Computer hardware technology involves working with computer equipment like chips and peripherals, from the design stage to the installation stage. Read more about the job duties, employment and required education for this field.
Computer hardware technology is a hands-on field that involves the design, testing and installation of a variety of computer hardware components, including computer systems and chips, routers, printers and other related equipment. As a computer hardware technology professional, you often spend your days writing reports, reading blueprints and repairing different computer-related equipment. You also spend a lot of time working with computer engineers and software developers to create new computer systems. If you're interested in a field that requires an interest in computers, curiosity about how things are built and strong problem-solving skills, you might be suited for a career in computer hardware technology.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), if you're interested in becoming a computer hardware technology professional, you should expect keen competition for jobs over the next several years (www.bls.gov). The need for professionals in this field is growing slower than the national average for all occupations. The BLS predicted only a seven percent growth for computer hardware engineers over the 2012-2022 decade. The BLS also reported the mean annual wage for computer hardware engineers as $106,930 in May 2013.
Most computer hardware technology professionals hold an associate's or bachelor's degree in computer or electrical engineering, information systems, information technology, computer science, mathematics or a similar field. The type of degree you decide to pursue depends on your specific interests and career goals. In an information technology degree program, you receive instruction in information technology fundamentals, technology management, computer networks and web programming. As a computer science major, on the other hand, you are likely to take courses that cover operating systems, database programming, assembly language, algorithms, computer systems design and security.
If you decide to pursue a master's degree, you also have several options, depending on your specific career goals. A master's in computer engineering program can give you the training and skills needed to pursue high-level management positions or careers in academia. As a student in this type of program, you take courses in computer architecture and systems, data structures, logic design, computer networks, multimedia processing and information assurance.