Software Engineering VS Computer Science Degree: Which One To Choose?

Software Engineering VS Computer Science Degree: Which One To Choose?


2 min read

Software Engineering and Computer Science are often used as synonyms, but they're not the same.

What Is Software Engineering?

Software Engineering is gathering user requirements, designing, creating, testing and maintaining a software application.

Nowadays, many companies use Agile as the primary software development methodology.

At least 71% of U.S. companies are now using Agile. [Zippia]

The Agile Manifesto is:

  • Customer-centric.

  • It involves short cycles of interaction and incremental delivery.

  • Rapid feedback.

  • Adaptability and simplicity.

  • People over processes.

The Agile methodology assumes that small teams can develop high-quality software using the principles of continuous design improvement and testing based on rapid feedback and change.

Software engineers are the leading players in the entire software development process.

However, software engineering also involves the following:

  • Product managers.

  • Software Engineers in Test.

  • UX/UI Designers.

  • Platform Engineers.

  • Engineering Managers.

The core skill of a software engineer is problem-solving. Coding with a programming language is a means to an end.

Related: How To Choose A Software Engineering Job

What Is Computer Science?

Computer science is the area of computing that involves disciplines such as:

  • Algebra.

  • Computer System Architecture.

  • Communication Systems.

  • Computer algorithms.

  • Computer networking.

  • Operating Systems.

And many others (depending on how the university organizes its curriculum).

Computer science analyzes computers from a theoretical point of view.

In computer science, algorithms and data structures are vital. Mathematics is at the basics of computer science.

Related: Tips For Computer Science Students

So...Which One Should You Choose?

Computer science is the mother of all.

Software engineering and all the other areas in the technology industry (such as data science, cyber security, robotics, etc.) sit on top of computer science.

A computer science degree may be more complex than software engineering because it involves more maths.

However, computer science is overall a more generic and highly-regarded degree.

It's a degree that allows you to branch out to any field within the tech industry due to the breadth of disciplines it covers.

Related: 5 High-Paying Tech Careers That Are Not Software Engineering


Now that you've read this article, you know the difference between software engineering and computer science and which is the best choice.

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