Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Engineers in Santa Clara, California

Computer engineers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Santa Clara, California area. Currently, 21,400 people work as computer engineers in California. This is expected to grow 11% to about 23,700 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for computer engineers are expected to grow by about 3.8%. Computer engineers generally research, design, and test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.

Computer engineers earn about $51 per hour or $108,120 annually on average in California and about $46 per hour or $97,400 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Engineering, people working as computer engineers in California earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Engineering nationally. Jobs in this field include: design engineer, supplier quality engineer , and project engineer.

There are thirty-five schools of higher education in the Santa Clara area, including five within twenty-five miles of Santa Clara where you can get a degree to start your career as a computer engineer. The most common level of education for computer engineers is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn to be a computer engineer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Computer Engineer

Computer Engineer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, computer engineers research, design, and test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, or scientific use. They also may supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer or computer-related equipment and components.

Computer engineers update knowledge and skills to keep up with rapid advancements in computer technology. They also direct technicians, engineering designers or other technical support personnel as needed. Equally important, computer engineers have to store and manipulate data for analysis of system capabilities and requirements. They are often called upon to talk with engineering staff and consult specifications to review interface between hardware and software and the operational and performance requirements of overall systems. They are expected to monitor functioning of equipment and make needed modifications to insure system operates in conformance with specifications. Finally, computer engineers analyze data to establish and plan layouts using computers.

Every day, computer engineers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to think through problems and come up with general rules. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for computer engineers to analyze user needs and recommend appropriate hardware. They are often called upon to furnish training and support to system designers and users. They also evaluate factors such as reporting formats required and need for security restrictions to establish hardware configuration. They are sometimes expected to test and verify hardware and support peripherals to insure that they meet specifications and requirements, by recording and analyzing test data. Somewhat less frequently, computer engineers are also expected to layout and develop computer hardware and support peripherals, including central processing units (CPUs), support logic, microprocessors, custom integrated circuits, and printers and disk drives.

They also have to be able to recommend purchase of apparatus to control dust and humidity in area of system installation And finally, they sometimes have to test and verify hardware and support peripherals to insure that they meet specifications and requirements, by recording and analyzing test data.

Like many other jobs, computer engineers must be persistant in the face of problems and impediments and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Santa Clara include:

  • Aerodynamics Engineer. Perform a variety of engineering work in designing, constructing, and testing aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. May conduct basic and applied research to evaluate adaptability of materials and equipment to aircraft design and manufacture. May recommend improvements in testing equipment and techniques.
  • Biomedical Engineer. Apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.
  • Chemical Engineer. Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.
  • Civil Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. Includes architectural, structural, and geo-technical engineers.
  • Electrical Engineer. Design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.
  • Electronics Engineer. Research, design, and test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use utilizing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties. Design electronic circuits and components for use in fields such as telecommunications, aerospace guidance and propulsion control, acoustics, or instruments and controls.
  • Fire Prevention Research Engineer. Research causes of fires, determine fire protection methods, and design or recommend materials or equipment such as structural components or fire-detection equipment to assist organizations in safeguarding life and property against fire, explosion, and related hazards.
  • Health, Safety, and Environment Manager. Plan, implement, and coordinate safety programs, requiring application of engineering principles and technology, to prevent or correct unsafe environmental working conditions.
  • Industrial Engineer. Design, develop, and evaluate integrated systems for managing industrial production processes including human work factors, quality control, inventory control, logistics and material flow, cost analysis, and production coordination.
  • Manufacturing Engineer. Apply knowledge of materials and engineering theory and methods to design, integrate, and improve manufacturing systems or related processes. May work with commercial or industrial designers to refine product designs to increase producibility and decrease costs.
  • Materials Engineer. Evaluate materials and develop machinery and processes to manufacture materials for use in products that must meet specialized design and performance specifications. Develop new uses for known materials. Includes those working with composite materials or specializing in one type of material, such as graphite, metal and metal alloys, ceramics and glass, plastics and polymers, and naturally occurring materials.
  • Mechanical Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.
  • Petroleum Engineer. Devise methods to improve oil and gas well production and determine the need for new or modified tool designs. Oversee drilling and offer technical advice to achieve economical and satisfactory progress.
  • Product Safety Engineer. Develop and conduct tests to evaluate product safety levels and recommend measures to reduce or eliminate hazards.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Computer Engineer Training

