computer science vs computer engineering

The road to understanding Computer Science and Computer Engineering is a very long one. But, do not be disturbed, as you are likely to find the best option for you. I, as a computer lover and fanatic, have decided to develop this website, to better provide you with information which will better assist you in making your own decisions. Spend some time reading our posts, and the opinion of others as well. Below, you will find a basic introduction to this comparison.

How to Choose Computer Science vs Computer Engineering?

Students considering a degree in computers are often unsure of the difference between Computer Science and Computer Engineering.  Although both degree programs study the computer as a whole, there are many differences in the emphasis of study between these degree choices.  When choosing between computer science vs computer engineering, there are a lot of factors to consider such as your long term career goals and interests.  These two degrees are very similar in some ways, yet there are some very subtle differences in the programs that can make a big difference in your career.  Let’s have a look at computer science vs computer engineering and see how they compare.

Computer Engineering

Computer engineering focuses on the computer system and looks at more of the practical aspects of computer development and uses. This degree plan does involve the computer science degree plan as well. While computer science mostly focuses on computer software, a computer engineer must know how to deal with the hardware as well. This means that the study is more in-depth and there will be a lot more engineering courses and study of the electrical aspects than a standard computer science degree.

computer science vs computer engineering

Computer engineering is a combination of an electrical engineering degree and computer science degree, so it is a more in-depth study. As a computer engineer, you will combine knowledge of the electrical hardware systems and the computer software design aspects of a computer, as well as how to integrate the two. This program was developed within the engineering department when the need for a computer specific engineering degree was recognized.

Program offered in Computer Engineering

A computer engineering degree program should focus on the following:

  • Digital logical design
  • Processor interfacing
  • Solid state physics
  • Power management
  • Thermodynamics
  • Magnetic fields

Computer Engineer Salary

As a computer engineer, you can expect to make a very rewarding starting salary, too. Many new graduates look at a starting pay upwards of $51,000 a year with no experience at all, and they are generally some of the top earners in each graduating class. This is because the engineering departments are always looking for new computer engineers with the growing reliance on computers and the internet.

Source: Computer Engineer Salary 

Computer Science

Computer science focuses more on the basic structure of a computer, such as inner theories of computers and programming. It has a bit more flexibility in areas of study, with most of the focus on math and science.The study of computer science began in the mathematical department when computers first became popular, which is why the main focus is still on the mathematical side of computers.


computer science vs computer engineering
The advantage of a computer science degree over a computer engineering degree is that you have more wiggle room to pick and choose courses, allowing you to leave out some of the topics that don’t interest you, however, it does also require more electives such as arts and humanities.

Studying computer science rather than computer engineering allows you to focus mostly on the software design aspect of computers, rather than the computer as a whole. There are many more math and science classes required for a computer science degree because you are focusing more on the workings of a computer.

Program offered in Computer Science

Some courses you can expect to take to get a computer science degree include:

  • Programming
  • Algorithms
  • Numerical analysis
  • Theory of computers

    Computer Scientist Salary

    If money is a deciding factor in your final career choice, Computer Scientists in the United States can expect wages starting from $39,000 per year. Of course, several factors contribute to each’s starting salary; an average salary is a safe number to go on when making the decision.

    Source: Computer Scientist Salary

More About Computer Science vs Computer Engineering

There are many similarities between these degree programs, as well. For example, both Computer Science and Computer Engineering degree programs study the inner workings of a computer, both the hardware and software aspects. They also both study the use of a computer as a tool for modern technology.

Selection between computer science vs computer engineering

If you’re having a hard time choosing between these two choices, the best thing to do is go to the college website of your choice and choose the two programs you want to compare. Look at the course schedules for both programs and write a list of the notable courses for each program. You can ignore the overlapping courses. Then write the positives and negatives about both programs and see which degree program interests you more in the long run.

It is essential to know what portion of the computer interests you more before doing this, so that you can decide what you want to do in your day-to-day career after graduation.

Similarity in Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Computer Science and Computer Engineering are very similar degree programs. There are many overlapping areas of study, and they both work very well together. In fact, in many situations, computer science professionals work side by side with computer engineers to design, build, maintain, and fix both computers and their hardware and software.

Students going to school for either degree will fall into the top earning category of their graduating class, with both careers offering a nice starting salary around $60,000. Even the salaries do not have enough of a difference to make a choice based on those.


Choosing a degree program can be a stressful choice, especially with two degrees so similar. While the programs have many overlapping areas of study, choosing the wrong one can make a big difference in your career. By creating a list and comparing computer science vs computer engineering, you can make the decision a little easier. Once you know what aspects of computers are more interesting to you in the long term, it will be easier to decide which degree plan you want to pursue. After all, while these two programs are very similar, the differences can change your entire career path.

This is all about Computer Science and Computer Engineering, we warmly welcome your comments in this regard.