Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

EE major and CS minor, or vice versa

  1. Oct 15, 2007 #1
    Hello all--

    I am in my first semester in Computer Science (4yr. degree), but I'm thinking of swapping to Electrical Engineering and minoring in Computer Science instead. Or, I could stay in CS and minor in EE. My question is, which option do you all think would be most beneficial in the long run?

    I'm leaning towards EE major because the way I see it is that EE guys, with CS minor, can do EE jobs and CS jobs, but CS majors, with EE minor, could only do CS jobs. I could be wrong though...

    I like programming, but I also like electronics. I'm interested in computer control and embedded systems, but I'm also interested in scientific computing. I think it would be neat to work for some kind of aerospace company. It would also be neat to program microcontrollers or do physics-and-math-heavy programming or work with navigation and communications.

    Then, there's the problem of which degree is more in demand; I'm guessing CS, but I'm not sure I want to program 8 hrs a day.

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2007 #2
    one of my majors is EE; i do plenty of programming. If you are focused on being able to program for applicative uses like the ones you speak of, it would seem natural to go with EE and not even worry about the Comp sci minor. A computer science major entails plenty of work in and study in the theory algorithms(things like time and space complexity) and probably formal language theory. They're very beautiful subjects, but you sound like an applied guy. There are however, some very good classes like a course on operating systems which you should perhaps just take as elective. Another idea is to just major in computer engineering. Does your school offer that?
  4. Oct 15, 2007 #3
    I totally agree with ytoruno,

    What you just said sounds like you should be a Computer Engineer, thats basically the middle guy between CS and EE.

    Its def. where you would be doing computer control and embedded systems.

    At my school Comp Sci has a lot of Computer Engineering courses as well, like digital design/computer organization (building processors/memory/etc)

    Computer Engineering at my school has some EE (Signals,Transforms, Circuit Design, etc) and some Comp Sci

    EE at my school can take CE courses but doesn't have too and I think they do a basic programming course in C/C++, and some ASM for microcontrollers.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2007
  5. Oct 15, 2007 #4
    Ok, thanks.

    My school doesn't offer a computer engineering degree per se, but if you major in EE, you have to choose either the Basic Option, the Computer Engineering Option, or the Telecommunications Option. The Basic Option is an EE major with about 5 EE electives, while the Computer Option is also an EE major, and is practically the same as the Basic, just with the electives filled in for you, and with a difference of two courses (the Basic option has a telecommunications course and a communications engineering course, while the comp. option puts two extra comp. sci. classes in their place--(1) adv. data structures, and (2) operating systems). So, from what both of you have said, I should obviously switch majors to EE and do the comp. option. So, I guess that's what I'll do.
  6. Oct 16, 2007 #5
    My dad's a EE with a minor in CS, and he does quite well for himself... retired as a AVP at HP making ~$200k /year and got a big bonus for doing it... before that he had plenty of work all the time, and had lots of fun designing half the crap in your PC. But he's pretty bright.
  7. Oct 16, 2007 #6
    Avp =
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook