Are dinosaurs extinct or do they still exist today? Paleontologists, archeologists, scientist, almost everyone agrees that they are gone. All that is left are the remains lying uselessly in the dirt of the earth. However, there is proof that dinosaurs are still in existence today. Take, for example, the numerous old geezers who have been draining social security for over thirty or forty years. They are sill roaming the earth.

There are still households where Frank San atra records are played on a turntable. Let us not forget those who still play Pong and Pac-man on a Comma dor 64, one of the first computers. There are a few of those things still in operation. All of these dinosaurs are, hopefully, few and far between, but they still exist and serve as an inspiration for future improvements. Mans ways and capabilities are far beyond what they ever have been. Technology is in constant progress.

Medical advances have enabled old geezers to stick around even longer. There are billions, if not trillions, of stereos and portable cd players all over the world. Computers are smaller, faster, and capable of much more than was ever imagined when they first came out. They play a part in almost every aspect of life. Computers are always improving in order to not become dinosaurs.

Who is doing all this work and coming up with all these improvements? It is not the computers. There are numerous people, behind the scenes, who make all of these changes happen. Computer Engineers are a large part of this dinosaur prevention group. Computer Engineering is a challenging, rewarding field with endless possibilities of advancement. Helpful Personality Traits Not everyone has what it takes to be a computer engineer. One of the most important requirements are good people skills.

The stereotypical antisocial computer nerd would most likely not do well in this field. It is necessary to be able to clearly express thought and ideas. A computer engineer would frequently be presenting what he or she has been working on to other people. The ability to listen and comprehend the ideas and work of others is just as important as expressing your own. A computer engineer must be a team player. A significant amount of time is spent working with other people, be it in a lab or an office.

Therefore, it is important to work well with others, be able to compromise, and handle all situations in a mature manner. This is not a "my way or the highway" field of work. As in any field, a computer engineer must fulfill the responsibility of all duties assigned and be determined to work to the best of his or her ability. Thus far, the field sounds easy, but the education that is needed is not quiet so easy. Going To School Before entering college, there are several recommended high school courses common to every engineering field. A prospective student should have taken half a year of Trigonometry, and a full year of both Physics and Chemistry.

These classes are important because of the foundation that they build for the courses that will be taken in college. Again, there are classes that are common to all engineering fields that are needed in college. Each college is slightly different, but the core engineering classes usually include: four semesters of Mathematics, two semesters of Physics, and two semesters of chemistry. Colleges all have separate courses needed to major in Computer Engineering. For that reason, the following description of courses provides only a general basis of what would be studied to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Engineering. Computer Engineering integrates Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

A Computer Engineering major would take Computer Science courses such as Foundations of Computing, Program Design, Data Structures and Algorithms, and a writing emphasis course on Algorithms. These courses provide a foundation of knowledge about databases, comparative programming, networking, operating systems, compilers, kernels, and theory. Some courses from Electrical Engineering that would be taken are Digital Logic, Computer Programming for Engineering Applications, Basic Circuits, Circuit Theory, Electronic Circuits, Microprocessor Organization, and Fundamentals of Computer Architecture. There are more Electrical Engineering courses than Computer Science courses because this field is extremely similar to Computer Engineering. At the University of Arizona, in their advised sequencing of courses for these degrees, only seven out of forty courses differ between the two majors. Well, that covers the computer knowledge needed for the degree; however, there are several math and science courses that one could not do without in this field.

Math includes, but is certainly not limited to: Calculus I and II, Vector Calculus, and Mathematical Analysis for Engineering. Introductory courses are needed in Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, and Thermodynamics. Also needed are Fundamentals of Chemistry, Fundamental Techniques of Chemistry, and Solid State Chemistry. On top of all courses listed above, the combination of approximately ten English, Arts, History, etc... courses are needed and then the degree has been earned. Not so easy anymore, but what an accomplishment! All of the necessary college is completed.

If this was not enough, one could easily pursue a higher degree of Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy. However, for those who think enough is enough, it is time to get started on a career. Possibilities of a Computer Engineer In a world that is dominated by computers, one can not go wrong with a degree in Computer Engineering. The holder of this degree has the ability to apply digital technologies to a broad range of engineering problems. Careers are available wherever electronics or computers are a vital part of the industry. Computer Engineering graduates find employment very readily in both the public and private sectors.

The broad knowledge of programming and electronics, coupled with the specialist skills in software and hardware, will make a Computer Engineer immensely suitable for a wide range of positions within the Industrial Technology industry. One field that is entirely computer controlled is Artificial Intelligence. In this career people work together to develop computers that simulate human learning and reasoning ability. Some people would not fit in this field because they feel compelled to work only with what they have already accomplished. Computer Design and Engineering is one possible career for such a person. In this career people design new computer circuits, microchips, and other electronic components.

A similar career would be Computer Architecture in which one would design new computer instruction sets, and combine electronic or optical components to provide powerful but cost effective computing. Perhaps someone want a career that is strictly based on computers but not only about them. Information Technology is one such career. In this career a Computer Engineer would develop and manage information systems that support some type of business or organization.

Another career would be Operation Systems and Networks. Here, one would develop the basic software computers used to supervise themselves or to communicate with other computers. Some people want to know more, after all of their schooling, about how computers work. These individuals could have a career in Computer Theory where they would investigate the theories of how computers solve problems, and apply the results to other areas of computer science. How about the people who discover they want to work with or manage only one aspect of computers such as software? There are careers for these people too. One career is Software Applications.

