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Programs CS vs Software Engineering degree

I'm looking into completing my degree online mostly due to the cost of tuition at a traditional university. The online programs I've been looking offer Computer Science while some offered Software Engineering. I was wondering which degree is the better option?
 
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This to me is a bad idea. Employers understand that brick and mortar grads do better than folks who’ve self learned programming. You and several others apply to some job and the hiring manager will interview the brick and mortar folks first and will probably not even look at your application. And then there’s HR in bigger companies who screen based on hiring manager criteria and if he or she says four year degree then you’ve been screened out and they will never see your application thanks to HR.

This means in the short term you save money but in the long term the only way to succeed is to start your own company and develop a prize winning software application.

It’s unlikely that a company will hire you unless the hiring manager had gone through the same program, knows it’s value and can make a case for you.

Save money by going to a two year school and transition to a four year school. It will be tough depending on your current skills but will serve you better in the long run.
 
I understand what you're saying, but schools like Arizona State, Florida State, and University of Florida all have online CS degrees that are abet accredited. Also how would an employer know if I done it online?
 
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It they are accredited then you would get course credits and thus can request a transcript from them to be sent to the hiring company. Having done that you might also take some Windows or Database or whatever certification exams as added support to your application.

You really need to talk to someone knowledgeable about these programs. So many times I’ve seen folks screwed out of money with no degree to show for their effort known as the predatory for profit schools scam.

It’s like buying a car you don’t want a lemon so you need to do your homework and kick some tires otherwise you’ll be walking.

I still need to say though you will be at a distinct disadvantage unless you get a degree.
 
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Online is fine as long as you get the same degree.

I always thought SE was more about designing large pieces of software and making sure everything worked. It's probably easier to get a general job with a CS degree but I don't know for sure.
 

Klystron

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I always thought SE was more about designing large pieces of software and making sure everything worked. It's probably easier to get a general job with a CS degree but I don't know for sure.
Concur. Software engineer describes a position where you organize requirement reviews, code "walk-throughs" , help application programmers adhere to standards, provide optimum data structures for the software group, design and write "executive level" code to provide frames in which applications run; generally language and machine dependent.

Computer Science (CS) includes a wide-range of theoretical and practical subjects such as Information Theory, knowledge-based reasoning, statistical interpretation of (imperfect) data, algorithm efficiency analysis, information technology (IT) cost/benefit analysis, selection criteria for software standards, implementation of management information services (MIS), and an understanding of mathematics applicable to these areas but also used at the work-center.

Crude example from my own experience in each role:
  • systems programmer implements a database product such as Oracle including specific data points, search algorithms, error correction, etc
  • software engineer designs and writes standards for database use within the larger organization based on end-user requirements, data production, etc.
  • computer scientist devises measurements of the benefits versus costs of databases, comparing commercial products such as Oracle with similar products or writing in-house DB code or acquiring and modifying open source shareware, while creating the IT budget for the next fiscal year(s) including Oracle licenses, DB administrators, and maintenance requirements.
IMO holding these or related positions as one gains experience lends credence to the CS degree. Self paced study has a place, particularly in keeping skill sets current and broadening knowledge base, but lacks the interactions common at a college and university.
 

verty

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Whatever you do, don't make the two mistakes I made.

Mistake #1 is to think any school will do. You want the best marks from the best school, period. It's all about making the short list and having your shot at jobs at larger companies. With my school, I didn't have much of a chance.

Mistake #2 is thinking that it's all about a piece of paper, the qualification. It's not. It's much more about what you learned while you did that and the depth of the subjects. Hand-wavy subjects that sound good like "e-commerce" or "data warehousing" can end up being very shallow or superficial. I couldn't tell you anything that I learned in data warehousing, because it didn't have case studies and things like that. It was definitely superficial. Or worse, they only cover half of what is in the textbook. Choose the school with the academic reputation so the subjects are deep and rigorous and you beat the other guy because you know more than him.
 
Whatever you do, don't make the two mistakes I made.

Mistake #1 is to think any school will do. You want the best marks from the best school, period. It's all about making the short list and having your shot at jobs at larger companies. With my school, I didn't have much of a chance.

