computer systems for storing and managing data. You might also work to protect the data from security threats, particularly if you have a background in cybersecurity.
Other jobs you might pursue are information systems manager, information research scientist, network administrator, software developer, and more. These jobs are flexible and diverse and can be found just about anywhere. Many graduates work on a freelance basis and remember, you don’t have to work for a tech company. There are lots of industries (just about all of them, in fact) that need computer professionals to function, including healthcare, manufacturing, and education.
What are the various master’s in computer engineering specializations?
If you’re interested in a specific field of computer engineering, it’s a smart idea to choose a master’s degree that will allow you to pursue a specialization. Some common choices include:
- artificial intelligence
- software engineering
- systems creation
- data analytics
Each school varies in terms of what it offers.
Besides pursuing a specialization, something that’s required for most master’s degrees in computer engineering, there are other ways you can boost your potential career earnings, too. You might want to pursue an industry certification.
Industry certifications will demonstrate that you are committed to the field and to becoming better at whatever it is you choose to specialize in. You can earn certifications in things like:
- Risk And Information Control
- Information Systems Security Professional
- Information Security Manager
Many of the programs profiled in this ranking include pathways for you to earn these certifications prior to graduation.
What is a master’s in computer engineering salary?
Pursue a master’s degree in computer engineering and trust us—you won’t have to worry about paying back your student loans. Professionals in this industry make salaries that rank significantly higher than the averages across all other occupations.
As an information systems manager, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you could earn more than $146,360 per year. Become an information research scientist, and you’ll earn around $122,840 per year. Even as a network administrator, one of the lowest-paid positions, you’ll earn a hefty salary of $83,510 per year.
Keep in mind that these are averages for professionals who only possess a basic, entry-level education, too. Earn a master’s degree and your potential earnings could be even higher. Plus, these jobs are in high demand, with career paths among the fastest-growing in the country. Positions for information security analysts are expected to grow at a rate of 31%. You won’t have a hard time finding a job once you graduate, that’s for sure!
What is the best online master’s in computer engineering—no GRE required?
Admissions requirements for an online master’s in computer engineering vary based on the university, but most tend to be similar to those held by on-campus institutions. You will need to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a related field. Some universities will accept students with unrelated baccalaureate degrees provided that they complete foundational courses prior to diving into the core curriculum.
Often, you’ll be expected to have a minimum GPA of around 2.5 to 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. You’ll submit transcripts along with supplemental admissions materials such as letters of recommendation, personal essays, and perhaps interviews.
Of course, one of the other requirements (and one that tends to incite the most fear in potential applicants) is a set of scores from the GRE exam. The GRE, or Graduate Records Examination, is required by many graduate schools as a way of comparing applicants to each other and showing that each is well-prepared for the rigors of graduate-level study.
However, more and more schools are now making the completion of this test optional, preferring to gauge candidates based on other factors and criteria instead. Some of the best online master’s in computer engineering no longer require the GRE, including Vanderbilt University, the University of Denver, Villanova University, and more.