This career would have someone applying computing and technology to solving problems outside the computer field - in education or medicine, for example. Another career is Software Engineering. Here, one would develop methods for the production of software systems on time, within budget, and with few or no defects. All of these careers provide only a small look at the possibilities that are available. It is obvious that the field has a vast, almost endless amount of applications for the knowledge held by a Computer Engineer. Pros and Cons of the Computer Engineering Career Fields It will certainly not be difficult for a Computer Engineer to find a job, almost anyone can find a job.

However, some jobs are more challenging and some are more rewarding than others. According to ninety-six percent of participants of a recent survey, the jobs discussed previously are all respectable and honorable careers. It is always a plus to hold a respectable job, but that fact alone will not get one far in this world. It takes money to accomplish almost everything. A Computer Engineer is blessed in the fact that all jobs for the field pay a respectable salary.

Starting salary for most Computer Engineering majors is forty-six thousand dollars per year. Hmm... all that schoolwork might actually pay off. But it only gets better, the average salary for a Computer Engineering career is fifty-five thousand per year and one could make as much as seventy thousand per year. It is not the highest paying job, but there is certainly no need to complain with those figures coming your way. Doctors make good money too, why shouldn't someone go into that field? The most obvious difference between the two fields are their working conditions.

Doctors are always around ill patients, blood, needles, operation tools, traumatizing situations, and sometimes death. They sometimes work in hospitals and lead a stressful career. That does not seem to be the most pleasant or comfortable working environment. A Computer Engineer, in almost any career field, would be working in an office or computer lab with state of the art technology. There are no traumatizing situations, only opportunities to improve what already seems far beyond its purpose. There is nothing wrong with being a Doctor.

Their job is very demanding, extremely important, and improves peoples lives in far better ways than a Computer Engineer ever could come close to. However, as for their working conditions, those of a Computer Engineer appear more favorable. A career in any field is an individual choice and should, therefore, be a favorable choice. A person's career should not add an immense amount of stress to his or her busy life and hectic schedule. Many jobs today require fifty, sixty, or even more hours per week to be worked. Their schedules are not consistent and some are on call twenty-four hours per day.

This hectic aspect of work is not something a Computer Engineer has to worry about. They work the typical forty hours per week during daytime hours. Occasionally, overtime is necessary to complete a task, but not to any extreme. With the money, work conditions, and steady schedule, there is not much to complain about unless your work partners are the scum of the earth. Fortunately, this situation is not likely.

As is apparent, there several rewards for being in the Computer Engineering career field. Computer Engineering is not the perfect field, it also has its negative aspects. Just as no job is perfect, not person is perfect and neither is the work that that person does. Even if someone works to the greatest of his or her ability, he or she is still capable of making mistakes. Mistakes do not go over well in this field. Because this field always works with up to the moment, state of the art technology, any mistake is extremely costly for that company or corporation.

There are countless people who check products over and over and over for mistakes. Therefore, there are only few occasions when a mistake goes public in the form of a product. Depending on the extent of one's mistake it is possible that he or she will appear as a complete failure. This is not a good thing to have happen in your career. In the worst case scenario, depending on the cause and extent of the mistake, a person could lose there job and be in serious debt. It is difficult to work with these possible consequences hanging over your head.

Not making mistakes is the most important aspect of any Computer Engineering career; however, it is not the most difficult part of the work. There are many people who are not compatible with computers. Computers can be extremely difficult to operate because of how all the programs are constantly changing. Technology never slows down. Anyone who works with industrial technology must strive to keep themselves updated with the new advances.

This is an impossible task. During an interview, Network Specialist Dave Johnston commented, .".. You can't grasp everything that's happening. You just have to focus on one area and try your best if you ever hope to be successful.

No one can keep up with our world's technology and have a life at the same time, it's impossible." Mr. Johnston works for the government and from his interview it can be inferred that the work is always challenging. He thinks "it's nice to have found a challenging job that always keeps you on your feet... ." This field might not be seeming too easy anymore. Life was not meant to be easy, but instead, it is full of ups and downs that result in the rewards of hard work. A Typical Day The specifics of a typical day at work are hard to describe because each career is so unique.

However, there are several similarities because of the nature of the work. Depending on the individuals schedule, the work day would start between six and nine in the morning. A small amount of time would be spend getting reacquainted with the work of the previous day. Once in the right mindset of work, one might need to do some research or consulting because of a glitch in the assignment, whatever it may be.

There might be a brief meeting in which you would need to present the problem and your department, along with another perhaps, would come up with ways to solve or work around the glitch. After the meeting it is time to go experiment with the possible solutions to the problem. Before you know it, it's time for lunch. Once again, depending on the individual job there would either be a half hour of full hour break for lunch.

After lunch it's back to work. The problem for this morning has been solved and now it's time to continue developing, innovating, or preparing the remaining parts of that assignment. A couple hours of working of that goes by and you are interrupted because some other project has a dilemma and that group needs the assistance and expertise advice on what to do. Upon settling their matter, you finish up a small amount of paperwork, make sure all equipment and projects are in their proper place or shut down, you say goodbye to some fellow workers, and it's time to head home. The day was a little stressful, nothing too bad, and now you get to go home... and cook dinner..