IT hardware engineers are rarely lauded for their achievements beyond their tightly knit group of colleagues, yet try using any software without a computer, phone, tablet, router, or other hardware device.
Hardware is the foundation that supports and runs the software, states Nate Djeric, a career advisor at career counseling firm Career Boost, in an email interview. Without efficient and well-designed hardware, even the best software can be rendered ineffective. Both hardware and software engineers play crucial roles, and their importance is intertwined.
Hardware engineering extends well beyond consumer electronics to include automotive, robotics, sensors/instrumentation, medical devices, aerospace, and many other sectors, adds Kyle Dumont, co-founder and CTO at hardware development platform provider AllSpice via email.
A bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, computer engineering, or a related field, is typically the starting point for new hardware engineers. “Internships and co-op programs during college can provide hands-on experience,” Djeric says. “Joining hardware-focused clubs or organizations and working on personal or group projects can also be beneficial.”
While studying, pursue internships with companies in the hardware sector, advises Tyler Guffey, a network engineer who is currently CEO and COO of network solutions provider SycamoreNet in an email interview. “This approach provides practical experience and can often lead to job offers.”