What differentiates software engineering from computer science?

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What differentiates software engineering from computer science?

What differentiates software engineering from computer science? I’m wondering if it would be best to obtain a bachelors in computer science as opposed to software engineering before pursuing a masters in software engineering. I’ve googled and yahoo-ed the question for information but still haven’t found anything that really answers this question for me. I’m really looking to hear from computer scientist and software engineers in the field. (I am aware that computer scientist can also work as software engineers.) Thanks in advance.

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Answer by az_lender
“Computer science” most often means software engineering, but CAN involve some hardware engineering. A bird of a different feather is “Computer engineering,” which definitely means hardware, heavy on electronics, circuit design, solid state devices, etc. I worked as a software engineer for about 6 yrs on the basis of an MS in Applied Math. “Computer engineering” is higher paid, but a software engineer can go far depending really on talent and performance.


  1. Don’t take anyone else’s word for it.

    Check with employers in the state (or country) where you are trying to get work and find out which one is the required degree. There are considerably fewer jobs for someone who has software engineering than for computers science degrees, while there is a lot of overlap in the kinds of projects where one or the other is specifically mentioned.

    In the USA typically you can see $ 50k to $ 90k for a computer scientists’ wage, while a software engineer can see $ 90k to $ 140k. That said; a lot of people with the qualifications to be a software engineer are working as computer scientists, because they need experience and a job to pay off the student loans. To be blunt, except for certain companies who are actually in the IT industry in most companies the difference is meaningless except for the wage range.

    From reading job ads on the web it’s pretty obvious that most of the HR departments of companies, governments and even some universities(!) are only barely able to recognize the difference between what duties or tasks fit someone with a technician’s certifications, and what kind of project would require someone with a masters of science degree.

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