Help choosing between Computer Engineering and computer science

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Rodimus Prime, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #1
    As some of you know I am going back to school to get another bachelors degree and I want to get it in computers. Problem I am having is I can not decide between compE and CS. I know they have a ton of overlap and really can not find what the advatage between going either way for a job in the future or which one I would enjoy more.
    I am going to talk with my advisor this week but I would like to have some idea on which way I want to go before then so when I sign up for classes in the fall I can push hard on the track I want to go.
    Now the choose might be made for me in the since that I might be able to have my physic 2 requirment be waved with one and not the other because of the course work I have from my last degree. I have the wrong phys 2 but ithey told me for cs they more than likely can wave it due to other classes but I do not know if they could do it for compE as well. I am hoping so.

    Either way some help on deciding on which way to go would be great.
     
  2. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #2
    I majored in CE and my wife in CS, so I think I can help.

    The overlap does mean that some jobs can potentially be had with either degree, but it's the overlap, not all jobs :D For instance, if I wanted to get into sys admin or database management, I'd be a poor candidate because CompE (and even the CS classes you take along with it) doesn't cover that. Conversely, a CompE may be better suited for an embedded programming environment because more explicit knowledge of the hardware is required.

    The end question is which do you like more: hardware or software? The fortunate thing is that you can switch majors early on without losing too much ground.
     
  3. Rodimus Prime thread starter macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #3
    Well if I wanted to sys admin or databasa management I know both are a bad choose. If I wanted to do one of those MIS major would be it and well I do not want to do that.

    I like programming but I also like building little things. Around here were I like I know some ce would all they do is program and do the same job as there cs counter parts. I know I really would not like programing the next gen ai or anything.

    Like what type of hgardware would a ce guy do
     
  4. Synchromesh macrumors 6502a

    Synchromesh

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Location:
    SF
    #4
    When I went to school I started as CE. After the first semester I looked at curriculum and realized I was soooo CS. Not that CS is an easy major but imho CS was a bit easier to deal with although this really depends on school. At university where I went CE was probably one of the top 3 hardest majors while CS maybe in the top 10.

    Another thing to look for is good abstract thinking. Mine was rather average so it took a lot of work to understand some abstract concepts. If that part is easy for you, then CS shouldn't be too bad. If you're more of "hands on" approach person, CE should be more to your liking.
     
  5. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #5
    I was just posing those to show you how far away you could end up from your original major in your end occupation.

    Truth be told, serious hardware people end up in EE. The things you focus on in addition to transistor stuff in CE (arithmetic units, architecture) aren't something an entry level would be doing anyway; you'd have to work your way up to making architectural decisions like that.
     
  6. Rodimus Prime thread starter macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #6

    One thing I do know is I am not that far into hardware. I have had friends who are EE majors and circuit design not something I was intersted in.

    now designing a hardware calculator on the other hand I though that was pretty cool.
     
  7. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #7
    But that's not likely something you'd see in a job. What exactly do you want to do?
     

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