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sniper1263

Computer Science vs. Computer Engineering

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My hope in the future is to become a video game programmer, obviously, and now I'm at the point in my current college in which it's time for me to transfer (Getting all the Gen. Ed. out of the way). I'm currently looking at colleges to trasfer to, and have come to a fork in the road: Computer Science or Computer Engineering. I've done some checking around and have found that most programming positions require a BS in Computer Science, but it seems to me that getting a BS or MS in Computer Engineering would be much more logical way to go since it opens many more pathways in the future. Please let me know of what you all think about this.

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The line between CEng and CSci is drawn differently at every university, so you need to look at the actual program of study, not just the name. Engineering will probably better prepare you to be a code monkey, if that's what you want.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
As has been said, it really depends on the university. However, I strongly disagree that CE prepares you to be a code monkey.

CS typically places an emphasis on designing and analyzing algorithms, programming languages, and similar. In other words, you learn the theory of programming. Departments such as graphics and software engineering tend to be housed in CS. If this is what interests you, going the CS route would make your life easier.

CE/ECE typically places an emphasis on designing and analyzing computer systems, computer hardware, and similar. In other words, you tend to learn about what’s going on “below” assembly language. This type of training would help you write high-performance code for next-gen consoles, for example.

Being a code monkey has nothing to do with your choice of collage. If you take classes that appeal to you, love what you study, and experiment on your own… you will end up surpassing the code monkeys that surround you. If you take a bunch of classes just to get a degree, you will become a monkey.

The question you need to ask is: what about games interests you? Graphics? Sound? Hardware? Software Engineering? Networking? Design? Human/Computer Interaction? Figure that out, and evaluate the collages from that perspective.

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Computer Engineering is usually not so much interested in programming (that's software engineering). It's more a hybrid of CS and EE, that gives you a perspective on ahrdware, software, and most importantly, the interface between the two and how to design all of those systems.

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Original post by Anonymous Poster
CE/ECE typically places an emphasis on designing and analyzing computer systems, computer hardware, and similar. In other words, you tend to learn about what’s going on “below” assembly language. This type of training would help you write high-performance code for next-gen consoles, for example.

That's what I meant about each university drawing a different line between CE and CS. Some universities consider CE to be more hardware-centric than CS, often pairing it with EE. Other universities consider CE to be software-centric and CS to be theory-centric. That's why you have to look at the individual program.

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Some colleges offer Software Engineering, but it's hit and miss as too wether that's actually CE or CS. As a bonus, with an SE degree you can call yourself a Software Engineer and not be a Liar.

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Original post by Sneftel
That's what I meant about each university drawing a different line between CE and CS. Some universities consider CE to be more hardware-centric than CS, often pairing it with EE. Other universities consider CE to be software-centric and CS to be theory-centric. That's why you have to look at the individual program.


I agree. At my university, Computer Engineering was all about chip design and working with microprocessors. Software Engineering was the course about software design and management. But from the way you've described CE, it sounds like it might be the same. Have a look at the last year of the course and see what subjects you should be doing, and that will give you an indicator of what kind of graduates they will be churning out.

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I got my degree in Computer Science, but if I were to make the choice again I would choose Computer Engineering. I am interested in software. However, a lot of lore in the computer industry is what's done by people w/ both hardware and software talents. The Internet (CISCO router/such), Wireless communication, the Apple, original arcade games, gaming consoles, and video cards are a few example.

I think you should learn both, and the best way to do that is probably to get a degree in Computer Engineering. You might minor in Computer Science, but if I were interviewing I would personally be more impressed by Computer Engineering major/Physics minor or Computer Engineering major/Mathematics minor.

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Thanks for advice everyone. I'm weaning towards Computer Engineering, and thanks to you guys, I'm beginning to think that just might be the way to go for me. I have to say, my true love is computer AI, so majoring in CE with a minor in Mathematics sounds very much like the path I'm should be taking. As for the Software Engineering topic... I just can't find enough of it in certain colleges to be pleased with it. Especially the ones I'm looking at. But anyways, thanks again for your help.

Dan

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Quote:
Original post by Deyja
Some colleges offer Software Engineering, but it's hit and miss as too whether that's actually CE or CS. As a bonus, with an SE degree you can call yourself a Software Engineer and not be a Liar.


Actually, it was more or less illegal for a while to call yourself a "Software Engineer". It was all based on the principle that if you are an engineer, then there is a set of standards, especially heavy standards on ethics that you follow. Of course in relation to programming, that was not really possible. Our SE teacher told us it was not until less than a decade ago did Texas allow SEs to be called SEs. More quick info here.

/end quick history lesson

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