Computer Science vs. Computer Engineering: Which Degree Should You Pursue?

Computer scientist and computer engineer working together

There are many exciting degree options for computer-loving students. If you are trying to decide between earning a computer science vs. a computer engineering degree, you need to first think about your career aspirations. Both degrees can lead to lucrative job opportunities and fulfilling work. Learn more about a computer science vs. computer engineering degree and what choice will best equip you for career success.

Computer Science Degree

If you enroll in a computer science degree program, you will learn how computer system’s compute information. You will become an expert in data storage and information processing.

As a computer science student, you will:

  • Learn a variety of programming languages to use in a multitude of computing environments.
  • Gain exposure to creating computer graphics and developing numerical algorithms to solve problems.
  • Practice building operating systems and manage and analyze databases.

Computer Engineering Degree

A degree in computer engineering is ideal for students who are interested in computer science but also are leaning toward an engineering-related career. Students interested in robotics will excel in a computer engineering degree program. Computer engineering degrees fall somewhere between electrical engineering and computer science.

While earning a degree in computer engineering, you will:

  • Work with systems operations and computer architecture.
  • Focus on the integration between hardware and software.
  • Learn how to physically manufacturer electronic equipment, including circuit boards and computers.

Computer Science vs. Computer Engineering: Future Opportunities

After earning a degree in computer engineering or computer science, graduates will be able to find work in industries like manufacturing, aerospace, fuel, medical and telecommunications. They may also find work in the automotive industry. As a computer engineering degree graduate you will develop architecture systems and equipment in any of these industries.

If you are deciding between computer science and computer engineering in order to become a programmer, then a computer science degree is your best choice. Due to the hands-on work incorporated in the degree program, many computer science students can find a job while they are still in school. They may start out as support technicians or in quality assurance roles but may quickly move up to become computer programmers once they earn their degree.

Advanced Degrees in Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Both degrees can lead into higher education opportunities. Computer engineering graduates can pursue a master's degree in computer engineering to earn a higher salary or advance their careers. They may also earn a master's degree to deepen their specialized skills, such as robotics or computer networks.

If business leadership is your goal, you may find that a computer science degree is a better fit. The computer science degree allows you to go into a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program focusing on the application of technology in the organization. With a degree like this, you can move into roles such as chief technology officer (CTO) or chief information officer (CIO).

View the three Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degrees you can earn at Grand Canyon University. Tailor your program with an emphasis in big data analytics, business entrepreneurship or game and simulation development.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.