Are you a computer engineer looking to start your own business as a way of becoming your own boss, or perhaps to make some more income on the side of your main career? Or, perhaps you are considering a computer engineering degree, but want to learn more about some of the business options that you can start, as you prefer the idea of being your own boss in the future rather than working for somebody else. If either of these sounds familiar to you, then the good news is that there are several profitable, interesting, and high-demand business ideas that are perfect for computer engineers.
Computer engineering is a choice of career that offers the opportunity to work in a wide range of fields. Once you are qualified as a computer engineer, your services are needed almost everywhere – in fact, anywhere you can find computers. Once qualified, you might find yourself working in a huge range of industries including education, law, medicine, research, and becoming a business owner. Any device that has an energy or IT component will be derived from computer engineering knowledge. The field of computer engineering is involved in everything from providing the right medical diagnoses to patients to exploring space, and it is playing an increasingly essential role in the world today.
If you have or are planning on getting a computer engineering qualification along with experience with computers and other technology, you might have what it takes to become the founder of a successful business. So, what small business ideas are worth considering for computer engineers?
Table of Contents
- 1 3D Printing
- 2 Computer Repair
- 3 eCommerce Store
- 4 Web Development
- 5 Computer Upgrades
- 6 Computer Training
- 7 Battery Reconditioning
- 8 Computer Cleaning
- 9 How to Become a Computer Engineer?
- 10 What is a Computer Engineer?
- 11 Steps to Becoming a Computer Engineer
3D printing is a sector within the computer industry that is currently growing at a rapid rate. It uses computer files to manufacture products from scratch. If you have experience with using 3D printing software and devices, a business that sells 3D printing files or 3D-prints products for sale might be one worth considering.
When it comes to a good small business option for computer engineers, computer repair is an obvious choice. Computer repair services aimed at other businesses is a particularly good choice as this is something that there will always be a demand for, and companies are often more likely than consumers to save money by having their computers and equipment repaired rather than replacing them. A computer malfunction could cost a company dearly, and there are lots of opportunities to increase your income with this type of business including offering a premium emergency service for urgent situations, maintenance services, consulting, employee training and more.
If you are interested in starting a business that helps you move away from the technical side of things but want to use your computer engineering knowledge and skills, then you may want to consider selling computers and computer parts online. With your knowledge, you will have an advantage that allows you to build more trust with your customers and become a reliable name in the industry. You could choose to focus on a specific niche or make money from refurbishing second-hand computers and other technology to sell online at lower prices compared to brand-new.
Many computer engineers will also be skilled in software engineering. If you can code and develop websites, a web development business might be ideal for you, especially if you want to start a company that keeps you in touch with your creative side and allows you to create something new. Today, an increasing number of people are starting their own businesses and need a website to provide information about what they do or provide a place where customers can buy their products or sign up for their services. Not everybody is satisfied with the DIY web building tools that you can find today as they are often quite limited and will hire a web developer to create custom websites that stand out.
Good computers aren’t cheap to buy, and it’s for this reason that more people and businesses choose to upgrade the computers that they already have rather than replacing them with a new one. However, most people aren’t skilled in making these upgrades on their own and will usually hire a professional to do it for them. With this business, you might be working with either businesses, consumers, or both to offer services such as fitting new external components, upgrading RAM, upgrading disk drives or hard drives, or replacing broken parts.
Computers and computer programs are some of the best and most widely used tools that we have available today. However, the usefulness of a computer or computer program is only as good as the person who is using it, and it’s becoming more and more important for people to know their way around a computer. While most people today are familiar with computer basics, there are also lots of people who don’t know a lot about computers and want to learn more by signing up for computer training programs. Along with this, companies will often hire professionals to train their employees in certain computer skills or how to use a specific type of computer software.
This type of business is all about restoring computer batteries to their full original power capacity. If you are qualified as a computer or electrical engineer, this will likely be something that you know how to do by adding chemicals. There is a growing need for this service as people become more and more aware of the environmental impact of throwing away old batteries, choosing to get them reconditioned instead to prolong their life. You can provide this service for laptop batteries, smartphone batteries, and other rechargeable devices.
While cleaning your computer might not be something that most people think about very often, the truth is that you can make a lot of money from this type of business. As a computer engineer, you are probably well aware that computers need cleaning from time to time to keep them working their best, and people are willing to pay to have this done by a professional. Not only is it more convenient, but it also minimizes the risk of damage to the device during the cleaning process.
