Training yourself for a computer engineering degree while still in high school may help you stand out as a more competent candidate for colleges and maximize your chances of acceptance.
Early preparation can also help you get the credits you use for a college diploma and qualify you for your desired career. Then you may lay a solid foundation in the field.
So, how can I prepare to become a computer engineer while in high school? Let’s follow our guide and make your dream come true!
What to Do to Prepare for Computer Engineering School as a High Schooler?
Computer engineering is the principle that covers the technology and science of designing, implementing, and maintaining hardware and software components of computing systems.
People used to consider computer engineering as a combination of CS (Computer Science) and EE (Electrical Engineering)
Over the last three decades, this subject has developed as an independent but closely related discipline.
Computer engineering is the foundation for computer, mathematics, physics, and engineering concepts and ideas.
The subject uses those principles to construct computer hardware, software, networking systems, and procedures to tackle technical problems.
As you can see, the whole idea of following this career is not simple. It’s necessary to prepare for your high school days so that your journey will be easier.
1. Take Math and Science classes
Computer engineering majors in college have a challenging academic schedule that is heavy on science and math.
To prepare, you should take the most difficult science and math classes offered at your high school.
Independent study of the two subjects is also an excellent option. You can find books from your library, watch videos from industry professionals, and keep studying hard.
Candidates that show sincere passion for their field of study can easily impress college admissions examiners.
Since this step is essential for your journey, we will discuss it in detail in the next section.
2. Join STEM-related extra activities
Participating in relevant activities is another option to show your interest in the major. Some clubs to join are:
- Engineering club
- Coding club
- Robotics team
- Math club
- Physics club
- Chemistry club
Launch a new STEM club by yourself if your high school lacks one. You can t Talk about the possibility of starting a new club with a teacher or administration.
Try to work up to a leadership position, whether you start the club group or join one already existing.
Otherwise, host events, develop new ideas, or recruit some new members to contribute significantly.
The more extensively you engage in these activities, the more valuable skills you’ll acquire for your engineering career.
3. Earn real-world experience
Courses and extracurricular activities will help you build knowledge and skills, but the experience is also essential.
Internships, job shadowing, and volunteer work may all help you get real-world experience.
Talk with your parents or counselors about any computer engineering jobs or contacts they may have.
You may also ask local businesses to see if they need volunteers or interns by phoning or emailing them. If not, ask if they can let you shadow somebody and learn more about the work.
Working as an intern helps you put your mathematics and science abilities to good use. You can also learn about different technical disciplines and identify your strengths.
An internship may provide you with relevant technical experience while also allowing you to develop a professional network. You can use these networks for letters of reference and job prospects in the future.
Volunteering can help you know more about your working environment and the problems that you will face. Then you may practice problem-solving abilities to prepare for a future in computer engineering.
Volunteering may also show your community participation and leadership abilities. The experience on your CV makes you stand out in college applications.
Job shadowing is spending some quality time with a computer engineer when they work.
This chance lets you obtain a clearer understanding of an engineer’s duties and daily activities.
Observing an expert may assist you in making an appropriate decision about choosing a computer engineering career.
You might contact a counselor at your high school or email local companies to get these opportunities.
4. Join competitions
If you are confident about your experience, skills, and knowledge, put your computer engineering skills to the test by attending a competition.
Science Fair, Science Olympiad, High School Innovation Challenge, Intel International Fair, Math Olympiad, and more STEM contests are available.
These competitions are valuable opportunities for you to challenge yourself and use all your acquired knowledge.
It will be perfect if you win some awards. Your application will catch the eye of the admissions committee easily.
Even when you don’t win, participating in events demonstrates your enthusiasm for the subject.
5. Attend camps
Computer engineering camps may help you enhance your technical abilities as well as your passion for the field.
These camps can give opportunities for students to engage in design challenges and talk with experts.
You could also learn how to work with others and put technology to use appropriately.
6. Build soft skills
These are some critical skills computer engineers must have to excel in their profession.
Because technology is continuously changing and developing, computer engineers must be adaptable.
A professional computer engineer is flexible enough to understand and learn about the new technology as it comes.
A computer programmer could join a staff meeting, follow up with clients, and talk to coworkers about the details of a new project.
Communication skills, both verbal and written, are essential. When working with different people, you’ll need to alter your language and communication style.
