Over the last 20 years, computer engineering has gone from about 50/50 HW/SW to about 25/75 HW/SW. The reason is that as the NRE for ASIC design has risen, ASICs have had to become more programmable to amortize the NRE over a larger set of applications. The programmability also provides the flexibility to meet new standards, quicker time to market, and in-field updates. Standards and open platforms amplify this process.
Our curriculum is not 25/75, since a computer engineer still needs to learn all the fundamentals of electrical engineering and all the fundamentals of computer science, even if they will spend the majority of their time on software.
It is great to learn that major institutions such as MIT and the like have understood the need for an overhaul of their EE curricula in order to cover for the ever evolving nature of the field, especially in the more recent years. That said, there is still more to be done since these institutions contribute a very small fraction of the prevailing work force. Other institutions that provide computer science and electrical engineering training should realize that it is about time that they too should adopt the same trend.
This article brings to mind a particular quote that says " the more things change, the more they remain the same". Let me explain; even though the work of the modern electrical engineer may seem to change on a near daily basis, the objectives that he or she is supposed to achieve will essentially remain the same. It is only the tools and methods used to achieve these objectives that will change and more training will be necessary in order to adapt the EEs to the new tools and methods.
The growth of EE in terms of student enrolment will only be boosted if the students are exposed to the job opportunities and career directions that are open to the modern day electrical engineer and I strongly believe that, as opposed to them waiting to see the new job openings showing up, more seminars and workshops should be organized by the training institutions and the training should be geared towards exposing the students to what they can achieve as electrical engineers.
Good article it is. In my opinion, I think that what will definitely change is the nature and trends of EE work but just like CEO is putting it, job title will not change much in the future. It true that most students are ignorant about various fields in the world of engineering, and this is one of the reasons which will lead to changes in the nature of EE work, why am I saying this? It is because many people are nowadays seeing the need of engineering, and many students are becoming interested in this field.
@Perl_geek: there's been an unfortunate tendency to inflate job titles in the field
Good point. We laugh at the garbage man who calls himself the sanitation engineer. The thing that surprised me about this article when Jessica was writing it was that there weren't any fancy new titles (despite us media types' desire to find a new title).