Can I Work While in Computer Engineering School?

Many freshmen are ready now for a new student life during the first year, but some still wonder whether they should find an extra job.

If you’re learning computer engineering (CE), you probably asked yourself, “Can I work while doing computer engineering in the first year?

The answer is it’s up to you! You can have a part-time job during your first year, depending on your ability to manage time and the school curriculum.

Let’s refer to our writing below!

What Would You Learn During The First Year?

The first year of computer engineering usually focuses on core computer and math classes. It may vary depending on your college, but most of the time, they will include:

  • Hardware: Basic concepts of computer, computer organization, and architecture
  • Software: Data structures & algorithms, functional programming, assembly programming, object-oriented programming (OOP)
  • Mathematics: Algebra, Differential Calculus, Trigonometry, Discrete mathematics

Can I Work while learning CE in School?

The answer depends on you. Regular study is important, but the experience is no less. If you think you can manage to balance both well, you can find some part-time jobs related to what you learn to get started. 

computer engineering student

There are tons of jobs out there. For example, they can ask you to assemble computers, set up networks, or do some basic tasks for a medium/small company. Whatever you do will help a lot when you graduate and enter the working world. 

It’s also worth noting that it will be hard to work right in the first year if you have no prior education related to the field. In this case, don’t get too nervous! Slowly but surely, the knowledge at school will be a firm foundation for your career.

Some colleges offer their students lab sessions to encourage them to research. Some even have a busy and challenging curriculum, which means you will have more opportunities to begin your study and speed up your progress. 

So rather than thrive on study and work pressure, a freshman can mainly focus on school projects and make friends with those interested in computer engineering.

How Should You Start for a Good Career?

It’s no wonder that the computer engineering field is on the rise. Even those in informal sectors can also join some online courses and do programming.

As a pioneer in the field, you can learn many things to dive deep as a freshman, from open source programming, Java or Android. 

Suppose you don’t have a PC or laptop to study, invest in a good one! It will be an efficient supporter for you during the journey. The more programming experience you have, the better programmer you will become.

programming using Mac desktop

Once you’re ready with a computer with a strong configuration, install some software like VMware, VirtualBox, Linux-based OS, etc.

You should also create an account on CodeChef, TopCoder, FreeCodeCamp, or CodeAvengers to learn more. These forums will help you better at programming and master important languages like Java, C#, C++.

You can do internships, find a part-time job, or freelance! These will benefit not only your studies but also your career later, so don’t hesitate!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do CE Students Do In The First Year?

The first year of study centers on math courses (discrete math, math analysis, Probability, linear algebra, and statistics), the basics of Electrical and electronic engineering, electromagnetism, and physics.

Can I Study Engineering While Working?

If it is a full-time job, it will be very hard. You can simply learn one or two courses simultaneously. But if more, you will run out of time and energy.

It’s important to note that most engineering courses are in the daytime, while you’re busy at your nine-to-five job. It means you have to switch your working hours to nighttime and eliminate chances for study groups, relaxing, etc. 

So, balancing between work and school is a real challenge, but things will turn out easier if you have a job with a flexible schedule!

Do Computer Engineers Work Long Hours?

In most cases, computer engineers work in comfortable offices or laboratories.

They often work 40 hours per week, similar to many other professionals and office workers. Sometimes, they have to do extra tasks on the weekends to meet deadlines and solve specific issues.

It also depends on your position and your working field. Most software engineers can work more than the standard nine-to-five job. 50+ hours per week are not uncommon in their life.

What Hours Do Computer Engineers Work?

It varies based on your company. The hours of 10 AM – 7 PM or 10.30 AM to 7.30 PM (including lunch and breaks) are rather common. 

Some companies may ask you to work from 1 PM until 9 PM, but that’s unusual. Others may require 12-hour days during crunch times, such as 9 AM to 9 PM.


Computer engineering courses are not that easy for you to underplay. Still, learning and practice must go together. You can still work while studying in the first year, although it’s better to freelance or have a part-time job. Good luck!