For example, when interacting with clients, you’ll want to be warm and approachable while being knowledgeable and reliable.
When dealing with non-IT colleagues at work, you’ll need to explain your ideas in non-technical ways.
You’ll want to appear friendly while talking with other programmers and engineers. Keep in mind that efficient communication also entails listening skills.
People from various professions, including other engineers and non-IT coworkers, may join your team. You will be working with people who have different personalities or opposing viewpoints.
Always keep in mind that the primary goal is to deliver high-quality output to the company or customer.
Rather than rejecting differing views out of hand, listen to all of them and give them close attention. Then, you can build a strong team.
Computer engineers work with other engineers to solve issues and build new software.
Creativity plays a final role in their profession since it helps them to improve existing systems and provide different methods for varied IT applications.
Research is the first step in learning more about programming and computer systems.
When the engineers are not sure how to accomplish a task or which way will work best, they need to be able to find and understand information quickly.
The sheer essence of computer coding requires clever problem-solvers. You can do that on two levels:
Start by looking at the larger picture first. What is the goal of this product? How will it benefit your business or client? What can you do to improve it?
Second, consider all of the pieces that must come together to form that huge picture. What part of the code isn’t working? What role does a software tool play in accomplishing your task?
8. Look up college requirements
Research different computer engineering programs if you want to qualify for a job but aren’t sure which college to go to.
You can look at the courses provided by local institutions or prestigious universities. If you know which schools you want to attend, look into the admissions criteria for each one.
Universities may publish course recommendations, GPAs, and scores on their web pages. You may compare this data amongst colleges to see where you should focus your efforts on.
You might also select a school based on its location, fees, admission rate, and culture.
Best Classes at High School for Engineering College
Applications to computer engineering colleges start with the standard high school required courses and then build on additional requirements.
Many institutions’ general degree courses only need three years of math studies for admission, whereas engineering programs require four years of math.
Other minimal standards will be slightly harder, such as GPA (grade point average) and standardized exam results.
At the absolute least, college admissions officers may want to see that a candidate finished all four years of mathematics in high school. It would be best to take a Calculus class too.
Calculus is only available in the Advanced Placement (AP) program at many high schools in the United States. In the first semester, students have to take Calculus.
Before graduating, engineering students must complete at least one Probability and Statistics module.
Statistics is a specialized application of a particular set of arithmetic skills that focuses on teaching a new problem-solving manner.
This option is perfect for high school students who want to push themselves in mathematics, but it is not strictly necessary for college success.
Physics is the use of mathematics in the actual world, and it is the backbone of engineering. This subject is quite essential in the field of computer engineering.
In the USA, physics courses in high school have two primary types: calculus-based and non-calculus-based physics.
The calculus-based course will undoubtedly be more complex. Besides, students need to have attended a calculus course.
Aside from physics, there are various different scientific programs that students can choose from.
Coding and computer science subjects are becoming increasingly popular in high schools.
Principles of Computer Science
This subject introduces a broad overview of computer science’s uses. It can be a wonderful way to get a student motivated in engineering, particularly software engineering.
Even if you don’t plan to major in computer science, this course is still excellent for anybody interested in studying fundamental engineering in college.
Computer Science A
This course introduces Java, a widely used coding language, and object-oriented programming. It introduces a key notion for software engineers and any engineer involved in the project that necessitates complicated software.
This subject is difficult, but it will give students a decent grasp of pursuing computer science.
You’ll need to take at least an economics subject to acquire your degree. Although a high school economics course will not include calculus, it will provide an excellent introduction to a few topics that you will see more often in the future.
While it is undoubtedly vital to focus fully on mathematics and science, don’t overlook your English subjects.
According to employers, computer engineers must be able to communicate verbally and in writing.
Your employers may ask you to present your projects to the staff and customers. As a result, taking a Public Speaking training is also beneficial.
You’ll be a well-rounded and highly competitive engineering applicant if you improve your mathematics, science, and English abilities.
The best time to prepare for your dream career is now. Start by expanding your knowledge, joining extracurricular activities, and looking for job opportunities.
You may also test your skills and knowledge by competing in mathematics, science, and engineering competitions. Also, keep in mind that your soft skills are equally important.
Hopefully, this post is a good place to start your plan. If you need any further information, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading!