Computer Engineering vs Computer Science

Computer Engineering and Computer Science as subjects have a lot of overlap. However, this does not detract from the things that make them distinct. The overlap is, of course, because both disciplines are aiming to further computer technology and are in turn using computer programs to achieve that objective. Here is a small overview of both to help understand the differences.

Computer Engineering

Computer Engineering is an amalgamation of sorts between some aspects of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. It seeks to understand the way in which the various components of computing interact with each other and process data. These devices could be at the level of a single microprocessor or anything that has one or more of these devices embedded in them. In today’s scenario that could be a phone or maybe even a supercomputer. Specialization in semiconductor electronics is a major part of Computer Engineering.

One of the misconceptions that a lot of people seem to have is that Computer Engineers do not write software and only work with hardware. This misconception is far from the truth since they are required to design software optimized for hardware to ensure that they can process the instructions efficiently. Designing chipset design, device modules and customized pieces of hardware also come under the purview of a Computer Engineer.

Computer Science

This branch of computer studies requires the students to understand how the data is processed through the entire chain of computing. Computers have specific computer languages that are designed by Computer Scientists so that they can instruct the various components to behave as they want them to. All the algorithms that are written for data processing, data storage, security or communication protocols come under the job description for Computer Scientists.

Computer scientists also do the basic framework for building and publishing applications on top of a computing platform or even the applications themselves.

Complimentary Branches

It is easy to understand why both these disciplines have a considerable overlap since they are required to work extremely closely on most projects. Even the jobs that graduates from these specializations would apply for are sometimes common. Data management, which is one of the most exciting fields nowadays, requires Computer Engineers to design an efficient design for huge servers that are reliable and dependable. All of this data is managed by algorithms that Computer Scientists design to help make sense of it and retrieve it as and when required. This is only one example of a close working relationship. Take any device that you use in daily like and it would have the imprints of Computer Scientists and Computer Engineers working closely in tandem.

While there is no doubt that Computer Engineers will deal more with hardware and Computer Scientists will deal more with software and interface, both the fields require knowledge and implementations of each other’s areas of expertise. This ensures students passing out from either discipline are eligible for a wide variety of jobs in the industry.