Mistake #2 is thinking that it's all about a piece of paper, the qualification. It's not. It's much more about what you learned while you did that and the depth of the subjects. Hand-wavy subjects that sound good like "e-commerce" or "data warehousing" can end up being very shallow or superficial. I couldn't tell you anything that I learned in data warehousing, because it didn't have case studies and things like that. It was definitely superficial. Or worse, they only cover half of what is in the textbook. Choose the school with the academic reputation so the subjects are deep and rigorous and you beat the other guy because you know more than him.
Well what if you can't afford a school with the "best marks"? If you put it that way UF and Auburn have online CS degrees. Another options I was gonna take was completing my Associates and then transfer to an instate school.
 

verty

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I suppose online could be okay because I assume an employer wouldn't know that it was done online. Personally, I would consider working and studying part time as preferable, if only because when you finish your studies, you'll have years of work behind you and you'll go straight into a CS job. On the other hand, 4 years of staying at home and studying online is going to leave you pretty lethargic when you finally have to join the world of work.

If I was employing someone, I would absolutely take the person with work experience, if only because they are dependable and worth training if any training is needed.
 

FactChecker

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Well what if you can't afford a school with the "best marks"? If you put it that way UF and Auburn have online CS degrees. Another options I was gonna take was completing my Associates and then transfer to an instate school.
Whatever you do, make sure it is an accredited degree. If it is accredited, no one will care if you got it online or in a classroom.

I don't think there are any rules regarding the meaning of the terms "Software Engineering" and "Computer Science". They are informal terms. To compare different programs, look at the class list and class sylibus. My impression is that Software Engineering might include more subjects like requirements definition and tracking, SW design documents, configuration management, test processes, test design, test coverage, etc. Computer Science might include more subjects like computer hardware, computer algorithms, computer language comparisons, etc.
 
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It ties one into software though, doesn't it? Computer science covers more topics, does it not?
<< Mentor Note -- post edited to remove extraneous comments >>

It ain't easy to do that and in my experience very rare, I have never worked on such a project. It is expensive and difficult to implement and most regular sized projects just don't try.

If you can work to this standard then you are the expensive one
.

There must be ppl from Amazon, JPL, Cern, Nuclear industries or similar on this board. My money says the kit they send to Mars wasn't designed or debugged by human mind-eye.
 
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verty

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It ain't easy to do that and in my experience very rare, I have never worked on such a project. It is expensive and difficult to implement and most regular sized projects just don't try.

If you can work to this standard then you are the expensive one
.
Yes exactly. If you end up in software, time constraints will likely dominate quality constraints. I suppose Software Engineering would say that quality documentation leads to fewer mistakes. And that is true but knowing how to analyse your code or how to pick the best algorithm can also prevent mistakes.

As was said above, each program has its own merits and it is for each person to decide which suits them better.
 
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I any of you guys don't mind me asking since I want to go into software/AI/robotics is getting a degree in computer engineering a good option too or should I stick with just computer science?
 
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Computer engineering is all about hardware so it probably won't matter to you.
 

verty

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I any of you guys don't mind me asking since I want to go into software/AI/robotics is getting a degree in computer engineering a good option too or should I stick with just computer science?
Here is something interesting.
 
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Computer engineering is all about hardware so it probably won't matter to you.
This is only partially true.

From Wikipedia we get this definition:

Computer engineering is a discipline that integrates several fields of computer science and electronics engineering required to develop computer hardware and software.[1] Computer engineers usually have training in electronic engineering (or electrical engineering), software design, and hardware–software integration instead of only software engineering or electronic engineering. Computer engineers are involved in many hardware and software aspects of computing, from the design of individual microcontrollers, microprocessors, personal computers, and supercomputers, to circuit design. This field of engineering not only focuses on how computer systems themselves work, but also how they integrate into the larger picture.[2]

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_engineering
 
when it comes to computer science does abet accreditation matter more than regional accreditation?
 
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A recent hiring trend change is in the air. Apple, Google and others are dropping the college degree requirement from jobs:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/16/15-companies-that-no-longer-require-employees-to-have-a-college-degree.html?__source=facebook|main

I’m not sure how this will play out whether aptitude tests or some specialized interview grilling will verify the person can do the work. At one time, companies did aptitude tests for jobs and did in house programmer training since most schools didn’t provide this. Perhaps it’s the realization that many programming jobs can be done by high schoolers hence college training isn’t so important.

In my experience, I saw a marked difference in how a college trained person would code over someone who was self taught. It’s reminiscent of how trained musicians play vs someone with a knack self taught themselves an instrument. There is discipline and similarity in the first and awkward creativity in the latter.
 

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