For many people outside the technical world, computer science and software engineering are considered similar professions. However, in the technical world, there are fundamental and critical differences between these two fields of study and expertise. However, the good news is that grasping the key differentiator between computer science and software engineering doesn’t require an advanced degree.
According to academic research and data modeling expert Bhavana Chamoli, computer science and software engineering essentially boil down to a goal and a paradigm. She takes the time to provide a brief overview of computer science and software engineering.
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Computing is about discovering, advancing and exploiting the theoretical possibilities of computing technology at a fundamental level, comments Bhavana Chamoli.
Software engineering is also about discovery and development, but the focus is on solving practical problems in a business or enterprise environment, such as a system that helps employees track tasks or allows businesses to measure , monitor and forecast financial performance. Another way to look at it is that computer science leans more on research and algorithms, while software engineering leans more on entrepreneurship and testing. However, they are both deeply rooted in theory, practice, programming, and design.
With this fundamental distinction in mind, aspiring students pursuing a degree in computer science or software engineering can look forward to a dynamic, lucrative and essentially recession-proof career – which is especially important given of the unprecedented economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and its legacy that will last for years, if not decades.
Talented computer science and software engineering graduates are highly sought after by private and public sector employers, comments Bhavana Chamoli. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in both fields are expected to increase by approximately 20% until 2024. And in fields where the demand for graduates is very high, starting salaries can initially or quickly exceed the six-figure mark, which is much higher than in many other professions.
The essential, according to Bhavana Chamoli
Ultimately, despite the significant differences between computer science and software engineering, those pursuing a computer science education should have a very strong interest and aptitude for mathematics. They both strive to make the world a better place or at least more efficient and predictable, which can sometimes be exactly what is needed to find clarity in the midst of chaos.
“Although computer science and software engineering have an established history and heritage, we are only barely scratching the surface of what is possible,” comments Bhavana Chamoli. “There are still far more questions than answers, and progress is inherently iterative – meaning the more we discover, the more we discover what is yet to be discovered. This is a very exciting time for computer scientists and engineers. in software.