Computer Engineer

Video by IBM: in 5 years you will be able to touch through your phone


Computer engineers are the agents of change and innovation in computing. They improve our world by viewing problems in different facets of modern life as an inspiration and a call to action, persistently striving to push the boundaries and extend current day computing capabilities to come as close as possible to mimicking the human mind.

They embed computers in all things around us – from devices and objects to systems and processes. They look for ways to make computers faster, smaller and more versatile, adding capabilities to transfer huge amounts of data in seconds.

Computer engineers design and build crucial tech such as microprocessors - tiny chips that function as computers’ hearts, giving devices all of their computing functions. In fact, you are able to read this page due to your computer’s microprocessor doing its work.

Computer engineers are creating an exciting future. By understanding the “body” (hardware) and the “mind” (software) of a computer, in five years they will be able to give computers the abilities to see, touch, smell, hear and taste, IBM predicts. Computer engineers will undeniably make large advances in peoples’ lives – from being able to predict catastrophes such as hurricanes before they happen, to understanding what babies are trying to tell their parents when they cry.

Duties and Responsibilities

Computer engineers change our world by:

  • Defining an issue or a challenge and then designing, developing and implementing a new and innovative computing solution.
  • Creating the building blocks for computers, adding more functionality and mobility to the hardware and software.
  • Advising organizations on how to make the most of computing systems.
  • Writing user guides on the new computing technologies they have created and designed.
  • Ensuring all of an organization’s computer-based equipment, information and services are protected from cyber crime and unauthorized access.
  • Building computer network systems such as the Internet and virtual clouds that enable large amounts of data to be transferred and shared quickly.

Key Skills

  • Problem solving and logic
  • Creativity and design skills
  • Knowledge of emerging tech trends
  • Collaboration and communication
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Math and analytical skills
  • Computer hardware and software
  • Programming

Job Prospects

Canada needs computer engineers now more than ever as the youth unemployment rate is hovering at 14%, while companies are facing a shortage of engineering talent to keep designing breakthrough computing tech that mimics the human mind and senses.

Computer engineers aren’t only found in tech companies like Google or Apple where their core business is to impress us with breakthrough gadgets and apps. They are in high demand across many industries in large multinational firms as well as small startups to keep our digital economy strong. Computer engineers find rewarding careers in industries such as telecommunications, government, the military or manufacturing.

Education Pathways

You can complete an Electrical and Computer Engineering degree from institutions such as the University of TorontoRyerson University, or York University with research opportunities across a broad spectrum of areas such as robotics, electromagnetics and digital communications.

If you want to advance your studies and spend more time researching topics like artificial intelligence in computer science while working closely with academic professionals, consider obtaining a Master of Science in Applied Computing degree from the University of Toronto. Ryerson University offers a Doctor of Science degree, which includes research in Intelligence and Robotics as well as Computer Communications Networks.

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