Hardware design engineers create and design computer hardware components, including circuit boards, microchips and scanners, etc. They draft different designs and make prototypes to test for accuracy. Some professionals get involved with manufacturing hardware, whereas others supervise the installation process. Most work is accomplished in a research laboratory, and some hardware design engineers work overtime. The following table contains the main requirements for being a hardware design engineer:
Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree in Computer or Electrical Engineering
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggested that most employers preferred hardware design engineer applicants who possessed a bachelor's degree in computer engineering or a related field. A search of positions on CareerBuilder.com indicated that in many cases electrical engineering is also an acceptable degree field for applicants. Most undergraduate programs in computer engineering include such coursework as computer networks and systems, advanced mathematics, physics and electrical engineering. Electrical engineering programs may include courses in electromagnetics, electronics and statistics. Some colleges allow students to choose a concentration that focuses specifically on hardware design, but other institutions include courses that cover both software and hardware design.
Future hardware design engineers are also advised to choose a bachelor's degree program that is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET).
Step 2: Get Certified Through Trade Organizations
Obtaining certification through trade organizations can help hardware design engineers get a job or advance in their current career. Many computer hardware and software companies, such as Microsoft and Cisco Systems, provide certification programs for technicians and engineers. Most certification programs require applicants to successfully pass a lengthy exam. Although hardware design engineers don't normally deal with writing computer code, some employers may require applicants to obtain certification in certain computer languages.
Step 3: Acquire the Necessary Licenses
Hardware design engineers need to become licensed if they provide their services to the public. Each state has different requirements and definitions of what it means to publicly offer services, so it's helpful to verify with the state if a license is necessary for hardware design. If licensing is needed, applicants must prove they possess the required amount of education and work experience prior to taking the licensing exam.
Step 4: Consider Earning a Graduate Degree
Although holding a bachelor's degree opens the door to many entry-level positions in hardware design engineering, earning a graduate degree may lead to career advancement. Most companies in the computer industry that focus on, for example, research and development, require engineers to have a master's or doctoral degree. A graduate degree program in computer engineering usually involves coursework in computer architecture, advanced algorithms, computation applications and high-level mathematics.
Step 5: Participate in Continuing Education Courses
Since technology changes rapidly, the BLS suggested that most engineers remain active in continued education (CE) coursework to keep up with the industry's new trends. Licensed engineers in particular need to take annual CE classes in order to renew their state licenses. Many trade organizations host CE seminars to offer training and showcase new products. Universities and community colleges also offer CE courses. Continuing education can give candidates an edge and create opportunities for career advancement.
What about you? Is this also your Career Roadmap to Hardware Designer?
Original source of this article: www.study.com