Computer engineering uses principles of engineering, computer science, mathematics and statistics to keep up with the rapid pace of technological evolution. Many people who contemplate a career in computer engineering have trouble deciding which path to choose from among the often-overlapping areas of computer engineering, computer science, and software engineering. Some schools offer the option of a dual major, and sometimes degree requirements for computer engineering and computer science include much of the same courses.
Computer Science is largely concerned with theory and core concepts, with an emphasis on things like data structures, algorithms, and programming languages. It is implicated in many aspects of technology including graphics, robotics, compiler design, and video games.
Computer Engineering combines elements from Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and deals more with hardware than Computer Science does, including operating systems, embedded devices, hardware and drivers, robotics, and computer parts like CPU, GPU, RAM and Mob. There’s a lot of programming involved as well.
Software Engineering is the practical application of computer science. This area focuses on security, performance optimization, designing high scale and high availability architectures, ensuring data consistency, and choosing and implementing solid data structures and algorithms.
There is a lot of overlap between computer engineering, computer science, and software engineering and development. One thing to keep in mind companies may see computer engineering as simply electrical engineering, and each school has its own approach to differentiating among them. So be sure to explore all options!
Below, we’ll consider what a remote computer engineering internship is like, look at a few more definitions, and discuss how to go about preparing application materials for your CareerUp opportunities and others. We’ll include a glimpse of current postings on general job boards and potential career paths that might follow your remote computer engineering internship.
What will I be Doing as an Intern?
Your tasks as a remote computer engineering intern will depend on the setting you work in, and it’s good to know what your preferred areas are as you begin the process of applying. Try to get an idea of where your strengths and interests lie.
Ask yourself: Which aspect of your schoolwork and projects have you enjoyed the most? When did you get the best marks? Try to identify the things that mean the most to you regardless of what your peers or the biggest tech companies are doing.
Here is a brief overview of some 2021 remote computer engineering internships:
A major technology company is currently seeking three remote interns with skills in back-end engineering, Core OS, and web development. For back-end development, the role would involve communicating data to user-facing applications in a number of areas including security, site reliability engineering (SRE). and platform infrastructure engineering (PIE). The Core OS role would involve teamwork on the design and development of sensor technology and other hardware innovations on various devices. The web development intern would help build web-based tools and applications, with an eye toward architecture, performance, testing, design, and implementation.
Video Game Design
A digital entertainment and video game company is seeking remote interns to focus on store and content engineering. Responsibilities would be to develop Java and Node.js internal, cloud-based applications, write and execute unit tests in JUnit, apply and refine coding standards, apply and refine coding standards, implement and deliver small and mid-size features, and collaborate with business and operations teams.
Start up Company
A fintech company is looking for software engineers to help develop trading strategies, large data research platforms, and other projects. The company builds pre-trade research platforms, trading systems, post-trade clearing, settlement services, and high-availability, high throughput systems.
Other areas where would I Work?
Technology companies, fintech, aerospace and automotive, manufacturing, banking and even retail organizations may provide the setting for your remote computer engineering internship. More and more types of business are relying on technology to maintain a competitive advantage in a global market.
Is this Industry Right for Me?
There is a role for everyone in the greater tech industry!
Computer engineering is a good place for people with a firm grounding in mathematics and science and an interest in technology. There are many career options that can open up with proper training.
Computer hardware engineers, for example, design new computer hardware and create the schematics for computer equipment. They perform tests, analyze the results and modify their designs as needed. They update old equipment so that it works with new hardware and oversee the manufacturing process for computer hardware.
Computer software engineers develop systems and software, such as the tools hardware engineers to create their schematics. There are two main types of software engineers: applications software developers, and systems software developers.
Applications developers are client-focused, designing software for the end user to interact with, such as applications for Android, iOS, Windows and Linux. They work both on front-end and back-end, conducting requirements analysis, tweaking, and releasing regular updates. Applications software developers work with graphic designers, project managers, marketers, and customer success teams.
Systems software developers work mostly on back-end development. They build operating systems and networks for user-facing applications and are responsible for both hardware and software needs. They integrate disparate software products onto a single platform, and often serve as IT managers or systems architects. Systems software developers design and enforce IT standards, maintain IT documentation and update to new technology as needed. They work with data science professionals, senior systems architects, development teams, and senior management.
Application engineers may serve as a technical support resource for multiple teams. They are experienced in ASIC design, hardware system design, and firmware/software. They are highly adept at running diagnostic and benchmark testing and can debug hardware, firmware and software at system level. Application engineers write scripts for system configurations and test automation and review evaluation board schematics. They use their excellent communication skills to work with management, other engineers, and clients.
What’s the Benefit of a Remote Internship?
A remote computer engineering internship can help open doors for future employment, and it may help you decide which type of engineer you want to become. Using your skills in a real work environment will deepen your understanding of the concepts you learned in class and give you a chance to learn and improve without academic pressure. You’ll emerge with a whole new understanding of your abilities and meet interesting new people who could become friends or mentors.
How do I get one?
