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CSE or ECE ? Help, please!

  1. Mar 16, 2008 #1
    CSE or ECE ??? Help, please!

    hello all,

    Pardon me if i have posted in the wrong section because the topic is related both to Electrical engineering and career guidance, so I wasn't sure where to post.

    I'm an EE student and I'm a bit confused on whether I should major in Computers & Systems engineering (CSE) or Electronics & Communications engineering (ECE).

    I want to be an Embedded engineer and lots of people argue that an ECE major could work in both ECE and CSE fields .. but the reverse is not true.

    So what do ou advise me to do ?
    should I join ECE - taking into consideration that it requires much more working and studying - just to have more career options ?
    And could really an ECE student work inthe field of Embedded Programming ?

    Thanks in advance,
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 17, 2008 #2
    Anyone please ? It's urgent ..
  4. Mar 17, 2008 #3
    my opinion is to go with ECE . . we didn't really have this distinction at my school but I suggest take the classes with more core and broad applicable material because these will build your foundation and knowledge base. Rigorous mathematics and physics will give you a better understanding of the big picture, and I don't really see programming and information technology related courses helping you out as much . . be sure to delve into these areas nonetheless but I don't think concentration on this area is best if you want to get into embedded systems. Embedded systems is usually more low level where knowledge of electronics, communications, physics, and mathematics is very very useful. If you want to get into information systems and computers, take a few programming courses but more likely than not anything you learn in school in these areas will be much further removed from their fields in industry compared to what you would learn in electronics and communications.

    My suggestion is go with the electronics and communication, but be sure to do your core programming courses as these will teach you the important ideas (assembly, C and C++/java with advanced data structures, maybe a computer architecture course or a more advanced programming course) You can learn a lot of programming and networking stuff as a hobby, whereas more of the advanced electronics is harder to pick up on your own in my opinion.
  5. Mar 17, 2008 #4
    Thanks for the reply AnalogKid ..

    I just wanted to add info about the courses studied in both ECE and CSE :

    CSE courses :

    Introduction to Computers, Computer Engineering, Logic Design, Computer Organization, Computer Hardware Design, Microprocessor Based Systems, Distributed Computer Systems, Computer Interfacing, Computer Peripherals, Computer Networks, Programming Principles, Systems Programming, Numerical Computing Analysis, Software Engineering, Operating Systems, Algorithms and Data Structures, Local Area Networks, Database Systems, Selected Topics in Computers, Computer Security, Operations Research and Management Systems, Artificial Intelligence, Simulation of Engineering Systems, Machine Learning Systems, Biomedical Systems, Pattern Recognition Image Processing, Expert Systems, Neural Networks, Computer Graphics, Computer Vision, Systems Engineering, Control Components, Process Dynamics, Automatic Control, Control System, Signal Analysis, Industrial Measurements and Testing, Computational Methods in Electrical Engineering, Electrical Testing, Industrial Control, Electrical Testing, Special Control Circuits, Intelligent Control Systems, Selected Topics in Control, RealTime Systems, Robot Systems.

    ECE Courses :

    Electronic Engineering, Electrical Materials, Field Theory, Electrical Measurements, Digital Circuits, Electromagnetic Waves, Electronic Circuits, Electrical Testing, Electronic and Logic Circuits, Electronic Circuits, Digital Communication Systems, Optical Electronic, Electrical Communication Engineering, Communication Systems, Electronic Devices, Microprocessors and Applications, Signal Processing, Telecommunication Networks, Microwave Electronic Engineering, Integrated Circuits, Antennas, Satellite Communications, Analog Artificial Neural Networks, Computer Aided Electronic Design and Manufacture, Computer Interfacing Circuit Design, Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), Analog Integrated Circuit Design, Electronics for Instrumentation, Integrated Circuits Technology, Digital Signal Processing, Information Theory, Mobile Communications, Data Communications, Personal Communications and Mobile Systems, Antennas, Radar Systems, Optical Communication Systems, Integrated Circuits Applications, Integrated Optics.

    I'd be grateful if you read through them and tell me which is more relevant to the field of embedded programming.
  6. Mar 17, 2008 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    I think you said it best yourself:

    For me, the answer was yes. I had a similar choice back in undergrad, whether to specialize more in software and architecture (CSE) or in hardware and systems (ECE), and I chose the ECE/EE route. Yes, it is a lot of work, but it is also very rewarding, and will open up career paths that are just not available to a person who is more software-specialized.
  7. Mar 17, 2008 #6
    For embedded systems design work you really are better off to be well rounded. It also depends on what you want to do in embedded systems as it is a broad field. I can't believe your school would segregate the classes the way they are . . you should have core classes common to both fields and then have the options for electives for you to specialize in for your last 1 or 2 years in either of these two programs. Some of the CSE courses look way too specialized (the databases course, computer graphics, biomedical systems, etc.) to where you could get the pertinent information from a more basic course that you could take as an ECE student, and then specialize later on in your career if its where you end up. It doesn't seem like the ECE path provides enough software for you to truly understand whats going on, but overall it looks more promising for embedded systems type work. You just don't want to get into a job and regret not having learned certain concepts that you will realize are very important but never got a chance to be exposed to it.
  8. Mar 18, 2008 #7
    thanks a lot berkeman and Analogkid .. really appreciated it, thanks for your time. :)
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