Best Online Computer Engineering Master’s Degrees for 2021

From top schools and accreditation to cost, coursework and career paths, learn everything you need to know about earning an online computer engineering master’s degree.

Computer Engineering

While earning an online computer engineering master’s degree can be demanding, your search for a quality program doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re looking for a promotion, a career jump, or simply additional knowledge, this guide answers helps you find the best online computer engineering master’s degree programs for your education and career goals. It also answers key questions about what you’ll learn, how much it will cost, and what your career options are after graduation. Keep reading to get started on your path to an online master’s in computer engineering.

College Spotlights: 2021’s Best Online Computer Engineering Master’s Degree Programs

It’s important to make your time and money spent worthwhile, so finding the best online master’s in computer engineering program is imperative. Finding a school that meets all your flexibility, accreditation, affordability, and quality needs can be difficult, so we’ve researched the top three online computer engineering master’s programs in the nation to give you a snapshot. A full list will be arriving later in 2021, so be sure to check back!

North Carolina State University

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North Carolina State University offers an online master of science (MS) in computer engineering comprised of only 30 credit hours. Students learn about computer architecture, cybersecurity, error control codes, and more. This is the perfect degree for anyone wanting to start or further their career in coding, developing and designing software, and programming.

This degree must be completed within six years with no absence longer than one year. Admission requires an exam score from the GRE, an accredited bachelor’s degree in computer or electrical engineering, letters of recommendation, and a 3.25 GPA (though 3.0 may be considered). Students work with an academic advisor to create a plan for their graduate work.

Boston University

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Boston University offers an online MS in computer engineering consisting of 32 credits with the rest being chosen electives. Students can specialize in either computer communications and networks, hardware and computer architecture, software, or cybersecurity.

This degree is extremely flexible, allowing graduates to choose from a wide variety of electives so they can pursue their interests. To top off the degree, students must complete a practicum consisting of a 4-credit thesis, 4-credit project, or two project-intensive courses.

Georgia Tech

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Georgia Tech offers an MS in electrical and computer engineering online consisting of 30 credits. Students need a bachelor’s degree, letters of recommendation, and a 3.0 GPA to apply.

In this program, students learn about applying algorithms for engineering, system programming, microcomputer making them highly marketable to potential employers.

While this program is usually considered a terminal program, students who complete it are well-grounded for pursuing a PhD.

Why Earn an Online Master’s in Computer Engineering?

Getting an online master’s degree in computer engineering rather than a bachelor’s degree is beneficial for many reasons. Not only is it useful for salary negotiations, but expanding your knowledge and expertise makes you more appealing to potential employers since you can do more advanced projects. The flexibility and convenience of an online degree, as well as the potential career benefits, make this an easy decision.

  1. Flexibility

    It makes sense that you can do an entire computer engineering program on the computer, right? By taking classes online, you don’t have to move to where your university is. You can get your degree right where you are at a pace that best suits your needs. This allows you the convenience to study whenever and wherever you want, and you don’t even have to get dressed.

  2. Career Advancement

    Whether you’re looking for a change or you want to advance within your current company, getting a master’s degree will open many opportunities for you. A master’s degree gives you an edge over many peers, making you even more valuable and more likely to receive promotions. Possessing an online master’s degree in computer engineering signifies that you are a dedicated, committed person who is willing to tackle challenges.

What You’ll Learn in an Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Program

Computer engineering concepts are technical and complicated. Students explore the theoretical foundations of programming language, algorithms, abstract interpretation, performance modeling, and software development. The study of optimization, applications, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are joined with discussions of operations, networks, databases, and design parameters within computer engineering.

Popular Courses

  • Protection of Power Systems

    This course teaches you how to protect the computer, including devices such as coils, resistors, and condensers. Students learn to differentiate between the various protective relays such as directional delays, differential delays, distance, and wire pilot delays.

  • Digital Signal Processing

    This course covers the theory of digital signals and basic processing concepts such as discrete Fourier series; linear and circular convolution, discrete Fourier transform, fast Fourier transform; digital filter design techniques; discrete random signals; and discrete Hilbert transform.

  • Wireless Communications

    This course covers the technical problems and solutions to the physical and link-layer designs of wireless communication systems. Some of the course topics include digital modulation techniques, characterization of the wireless channel, spread spectrum, the cellular concept, and multiple access techniques.

  • Transients in Power Systems

    This course focuses on the advanced topics of interruption arcs, restriking voltage, harmonic oscillations, saturated systems, switching of rotational systems, magnetic saturation in stationary networks, and the transient performance of synchronous machines.

