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Best Hardware Engineering Schools: The Top Colleges and Universities for Hardware Engineering Programs

Ufuoma Ogono - June 10, 2022


The best schools for hardware engineering provide a comprehensive curriculum filled with technical and soft skills. As a prospective student, it is important that you research thoroughly before you apply for admission to any school to get the best out of your education. You will need to consider your long-term goals to choose the best hardware engineering schools for your needs.

There are several factors that come into play when you are choosing the best hardware engineering universities. These factors include your current level of education, financial situation, career goals, and location. This article is your complete guide to picking the best hardware engineering colleges because it puts all these factors and more into consideration.

Best Hardware Engineering College and University Rankings: Top 10 Hardware Engineering Schools at a Glance

School State Formats Available US News Ranking
California Institute of Technology CA In-person, online, hybrid 9
Carnegie Mellon University PA In-person, online, hybrid 25
Massachusetts Institute of Technology MA In-person 2
Oakland University MI In-person 299-391
Ohio State University OH In-person 49
Princeton University NJ In-person, online, hybrid 1
Rice University TX In-person, online, hybrid 17
Stanford University CA In-person, online, hybrid 6
University of Tennessee TN In-person 103
Utah State University UT In-person 249

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Hardware Engineering School Rankings: Best Hardware Engineering Colleges and Universities

Based on the table above, the list below contains more details about the best schools for hardware engineering. This should give you a glimpse of the programs offered by each school so you can decide if any of these options are a good fit.

1

California Institute of Technology

Graduation Rate: 92%

Popularly known as Caltech, California Institute of Technology was founded in 1891 by Amos G. Throop. It has a global reputation as one of the best schools for all technology programs. While it was initially a vocational training school, it has grown to offer significantly more programs over the years with millions in sponsored research under its belt.

Hardware Engineering Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 7%
  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: 9th
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 2nd

Best California Institute of Technology Hardware Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering . Starting your education with Caltech's undergraduate program will give you a great head start. You can take double majors or add electives like robotics and bioengineering for an even wider knowledge scope.
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering . The electrical engineering master's degree at Caltech has a strong reputation because of its fast pace. Students can graduate in only one year. You can apply for this program if you have an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering or a related field from an accredited institution.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering . This is a research-focused degree designed for students who already have a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering. Typically, you can only get into this program if you are enrolled in Caltech's MSEE program. You will be vetted during your master's year which means you cannot apply if your MSEE is from another institution.

California Institute of Technology Hardware Engineering Key Takeaway

Caltech has some of the best facilities of any university in the United States. Students who are enrolled in the college of engineering have unlimited access to these facilities to gain hands-on experience.

2

Carnegie Mellon

Graduation Rate: 93%

Carnegie Mellon is one of the best schools for hardware engineering in the United States for good reason. Founded in 1900, the school has maintained a global reputation as a hub of innovation. Hardware engineering is just one of the many undergraduate and graduate programs offered in the school.

Carnegie Mellon Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 17%
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: 25
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 28th

Best Carnegie Mellon Hardware Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering . This undergraduate degree program offered at Carnegie Mellon is one of the best for electrical and computer engineering in the world. It offers research opportunities to students and has an incredibly challenging course load.
  • Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering. If you already have a bachelor's degree, you can advance your career with this master's degree. There are nine concentrations to choose from with this program depending on your interests.
  • Integrated BS and MS . With this track, you don't need to complete your bachelor's degree before you explore your master's degree. You can enroll simultaneously without applying separately for each degree. You will not pay any additional application fee for the master's program.
  • PhD . The ECE PhD is a research-focused program that involves hands-on experience in computer and electrical engineering. When you enroll, you will choose a research program that will help you get the career opportunity you want. Depending on your research subject, you can apply for PhD grants.

Carnegie Mellon Hardware Engineering Key Takeaway

The Carnegie Mellon hardware engineering program is one of the best in the United States and the world, and students are taught by highly-accomplished professors.

