Hardware refers to computer chips, circuit boards, computer systems, and related equipment such as keyed equipment such as keyboards, modems, and printers. Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, test, and oversee the manufacture and installation of computer hardware. Not only do computer hardware engineers design and develop the physical components of a computer, but they can also design computer systems, networks, and other pieces of electronic equipment that depend on computer chips and processors. The rapid advances in computer technology are largely a result of the research, development, and design efforts of these engineers.
Now, coming on to the career, almost all sectors of industry have positions for computer hardware engineers since computer play such a crucial role in today's world. Hardware jobs include production and service engineers, R&D and maintenance engineers. Most trained engineers are employed by the computer equipment manufacturers. The daily life of a computer hardware engineer revolves around designing and building computer equipment, computer networks, and electronic devices that can make tasks faster and more efficient.
Few companies in India are involved in computer manufacture. Some manufacturers do have large, high quality manufacturing outfits, while others use the screwdriver technology, i.e., they get all the parts from abroad and assemble the computer. Jobs in manufacturing are from component assembly to testing and monitoring of the computers being manufactured. Job opportunities are in design and manufacture, marketing and maintenance, systems development and design. Technically brilliant engineers, aggressive computer cum marketing professionals for sales and marketing and dynamic professionals for systems development and design are in demand. Hardware engineer can become an Internet engineer and be responsible for managing and maintaining the networking architecture for an organisation's web site and Wide Area Network (WAN) connectivity.
According to a recent Manufacturers' Association of Information Technology-Ernst and Young study, the hardware industry revenues had touched $62 billion in 2010. This means that by 2010 the Indian hardware industry had grown almost 12 times the existing market size with proportionate demand for hardware engineers. However, competition for computer hardware engineering jobs is intense due to pressure from foreign manufacturing.
If you wish to pursue computer hardware engineering, you have to earn a bachelor's degree in computer hardware engineering which takes between 4 to 5 years at an accredited engineering school. Also, you should have a strong background in mathematics and physical sciences including physics and chemistry. Having taken a calculus class during high school is also helpful since most physics for engineering majors involves calculus.
Beginner computer hardware engineering graduates usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers and, in large companies, also may receive formal classroom or seminar-type training. Talking about salaries, like many engineering related jobs, the amount that a person earns is usually directly correlated with the amount of education that he has and his level of experience within the field. However, the best opportunities are bagged by candidates passing out of premier engineering and technology institutes such as the IITs, Roorkee Engineering College, BITS Pilani and some National Institutes of Technology.