The skills necessary to get a remote computer engineering internship are generally obtained through undergraduate study. Undergraduate courses in computer engineering may include digital signal processing, communication systems, control systems, power systems, image and video processing, and pattern recognition theory; analog, microelectric and digital circuits, logic design, nanotechnology, computer architecture, and hardware arithmetic for machine learning. Software systems coursework may include programming, embedded systems, data structures, compilers, networks, operating systems computer graphics, and web application development.
Computer engineering is a popular major at many colleges and universities in the United States and worldwide. However, with the right combination of experience and self-guided study, it might be possible to qualify for a remote internship without post-secondary education.
Your application materials should present a portrait of someone who has the necessary technical and communication skills to join a working team of professionals. You don’t need to demonstrate the highest level of technical expertise, but you do need to show that you understand basic concepts enough to reassure potential employers that you’re capable and willing to learn. It’s also good to indicate that you’re sensitive to the needs of a professional environment, so communicating an awareness of teamwork and/or business will help strengthen your candidacy.
Here are a few very general examples that can help focus your learning! But remember these are general guidelines not rules!
Mobile applications development works well with Swift, Java, and C#.
Game developers should know TypeScript, Unity, C++, and C#.
Desktop applications development: Java, C++, Python, Scala, and Go. Systems programmers: Go, C, and Rust.
Java and Kotlin are also highly regarded, with Kotlin now the official language for Android as of 2017.
R is also one of the main languages used in data science. R has a large set of libraries and frameworks, making it a great choice for developing machine learning algorithms and creating statistical models, analyzing data and creating visuals.
You will know what to highlight in your application once your CareerUp advisor guides you toward a role. When applying to multiple organizations, try to adjust your application materials to not only reflect your skills and training, but also match up with what the organization needs.
Use your cover letter to say a bit more about your skills and experience. Try to find out about the organization you’re applying to and explain why you would be a good match for them. Be as articulate and grammatical as possible in your resume and cover letter. Verbal and written communication is a small but important part of the job, and a well-written application will make you seem competent. Cover letters can be notoriously difficult to write, perhaps because it’s intimidating to present yourself to someone you don’t know who already has a certain amount of power over you. Rest assured that lots of people feel the same way. Just do your best, speak plainly, and expand on your strengths!
We recommend that your resume header include personal contact information as well as links to a personal website, LinkedIn, GitHub, StackOverflow, portfolio, or other relevant content. The suggested format is to keep it to a single page, divided into sections: education and graduation year, programming languages and software, internship and/or industry experience (if applicable), notable projects or hackathons, and relevant classes. Use two to three strong bullet points per role and highlight what you achieved. For example, “Increased efficiency by implementing QC fixes which led to increased customer satisfaction”.
Interviews for a remote computer engineering internship may include a technical component. It’s a good idea to brush up on class notes and revisit any subjects you might be tested on. You can practice and prepare for technical interviews on sites such as leetcode.com and hackerrank.com.
Where Do I Apply?
Your CareerUp counselor will guide you in terms of where to send applications. To get an idea of what’s out there, check out trusted job sites such as LinkedIn and Indeed. Visit corporate websites belonging to tech companies, aerospace and automotive companies, gaming companies — whatever interests you. Check with your department coordinator, IEEE student branch, and career center at school to see about internship programs or recruiter outreach initiatives.
What Happens after my Remote Computer Engineering Internship?
There are many directions your career could go in after you complete your education and remote computer engineering internship. Below are just a few potential occupations and salaries.
Computer hardware engineers earn an average annual salary of $117,220 as of May 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Entry-level workers earn about $68,460 while senior-level workers can earn more than $185,240. However, Glassdoor’s more recent figure for average annual salary is $89,641.
Software developers, who are similar but not quite the same as software engineers, earn an annual average salary of $107,510 as of May 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Entry-level salaries are about $64,240 while senior salaries can exceed $164,590. However, Glassdoor’s latest figure for average annual salary for software engineers is $92,046.
Glassdoor estimates that the average annual salary for game developers is $50,923.
Application engineers can expect around $66,155 at the junior level, while senior-level salaries average $97,707, according to Indeed.
What Happens if it Isn’t for Me?
If, after or during your education and remote computer engineering internship, you discover that you don’t want to continue, take stock of what you’ve achieved and think about your options. Is there some aspect of what you’ve been doing that you loved or would like to keep doing? Perhaps mathematics or statistics were the areas that your were interested in, or possibly graphics, or maybe working directly with others. Try to find the elements that resonate with your interests and values. No matter how small they seem, you might be able to build on them to find a new direction. You could switch into another branch of science or add a few prerequisites to prepare for the MCAT and try for medical school. If the research and writing aspects appealed to you, look into some arts, humanities or social science courses. Data science uses statistics extensively. Maybe other types of engineering would have more appeal, such as chemical, mechanical, industrial, or civil. If you wanted to try web development or graphic design, you already have many transferable skills. Don’t be afraid to take a step back to figure out what you need to do to make your career work for you.