3

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Graduation Rate: 96%

Popularly known as MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the best private institutions in the world. It is most popularly known for the high quality of education offered in its college of engineering and physical sciences. With just a seven percent acceptance rate, students need to show exceptional performance to qualify for admission at MIT.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 7%
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Degree Options: Bachelor’s, master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: 2
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 5th

Best Massachusetts Institute of Technology Hardware Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering . This is one of the best bachelor's degree programs offered at MIT. It covers software development with the popular programming language, Python. It also covers computational structures, artificial intelligence, and electronics engineering.
  • Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science . This is a hands-on graduate degree that comes with an extensive internship program during which you will be required to complete your thesis. It includes a wide range of mathematics, engineering, and science subjects. About 42 of the 91 required credits required come from core engineering topics.
  • Doctor of Science or Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. This is a research-based program that involves hands-on participation in the department. Apart from the core engineering research, you can also add subjects from other departments that interest you.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Hardware Engineering Key Takeaway

MIT is one of the best schools for hardware engineers in the world. Because it is so well-known, having an MIT education increases your credibility in the job market.

4

Ohio State University

Graduation Rate: 87%

Located in Columbus, this public university was founded in 1870 as the flagship research university in the state. While it was initially focused on agricultural and mechanical programs, it has expanded significantly over the years. Some of Ohio State University’s most renowned programs in the school are offered by the college of engineering, medicine, psychology, and biology.

Hardware Engineering Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 68%
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: 49
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 85th

Best Ohio State University Hardware Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering . This CSE program covers the design and development of software and hardware computer systems. It takes place on-campus in Columbus. Beyond class learning, students in this program participate in internship and co-op jobs that offer hands-on experience.
  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering . Another great option is the ECE bachelor's degree program. Students learn about electronics, electro-optics, communications, high voltage engineering, and a range of other fields. You can choose a research field and you will get access to labs available at Columbus.
  • Master's of Science in Computer Engineering . For the graduate program, you will have two tracks to choose from. One of the research tracks requires a thesis, while the other is the non-thesis option that requires an extensive examination. Even if you do not have an ECE undergraduate degree, you can apply if you have an excellent background in computer science.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science and Engineering . This is the highest degree offered by the College of Engineering at Ohio State University. You will work closely with an advisor from the faculty and you can decide to minor in fields that aren't offered by the College of Engineering.

Ohio State University Hardware Engineering Key Takeaway

Students at Ohio State University may have the opportunity to study abroad by applying for the Global Option in Engineering program.

5

Oakland University

Graduation Rate: 56%

Oakland University is a public research school that was founded in 1957 by Michigan State University. The institution has a national reputation as a research hub because of the advanced research activities that take place there on an ongoing basis.

Oakland University Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 81%
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: 299-391
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 1001-1200

Best Oakland University Hardware Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering . The BSE program takes place on-campus where you will get access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment provided by the university. The curriculum covers embedded systems, artificial intelligence, and a range of other advanced-level topics.
  • Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering . This graduate degree is a combination of electrical engineering and computer science, so you should be prepared to do a lot of hardware and software work. You will need to provide your graduate record exam (GRE) scores and get a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale to be admitted.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering. This is a great option for students who want to explore government research jobs or work at industrial facilities that require problem-solving skills. The PhD covers computer architecture, hardware design, digital image processing, and applied electromagnetics.

Oakland Hardware Engineering Key Takeaway

Oakland covers graduate-level courses for students, allowing them to get the career advancement they need without seeking more education.

6

Princeton University

Graduation Rate: 98%

This IVY league private university was founded in 1746 making it one of the oldest tertiary schools in the United States. Princeton University is one of the top ten universities in the world because of its exceptional education and conducive learning environment. It is one of the few universities that offer advanced undergraduate research opportunities in the United States.

Princeton University Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 6%
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: 1
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 8th

Best Princeton University Hardware Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering . This BSE is offered by the School of Engineering and Applied Science. It covers computer systems, artificial intelligence, theoretical computer science, and programming systems. You will also be required to do some supervised independent work.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering . This is a research-intensive program at Princeton University. Research borders around electronic devices like advanced circuits, high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, and information science. Students get personal attention from the faculty as they work on their projects throughout the program.

