Choosing the right career: Are you confused?
Education institutes use near to similar names for the courses which makes it quite confusing for students. Computer science and computer engineering are two such terms. We don’t know do they mean same? If not what is the difference between the two and which one is right for studies.
These two disciplines overlap however the differences between them are also noteworthy.
Let’s look at the two terminologies today and understand the difference between them.
About Computer Science
Computer science is a branch of mathematics that deals with data and algorithms. It is a branch of study of data and instructions processing which is stored and communicated by computing devices. It is a modern descendent of Applied mathematics and electrical engineering and deals in symbolic representation of data and instructions, instruction language design for data processing, different techniques of software writing to process data on wide variety of platforms, reliable and secure communication protocols, data organization in databases, human intelligence emulation and machine learning through computer algorithms, Statistical modelling of data for trend analysis, content protection and data authenticity.
Study of computer science discipline means computer scientists and mathematicians who deal in ways to process, interpret, store, communicate and ensure data security.
Areas of specialization in Computer Science:
- Artificial intelligence
- Machine learning
- Human computer interaction (HIC)
- Data science
- Cloud computing
- Development of video games
About Computer Engineering
Computer engineering domain deals with hardware and firmware and it is a branch of electrical engineering. Computer engineering is a union of computer science and electrical engineering. Its focus is computing in all its forms, starting from microprocessors to embedded devices, laptop and desktop systems to mainframes, supercomputers. Electrical engineering deals with microprocessors functionality, their design, and optimization, data communication among electrical components, process instructions expression in software, software design, written, compiled, and optimized on wide variety of hardware platforms. Computer engineers are electrical engineers with specialization in hardware, software and systems design and its integration.
Areas of specialization in Computer engineering:
- Hardware systems
- Distributed computing
- Robotics and cybernetics
- Embedded systems
- Computer graphics and visualization
- Medical image computing
- Security of Computer and networks
Computer Science vs Computer Engineering
Computer engineers and computer scientists use computing technology to solve problems. If we consider computer technology domain as a spectrum then computer engineers operate at the microscopic and macroscopic end of spectrum. However, computer scientists work in middle part of spectrum.
Computer engineers deal with:
- physics of semiconductor electronics to design integrated chip level hardware,
- integration of hardware and software and its optimization to make it run on large computing systems.
Computer scientists deal with:
- writing softwares,
- database designing,
- writing algorithms,
- securing data processed by hardware and
- making integrated systems to function.
The typical example of this is a mobile phone.
Computer engineers design the chips for mobile phones and integrated components such as cell radio, touch screen, controls, memory, and microprocessor functions and make these work together in integration.
Computer scientists write operating system code to manage memory, enabling encryption for data security. Applications that are in app store let people on device to do text, browse the web and play game like angry birds.
Difference between Computer Science & Computer engineering
Below table summarizes the difference between the two:
|Definition||Computer science is a branch of mathematics that deals with data and algorithms. It is a branch of study of data and instructions processing which is stored and communicated by computing devices.||Computer engineering domain deals with hardware and firmware and it is a branch of electrical engineering. Computer engineering is a union of computer science and electrical engineering. Its focus is computing in all its forms, starting from microprocessors to embedded devices, laptop and desktop systems to mainframes, supercomputers.|
|Job opportunities||Application and computer programming, Developing network and databases, automation specialization, development of websites, Quality assurance tests
|Manufacture aerospace, automotive, fuel, water , medical and telecommunication systems , developing computer architecture, devices, and systems|
|Further education||Technology specialization, MBA, PhD
|Industry specialization such as robotics, computer networks etc.), MBA, PhD.|
Download the comparison table: Computer Science vs Computer Engineering