Computer Science VS Software Engineering - Which Major Is Best For You ? and about Programming staff salaries also Job prospects


Computer Science VS Software Engineering

Computer Science VS Software Engineering


A quick overview of those two majors

Computer Science is that the study of how computers work, mostly from the theoretical and mathematical perspective, so what is this Computer Science VS Software Engineering?

You should choose engineering if you prefer math, logic, or if you wish to induce into a specialized field in CS like computing, machine learning, security, or graphics.

Software Engineering is that the study of how software systems are built, including topics like project management, quality assurance, and software testing.

You should choose Software Engineering if you’re more curious about the hands-on approach, and if you wish to be told the life cycle of how software is constructed and maintained.

Both applied science and Software Engineering teach fundamentals of programming and computing, so you’ll choose either one to become a software developer.

To understand the difference between applied science and Software Engineering majors, let’s take a glance at their respective curriculum at University of Waterloo in Canada.

This information is taken from University of Waterloo and on which this article is based.

because it’s one in every of the simplest applied science programs in North America.


Job prospects


Job prospects
Job prospects of engineering

Let’s first compare the styles of jobs and internships you’ll get through each program.

Thankfully, University of Waterloo’s website provides several examples.

For each major , here are a number of the titles alumni hold, and where they work:

Computer Science

  • Web Developer/Architect, The Steele Group
  • Programmer, Harry Rosen Inc.
  • Mobile/Cloud Developer, Clearbridge Associates Limited
  • Software Engineering, General Dynamics Canada
  • Software Development Engineering, Microsoft
  • Agile Engineer, Pivotal Labs
  • Business Analyst, Canadian Tire Corporation
  • Product Manager, Dropbox

Software Engineering

  • Developer Advocate, Google
  • Software Developer, Tagged Inc
  • Software Engineer, VistaPrint USA
  • Software Manager, Arius Software Corporation
  • Software Engineer, Harris Corporation
  • Software Developer, IBM Canada
  • Software Developer, Accenture Inc
  • Technical Product Manager — Software Design & Development, NexJ Systems Inc.
  • Consultant, Pure Facts Financial Solutions
  • Implementation Consultant, Desire2Learn

As you’ll see, there isn’t an enormous difference between the categories of jobs you’ll get.

The most common job graduates get after earning their computing or technologisting degree is Software Developer or Software Engineer.


There are other related options moreoverlike Product Manager, QA Analyst, and Technology Consultant. Your options will depend upon your specific skill set.


First-year courses:

Now, let’s take a glance at each program’s required courses. Let’s first compare a number of the courses you’d have to absorb your first year.


  • Computer Science

CS 135 — Designing Functional Programs

CS 136 — Algorithm Design and Data Abstraction

MATH 135 — Algebra

  • MATH 136 — algebra1

MATH 137 — Calculus 1

  • MATH 138 — Calculus 2

Plus someelectives

Software Engineering

  • CS 137 — Programming Principles
  • CS 138 — Data Abstraction and Implementation
  • MATH 115 — algebra for Engineering
  • MATH 117 — Calculus 1 for Engineering
  • MATH 119    Calculus 2 for Engineering
  • MATH 135 — Algebra for Honours Mathematics
  • ECE 105  Physics of engineering science 1
  • ECE 106 — Electricity and Magnetism
  • ECE 124 — Digital Circuits and Systems
  • ECE 140 — Linear Circuits
  • SE 101 — Methods of Software Engineering

As you’ll be able to see, the primary year courses are fairly similar still. They both cover some fundamental engineering courses, and some math courses in algebra and calculus.

The only major difference is that Software Engineering has additional physics and EE components, while computing includes a few more electives.


