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Computer Engineering degree specialization question

Computer Engineering degree specialization question

Computer Engineering degree specialization question

My college offers two "tracks" in its Computer Engineering degree...those being Communications and VLSI.  As you can probably guess, Comm is mostly signal processing and such, while VLSI is more processor/architectural design.

I want to know if anyone would have any advice on which would be best for the current market.  

I live on the east coast so I know that has an impact particularly with the VLSI side of things.

My peers are giving me the impression that Communications is better as far as jobs go, but I'm not a theory/math person so I'm thinking VLSI might be better for me anyway since I prefer to design.  

Anyone have some insights?

RE: Computer Engineering degree specialization question

From some programmers' fish wrapper ~25 years ago:

"Comm is where the chaos is".

Meaning that it's screwed up and likely to remain so, so that's where the jobs are.

Still true, I think.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Computer Engineering degree specialization question

I've been out of the VLSI business for a long time, but consider that the typical Pentium project runs on the order of >$200 million per chip, that translates into something like over 1000 people on the project.  Obviously, smaller chips would have smaller project teams, but you get the idea. VLSI is about large chips, where you might get a tiny sliver of an ALU to work on, or something like that.

Comm potentially offers simpler chips, and therefore a larger chunk of a project that you're responsible for.  Additionally, with ZigBee, Bluetooth, and WiFi, there's a lot of different things going on.

That's my perception, anyway, for what it's worth.


RE: Computer Engineering degree specialization question

hi there , im from australia, i studied computer engineering and actually did both subjects, computer architecture and signal processing and communication, i currently work as a communication engineering consultant, there are more opportunities, and believe me , all that stuff you learn at uni is crap, the real world is much different .

Thats my view

RE: Computer Engineering degree specialization question

hello my friend,
could you please tell me  what computer engineering is about? What kind of jobs are you able to find?

RE: Computer Engineering degree specialization question

I think what you're going to find (in addition to alex's assessment that the real world has little to nothing to the Uni world) is the type of jobs are so wide ranging that it would be difficult to list.  I hold an MSEE specialized in signal processing and communications, but I mostly write software/firmmware for video-based products.  I know MSCE's who write Java for websites or Access for databases, others who design compilers.  So you can the EE route and end up in software anyway (like me), or you can go the CE route and end up helping design a new chip architecture.  Training counts for a lot, but eventually your experience and interests are going to heavily color your resume and the type of jobs you accept.

Dan - Owner

RE: Computer Engineering degree specialization question

I think you should go with what you think will be reasonably rewarding financially, but very rewarding personally.  At the end of the day, it's not really the money that gets you jumping out of bed.  You drag yourself out of bed for money, but you jump for the job

As for majors, 30 yrs down the road, it may be totally different.  I graduated thinking that I would be designing and engineering integrated circuits, and I actually did that for about 10 yrs, but since then, I haven't even designed a circuit, much less a chip.  Nonetheless, the systems engineering I'm doing now is both interesting and rewarding.


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RE: Computer Engineering degree specialization question

I did Computer Science about 30 years ago.  I made a concious decision not to go into people management of any sort other than technical team leading.  I've managed to stay technical all the time and never got bored of it.

It is difficult because during appraisals, some companies tell you that to get any increase, you have to go into the management line.  I've always resisted that by saying that if they wanted to turn a good techie into a bad manager they were perfectly welcome to but they'd lose both the techie and the manager within the notice period.  Some companies have a techie line as well as a mangement one and you can switch between the two.

The only other alternative is to become a contract software developer.

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