The short answer is that it all depends. There are many different types of “computer engineering” that correspond to the different kinds of products created: hardware, software, server-side, client-side, mobile, embedded, etc. Within any given product category, there are also many different roles. For example, in software engineering, there are architects, requirements analysts, quality assurance specialists (testers), and coders (programmers). For any given product type and specialty, you can work for either a big corporation or a small company, or even work independently as a consultant. That is a lot of variables. There is no one single “computer engineering” career.
If you are asking if you can make a lot of money in the IT (Information Technology) field, the answer is yes, but not as much as in recent years. There is a growing trend to outsource many aspects of IT to cheaper labor markets which, together with the bursting of the dot-com bubble, has resulted in downward pressure on salaries. In 1999 the market was pretty tight, and anyone with a computer degree, or even just a few years of college, could get a job and probably snag a signing bonus in the process. Nowadays, many developers, especially senior, more experienced (and therefore more expensive) ones, are finding it harder to get new jobs. Some have been unemployed for a year or more.
If you want to see for yourself what the salary situation looks like for software engineers in particular, you can visit sdmagazine.com. I think that they have last year's (2004) salary survey available – select the menu option “Features” and then the sub-menu option “Salary Survey”. If you want to see the effect of a global market and outsourcing on freelance jobs, check out one of the many freelance sites like rentacoder.com or guru.com. Some very talented folks out there are willing to do a lot of work for a lot less than we (here in the US) have been getting traditionally. It is a different world now.
The bottom line is this: do you like it? If you enjoy the challenge of being both creative and technical at the same time, and if you don't mind spending a lot of time keeping up with changes in the field, then it will be a good career for you. Whether or not you make a lot of money, you will be happy, which in my book at least, is what it means to be successful. If you really like it, you will probably get very good at it, which in the end will translate into a better salary. But don't go into this field if you are only interested in the money -- which could be said of every career field, but I think it is especially true of software development.
Answered By: codewriterdavid - 1/19/2006