Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Software Engineering v/s Computer Systems Engineering

software vs computer science engineering
Computer Software Engineering vs Computer Systems Engineering (CSW vs CSE), this is something which is very confusing to many students who wish to pursue their education in any of these two fields of engineering. Computer Science is the study of computer system including the theoretical foundation of computer and information systems, including algorithmic processes, computation of practical techniques involved and principals related to its architectural design and software. Being a vast field, Computer Science incorporates within itself the sub domains of Computer Software Engineering as well as Computer Hardware Engineering.

Computer Systems Engineering or simply Computer Engineering primarily focuses on the hardware aspects of a computer system. Professionals trained under this category are known as Computer engineers who are usually well versed in electronics, electrical and hardware design integration, with experience ranging from microprocessors, circuit analysis, personal computers and pocket PCs. Whereas Computer Software Engineers get to know about the high level of software creativity in a systematic and controlled manner where they get to be trained in various aspect of software development lifecycle, right from the requirement specification to the maintenance phase, ending at the evaluation of a specified project. Being in the process, they assure that the product is made effectively under the devised budget and time as stated earlier. As Software Engineering deals with the galvanized process of developing the software as a product, it involves project requirements, analysis, design, coding, testing and deployment followed by delivery and maintenance, hence covering the whole lifecycle.

Mostly during the course of studies at universities, the classification between Computer Systems Engineering students and Computer Software Engineering student remains the level of course undertaken at senior level. Those falling in the former have more stress upon electrical and electronic engineering with extensive practical experience been taken over courses such as Signals & Systems, Circuit Analysis & Design, Microprocessor Interfacing and Computer Architectural Analysis, whereas students of Software Engineering are taught Algorithmic Analysis, Software Architecture & Design, Design Patterns and Software Engineering courses, where the focus is to learn about developing such solutions which have tendency to deal with data manipulation and control.

What is generally seen is that after graduating from colleges, mostly the Computer System engineers either adopt the discipline of System Analysts or Network Engineers and the others opt for microcontroller analysis and design, thus being a part of developing the computer systems and coming up as a blend of computer science and electrical engineering. However, those who had studied Computer Software Engineering as their majors tend to practice the design and implementation of large, reliable and economical software by incorporating the principles and practices of software development lifecycle. A common myth that prevails in the minds of many who intend to adopt Computer Science as a professional continues to be the fact that Software Engineering is only meant for those individuals who love sitting in front of a gloomy computer and code programs all the time which is absolutely wrong, irrespective of what realm you opt to do, you get involved with programming at one stage or the other to get your job done, hence making programming a pertinent feature of computer science.

In a nutshell, if you are interested in learning how software are developed in order to manipulate data and their internal algorithmic working, there is none profession better than Computer Software, but if you want to develop the computer system itself inculcating the hardware aspects, Computer Systems is your pick.


  1. I don't think if there is any difference between Software engineering and Computer Science. They are taught almost same courses. Only a few elective courses are different in some cases. Both will get same type of jobs.

    1. Yeah although there is no great difference between software and computer science engineering when we look at job placements. But you see an engineer is always different from a normal graduate. A graduate in computer science is not an engineer. That's the difference.


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