  • Control System Components

    In this course, students will come to understand the practical and theoretical requirements for analog and digital control systems. The class will discuss amplifiers, sensors, encoders, actuators, resolvers, and other electromagnetic devices. Students will learn how to measure functionality, cost, and reliability to analyze problems affecting system performance.

Specialization Options

A concentration within a degree allows students to narrow their focus to personal and professional interests. Specializing gives you expertise that other computer engineers won’t have, thus making you even more valuable and more prone to higher salaries. Below are the top four specializations in computer engineering.

  • Hardware and Computer Architecture

    This specialization is for those more in the physical building of computers. While there are some software courses, this concentration focuses more on designing and creating the physical parts of computers.

  • Computer Communications and Networks

    This discipline includes the designing, building, programming, optimizing, and repairing of both hardware and software within networks.

  • Software

    Very similar to software engineering, this specialization guides students through designing high-performance programs, embedded systems, and software systems, affording them the software skills and knowledge to be successful in a more advanced role.

  • Cybersecurity

    This concentration teaches students about protecting digital data, networks, and physical computers from damage. It emphasizes how to prevent cyber-attacks and unauthorized access to both public and private networks.

Accreditation for Online Master’s in Computer Engineering

It’s important to ensure your money and time are well spent, so it is crucial to find a program that’s worthwhile. You can do that by checking the accreditation of the school. The accreditation signifies the program is of a high caliber and, if applicable, meets the licensing requirement of specific degrees. The accreditor you should look for in ab online master’s in computer engineering program is the Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC), one of the four accrediting commissions of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

What You Can Do with a Master’s in Computer Engineering

There are many different career paths for someone with an online master’s degree in computer engineering but they all revolve around designing, developing, and maintaining computer hardware and/or software. All computer engineering positions pay well, and their demand continues to increase as more of our world goes online. To help with your decision of which specialization to pursue, we’ve listed five popular careers for those with a master’s in computer engineering.

Software Engineer

Software engineers are a creative segment of computer engineering. They usually develop the underlying systems that manage devices or control networks, or they develop apps.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$64,240

$107,510

$164,590

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Computer Hardware Engineer

Hardware engineers design, develop, and test computer components. They’re typically responsible for rapid advances in circuit boards, chips, computer data storage, graphics cards, sound cards, other hardware components.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$68,460

$117,220

$185,240

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Machine Learning Engineer

Machine learning engineers design models and algorithms that make decisions based on data. The goal is to teach a machine how to learn from this data. For instance, search engines use machine learning to present results and eventually tailor its responses to you.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$76,000

$113,000

$154,000

Source: PayScale, 2021

Data Analyst

Data analysts gather input from multiple sources and use it to find solutions to business problems. They interpret the data to draw conclusions and see trends so businesses can make optimal decisions. Industries that hire data analysts are vast, ranging from banks to social media companies to healthcare to telecommunication companies and more.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$44,000

$61,000

$86,000

Source: PayScale, 2021

Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts focus exclusively on the security of an organization’s sensitive data. Their job is to protect the network from hackers or attackers through risk assessment and defense planning.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$57,810

$99,730

$158,860

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Costs and Financial Aid for Online Master’s Degrees in Computer Engineering

College degrees can be a big commitment of not only time but money as well. Before you enroll in an online master’s in computer engineering degree, you should have a plan to pay for it. Fortunately, there is a lot of financial aid out there! A lot of companies offer employer tuition assistance programs. There are fellowships, governmental grants, work-study programs, and scholarships. Everything helps your progress toward achieving a master’s computer engineering degree online.

What Your Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Could Cost

School Name No. of Credits Cost/Credit Est. Total Tuition Cost

North Carolina State University

30

$446

$13,380

Boston University

32

$1,777

$56,864

Georgia Tech

30

$1,100

$33,000

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Computer Engineering Master’s Degrees

What are the admissions requirements for a master’s degree in computer engineering online?

Each school has its own unique requirements, so it’s difficult to comprise one solid list. However, there are some requirements many schools have in common, so we will list them below. However, be sure to check with whichever specific school you’re considering.

  • Educational transcripts
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Professional references
  • Proof of a bachelor’s degree
  • Purpose statement

How long will it take to finish my online master’s in computer engineering?

Most of the online computer engineering master’s programs take about three years to complete. However, taking classes part-time lengthens the process. If you are considering part-time study, be aware that many schools have a maximum number of years allowed to complete your degree. This limit is usually five or six years.

Can I earn an online master’s in computer engineering degree 100% online or do I need to visit campus?

Absolutely. Many schools have a 100% online computer engineering master’s program, leaving you to study anywhere you like. There are a few schools that require proctored exams, which means there are only certain places you can take your exams.