Computer programming vs Computer science

Computer programming vs Computer science


computer programming vs computer science


Throughout this article, you will find that these topics are often confused, but the differences between them are significant. If we could summarize them in a simple sentence, we would say that computer science handles data and algorithms while computer engineering focuses on hardware and firmware.


Computer science began as a branch of mathematics, and computer engineering began (and some still consider it) as a branch of electrical engineering.

Computer Science students learn about theory, programming, environments, algorithms, security and data migration, etc. Computer Engineering students learn to develop, prototype, and test microchips, circuits, processors, controllers, and any other component used in machines or systems. (eg, supercomputers, smartphones, laptops, servers, IoT devices). They also develop firmware, an essential type of software that enables operating systems and applications to take full advantage of hardware.

Computer scientists work with computer theories, powerful algorithms, and mathematical models that are used to develop software programs and systems. Computer engineers, on the other hand, develop the hardware and firmware on which the software and systems run.

When referring to Mathematics and Mathematics, many different abbreviations are used: CS vs. CE / CEN, CompScience Vs. Tartan, CompSci Vs. CompE, CpS and CpE.

Computer science versus computer engineering

In addition to the standard degrees in Computer Science and Computer Engineering, universities and colleges also offer a variety of majors or subtopics if you want to narrow your focus. Here are a few examples:


Computer Science specialisations

Artificial Intelligence

Machine Learning

Human-Computer Interaction (HIC)

Data Science

Cyber Security

Cloud Computing

Video Game Development

Computer Engineering specialisations

Hardware Systems

Distributed Computing

Robotics and Cybernetics

Embedded Systems

Computer Graphics and Visualisation

Medical Image Computing

Computer and Network Security


Computer science vs computer engineering vs software engineering


We could dive deep into solemn explanations and complex details, but a long story short:


Computer Science (CS) focuses on algorithms, computer theory and data analysis, data security and data transfer. The concepts developed by computer scientists are used by both computer engineers and software engineers.

Computer Engineering (CE) deals with the development and testing of hardware for all types of devices and applications. Computer engineers also design firmware for devices (eg laptop or PC BIOS). It is essential software, tightly connected to the hardware, that allows other software, such as operating systems and programs, to function properly and take advantage of the hardware.

Software Engineering (SE) is responsible for creating useful, safe and easy-to-use programs and applications. SE focuses on the whole software development process, from start to finish. Software engineers need both CS and CE knowledge to design great programs.

Let’s take a real example in the world to make it even clearer.


Consider an iPhone or Android smartphone. Computer engineers are the ones who test and build the motherboard, chipset, RAM, and so on. They also develop the basic firmware that allows these components to interact with the iOS or Android operating system.

Software engineers are responsible for developing these operating systems, adding and removing features, repairing bumps and security holes. Software engineers also create the programs and applications we use every day, including the browser you are reading this article in.


Where do computer scientists come into play? Well, their work takes place long before a tool or software is created. The computer principles and theories they developed are the foundation upon which new software and firmware are written. It is computer scientists who create cryptographic solutions, which accelerate data transfer and many other activities that make our technology as good as it is today.


Computer Science Versus Computer Engineering: Which Is Best?

It depends on your career plans and whether you enjoy working with hardware or software more. Both lead to rewarding and safe jobs, so the best will always depend on your plans.

Computer Science versus Computer Engineering: Which is the Hardest?

Both Computer Science and Computer Engineering are tricky titles. They cover several areas of mathematics (logical proofs and data structures for CS, computing for CE) and are not a good choice for students who want to take it easy and focus more on enjoying university life.


The problem also varies from course to course and largely depends on your self-discipline, your ability and your ability to learn new concepts.



Here it is! Knowing the differences between computer science and computer engineering should help you decide what is best for your study abroad.


Now, we'd love to hear what you think. What is the difference between CS and CE that is most important to you? How will it affect your choice? Share this article and leave us now.


Find degrees in computer science and computer engineering abroad.