The difference between Software Engineering and Computer Science
The field of technology is a vast area to explore and understand today. If you are confused about which field to study or cannot decide where to go after completing a computer science or engineering degree, you are not alone.
The core difference between software engineering and computer science can be understood as that while the former applies engineering principles to software, the latter applies scientific methods to software. Moreover, software engineering aims to solve practical problems but the computer science works to decipher theoretical problems.
What does a Software engineer do?
Software engineers primarily work towards the efficiency of the software. Their main focus is finding and generating useful software, they aim to find the most competent solution for the given set of requirements. They contemplate end user’s needs and accordingly design and develop software solutions.
In more simple terms they create, maintain, and improve computer programs. Even though they are familiar with theories surrounding software use, their day-to-day involves the design, development, maintenance, test, and evaluate computer software. They work with several programming languages like Python, SQL, Ruby, Java, and many more. A software engineer is also called a software developer, computer programmer, or software designer.
What does a Computer Scientist do?
The study of computation theory and computational systems is referred to as Computer Science. In plain language that means studying how data and instructions are stored, processed, and communicated between different devices. Computer scientists use a systematic approach to find solutions for problems by applying engineering principles. They study math, physics, and computation programming and use algorithms and computer languages to software and offering detailed instructions about their workings.
They also study and work in areas like computer networks, artificial and machine intelligence, database systems, security networks, and monitoring systems, mathematical analysis, programming languages, and theories vis-à-vis computing and processes.
The core differences
The Computer Science students study focuses on the computing, analysis, storage, and application of data and data systems of computer programs and software while the focus of software engineering is taking these principles and applying them to interplay, product design and performance and other functional aspects of computer programs.
2. Career options
Both fields today are in high demand and have enough job opportunities. Software engineers get appointed in many programming languages or hardware engineering jobs. Most companies big or small require some level of software engineering to function.
Computer Science helps you land jobs in any field related to programming or coding like a mobile application developer, cybersecurity analyst, data scientist or analyst, or web designer. Since it is a theoretical field, professionals tend to find jobs in an array of industries.
When it comes to software design while computer scientist work on aspects like how a program works, how it may be best designed and how to apply programming languages to the application; software engineers use computer scientist’s information and analyses to plan the framework to build a niche program.
Though both the fields use coding and languages, computer scientist coding is related to computer language as well as calculating compatibility between hardware and software applications but a software engineer relies on coding heavily for developing and building software.
Is one better than the other?
The answer is no, the field you choose really depends on your interest. There is no escaping hard work or dedication in both fields.
If you are inclined towards — the nature of computers and systems, how hardware and software work together choose Computer Science.
If a hands-on and real-world application approach to software development, creation, and assessment of software development interests you then software engineering can be your field.
Software engineers get specifications from their managers regarding the kind of software to work on; however, Computer scientists offer strategies and ways to develop a software program.