Princeton University Hardware Engineering Key Takeaway

Princeton University is the best national school in the United States according to USA news, and this is because of the excellent quality of education.

7

Rice University

Graduation Rate: 94%

Rice University is a popular school that was founded in 1912 to promote research and development. The school has maintained its reputation as an advanced research facility in several fields. It is known to have the best faculty for material science and has received recognition globally.

Rice University Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 11%
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD
  • US News Ranking: 17
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 136th

Best Rice University Hardware Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering . This is one of the two electrical and computer engineering undergraduate degrees offered at Rice University. You can choose to pick from four specializations and secure 134 semester credits hours before graduation.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Electrical Engineering . If you have interests in fields other than engineering, you can opt for a Bachelor of Arts degree. It allows you to take core courses in ECE along with some other courses from the liberal arts and humanities faculty. The credit requirement for the BA is 120 hours.
  • Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering . This is a two-year advanced degree that doesn't require a thesis for completion. However, you will have to complete an intensive one-year-long capstone project and report to your supervisor. There are five areas of specialization available.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Computer Engineering . You can opt for a combined master's and PhD program at Rice University or you can take one after the other. The PhD is research-focused for people who want to dive into an extensive industry or academic research.

Rice University Hardware Engineering Key Takeaway

Rice University is a strong option because it provides both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science, allowing students the freedom to curate their education around their interests and long-term goals.

8

Stanford University

Graduation Rate: 95%

Stanford University is one of the most exclusive private universities to get an education in the world with, only 5 percent of all applicants getting a spot. Founded in 1885, Stanford University is a research institute with a global reputation for excellence. The common programs at Stanford are computer science, computer engineering, and information sciences.

Stanford University Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 5%
  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: 6
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 2nd

Best Stanford University Hardware Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering . This BSE is for students who want to specialize in electrical and electronics engineering. The core courses cover physics, mathematics, information systems design systems, and a wide range of other topics. There is an honors program available for students who have a GPA of 3.5 and above.
  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering - Computer Systems Engineering . This program covers the most fundamental aspects of systems engineering. You will learn how to design, build, and maintain computer systems for general and specific purposes. Courses also cover networking specialization and operating systems.
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering . This MS runs for 1.5 to 2 years for students who learn full-time. The core requirement is 45 credit hours and it leads to a PhD in Electrical Engineering. There is no thesis required for this degree and you will be reviewed by the department based on your performance.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering . The PhD at Stanford offers one of the best research rotations you will find in any university. You will need to fulfill teaching requirements in place by the department and work as a research assistant with a professor in your faculty.

Stanford University Hardware Engineering Key Takeaway

The faculty-to-student ratio is impressive, so students get more personalized attention from faculty members.

9

University of Tennessee

Graduation Rate: 71%

The University of Tennessee is a multi-campus school that was founded in 1794 for undergraduate and graduate studies. It is most commonly known for its participation in different types of sports and national teams. This makes it an ideal school for aspiring engineers who also have an interest in sports.

University of Tennessee Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 78%
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: 103
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 279th

Best University of Tennessee Hardware Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering . This undergraduate program is designed to teach you the hardware and software aspects of computers. You will learn how to build computer-based systems inside out. The credit requirement for the program is 128.
  • Master of Science in Computer Engineering . This is a 30-credit graduate program for students who already have a bachelor's degree and at least a 3.0 GPA. The core courses for the thesis option are 24 credits and the non-thesis or project option is 27 credits.
  • Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Computer Engineering . If you already have the intention of getting a master’s degree during your undergraduate program, you can choose the five-year combined bachelor's and master's degrees. Note that you will need a GPA of 3.40 for this program.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Engineering . You will need a bachelor's and Master's Degree in Computer Engineering or a related field to enroll in this PhD program. It has a wide range of optional concentrations and it is hosted on-campus.

