Computer Engineering vs Computer Science, Which Is More Important

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If you want to know between computer engineering vs computer science, which is more important, then read this article. Most people who are not tech-savvy find it difficult to tell which is harder between computer science and computer engineering. This is because they appear similar but are not in various ways.

This article will tell you more about the similarities and differences between computer science and computer engineering skills, jobs, and salaries.

What is Computer Science

Computer science focuses on the theory and teaching of computers and their software. Computer science has various fields of study, and its one of the most sought-after courses in the university.

This is because of its relevance in society and the expected job demand increase for computer scientists.

The skills gathered from computer science can be applied anywhere in the world. Some of the other computer science disciplines are; applied mathematics, artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, cryptography, computer architecture networks, and programming languages.

What is Computer Engineering

Computer Engineering primarily uses engineering principles to design, create and test software, hardware, and networks. Thus, we can rightly say that computer engineers are the creators of our software, like mobile apps and hardware components of the computer.

For example, computer engineers developed processors, motherboards, and other features using their electrical training to solve problems.

The courses or fields of computer engineering include the following; software engineering, microprocessors, electrical engineering, and systems programming.

Some organizations usually offer boot camps or certificates in computer engineering for students who are willing to major in that area. Thus, they can have general knowledge without any degree requirements. However, after the training, you can pursue a career path in computer engineering at a higher level.

Computer Engineering vs Computer Science, which is more important

So at the end of the day, the question of computer engineering vs computer science, which is more important, remains unanswered. This is because they overlap in different ways.

You cannot completely say that one is more important than the other one. Nonetheless, it is possible that computer science can be harder than computer engineering.

The only way to determine which is more important between computer science and computer engineering is to look at the job requirements, similarities, differences, and salaries of the two fields. This will help you to make a more informed decision as to the one that you can go with as a career path.

Similarities Between Computer Science and Computer Engineering

  • Computer science and computer engineering have similarities because they overlap and work. In most situations, computer scientists and engineers work side by side to design, maintain and build computers, software, and hardware to help solve societal problems
  • There is no way you can talk about Computer science and computer engineering without looking at software engineering. Software engineering is vital to both fields. They overlap in the activities
  • The two degrees are very similar because they are both studied in the university. However, you will have to major in a particular field when you graduate
  • Computer scientists and engineers study the inner working of the computer and hardware and software aspects. They also learn to use computers as tools of modern technology
  • A strong background in mathematics is an important skill for both fields
  • The job placement programs for both fields can be found in the same industry or environment

Differences Between Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Computer Engineering Computer Science
Computer engineering is concerned with applying engineering processes for software creation, maintenance, and design Computer science is a wider term that majorly deals with the study of computer programming and hardware parts
Computer engineers focus on hardware implementation Computer scientists focus on theories and algorithms
Computer engineering is a combination of electrical engineering Computer science does not deal with the study of circuits and physics but does study programming and the theory behind it
The salary of a computer engineer in the United States ranges from $59000 to $106000 The Salary of a computer scientist starts from $39000 (Source: Payscale)
Computer Engineers require a stronger mathematical background because they make use of electrical engineering A computer Scientist requires more programming languages. This depends largely on the area of focus of that computer scientist

Computer Engineering VS Computer Science Job Skills

The table below represents some of the skills requirements for computer science and Engineers. They are as follows;

Computer Engineering Computer Science
They deal with Software engineering (coding, testing, program design) They engage in Software development
They engage in Software development They are to have in-depth knowledge and skill with computer hardware
They also focus on Information system design They are to know or be fluent in languages such as Assembly, C++, and Perl
Strong general mathematical background They have a strong theoretical mathematical background in linear algebra and statistics
They also require good communication skills for a better project delivery Good communication skills to deliver a report of findings

Computer Engineering vs Computer Science Salary

There has been a rapid growth in the technology industry recently, thus opening more doors of employment opportunities for CS and CE. There is a prediction that the change will increase by 19% in 2026. More so, there will be a 5 % increase in the demand for computer hardware engineers worldwide.

The salary for computer scientists and engineers is very attractive for anyone who is a professional in any field. A computer scientist earns $118,370 annually, and computer engineers make $114,600 annually.

The fact that these two paths have lucrative salaries is enviable. More so, earning a degree in the field gives you more opportunities to switch to different options.

For example, you can easily move from database management to data analytics or cryptocurrency with your computer science degree. You can also learn statistics and switch easily between various fields.

Additionally, in the artificial intelligence sector, virtual reality (VR)/augmented reality (AR) industries are another gold mine industry that has been hiring both computer scientists and engineers. The AI market is forecasted to be a $3.9T market in the future and needs the help of computer scientists to program, design, and code intelligent AI machines.

Computer engineers are also required to program and engineer the hardware of AI machines. Thus, you can see that both computer science and computer engineering are important in development.

Computer Science vs. Computer Engineering: Degree Programs

Most computer sciences and computer engineering jobs need a bachelor’s degree and will also pay you well after graduation. However, earning a master’s degree can help you earn $30,000 more per year.

Although computer science and computer engineering degrees have similar courses, there is a major difference that you will need to note.

Computer science focuses on solving or troubleshooting software issues. So you are expected to learn different programming languages like HTML, JAVASCRIPT, and others, how to work with operating systems, and how to maintain databases.

Computer engineering is all about solving problems and designing hardware and software interfaces to make life easier for humans. It is not strange to expect to see some similarities between the degrees and their job titles. However, we cannot answer the question of whether anyone is harder.


I believe you have seen that there is no perfect way to answer the question between computer Engineering VS Computer Science: Which is more important?

They have similarities, differences, jobs, salaries, and degrees. So you should consider both fields very well to choose your best career path in computer science or computer engineering.

About Abayomi

Abayomi is an education student and a certified content and prolific writer in Nigeria who is concerned with serving scholars across all nations with in-depth research and quality content.

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