Software Engineering Vs Computer Science


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  1. #1
    Easton Guest

    Software Engineering Vs Computer Science


    Hi there,

    I am currently just a first year Software Engineering student at an Australian
    University. I was wondering if anyone could take the time to explain the
    main differences between Software Engineering and Computer Science? (Sorry
    if it has already been posted before)

    To start with i wanted to do programming, mainly large stand alone applications
    (games, programs, utilities) but being a beginner and all i'm open to explore
    similar areas in these fields (networking, web). It's just frustrating for
    me when the only difference in the subjects we and Computer Science degree
    students do are that Software Engineers must study harder subjects (Mathematics
    galore!) and a year longer than Computer Science. I look at job prospects
    for both degrees and the career/job outcomes is exactly the same! Then why
    bother going through all the extra work in Software Engineering if the outcomes
    are going to be the same?? Please give me a response that will make me feel
    alittle more satisfied for being enrolled in Software Engineering.

    Also, i realise how new Software Engineering as a degree course is. Does
    this mean that in the near future more employee seeking postings will have
    "BS Engineering (Software)" on them? Because at the moment when i do a search
    for Software Engineering positions they're all asking for Computer Science
    degrees!!!!!!

    Also, is a degree at university really necessary for just "a life as a programmer"?.
    I'm starting to feel as though working after first year full time and gaining
    experience early will turn out better for me than completing the entire 4
    year degree before venturing into the work force.
    I know a gentleman who has never done a computer-related course in his life,
    studied mathematics and crossed trained his way into programming and Claims
    to be earning $650,000 AU (Half that to get it in US dollars) in the UK!
    And he only has one and a half years worth of commercial java development
    experience! Compare that with 4 years of hard work at uni, and then graduating
    in an environment where you'd expect to earn $160,000 MAX, and after 4-5
    years experience!

    Thanks for all your help in advance.

  2. #2
    Elena Guest

    Re: Software Engineering Vs Computer Science


    I can't really speak to the Australian job market since I live in the US.
    But I can tell you that many employers here would consider both a "software
    engineering" and a "computer science" degree for the same jobs. However many
    companies would NOT consider a candidate that did not have any degree. There
    are always exceptional situations where someone dropped out of high school
    and is now raking in the cash, but at least here in the US, those situations
    are unusual. A college degree is an important career asset in the long run.


    In the US, an undergraduate degree generally takes 4 years (with the exception
    of a few specialized "cram-course" types of schools.) Are you actually saying
    in Australia the Computer science degree takes, say, 3 years and the Computer
    Engineering degree takes 4? That's quite interesting!

    If as you say the job market doesn't distinguish between the degrees, and
    you have no other interest in college other than as a means of getting a
    job, then you probably could just switch to the "easier" degree. I might
    give some thought to how much I enjoyed the studies before I switched, though.
    I know you are eager to get into the work force and make your millions,
    but once you start you won't have the time to explore the theoretical background
    behind all this IT stuff. You will be rushing to pick up the latest software
    tool so you can make your project deadline. If you can make the time now,
    you might appreciate it later in your career.

    I'm sure whichever way you go, your future will be bright.

    Elena



    "Easton" <easton_chang@email.com> wrote:
    >
    >Hi there,
    >
    >I am currently just a first year Software Engineering student at an Australian
    >University. I was wondering if anyone could take the time to explain the
    >main differences between Software Engineering and Computer Science? (Sorry
    >if it has already been posted before)
    >
    >To start with i wanted to do programming, mainly large stand alone applications
    >(games, programs, utilities) but being a beginner and all i'm open to explore
    >similar areas in these fields (networking, web). It's just frustrating for
    >me when the only difference in the subjects we and Computer Science degree
    >students do are that Software Engineers must study harder subjects (Mathematics
    >galore!) and a year longer than Computer Science. I look at job prospects
    >for both degrees and the career/job outcomes is exactly the same! Then why
    >bother going through all the extra work in Software Engineering if the outcomes
    >are going to be the same?? Please give me a response that will make me feel
    >alittle more satisfied for being enrolled in Software Engineering.
    >
    >Also, i realise how new Software Engineering as a degree course is. Does
    >this mean that in the near future more employee seeking postings will have
    >"BS Engineering (Software)" on them? Because at the moment when i do a search
    >for Software Engineering positions they're all asking for Computer Science
    >degrees!!!!!!
    >
    >Also, is a degree at university really necessary for just "a life as a programmer"?.
    >I'm starting to feel as though working after first year full time and gaining
    >experience early will turn out better for me than completing the entire

    4
    >year degree before venturing into the work force.
    >I know a gentleman who has never done a computer-related course in his life,
    >studied mathematics and crossed trained his way into programming and Claims
    >to be earning $650,000 AU (Half that to get it in US dollars) in the UK!
    >And he only has one and a half years worth of commercial java development
    >experience! Compare that with 4 years of hard work at uni, and then graduating
    >in an environment where you'd expect to earn $160,000 MAX, and after 4-5
    >years experience!
    >
    >Thanks for all your help in advance.