University of Tennessee Hardware Engineering Key Takeaway

The hardware engineering program at the University of Tennessee prepares you for leadership positions after graduating.

10

Utah State University

Graduation Rate: 50%

Founded in 1888, Utah State University is a public research school that promotes diversity and culture by focusing on students. The school fosters a great environment for learning and this allows students to thrive across departments. Utah State University is also known to offer a wide range of interdisciplinary studies for students who like to mix things up.

Utah State University Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 91%
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: 249
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 401-500th

Best Utah State University Hardware Engineering Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering . The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers this undergraduate degree program. You will need a GPA of 2.8 from your high school to get into this program. You will also need to pass the fundamental engineering exam and get 120 credits to graduate.
  • Master of Science in Computer Engineering . For this master's degree, you will need 30 credits and a GPA of 3.0. There is a thesis and non-thesis option and both options cover advanced aspects of computer engineering and electrical engineering. There is also a concurrent bachelor's and master's degree option.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering . This is a unique PhD that allows students to enroll right after a Bachelor's Degree in Computer and Electrical Engineering if they meet certain requirements. It is a challenging research-based program that includes a combination of extensive examinations and research-based coursework.

Utah State University Hardware Engineering Key Takeaway

Utah State University is the flagship research-based school in the region with three campuses.

The Best Schools for Hardware Engineering: Types of College Degrees and University Programs Offered

The best schools for hardware engineering offer a range of programs at different levels. Some of these programs include associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, professional certificates, and doctorates in hardware engineering. Below, we explain the differences between these options.

Hardware Engineering Community College Certificate

A community college certificate is a post-secondary certificate of completion offered by a community college after the requirements for learning are met. For hardware engineering, these certificates usually involve hands-on participation or apprenticeship programs that give students entry-level job-specific skills. A college certificate program may last between 6 months or two years depending on the school and specialization.

Hardware Engineering Associate Degree

An associate degree is a two-year undergraduate degree that is typically awarded by a community college. However, some 4-year universities also offer associate degrees. In the United States, an associate degree is the stepping stone for every other college degree and can be used to advance into a bachelor’s degree program.

The credit requirement for an Associate Degree in Hardware Engineering ranges between 60 and 80 units and you can transfer these units into a bachelor’s degree program. Note that the school has to be accredited for degree transfer to work.

Hardware Engineering Bachelor’s Degree

A Bachelor’s Degree in Hardware Engineering is the most popular option in the field. It is an undergraduate degree that prepares students for the theoretical and practical aspects of hardware engineering. It usually runs for four years full-time but there are accelerated and part-time options available in some schools.

The knowledge you get during a bachelor’s degree program is enough to kick off a long-lasting career in hardware engineering. You can access a variety of jobs without ever having to advance your education.

Hardware Engineering Master’s Degree

A Master’s Degree in Hardware Engineering is an advanced degree that allows students to specialize in the areas of hardware engineering that interest them most. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can apply for a master’s degree. It runs for about two years but could last longer or take less time depending on the school.

There are thesis and non-thesis options for master’s degree programs in hardware engineering. The credit requirement could be 30 or more and you may need some professional working experience to qualify for a master’s degree.

Hardware Engineering Graduate Certificate

A hardware engineering graduate certificate is an advanced certificate that is awarded to professionals who want to further their careers. Graduate certificates in hardware engineering are different from community college certificates.

These graduate certificates can last for six to twenty-four months and it holds a similar professional reputation as a master’s degree. After completing your graduate certificate coursework, you must prove that you have the specialized skills you need to advance your career before the certificate is awarded.

Hardware Engineering Doctorate

A Doctorate in Hardware Engineering is a graduate program for people who already have a master’s degree but wish to explore research and academia in hardware engineering. It may last for up to four years to six years. A doctorate could either be a Doctor of Science or a Doctor of Philosophy in Hardware Engineering.