Silicon Valley University - San Jose, CA

Silicon Valley University, 2160 Lundy Avenue, Suite 110, San Jose, CA 95131-1868. Silicon Valley University is a small university located in San Jose, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 233 students and an admission rate of 100%. Silicon Valley University has less than one year, bachelor's degree, and master's degree programs in Computer Engineering which graduated one, zero, and one students respectively in 2008.

University of California-Santa Cruz - Santa Cruz, CA

University of California-Santa Cruz, 1156 High St, Santa Cruz, CA 95064. University of California-Santa Cruz is a large university located in Santa Cruz, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 18,508 students and an admission rate of 81%. University of California-Santa Cruz has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Computer Engineering which graduated twenty-three, fifteen, and two students respectively in 2008.

Santa Clara University - Santa Clara, CA

Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053. Santa Clara University is a medium sized university located in Santa Clara, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,987 students and an admission rate of 61%. Santa Clara University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Computer Engineering which graduated twenty-two, twenty-one, and zero students respectively in 2008.

San Jose State University - San Jose, CA

San Jose State University, 1 Washington Sq, San Jose, CA 95192-0001. San Jose State University is a large university located in San Jose, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 32,749 students and an admission rate of 64%. San Jose State University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Computer Engineering which graduated fifty-five and ninety-five students respectively in 2008.

Northwestern Polytechnic University - Fremont, CA

Northwestern Polytechnic University, 47671 Westinghouse Drive, Fremont, CA 94539. Northwestern Polytechnic University is a small university located in Fremont, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,170 students. Northwestern Polytechnic University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Computer Engineering which graduated zero, three, and two students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing Professional - Technologist: ASME GDTP Certification provides the means to recognize proficiency in the understanding and application of the geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) principles expressed in the ASME Y14.

For more information, see the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International website.

Wireless Communications: Technicians seeking the ETA Certified Electronics Technician specialty are required to have a basic education in fundamental electronics.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Certified Fiber Optics Installer - Outside Plant: The Fiber Optic Installer-Outside Plant certification is designed after the FOI certification, with special emphasis on outside plant applications and standards.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Stay Sharp Program - Mastering Packet Analysis: Network administrators, information security analysts, intrusion detection and prevention analysts and network auditors that need an in-depth understanding of how to assess network protocols and use powerful network analysis tools.

For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.

Certified Web Professional - Internetworking Specialist: A CWP Internetworking Specialist defines network architecture, identifies infrastructure components, monitors and analyzes network performance.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Junior Telecommunications Engineer: Telecommunications certification is applicable to professionals involved in the science and practice of communications by electromagnetic means.

For more information, see the National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers, Inc. website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Santa Clara, California

Santa Clara, California
Santa Clara, California photo by Coolcaesar

Santa Clara is located in Santa Clara County, California. It has a population of over 110,200, which has grown by 7.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Santa Clara, 158, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Santa Clara cost $196,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were constructed in Santa Clara, down from eighty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Santa Clara are computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 42.4% of Santa Clara residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Santa Clara is 10.9%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Santa Clara residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Peace Lutheran Church, Good News Community Church and Universal Church of the Master are some of the churches located in Santa Clara. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Muslim Estimate.

Santa Clara is home to the Santa Clara Unified School District Office and the Santa Clara Municipal Golf Course as well as Westwood Acres Park and Washington Park. Shopping centers in the area include Moonlite Shopping Center, Fairway Glen Shopping Center and Youth Shopping Center.