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    Software Engineering VS. Computer Science


    In your opinion, which degree do you see to be most valuable in the Software development field: -SE or -CS?

    Be careful not to sway towards the path that you took just for self reassurance.
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    Having witnessed (and in some cases, experienced) several different examples of what-they-teach-you vs. what-really-happens, I'm going to be the renegade and say neither.
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    First, it depends on the university because if the educational system is bad, then it really doesn't matter.

    Secondly, specializations in the same field during undergraduate programs means that the two are almost identical. The differences will only appear in the last two years, and mostly your senior year. All you'll have done is slightly change your courses, not how you approach problems.

    Third, why limit yourself to one degree?

    Fourth, sometimes the best way to become better at a domain is to get experience in a different, but related one. While I don't use my background in hardware, the rigourous program was quite beneficial. Many skills and approaches translate over, yet provide a deeper understanding in areas my peers lack. By earning a degree in CS as well, I understand both domains quite nicely.

    Lastly, it doesn't matter. Regardless of the degree, if you don't focus on continuous learning you won't get far in the work place. So just choose which ever will help you to "learn how to learn" and start reading in your free time.
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    Originally Posted by yahwehagape
    In your opinion, which degree do you see to be most valuable in the Software development field: -SE or -CS?

    Be careful not to sway towards the path that you took just for self reassurance.
    It depends on the field that the degree holder will work in. Of course, the quality of the program where the degree is granted will vary greatly, and therefore the potential value of a degree might vary as well.

    So, if a person wants to be a programmer, then a degree that specializes in software development such as a Software Engineering degree might, would probably more valuable than a Computer Science degree. And on the other hand, if someone is interested in hardware design, networking, etc., then perhaps the reverse is true.
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    The abilities of the person also weigh in greatly on this. My degree is actually a Bachelor's in Business Admin, concentrated in MIS. I took elective classes from the CS dept. I have a coworker with an Associates in IS, and he's one of the best programmers I've ever known, but he had been programming since he was about 12, so he just wanted the degree.

    I've known great programmers from all three areas (CS, SE, and MIS), I've also known some real duds from all of them. Pick the area that most interests you - I chose MIS because I wanted more exposure to Databases and information flows analyses than the CS dept. offered, and because I wanted to work from a business perspective, and didn't want to work in driver/OS/general application development. There are enough books/websites out there that you can learn whatever you want/need to, if you have the ambition to do so.
    Last edited by Fisherman; December 3rd, 2006 at 12:40 PM.
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    The term software engineering even though has the word engineering isn't what I consider to be a field of engineering.

    Lot of colleges do misuse that term a lot, for example my college offer's a degree in computer engineering, software engineering and computer science.

    According to my college either of them can enter the market as a programmer but the computer engineer has more options due to his background in electrical/electronics engineering were he can choose to work on Power Systems, IC design and testing, signal processing etc.

    A computer engineer also will have more knowledge when it comes to microcontroller programming and embedded system or PLC.

    In conclusion if you do have an option you should pick an electronics or computer engineering degree over a software or computer science degree.
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    Originally Posted by thenzengineer
    In conclusion if you do have an option you should pick an electronics or computer engineering degree over a software or computer science degree.
    That is an odd statement! The OP is asking about what would "be most valuable in the Software development field".

    If you want to be a software developer, I suggest you check out the courses in the degree programs you have available, and pick the one that gives you the most focus on programming and software development. Most electronics or Computer engineering programs will not lead to a career in software development but rather hardware oriented fields. However, many schools are a bit mixed up about what they are supposedly preparing the student for so it will serve you well to look at the courses being offered and not merely the degree name.
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    look at the courses involved with each degree and see which ones interest you.
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    This is an odd question -- when I got my Computer Science degree, Software Engineering was part of the required curriculum. So you're saying that your university offers *both* a Computer Science degree *and* a Software Engineering degree? Odd.

    What's the difference in required classes?
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    Originally Posted by Randolpho
    This is an odd question -- when I got my Computer Science degree, Software Engineering was part of the required curriculum. So you're saying that your university offers *both* a Computer Science degree *and* a Software Engineering degree? Odd.

    What's the difference in required classes?
    It varies from school to school. Most CS degree programs have some programming courses, but when the degree is Software Engineering the focus is typically more on the programming side of things rather than on the hardware, math, etc.
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    Originally Posted by woodyz
    It varies from school to school. Most CS degree programs have some programming courses, but when the degree is Software Engineering the focus is typically more on the programming side of things rather than on the hardware, math, etc.
    Maybe at the undergraduate level, but Master's level Software Engineering has no programming at all. It's mainly about high-level design and documentation. I was going to go this path until I realized that I'd probably never program once the entire time I was in the degree. I guess the M.S. in Software Engineering is for people who have C.S. undergraduate degrees.
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    Originally Posted by jread
    Maybe at the undergraduate level, but Master's level Software Engineering has no programming at all. It's mainly about high-level design and documentation. I was going to go this path until I realized that I'd probably never program once the entire time I was in the degree. I guess the M.S. in Software Engineering is for people who have C.S. undergraduate degrees.
    Also, it depends on the school.
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    Don't forget the other option, computer engineering, which focus on hardware. But I'm an IFS type too.
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    Third, why limit yourself to one degree?

    [/QUOTE]
    I agree with @ novax, Considering the size pf the job market out there the more knowledge you have can only help your chances at finding work.
    I am currently looking for software engineer jobs, and even though the job might specify that it is an IT only title, I have found that if you have engineering experience not only will they appreciate it, but they will utilize those skills.
    Don't limit yourself, with the economy the way it is, school is a safe place, learn as much as you can.

    Comments on this post

    • requinix disagrees : novax made his post almost four years ago
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    Originally Posted by NovaX
    First, it depends on the university because if the educational system is bad, then it really doesn't matter.

    Secondly, specializations in the same field during undergraduate programs means that the two are almost identical. The differences will only appear in the last two years, and mostly your senior year. All you'll have done is slightly change your courses, not how you approach problems.

    Third, why limit yourself to one degree?

    Fourth, sometimes the best way to become better at a domain is to get experience in a different, but related one. While I don't use my background in hardware, the rigourous program was quite beneficial. Many skills and approaches translate over, yet provide a deeper understanding in areas my peers lack. By earning a degree in CS as well, I understand both domains quite nicely.

    Lastly, it doesn't matter. Regardless of the degree, if you don't focus on continuous learning you won't get far in the work place. So just choose which ever will help you to "learn how to learn" and start reading in your free time.
    yes your right it depends on the university/institutes....
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