Difference between software engineering and computer science


Software engineering and computer science are two fields which are many times  been considered one mistakenly although both are related to computer but are different in every aspect, often people and students mistaken the both fields for one another while taking admission and end up in a wrong field therefore it is better to first research on the computer sciences VS software engineering. Now we are going to computer science VS software engineering on basis of definition, education, knowledge in pursuit of degree, hardware and algorithm etc.

computer science vs software engineering


Computer Science VS Software Engineering on the basis of definition:

Computer science deals with all the aspect of computer in theory it is state that the software engineering is a subset of computer science but practically it has been said that the computer science deals with the hardware aspect of the computer whereas software engineering deals with the software development and maintenance of the software of the computer.

Computer science vs software engineering literal differences on basis of definition are as follows

Computer sciences have a broad approach to the study of objectives, principle and use of computer that includes both theory and application. It is based on the understanding and implementation of abstract and concrete knowledge. Software engineering deals with the application of engineering process to the invention, maintenance and design of software for a very different purpose.

Computer science VS software engineering on the basis of department is part of:

is consist of a very little when it comes to which department they are placed in an educational institution computer science is contained in engineering department in four year universities while the mostly ‘housed’ in engineering department.

Computer science vs software engineering on the basis of subject:

Computer science vs software engineering has very different academic courses the following are the names of courses of computer science vs software engineering.

Computer science in general, curriculum courses may focus on 18 different knowledge areas, as described by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM):

  • Algorithms and complexity
  • Architecture and organization
  • Computational science
  • Discrete structures
  • Graphics and visualization
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Information assurance and security
  • Information management
  • Intelligent systems
  • Networking and communications
  • Operating systems
  • Platform-based development
  • Parallel and distributed computing
  • Programming languages
  • Software development fundamentals
  • Software engineering
  • Systems fundamentals
  • Social issues and professional practice


Whereas the following are the courses of software engineering

According to Software Engineering 2014, a set of curriculum guidelines developed by the Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula, the IEEE Computer Society, and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), studies in software engineering will focus on certain core topics, including:

Computing essentials;

  • Mathematical and engineering fundamentals;
  • Professional practice;
  • Software modeling and analysis;
  • Requirements analysis and specification;
  • Software design.
  • Software verification and validation.
  • Software process.
  • Software quality, and security.

Computer science VS software engineering on basis of training:

Computer science VS software engineering in terms of training is a little hard on algorithm side as stated in the 2013 computer science curricula, whereas in software engineering students are like to take classes but they are not the main point of the degree. Hardware training is not a part in software engineering but students have some knowledge as they work but in computer science VS software engineering field a student of computer science will know more about hardware their training would include some courses related to both of those hardware and software. Computer science vs software engineering have sometime a course called software management course as optional or part of a curriculum bit it is a must to study course in software engineering.

Computer science vs software engineering prepare for which kind of occupation:

Now this is where the difference become a little too visible as computer science vs software engineering prepared us for a different kind of jobs computer science prepared as for the job of computer and information research scientists; computer network architects; computer programmers; systems analysts; information security analysts; software developers; or web developers, etc. vs software engineering which prepare us for the as for the jobs of software development, computer network architecture, computer systems analysis, web development, and information research.

the both fields have emerging occupation, computer science has emerging occupation of cloud computing; robotics and artificial intelligence; application development; and forensic analysis which will grow even more in future vs software engineering which have artificial intelligence, app development, and software development Etc. as its emerging occupations.


The last deciding factor that comes to in our mind while determining the computer science vs software engineering is the salaries that which of the field pay more money than other. A computer scientist earn an average median salary of 39 thousand USD per year which of course is more or less in different companies and countries where as a software engineer earn an average median pay of 102,280 USD per year.


Computer science vs software engineering cannot be conclude better or less field, because there are both pros and cons to both field one can only see his or her interest in the relative field and choose what suit him best.


If you have any question or want to discuss something about your career with me you can inform me in comments.

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