Many people might unknowingly consider all computer-based careers as basically the same, but this would not be true. Two specific disciplines of computer-based study include Computer Science and Computer Engineering. These disciplines, when compared, share both similarities and differences in various aspects. These aspects include realm of orientation, levels of education require, career growth potential, and possible salary potential. By analyzing the similarities and differences between the two disciplines, the savvy student can choose the most desirable path.
Before analyzing the similarities and differences between Computer Science and Computer Engineering, perhaps it would be most prudent to offer a working description of the two. Computer Science (CS), according to buffalo.edu, is the “systematic study of algorithmic methods for representing and transforming information, including their theory, design, implementation, application and efficiency”. Computer engineering (CEN), in contrast, is the “design and prototyping of computing devices and systems.” (www.eng.buffalo.edu). Based on these definitions and knowledge of the history of the disciplines, an analysis of the realm of orientation can be grasped.
When choosing a career path, it is important to take into consideration whether the field is more theory or application-oriented in order to maximize compatibility with a student’s natural capabilities. This would prove important when choosing between the fields of computer science and computer engineering. Based on the definitions above, it would seem somewhat obvious that computer science tends to dwell more on the side of theory-oriented whereas computer engineering tends to be more application-oriented. In fact, computer science has its foundations in the development of computability theory and the invention of the stored-program electronic computer, both events occurring around the 1950s (Brookshear 17).... [continues]
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