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Best Hardware Engineering Schools: Other Hardware Engineering University Rankings

The best hardware engineering schools have their strengths in different areas. While some schools may be ideal for undergraduate degrees and certificates, others are better for graduate options. Below is a list of some of the top options you should consider for hardware engineering training. Some offer great online programs while others are strictly on-campus.

Best Online Hardware Engineering Schools

  1. Florida International University. This is a public research school founded in 1965. FIU Online offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering that has a credit requirement of 128. Everything from the initial application to the completion of the program takes place online.
  2. Grantham University. Grantham University is another great option for online learning. It offers a computer engineering technology bachelor’s degree. The school was founded in 1951 and has four main colleges with many departments within.
  3. Old Dominion University. This school was founded in 1930 in Norfolk, Virginia. It is renowned for its international student body thanks to the online degrees. The Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering covers hardware engineering, software engineering, data analytics, and computer networks.

Best Community Colleges for Hardware Engineering

  1. Daytona State University. This school was founded in 1957 and is one of the best community colleges in the Florida school system. The Associate of Science in Computer Engineering Technology covers robotics, systems engineering, computer network, installation, and repair.
  2. Nashua Community College. Founded in 1970, Nashua Community College is in New Hampshire. The school offers an Associate of Science in Computer Engineering Technology. The course covers the software and hardware required in computer engineering and the credit requirement ranges from 65 to 66.
  3. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. NWTC is a public school that was founded in 1912 in Wisconsin. It offers a transfer-focused Associate Degree in Electrical and Electronics Technology that prepares students for a bachelor’s degree.

Best Undergraduate Schools for Hardware Engineering

  1. Georgia Institute of Technology. Georgia Institute of Technology was founded in 1885 as a public research school. It offers an extensive Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. The degree prepares students to become industry leaders and problem solvers.
  2. Cornell University. Cornell University was founded in 1865 in New York and has grown to become one of the most reputable higher institutions of learning in the world. The Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering might be the right fit for you.
  3. University of California Berkeley. UC Berkeley is a flagship university in the United States that was founded in 1868. The land grant university has a notable degree in computer engineering. Its Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has a focus on technical, hands-on education.

Best Graduate Schools for Hardware Engineering

  1. Duke University. Duke University offers an ideal Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering that provides research-focused studies. It is one of the most popular schools in the world and is known for its advanced College of Engineering.
  2. Northwestern University. Founded in1851, Northwestern University is a private research university that offers a master’s degree and PhD in Computer Engineering. It is one of the most prestigious institutions in the world and has impressive research facilities.
  3. University of California, Irvine. UCI is another popular university in the United States that was founded in 1965. The land-grant research university has a wide range of programs including graduate programs in computer engineering. Students can choose between the electrical engineering concentration and the computer engineering concentration.

Best Hardware Engineering Schools With Dual Degree Programs

  1. University of California Berkeley | Combined Bachelor and Master in Electrical and Computer Science. This is a five-year degree that allows students to dive into an advanced degree without reapplying. It is an ideal option for anyone who intends to pursue a PhD in the future.
  2. University of Houston – Clear Lake | Accelerated Bachelor/Master’s Degree. UHCL was founded in 1974 as a public university. You will need a GPA of 3.0 to get admitted into the accelerated program. You will also need to maintain a 3.0 GPA during the program to graduate with your peers in five years.
  3. The University of Utah | Combine Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Electrical Engineering. The University of Utah is another great option that offers combined bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Computer and Electrical Engineering. The school was founded in 1850 and has gained a reputation as a powerhouse for sports and research.

Best Schools With Accelerated Hardware Engineering Programs

  1. Northwestern University | Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. This is one of the best schools for an accelerated computer engineering bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering. Instead of spending four years in a bachelor’s degree program and two years in a master’s degree program, you can complete both in a total of five years.
  2. California State University – Fullerton | Integrated Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering . This is one of the few reputable programs that offer an integrated bachelor’s and master’s degree that can be completed in just four years. The syllabus is extensive and you will need to spend more than the required time for a standard bachelor’s degree learning but you will get the knowledge you need.
  3. Illinois Institute of Technology | Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering/Master of Science in Electrical Engineering. This is a five-year accelerated program offered by the Illinois Institute of Technology. It prepares students for careers in systems engineering, network engineering, and high-performance computing engineering, among others.

