Skills you'll gain: Computer Programming, Other Programming Languages, Linux, Python Programming, Computer Architecture, Operating Systems, Statistical Programming
Mixed · Course · 1-4 Weeks
Skills you'll gain: Big Data, Data Management, Apache, Data Analysis, Data Model, Data Analysis Software, Data Architecture, Data Mining, Data Structures, Data Warehousing, Database Application, Extract, Transform, Load, SQL, Statistical Analysis
Beginner · Course · 1-3 Months
Skills you'll gain: Computational Logic, Computer Architecture, Computer Networking, Computer Programming, Differential Equations, General Statistics, Mathematics, Network Architecture, Probability & Statistics, Programming Principles, Theoretical Computer Science
Intermediate · Course · 1-3 Months
Skills you'll gain: Algorithms, Theoretical Computer Science, Operating Systems, Design and Product, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Management, Mathematics, Problem Solving, Research and Design, User Experience
Intermediate · Course · 1-4 Weeks
When it comes to Computing, hardware refers to the physical parts of a device that users interact with such as a keyboard, hard drive, or monitor. This is in contrast to software, which are the operating systems, applications, and other virtual computing programs that help users carry out tasks.
Hardware can be created and manufactured by big tech names, such as Microsoft or Apple, or by hobbyists and smaller companies using Arduino, embedded-systems software, and other tools. Learning about hardware is important to making computer-based technologies functional for our everyday lives, as well as critical for maintaining and repairing them.
Given the many applications of hardware studies—from security, to product design, to the IoT—jobs in hardware are varied depending on whatever specialty learners want to explore.
Opportunities in Computer Hardware Engineering in particular can expect their field to grow a steady five percent through 2026—as fast as average. However, Engineers going the IoT route can expect to enter a market estimated to reach a value of USD 1256.1 billion by 2025. Related roles that can enjoy this lucrative market include Embedded Systems Engineer, Raspberry Pi Developer, Arduino Developer, and others.
Hardware courses offered through Coursera equip learners with knowledge in hardware description languages such as VHDL and Verilog; design methods; embedded architectures; software that can manipulate hardware; 3D printing hardware; IoT applications; hardware security; and more.
Lessons on hardware are taught by instructors from major tech names and universities, including University of Colorado, University of Illinois, EIT Digital, University of Maryland, and other organizations. Learners can enjoy exploring hardware with instructors specializing in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Information Technology, Mathematics, and other disciplines. Course content on hardware is delivered via video lectures, hands-on projects, readings, quizzes, and other types of assignments.
The skills and experience you might need to already have before starting to learn hardware are understanding the basics of how software and hardware intersect in devices, computers, operating systems, embedded systems, and assorted data structures. You might want to have some engineering aspects in your background and skills or work experience in hardware components and operating systems. You might be familiar with how embedded devices are impacting manufacturing in the Internet of Things, and you might want to also know about wireless sensor networks.
The kind of people best suited for roles in hardware are mainly people who are interested in computers, are technologically oriented, or have an engineering or computer science background, gained either in online courses, internships, or on-the-job training. Understanding hardware is for those who want to know about physical components, like computers, monitors, peripherals, 3D printing equipment, and embedded systems. The people best suited for roles in hardware may also likely have knowledge of programming languages like Java, Python, C, C+, and Verilog, key languages for computer engineers.
Common career paths for someone in hardware are generally working for a technology company, manufacturing firms, or even a large institution like a college university or online distribution service. You may start either in software or hardware environments and then extend your background of engineering skills or computer science skills to move into areas of installation and maintenance of computers, servers, circuit boards, routers, printers, and similar areas.
Some of the topics related to hardware that you can study include machine learning, cloud networks, systems architecture, network security, computer maintenance, and data storage. These topics may bring a fuller understanding to you when trying to tackle all the information available about hardware for computers and devices. When learning about hardware, you could spend equal amounts of time studying these and other topics related to the computer and system machinery industries.