  3. #3
    David K. Guest

    Re: Software Engineering Vs Computer Science


    "Easton" <easton_chang@email.com> wrote:

    >I am currently just a first year Software Engineering student at an Australian
    >University. I was wondering if anyone could take the time to explain the
    >main differences between Software Engineering and Computer Science? (Sorry
    >if it has already been posted before)
    >


    Software Engineering usually has to do with the "process" of creating software.
    This would cover things like methodologies, metrics, project management
    and the like. Computer Science is sort of a "catch-all" for anything having
    to do with computer software. At the school I went to, Software Engineering
    was an "area of concentration" within the Computer Science dept. It wasn't
    a separate degree.

    >To start with i wanted to do programming, mainly large stand alone applications
    >(games, programs, utilities) but being a beginner and all i'm open to explore
    >similar areas in these fields (networking, web). It's just frustrating for
    >me when the only difference in the subjects we and Computer Science degree
    >students do are that Software Engineers must study harder subjects (Mathematics
    >galore!) and a year longer than Computer Science. I look at job prospects
    >for both degrees and the career/job outcomes is exactly the same! Then why
    >bother going through all the extra work in Software Engineering if the outcomes
    >are going to be the same?? Please give me a response that will make me feel
    >alittle more satisfied for being enrolled in Software Engineering.
    >


    I haven't heard of many people with a degree in Software Engineer, so I can't
    comment on whether it's more meaningful or not. However, from your description,
    it sounds like it is harder than CS at your school. Personally, I would
    take some pride in the fact that you will be taking the harder road. A little
    extra math and stats never hurt anyone! Besides, when you interview, you
    can always use the fact that you chose the harder degree to your advantage.

    >Also, i realise how new Software Engineering as a degree course is. Does
    >this mean that in the near future more employee seeking postings will have
    >"BS Engineering (Software)" on them? Because at the moment when i do a search
    >for Software Engineering positions they're all asking for Computer Science
    >degrees!!!!!!
    >


    Like I said, I don't know of many people with Software Engineering degrees.
    That may be the reason why you aren't seeing it turn up in job postings.
    If you notice, though, a lot of postings use terms like BS in Computer Science
    or equivalent, which I interpret as meaning "some sort of computer-related
    degree", so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

    >Also, is a degree at university really necessary for just "a life as a programmer"?.



    >I'm starting to feel as though working after first year full time and gaining
    >experience early will turn out better for me than completing the entire

    4
    >year degree before venturing into the work force.
    >I know a gentleman who has never done a computer-related course in his life,
    >studied mathematics and crossed trained his way into programming and Claims
    >to be earning $650,000 AU (Half that to get it in US dollars) in the UK!
    >And he only has one and a half years worth of commercial java development
    >experience! Compare that with 4 years of hard work at uni, and then graduating
    >in an environment where you'd expect to earn $160,000 MAX, and after 4-5
    >years experience!
    >


    I've noticed other people using similar logic to try and convince themselves
    and others that college isn't worth the time and money. The argument usually
    goes like this, "So-and-so didn't go to college, and look how much money
    they've made". This argument is bogus for these reasons:

    - For every person that succeeded without the benefit of a college education,
    there are probably dozens of people who regretted not getting one.

    - While people often regret not going to college, nobody who DID go to college
    ever regrets it.

    I assume that you are still young, so you have plenty of years left in your
    life to make your money. Does it really matter if you enter the work force
    at age 22 vs. age 18? College is a great experience and a great opportunity.
    You shouldn't give it up on a whim.

    Best of luck to you!



  4. #4
    Easton Guest

    Re: Software Engineering Vs Computer Science


    Thanks for all of your responses!

    It is true that for the university that i'm studying in, the Computer Science
    degree is 3 years and for Software Engineering it is 4.

    You can view the course outlines for comp sci and soft eng here:
    Soft: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/coursein....htm#TopOfPage

    Comp:
    http://www.newcastle.edu.au/coursein....htm#TopOfPage

    Basically i guess.. the last, third year of computer science is all electives.
    They pretty much can branch off into any given field of IT. Whereas Soft
    Engineers are given less freedom, we do more maths and we do more "Computer
    Hardware" oriented subjects. I hope it will benefit me in the long run, because
    i've decided not to transfer over

    I studied the subject outlines for the later subjects for soft eng and yes
    it appears to be mainly software process stuff. The cut off marks for entry
    into these courses (we have a UAI system, UAI is out of 100 and is a rank
    of a student compared to the rest of the state, 100 is best, 0 is worst)
    and at the University of Sydney to enroll for Computer Science you'll need
    a UAI of around 90, whereas for Software Engineering it's 98(that is an unbeleivably
    high score, similar to getting into law and medicine)
    So software engineering is most definately the more academically superior
    course to gain entry into. In fact, it is the most difficult course to gain
    entry to for any IT or Engineering degree.

    And finally.. yes, i am young. I'm 17

    Thank you once again,


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