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Computer Engineering vs. Computer Science - which is better ?

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Computer Engineering vs. Computer Science - which is better ?

11,February 2022

Computer Engineering vs. Computer Science - which is better ?


In today’s highly modernised contemporary society, computer technologies have become the backbone of the ever-booming virtual sector. So much so, it is hard to imagine a smoothly operating ecosystem without the presence of these computer systems. Resultantly, this field has significantly shaped the way we visualise our future and has also become the fast-growing career field in the present and the upcoming years. All efficient businesses require trained and adept professionals to sustain this career avenue, which is where courses like these come in.

Often, we may have heard people use the terms computer science and computer engineering interchangeably. But to make a well thought out career decision, one needs to know that these are two very different fields of study.

Understanding the Distinction between CE and CS

Programs in Computer Science (C.S.) and Computer Engineering (C.E.) both have a minor overlap in their curricula but are majorly miles apart. Students of both C.S. and C.E. are trained in subjects like basic coding and software testing but that's all about the similarities.
An easy way to differentiate between C.S. and C.E. is to look at the latter in terms of hardware and the former in terms of data. Computer Engineering, as the name suggests, focuses on the development of computer systems, including computer design, hardware and firmware. They develop and test microchips, conductors, circuits and processors. All of these form the base on which software runs.
People trained in C.S. work in the field of this very software. They learn about algorithms, data security, advanced programming and data transfer.

Difference Based on Origins

As you must've guessed by now, Computer Engineering has more to do with the electrical element of computers. This field of study has in fact originated out of Electrical Engineering. Computer Science, on the other hand, started as a branch of mathematics, as it deals with the process of computing data.

Difference Based on Salaries

There's no denying that a Computer Science Major earns relatively more than a Computer Engineering Major. With the advent of peak digitalisation, multi-modern systems, algorithms, mobile applications, UI/UX design, cloud computing, data mining and usage and more are currently more in use, which falls under the broader scope of study of CS majors. It makes their job role more extensive, leading them to take up more tech-oriented positions and thus packages.

The difference based on Curriculum

Subjects commonly taught in programs related to Computer Engineering are - Engineering Physics, Engineering Chemistry, Computer Architecture, Logic Designs, Electronic Circuits. Computer Science programs on the other hand seek to achieve learning outcomes that include- Applied Mathematics, AI, Machine Learning, Computer Graphics, Discrete Mathematics, Programming, Data Structure And Algorithm, Digital Communication etc.

Difference based on Career Avenues

Careers in Computer Engineering are varied and one can choose from multiple options after completing a bachelor degree in C.E. Some people tend to specialise in particular subjects, some choose to pursue academics and some choose to work right after graduation. A job role after completing a C.E. degree might sound like -

Job roles after Computer Engineering

  • Computer and Information System Manager is usually involved in the effective and safe operation of computer systems within a public or private organisation.
  • Database System Administrator is mostly involved in storing and managing data in an organised manner using different software and systems.
  • Computer Support staff is responsible for the analysis, troubleshooting and evaluating any kind of technical issues present in the computer systems of an organisation.
  • Network Architect is responsible for developing frameworks and specifications for computer systems including their physical components, organisation, configuration and communication. They also take into account the effective running of the system and its functional principles.
  • Hardware Engineer- As the name suggests, hardware engineers are involved in developing and overseeing hardware devices for all kinds of purposes such as - servers, chips, circuit boards, system parts etc. They also test and peer review hardware for standards and technical accuracy.
    Hardware engineers are also found to be useful in forensic investigations. They're also responsible for new advancements in hardware technology.
  • Software Engineer- Popular enough, Software Engineers create codes, operating systems, applications and software. They maintain all of these, test them, and also work on the up-gradation of these systems for better accuracy and speed. Software Engineers are also responsible for fixing bugs that may come up in usage.

Job Roles After Computer Science

Similarly, a degree in Computer Science can fetch you positions like-

  • Blockchain Developer- Blockchain Developers work in a specific domain of technology and build secure Blockchain systems to record sensitive data. Blockchain systems help in carrying out secure digital transactions. This helps maintain safe client-side operations.
  • Data Scientist - Data Scientists are people who are trained in both computer science and business skills. They work on structured and unstructured data. They mine data, clean it and present it in a manner that is easy to analyse and use first hand. They answer questions that are important for organisations in the form of data.
  • Data Analyst - Data Analysts work on gathering, consolidating, organising and studying data to achieve the solutions to organisational problems. They're essential to a company's problem-solving process.
  • Big Data Engineer - Big Data Professionals work on huge data sets in large scale computing environments. They are trained in information technology and they work on processing systems that process large data sets.
  • IT Analyst - IT analysts work internally in companies and organisations. They might also work as external IT support providers. They try to fulfil an organisation's technical needs. They design, configure and implement IT systems according to the organisations' demands.
  • Software Developer - As the name suggests, Software Developers use complex analytical and programming skills to develop computer software according to changing needs. They also work at upscaling the software already in use.
  • Information Security Engineer - Information Security Engineers develop and employ security measures to protect an organisation's computer networks and systems. They identify, plan and execute security systems according to the needs of every organisation.
  • Web Developer - Web Developers work as freelancers or internally in companies to create, maintain and upgrade websites.
  • Full Stack Developer- Full Stack Developers have a wide knowledge of programming languages and coding systems. They work on both the back end and front end of an organisation, employing their coding skills.
  • Coding Teacher - People trained in Computer Science Engineering can also train others in coding languages. Coding Instructors are always in demand and more so in the present economy.

Read Also - Career After Computer Science


In this article, we covered the very minute distinction that prevails between the 2 futuristic courses — Computer Science and Computer Engineering. That being said since they both fall under the umbrella of STEM courses, students who graduated in both of them will never fall short of the scope and the need for their expertise. We have covered in detail what exactly these topics entail in their curriculum and what it means to pursue them professionally. We have also listed the plausible job roles and descriptions for a better understanding of the work area in both these courses. If there was any confusion between choosing CE and CS, consider it gone by the time you reach here.