Incited by an influx of technological innovation that will require the development of new computer processing, a limited quotient of hardware engineers will be needed over the next 10 years, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Software engineers, however, are in high demand. The annual salary for software engineers runs a broad spectrum, ranging from about $20,000 to a mind-blowing $2 million. Many of these adept specialists in metro Los Angeles earn six-figure salaries, according to salarylist.com.

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Jane Dong)

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Jane Dong)

“Computer engineers, with unique expertise in both computer hardware and software, often play critical roles in developing computing and networking solutions for different types of business in LA, such as aerospace, entertainment, finance and public services,” said Dr. Jane Dong, a professor at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA).

Dong said computer engineers can expect to see radical changes in their line of work within the next decade.

“Overall, engineering is becoming more multidisciplinary,” said Dong, who earned her Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Ohio State University. “An effective computer engineer must have a broader vision beyond his or her own field and work well with different people in various technical and non-technical areas.”

What describes an effective engineer?

“While many people feel that engineers need to be smart and hardworking, the most important attributes for a successful computer engineer includes a caring heart to address the needs of people, an open mind to build the best solution from different perspectives and courage to embrace challenges.”

What is CSULA doing to help mold the next generation of engineers?

“Our computer engineering curriculum is well-balanced. Hands-on projects are integrated across the entire system to progressively develop students’ design and problem-solving skills and help them become competent professionals.”

How does one prepare for a sustainable career in this field?

“The best way is to obtain a solid foundation through systematical training in a well-rounded computer engineering program, and continuing the learning process to stay at the forefront of this fast-evolving field.”

What is your advice to up-and-coming engineers?

“I encourage prospective computer engineers to embrace ever-changing technologies with open arms and an innovative mind, and obtain good life-long learning skills.”

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.

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