Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers) research, plan, design, develop, modify, evaluate and integrate computer and telecommunications hardware and related equipment, and information and communication system networks including mainframe systems, local and wide area networks, fibre-optic networks, wireless communication networks, Intranets, the Internet and other data communications systems. They are employed by computer and telecommunication hardware manufacturers, by engineering, manufacturing and telecommunications firms, in information technology consulting firms, by governmental, educational and research institutions and in information technology units throughout the private and public sectors.
Computer and telecommunications hardware engineers perform some or all of the following duties:
- Analyze user’s requirements, and design and develop system architecture and specifications
- Research, design, develop and integrate computer and telecommunications hardware such as microprocessors, integrated circuit boards and semiconductor lasers
- Develop and conduct design verification simulations and prototype bench tests of components
- Supervise, inspect and provide design support during the manufacturing, installation and implementation of computer and telecommunications hardware
- Establish and maintain relationships with suppliers and clients
- May lead and co-ordinate teams of engineers, technologists, technicians and drafters in the design and development of computer and telecommunications hardware.
Network system and data communication engineers perform some or all of the following duties:
- Research, design and develop information and communication system network architecture
- Research, evaluate and integrate network system and data communication hardware and software
- Assess, document and optimize the capacity and performance of information and communication system networks
- May lead and co-ordinate teams of design professionals in the development and integration of information and communication system architecture, hardware and software.
Computer engineers may specialize in a number of areas including analog and digital signal processing, fibre optics, integrated circuits, lasers, microprocessors, microwaves and radio astronomy.
Educational requirements: Post-secondary degree such as Bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering or related field. Related industry and vendor certifications such as CompTIA A+, Net+, Security+, Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) strongly preferred.
Experience: Five years of related work experience.
Job requirements: Primary responsibilities include network development, servers and systems software, and systems operation and maintenance. This includes day-to-day design and configuration of networks, monitoring key metrics and identifying problems and future challenges. Knowledge of and experience using a wide range of operating systems including Linux, FreeBSD, Windows and others. Demonstrated knowledge of LAN/WAN support and engineering for various networks (e.g. voice, data and video), IP networks, Ethernet networks and vendor-specific architectures and platforms. Knowledge of virtualization and emerging technologies considered a strong asset.
National average salary in this occupation is currently $75,000
Strong employment growth – combined with replacement demand due to skills mismatch, retirements, and other labour force exits – would result in strong demand for Computer / network systems engineers in the next 5 years.