An incoming college student choosing between computer science vs computer engineering

Computer Science vs Computer Engineering: Which is Best for You?

Unlike 20 years ago, computer and information technology (IT) courses today are more diverse and complex. Schools now offer various IT courses and programs for students. No wonder, many students get confused about the right program to take after senior high school. How about you? Are you torn between similar IT courses such as computer science vs computer engineering?

Choosing a college course is a crucial step to reach your dream career. You have to make sure you know where your wit and skills fit. You also need to perform thorough research and consider your knowledge and much-loved high school subjects. Hence, study the subjects offered on each course, and see which program offers the fields you want to pursue.

Don’t waste your time making the wrong choice. Decide better for your future by understanding the similarities and differences between computer science and computer engineering course.

A hand typing “computer science vs computer engineering” on a search engine using a keyboard

Computer Science (CS)

Have you always loved working with codes? Do you also enjoy learning new languages? Or perhaps dreamed of becoming a hacker like those you see in the movies? Then CS is the best course for you.

Generally, CS is the study of computer tech. As a computer scientist, you’ll have to design methods to solve programs. You’ll also have to study computer software and hardware.

The skill of computing is part of everything you’ll do. Once you master this skill, solving complex problems will come easier. CS pushes for inventions in the science, engineering, and business fields. If you’re up to keep learning and being pushed to the limit, you might love this course.

Despite sitting in front of your computer or laptop most of the time, the excitement of solving problems and gaining new knowledge every day compensate for it. You can do simple lines of codes and see them unfold into new programs.

Many ask this: Is computer science hard? Well, your job as a computer scientist means making programs. It’s challenging, yet dynamic. You must be very attentive to solve problems. This course may be tough for some, more so if they aren’t intrigued enough by the inner workings of computers. Further, you also need to know how to communicate with non-technical people. This way, you can attend to their needs and convey your ideas through ways they can grasp. With that, pursuing this course will give you the chance to gain the skills you need and help bring change to people’s lives. With something as simple as mobile apps, you can already be part of tech’s evolution.

To help you choose better, here are the skills needed in computer science courses:

  • Analytical
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Knowledge about software
  • Patience
  • Time management
  • Problem-solving
  • Attention to details
An intern searching which job pays higher between computer science vs computer engineering

Computer Engineering (CpE)

Do you want to master computer components? Then this course is a great choice. When you take this up, you’ll learn how to design and build a whole computer system. This means you’ll learn how to build more efficient and useful computers. Further, you’ll also learn about computers’ physical parts (hardware) and how to create codes that run them.

Now, is computer engineering harder than computer science? When you take this course, you’ll study the uses and parts of a computer. You’ll also have to look into hardware-related software such as operating systems. Meaning, you’ll have to work with both hardware and software and make sure these two components work together seamlessly.

But this field isn’t limited to desktop computers only. As a computer engineer, you’ll also make built-in computer systems for cars, planes, gaming consoles, and other devices we use every day and make our lives easier. These said, CpE blends CS with electrical engineering (EE) to further advance technology.

To help you choose better, here are the skills needed in computer engineering courses:

  • Mathematics
  • Communication
  • Writing codes
  • Knowledge about hardware
  • Patience
  • Time management
  • Problem-solving
  • Creativity

Computer Science vs Computer Engineering: Similarities and Differences

A Venn diagram comparing computer science vs computer engineering

CS and CpE are commonly mixed up programs. Both programs work with data and use them to create the best programs and functions. They are also both heavy on theory and usability. Also, both study the hardware and software parts of computer systems.

While these programs are alike, they still differ. CS focuses more on the software side, while CpE focuses more on hardware. With that, CS deals with theories more, while CpE deals with ease of use.  Further, CS is focused on making codes, artificial intelligence, and software design. On the other hand, CpE involves building circuits that make up computers’ hardware parts and make them work together with the software it’s using.

These said, where do CS and CpE meet? What bridges these two closely related courses together? For one thing, both programs cannot exist without software engineering. Software engineering is a mix of CS and CpE. The course entails you to build and maintain software systems. But unlike other IT courses, it is focused more on how people can easily use software and the features it offers.

Computer Science vs Computer Engineering Salary

Does computer science pay more than computer engineering? Both courses are multifaceted fields. That said, graduates of these courses can find jobs in multiple industries. For computer scientists, the annual salary is Php 497,000. While the salary for computer engineers is Php 482k (according to PayScale).

Compared with other IT courses, however, software engineering is currently the country’s highest-paid job according to Jobstreet.com. The firm’s most recent salary report states that entry-levels specializing in IT-Software can earn as much as PhP37,000 monthly, while managers can get about PhP100,000.

Reach Your Dream Career with CIIT Philippines!

CIIT Philippines, the top IT school in the country, offers BS Computer Science degree programs. We specialize in software engineering, programming, web development, and more. To know more about this program, you may browse through our CIIT programs, or send your questions to info@ciit.edu.ph or CIIT Facebook page.

Sources: itcareerfinder.com | thebalancecareers.com | lewisu.edu | payscale.com | careeraddict.com | careeraddict.com | pexels.com

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