Computer Science is not Software Engineering

Computer Science is not Software Engineering

Computer Science is not Software Engineering

According to Forbes in 2021, Information Technology, especially software and app developers, is in the top 5 growing career fields in 2022. The article mentioned that by the end of the decade, the software development field will grow by 22%. Thus, to reorient your career toward tech, you may understand computer science and software engineering. Individualities who do not work in technology may find it delicate to distinguish between these two generalities. Although they all partake in some overlapping commonalities, each subject can provide several distinctions.

Let’s take a deep dive into the underpinning differences.


What is Computer Science?

Computer Science is a major that delves into problems studies related to technology solutions, computer systems design, and user interface from a scientific perspective. This subject not only teaches a specific type of language, but also the principles that comprise that language. It helps people understand the structure for storing data and solving problems from a program. In a nutshell, Computer Science is a discipline that studies all things related to computer architecture, off-net environments, and web environments.

It is quite a broad field that includes many sub-specialties, from its theoretical and algorithmic foundations to cutting-edge developments in robotics, computer vision, intelligent systems, bioinformatics, and other exciting areas. We could divide the work of computer scientists into three categories:

Designing and implementing software

Computer scientists take on challenging programming jobs. They also supervise other programmers, keeping them conscious of new approaches.

Contriving new ways to use computers

The advances in computer science in the areas of networking, database, and human-computer interface enabled the development of the World Wide Web. Now Computer Science researchers are working with scientists from other fields to make robots become practical and intelligent aides, to use databases to create new knowledge, and to use computers in the biological and medical revolution.

Developing effective ways to solve computing problems

For example, computer scientists develop the best possible ways to store information in databases, send data over networks, and display complex images. Their theoretical background allows them to determine the best performance possible, and their study of algorithms helps them to develop new approaches that provide better performance.

What is Software Engineering?

Software Engineering is the application of engineering principles to the design, development, and maintenance of software. The introduction of software engineering is to pierce the difficulties of low-quality software systems Problems arise when software generally exceeds timelines, budgets, and reduced levels of quality. It ensures that the application is built consistently, correctly, on time, and budget, and meets requirements.

Software engineering works on a couple of different levels:

Operational Software Engineering

On an operational level, software engineering focuses on how the software interacts with the system, whether or not it is on a budget, usability, functionality, dependability, and security.

Transitional Software Engineering

This type focuses on how the software will react when it is shifted from one environment to another. It typically takes some scalability or flexibility in the development process.

Software Engineering Maintenance

Recurrent software engineering focuses on how the software functions within the existing system, as all parts of it change.

How to distinguish between computer science and software engineering?

Programming and development

While high levels of inspiration and creative freedom are not vital elements in terms of Computer Science, software engineering is slightly more inclined towards “art”. Many people debate that software making is a science, but some people point out the aesthetic aspect of software development. Only about 40% of software professionals have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, and none have a degree in software engineering. As a result, it is understandable that many individuals are confused about these two subjects. Scientists investigate facts and put hypotheses to the test. Meanwhile, engineers learn how to apply their expertise to solve challenges in the real world. Otherwise, scientists must keep up with the most recent findings, whereas engineers must be familiar with tried-and-true methods.

Career paths

Another difference between a computer scientist and a software engineer is the variety of options in career paths. Generally, software engineering can narrow to specialized roles in corporations, companies, and even mid-sized businesses developing and building applications and software programs such as web application development or mobile app development. Conversely, computer science may offer a diverse range of job opportunities in the information technology industry, ranging from website design and IT support to working as a game developer.

Responsibilities in the job

If you are a scientist, you can go to great lengths to delve into a narrow field of study. Their daily tasks are about analyzing and monitoring the processes of new and developing computer applications. As an engineer, you must have a thorough awareness of all the aspects that influence the product you’re working on. They may develop and design the specific software programs that their organization may require for its operations. Besides, scientists often work and study together, so basically they do not need to standardize. Meanwhile, standardization among engineers is necessary. Those frequently collaborate with people who are not in the same field as them.


When it comes to Software Engineer positions nowadays, most employers prefer candidates to know how to code. To apply for this position, you don’t even need a bachelor degree in Science. Even if you have no prior experience, you can easily learn it via daily tasks at work. The primary duty is to solve problems arising from actual projects and business requirements. As a result, it is beneficial to gain your skills frequently and continuously.

Computer scientists, on the other hand, are sometimes required to solve complex problems that necessitate a solid knowledge base and a certain level of understanding. Since you do not encounter these problems very often in your daily work, it is difficult for you to learn it through the job. In essence, Computer Science is a body of knowledge that requires us to devote time to the in-depth study of those theories.


So, if you’re still undecided between these two options, Computer Science can be a great start.

In today’s technological age, both fields are in high demand and the surge in tech jobs shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. And, without a doubt, both are the best in their own aspects. However, with a deeper understanding in science, you may have more opportunities and choices in the journey pursuing your dream in the Information Technology industry.

Learn more about the most important skill of a software developer.

Learn more about a good way to interview software developers.


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