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Programs Software Engineering or Computer Science degree?

  1. Sep 25, 2016 #1
    I wanted to know which one was better for finding jobs and salary wise or are both pretty much the same. Computer Science or Software Engineering degree?

    Also would anyone recommend getting the degree online?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2016 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    I think your chances are much better getting started at a local community college and then going to a 4 year school. This is an established route. Gone are the days when you can waltz into a company, take an aptitude test and bingo you're hired as a programmer./software engineer.

    I don't think today's companies will necessarily hire someone who learned everything online with no track record at an established school. Some companies might consider certification programs (like MS or Oracle certifications)so that might be one way but major ones will go for graduated students.



    Here's something to read about software engineers tha may help answer your other question:

  4. Sep 25, 2016 #3
    Sorry I think you misunderstood me. I wanted to know which degree was best to pursue... a computer science degree or a software engineering degree? Or are they both fundamentally the same.
  5. Sep 25, 2016 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    I can't answer that question as I have a MS in Comp Sci awarded decades ago and I work as a software engineer.

    When I think CS today, it can be very abstract and academic studying AI and search algorithms whereas software engineering is closer to the practice of developing robust software systems and flexible enduring software architectures.

    Anyway read the wikipedia article about it.

    Most jobs will probably be in the software engineering realm developing commercial applications whereas research oriented Google type jobs looking to get into the next big thing will employ computer science folks.

    Other PF folks should chime in here too shortly so wait for their answers too. (@Borg)
  6. Sep 25, 2016 #5
    They are not the same, but they do have the same set of foundational classes, like object-oriented programming, data structures, and computer organization/architecture. Beyond that, software engineering focuses more on teaching you how software is designed and built. Computer science is not usually concerned about such things. Instead, a student in CS would learn about networks, operating systems, artificial intelligence, algorithm analysis, compiler design, formal languages, computability theory, and perhaps a single course on software engineering. Either degree will provide you with an adequate education to get an entry level development job.

    In my opinion, I think undergraduates are better served by pursuing a computer science degree. A software engineering degree makes more sense at the graduate level after the student has a year or two of work experience under his belt.
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