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Computer Engineering VS Computer Science with very special condition

  1. Aug 3, 2012 #1
    Hey Guys,

    WOW, so I am really into a physics forum! :D

    Well, a brief introduction first so you can understand my case:

    I am student who just finished high school who wanted to get into medicine school but didn't get enough grades to it (we have it by percentages and I was .75% lower than required)

    I am from Egypt, it is different here from USA and UK. We don't have Science majors and biology majors.

    We have medicine, engineering, pharmacy, computer science, business studies, applied arts and political science.

    I am not inclined into pharmacy (Hate too much chemistry), business studies or applied arts (sucks at drawing anything also I have color blindness green/brown) and political science isn't so well-paid career option for me here in Egypt.

    I always hated maths, chemistry and physics (Yep) but I always got A* in them (I was an IGCSE student)

    I got A* in Chemistry O-Level, Physics O-Level, Maths O-Level, Maths AS-Level
    and a B in Chemistry AS and Maths A2-Level (more advanced than AS).

    I hate them maybe because most of my teachers sucked as in the last time I took maths, I was taught by an excellent professor who truly made me love maths (it was the first time).

    I absolutely loves biology, I got A* in Biology O-Level, AS-Level and A2 Level.

    What I mean is, if you threw me a subject, I will endure hell and ultimately get along with it while hating it.

    I study very short hours (1-3 hours per day while taking a day off per week) and surprisingly I get high grades which is a good thing which I won't complain.

    I am moved by the money, I am chasing financial freedom at young age, I don't want to be a 9-5 slave. I want to move between projects. Make a good chunk of money and take 2-3 months off and go make another project and so on.

    I even became internet marketer when I was only 13 years old, I made websites and wrote ebooks and sold them. but nothing fancy, I made till now like $1,500-$2,000 in those five years (I am 18) so it is nothing great but it was a hobby for me, I loved learning and teaching people and changing their lives while making money in the process.

    I love computer and internet, if you can sum my passion in life, it would be: biology, computer and internet, changing people's life for the better.

    that's why I am into CE and CS. I want to learn how to program softwares and make video games also I would love to know things about robots and creating complex stuff out of no where.

    Also I know that CE has a higher pay rate I guess.

    What I want to know is:

    1) Can I take Computer Engineering major while getting a CS minor? and will that mean I will take in that CS minor programming or designing or what exactly? (I want programming and video gaming)

    2) I am chasing money, I believe if I have financial freedom (not security) then I will be able to function better and become a better man. What have the *hypothetically* better income probability? and which one of them support the project-based jobs not the 9-5 slave job? (I really don't intend to offense anyone, so I am sorry in advance if any of my talking upsets you)

    3) What exactly do I take in CE? and does I choose routes in CE? or is there a specific courses that I take? and same question to CS.( Do I choose programming, graphics,..etc or do I take them all)

    I hope you got my point and thank you for advance if you took time to help me, I know I asked questions which may take lots of time to respond to.


  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 4, 2012 #2
    Hello there Mohamed and welcome to PF! :)

    I am a 3rd year CE major so I hope I can point you to the right direction of what you want. You seem to want a bit of both CE and CS and I say it is great! A CS minor will help a lot for CE.

    What caught my eye was this:
    "I study very short hours (1-3 hours per day while taking a day off per week) and surprisingly I get high grades which is a good thing which I won't complain."

    Thats great that you get high grades in high school! Problem is though you will be entering college, which is a very different environment from high school. These study habits won't do you any good at all! For an engineering major, you will need to study atleast 40+ hrs a week. Engineering is a very difficult major so you will need to try very hard to get to the top of your class.

    Another thing that caught my eye and this is IMPORTANT
    "I always hated maths, chemistry and physics (Yep) but I always got A* in them (I was an IGCSE student)"

    I am sorry, but if you hate math, chemistry and physics, CE and CS is not for you as they are rigorous in math and physics. You will be taking plenty of math and physics and if you can't stand it, consider choosing another major.

    Key difference between CE and CS is that CE is more hardware oriented. You will take some CS classes as a CE major, but not as much as a CS major. CS is very software oriented and you will encounter few hardware problems. It is up to you on what you want.

    Now I will answer your specific questions:

    1. I kind of answered it in the first paragraph. I know a few of my peers are majoring in CE and minoring in CS. One of them is doing a double major which is a lot of work.

    2. Don't worry too much about financial freedom. CE and CS is in high demand and they also have high pay so you really would not struggle financially. You won't be a slave though. You will be busy with stuff in and out of work.

    3. For CE, there are different classes that you will be required to take. It depends on which school you go to. However, you will have electives of what you want to emphasize in (VLSI and optics, Microprocessors and Microcomputer systems, controls systems and systems engineering, wireless communication etc.) It really depends what captures your interest. This same answer can go for CS as well. It depends what you want to take. Graphics is not really a CS thing. Programming is more CS oriented and you will do plenty of that.

    If you have any more questions, feel free to post it up! :)
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  4. Aug 4, 2012 #3
    Hey Ivan,

    Thanks so much for taking time to reply to my post :)

    About the study hours then I have no problem adapting myself to 40+ hours per week, I just knew if I studied the 1-3 hours then I will get A* grades, but as you and everyone I met said, that study in college is a whole different world than high school, so yes I intend to increase my studying hours in college.

    I don't settle with anything but the top of my class. I have been like that before on high school and I don't intend on changing that anytime soon.

    I understand all what you said, but can you explain in more details what might be a stupid question, but what is the difference exactly between CE and CS.

    As I see in my college curriculum here

    Computer Engineering:

    Computer Science:

    There is really no much difference, except that computer engineering requires more maths, chemistry and physics knowledge, but is there anything else different?

    Also here is the minor program for Computer science at my college:

    What do you recommend for that? or do I choose based on my interest? ... (I am asking that if I *hypothetically* took CE major and CS minor)

    Again, thank you for taking time to help me and sorry if I made you go through these links, but I am just been like that for a week and I don't know what to do yet although I am leaning towards CE major and CS minor.

    Best Regards,

  5. Aug 4, 2012 #4
    Computer Engineering deals more with hardware design and simulation. The physics is more apparent in it (as well as the chemistry). The math is about the same for both majors. Computer Engineering is a mix of both Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Computer Science is more software oriented, so you would develop software and applications, operating systems and such, not dealing much with hardware.

    So I looked at all 3 curriculums and there is a key difference between the Computer Science and Computer Engineering. Computer Science has electives that Computer Engineering would require. In other words, you would do much much more in Computer Engineering than Computer Science.

    With anything school related, you must choose in what interests you. I saw you like to design video games in your first post and Comp Sci would be perfect for it. I also see you are interested in robotics which is more closely attached to Comp E. Comp E covers Comp Sci and more. However if you want to focus only on software, stay with Comp Sci. Personally, I would do a Comp E major with Comp sci minor. You really can't go wrong with it. You get the best of both worlds. :)
  6. Aug 4, 2012 #5
    Thank you so much for your help, I think 80% I will go with your opinion :)

    Thanks again.
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