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Is Graduate School for Hardware Engineering Worth It?

Yes, it is worth going to graduate school for hardware engineering if you want to advance your career by specializing in one branch of hardware engineering. With a graduate degree, you may have access to more lucrative career opportunities. It is also a good opportunity to dive into research work in the hardware engineering field.

What Jobs Can You Do With a Hardware Engineering Degree?

The jobs you can do with a hardware engineering degree include hardware verification engineer, lead hardware engineer, hardware security engineer, digital hardware engineer, or hardware engineer manager. You can also dive into software engineering, product management, and other forms of information technology.

How Much Can I Earn With a Degree in Hardware Engineering?

You can earn an average of $88,799 annually as a hardware engineer according to PayScale. The salary could range from $65,000 to $147, 000 annually depending on your degree type, experience level, job description, and the company in question. Hardware engineers also enjoy bonuses that range from $1,000 to $19,000 annually.

Highest-Paying Hardware Engineering Careers

Profession Minimum Education Average Salary US News Ranking
Architectural and Engineering Manager Bachelor’s degree $152,350 9
Computer and Information Research Scientist Master’s degree $131,490 25
Computer Hardware Engineer Bachelor’s degree $128,170 2
Aerospace Engineer Bachelor’s degree $122,270 299-391
Computer Network Architect Bachelor’s degree $120,520 49
Electrical and Electronics Engineer Bachelor’s degree $101,780 1
Mechanical Engineer Bachelor’s degree $95,300 17
Computer Programmer Bachelor’s degree $93,000 6
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologist and Technician Associate degree $63,640 103
Electro-mechanical and Mechatronics Technologist and Technician Associate degree $60,360 249

Best Jobs With a Hardware Engineering Degree

The best jobs with a hardware engineering degree are computer hardware engineering, architectural engineering, aerospace engineering, and mechanical engineering. Some other options are computer and information research scientists and electrical engineering.

1

Best Hardware Engineering Associate Degree Jobs

The best hardware engineering associate degree jobs are electrical and electronics engineering technologist or technician, mechanical engineering technologist, and electro-mechanical and mechatronics technologist. The best hardware engineering associate degree jobs are typically entry-level jobs that you can get right after completing your two-year associate degree.

Top Hardware Engineering Careers With an Associate Degree

  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologists and Technicians: $63,640
  • Electro-mechanical and Mechatronics Technologists and Technicians: $60,360
  • Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians: $60,460
2

Best Hardware Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Jobs

The best hardware engineering bachelor's degree jobs are computer hardware engineer, aerospace engineer, and electrical and electronics engineer. The best hardware engineering bachelor's degrees allow you to apply for entry-level jobs, but you will earn more than someone with an associate degree.

Top Hardware Engineering Careers With a Bachelor’s Degree

3

Best Hardware Engineering Master’s Degree Jobs

The best hardware engineering master's degree jobs are computer and information research scientist, computer network architect, and mechanical engineer. People with master's degrees tend to have access to more high-level jobs and management positions than those with undergraduate degrees.

Top Hardware Engineering Careers With a Master’s Degree

4

Best Hardware Engineering Doctorate Jobs

The best hardware engineering doctorate jobs include architectural and engineering management, information technology architect, or information security analyst. There are many other options available in government and research agencies. You can also find a job in the education sector.

Top Hardware Engineering Careers With a PhD

5

Best Internships for Hardware Engineering Students

The best internships for hardware engineering students are AT&T Technology Development Program, Engineering & Technical Internships, and Cisco Hardware Engineering Intern. Hardware engineering students may qualify for internship opportunities by excelling academically, or it may be a mandatory part of their studies.

Top Hardware Engineering Internships

  • AT&T Technology Development Program Intern: $45,588
  • Google Engineering & Technical Internships: $70,375
  • Cisco Hardware Engineer Master's Intern: $65,501

How Can I Pay for Hardware Engineering School?

