Computer Science vs. Computer Engineering: Career Path Opportunities

Jobs in the technology sector have been increasing at a rapid clip over the past several decades. This is a trend that is only expected to continue as more and more companies digitalize their operations and embrace their own “technological revolutions

Behind every well-oiled business tech stack is a team of well-compensated computer science and engineering experts. In this article, we take a look at what these career paths are to see which one is right for you.

What is Computer Science?

Computer science is a broad field that deals primarily with troubleshooting and maintaining technology. A computer scientist may need to learn a range of different programming languages. They will also need to learn how to work with and troubleshoot multiple operating systems to suit their employer’s technological needs.

Computer science careers are usually launched by a degree in computer science. While a bachelor’s may be sufficient to get you started, it is worth noting that people with a Master’s degree in computer science often earn up to five figures more per year than people who only have a bachelor’s degree.

What is Computer Engineering?

While computer science focuses mostly on technology at the software level, computer engineering is more physically hands-on, dealing directly with the hardware. A computer engineer may work to design software to hardware user interfaces, and maintain systems at a physical level.

Breaking it Down Further

It’s important to keep in mind that both career paths can be targeted and specialized. For example, if you are interested more in cybersecurity than day-to-day IT, you can get special certifications that allow you to operate within the field of cyber security.

Further specialization could include programming or game design. Jobs in the technology niche are diverse, so look for a concentration that is naturally suited to your interests.

Choosing the Career Path for You

Both computer science and engineering are career paths that are associated with high salaries. According to the bureau of labor statistics, people with a background in computer sciences earn a median salary of around $126 thousand, while people with an engineering background come in at just under $120 thousand.

Of course, specializing in a particular concentration can heavily influence your eventual salary. Most people will be best off choosing the field that is the most interesting to them, and then working to find ways to maximize their earning potential.

To that end, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to pursue a graduate degree in either discipline. Not only do people with advanced degrees make more money, but they are also more marketable for the fact that they have advanced, up-to-date skills in their chosen profession.

If there is one thing technology does, it’s changed. By continuing your education, you not only make sure that your skillset is current, but you also attract future employers and bring a powerful bargaining chip to the negotiation table. It’s a win on all scores.

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