Courses after the primary year:

How about the specified and elective courses after the primary year? Let’s take a glance at several examples here:

Computer Science:

  • MATH 239 Introduction to Combinatorics
  • STAT 230 Probability
  • CS 240 Data Structures and Data Management
  • STAT 231 Statistics
  • CS 241 Foundations of Sequential Programs
  • CS 245 Logic and Computation
  • CS 246 Object-Oriented Software Development <- not required certain Software Engineering majors
  • CS 251 Computer Organization and style
  • CS 341 Algorithms
  • CS 350 Operating Systems
  • Plus, several computingelectives


Software Engineering: 

CHE 102 Chemistry for Engineers

ECE 222 Digital Computers (includes assembly language)

ECE 358 Computer Networks

  • MATH 213 Advanced Mathematics for Software Engineers
  • MATH 239 Introduction to Combinatorics
  • STAT 206 Statistics for Software Engineering
  • MSCI 261 Engineering Economics: Financial Management for Engineers
  • CS 241 Foundations of Sequential Programs
  • CS 240 Data Structures and Data Management
  • CS 247 Software Engineering Principles <- not required for technologymajors
  • CS 341 Algorithms
  • CS 349 User Interfaces <- not required for computingmajors
  • CS 343 Concurrent and Parallel Programming <- not required for engineeringmajors
  • CS 348 Introduction to direction
  • SE 212 Logic and Computation
  • SE 350 Operating Systems
  • SE 465 Software Testing and Quality Assurance
  • SE 463 Software Requirements Specification and Analysis
  • SE 464 Software Design and Architectures
  • SE 490 Design Project

Plus, sometechnology and engineering electives

I’ve given you plenty of knowledge to digest here. But here’s my summary:

When it involves the wants in math and statistics, applied science and Software Engineering are almost identical. They cover combinatorics, probability and statistics.

The core technology requirements are similar moreover, ranging over algorithms, data structures, and operating systems.

The key difference are that:


Software Engineering has more requirements in engineering and software engineering fundamentals, like software testing, design, and software requirements specification.



Computer Science allows more electives in higher-level engineering courses. you’ll select from a good range of topics like security, software engineering fundamentals, computer vision, machine learning, and direction.

So, which major must you choose?

I think it mostly depends on your preferences. In short:

  * You should choose computing if you prefer math, logic, or if you would like to urge into a specialized field in CS like computing, machine learning, security or graphics.

  * You should choose Software Engineering if you’re more inquisitive about the hands-on approach, and if you wish to be told the life cycle of how software is made and maintained.

But wait — which is it then? Which major is healthier if you wish to be a software engineer?

JUST THE opinion.

At this particular university (University of Waterloo), with this particular set of program requirements, applied science could be a better major if you wish to be a computer programmer.

100.000$$ the salary
Programming staff salaries

Just for simplicity, let’s suppose that you just hope to urge one the best paying jobs (~$100,000 USD / year) as a technologist in North America.

These jobs are typically at large software companies (think Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook. etc.)

Typically, what they give the impression of being for during a coder candidate is that the ability to write down solid code and build interesting projects, also as technology fundamentals including data structures and algorithms.

I think the most effective thanks to cultivate this skill set is by quickly learning computing fundamentals, and spending your own time practicing solving problems and writing code.

Based on the curriculum for Software Engineering and supported how busy engineering students tend to be normally, i feel it’d be harder to try to to this with Software Engineering than with engineering science.

Another good thing about this particular applied science program is that it allows more engineering science electives. this can be great additionally because counting on what’s in demand within the job market, you’ll be able to adjust your courses. as an example, if mobile app development is in demand, you’ll be able to learn that. And if parallel computing is in demand, you’ll specialize in that instead.

we are  sure there are some benefits to learning software engineering fundamentals (project management, design, testing, etc.). But i might personally rather take flexibility over a predefined set of skills. That’s why i believe applied science could be a better major to become a programmer with this particular curriculum.

Of course, that’s just my opinion, and this is often only one particular university.


And here are the main sources we used:                


This is a sequel to this article. To read, click here.

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mohammed Elkasim

مبرمج وكاتب محتوى في مدونة نورسكاي , متخصص في المجال التقني و SEO و لغات البرمجة و أدرس أقسام الـ IT , منشئ مواقع على ووردبريس .