You can pay for your hardware engineering school upfront out of pocket, or apply for federal financial aid, scholarships, or private student loans. The cost of a hardware engineering degree is high in the United States, so most students ease the cost burden by choosing one or several forms of financial aid.

  • Upfront. If you have a personal college fund, you can pay for your tuition out of pocket. While it might seem like an expensive option, it is cheaper than taking a loan or being stuck with hundreds of thousands in student debt after graduation.
  • Federal Financial Aid. There is a wide range of federal financial aid available in different categories, including tech. This financial aid could be performance-based or need-based. It may cover your entire tuition or only a fraction of your tuition.
  • Loan. Apart from the federal financial aid, there are non-governmental organizations that offer student loans to people chasing undergraduate and graduate degrees. Students are required to repay the loans with interest after a given period.
  • Scholarship. There are academic and athletic scholarships offered by governmental and non-governmental organizations to students pursuing hardware engineering and other STEM fields degrees. You do not need to repay a scholarship after you graduate but may need to return it if you drop out.

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Choosing the Best Hardware Engineering School for You

To choose the best hardware engineering school for you, you should consider accreditation, curriculum value, and outcomes. Learning how the school is making progress on these fronts is a good way to determine if it is the right fit.

Accreditation

This is the most important thing you need to check when you are looking for a hardware engineering school. In the United States, only schools with accreditation are considered legitimate because the accrediting body ensures that the school is held to high standards. It will also be difficult for you to further your education if the school you attend is not regionally accredited.

Curriculum Value

What will you be learning during the program? Is the curriculum in line with your career goals? Find out what the school will teach you during the program and make sure that it is teaching in-demand subjects. The technology industry is evolving rapidly and what you learn has to be the most updated version.

Outcomes

Most universities have a page dedicated to posting outcomes. It contains details about the success stories of students who have completed the program and the job opportunities they enjoyed. Schools with more positive job outcomes and student success tend to be held in high esteem in the job market.

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Does It Matter What College I Go to for Hardware Engineering?

Yes, it matters which college you attend for hardware engineering. When you are going through the best schools for hardware engineering, look out for the one that suits your needs. Some schools offer better undergraduate than graduate degrees while others are excellent either way. Your current educational performance also matters because some schools are more exclusive than others.

Hardware Engineering University Ranking Methodology: How We Ranked the Best Schools for Hardware Engineering

We ranked the best hardware engineering schools by consulting the university rankings conducted by US News & World Report and Times Higher Education. To further refine our hardware engineering university ranking methodology, we gave special consideration to things like reputation, graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio, and breadth and depth of hardware engineering degree program offerings.

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Best Hardware Engineering Schools FAQ

How long does it take to become a hardware engineer?

It can take between two to seven years to become a hardware engineer, depending on the path you choose. An associate degree program runs for about two years, a bachelor’s degree runs for about four years, and if you opt for a master’s and PhD you may be required to spend up to seven years training.

Does hardware engineering require coding?

Yes, hardware engineering requires coding. While not every aspect of hardware engineering will require coding, there are several aspects that will require coding skills so it is highly recommended. This is why all hardware engineering curricula always cover programming languages and software engineering.

Who earns more, a software or hardware engineer?

Hardware engineers earn slightly more than software engineers in the United States. According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for hardware engineers is $103,094 and the average salary for software engineers is $101,974 .

Is hardware design hard?

Yes, hardware design is hard because it is a constantly evolving field that requires you to think fast to keep up. However, it gets easy to catch up when you already know how hardware design works.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Ufuoma Ogono

About the author: Ufuoma, a certified Career Coach by the International Association of Professions Career College, is a veteran freelance writer whose work has also appeared in Smartereum, Cyber Jam Limited, and Binance. Her goal as a content writer is to help readers chase their careers in technology and follow their dreams. Ufuoma attended Delta State University, where she earned her BSc in Sociology and Psychology.

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