From smartphones to hair dryers and treadmills to solar panels, almost every consumer device and industry relies on expertise from electrical and computer engineers. Electrical and computer engineers make a difference in the world with contributions to medical devices, robotics, aerospace, energy, smart vehicles and many more.
As an electrical and computer engineer, you could develop technology to improve vehicle safety, support realistic gaming, or protect personal privacy by securing electronic health records and bank financial information. You could design or sell electronic equipment, surgical devices or even unmanned autonomous vehicles.
CU students get a strong foundation in the fundamentals, as well as extensive elective courses that allow them to specialize in a specific interest area. Areas of specialization include computer engineering, biomedical engineering, renewable energy and power electronics. Students gain hands-on lab experience right away in many core courses, as well as through NASA-funded projects through the Space Grant program, Earn-Learn apprenticeships, internships and co-op positions in industry.
Undergraduate students often work side-by-side with graduate students and faculty members in their labs. The department hosts the Colorado Power Electronics Center and the Center for Environmental Technology, as well as research groups in optics, nanostructures and bioengineering; communications and signal processing; computer engineering; dynamics and controls; electromagnetics, RF and microwaves; and power electronics and renewable energy systems.
Electrical and computer engineers work for a wide range of manufacturers, computer service firms, engineering and business consulting firms, and governmental agencies. CU graduates are employed at such companies as General Electric, Micron Technology, Emerson Process Management, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Space Systems/Loral, Fluke Networks and SparkFun Electronics, to give only a few examples.
About 20 percent of CU Boulder engineering bachelor’s graduates (college-wide) continue onto graduate school, gaining admittance to top schools such as MIT, Princeton, Harvard, Cornell, Stanford, University of California Berkeley, and the University of Texas at Austin.
Employment of electrical and computer engineers is expected to remain steady through 2024 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
The median salary nationally for an electrical and computer engineering graduate with a bachelor’s degree in 2015 was $91,230 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Computer engineers reported an average starting salary of $68,820, while electrical engineers reported $67,593 (National Association of Colleges and Employers).