How to Become a Computer Engineer?
Bear in mind that many of the above business ideas do not require you to have a computer engineering qualification – while they are ideal business ideas for computer engineers, you could start them without a degree if you have the relevant skills and knowledge. However, if you are interested in becoming a computer engineer, either to build a better business or as a career, here’s what you will need to do.
What is a Computer Engineer?
Computer engineers are professionals that work in a variety of positions and perform a wide range of innovative tasks related to technology. They will typically design, test, implement and repair hardware and software systems, and ensure that hardware is able to support software requirements and vice versa. Most computer engineers are capable of working with both hardware and software, but most will choose one of these areas to specialize in. Hardware computer engineers tend to work on tasks such as designing computers, computer networks, and computer systems and components, while software computer engineers are tasked with developing and maintaining apps to run on computers, smartphones, and mobile devices.
Steps to Becoming a Computer Engineer
Computer engineers come from a range of educational and professional backgrounds. The most common steps to becoming a computer engineer include:
Get a Bachelor’s Degree
The first step to becoming a computer engineer is to get a relevant bachelor’s degree. Most positions will require you to have a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, software engineering, computer science, or similar. In some cases, a degree may not be required for employment if you can demonstrate excellent technical and programming skills. To be accepted, a computer engineering degree program should be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. This ensures that the education you receive meets all required standards for training, education, and credentialing.
Get a Master’s Degree
While a master’s degree is not always necessary to find employment or start your own business as a computer engineer, many aspiring computer engineers will opt for a master’s degree program in computer engineering, software engineering, computer science or similar, to advance in their career faster by securing higher-paying positions with more responsibility. If you are interested in the electrical and hardware components of computer engineering, this electrical and computer engineering degree online from Kettering University may be an ideal choice for you.
Master’s degree computer engineering programs will usually take around two years to complete full-time and are available from college campuses or as online learning programs. During the program, you will take part in practical projects and advanced coursework that is designed to further develop your skills and knowledge in research, application, and engineering theory. To be accepted to study on an engineering master’s degree program, you will typically be required to have an ABET-accredited bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, computer science or a related field with a GPA of 3.0 or more. You’ll also need to gain a passing score in the Graduate Record Examination and provide a transcript of records that show completion of any pre-requisite courses.
Get Practical Experience
Most computer engineering students will start getting practical experience while still studying, since this allows them to build a more in-depth understanding of the practice and principles of computer engineering along with the ability and knowledge to apply these principles to various situations as and when needed. While undertaking both undergraduate and graduate studies, it’s worth thinking about completing cooperative education programs, work placements, and computer engineering internships. This will allow you to put your new knowledge and skills into practice in the real-world, under the supervision and guidance of experienced computer engineering professionals and can improve your resume to help you be in with a better chance of finding employment once you have graduated.
Whether you decide to apply for a graduate program straight after getting your bachelor’s degree or decide to spend some time in the workforce in between, apply to apprenticeships or entry-level positions that will allow you the opportunity to develop your skills, apply the principles that you have learned at college and develop your techniques while working on projects. Apprenticeships allow you to further your training under the guidance of an experienced computer engineering professional, while entry-level positions put you on a team of experienced professionals that you can learn from.
As you work your way up the career ladder and build your knowledge and skills to become eligible for more advanced and leadership positions in engineering, you may find that you are required to obtain a relevant professional license. Having a license as a computer engineer can help you qualify for more employment opportunities and can also boost your success if you want to start your own business, by helping you build more trust with customers.
To get licensed as a computer engineer, you will need to have a degree from an accredited college or university, have passed the Fundamentals of Engineering exam and the Professional Engineering exam, and have gained at least four years of professional experience.
Get Professional Certification
Finally, after working as a computer engineer, it’s worth considering pursuing professional certification as a way to refine your career skills and demonstrate your advanced level to employers or clients. There are several professional certifications that you can get as a computer engineer including Linux Certified Engineer, Red Hat Certified Engineer, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Certified Software Development Professional, and IEEE Certified Software Development Associate. These certifications may allow you to pursue higher earning opportunities or get into management and leadership roles and are a way to demonstrate your commitment to professional excellence in your field.
Whether you want to find employment or start your own relevant business, qualifying as a computer engineer is an exciting career choice with opportunities to work on cutting-edge tech.