Difference Between Computer Science & Software Engineering

In this article we’ll do comparison study and make difference between computer science and software engineering. Those people who are really interested and focused on software development and field of computer technology mainly have two major fields. These fields are computer science and software engineering. Sometimes engineering also mentioned software development field as well. For sure both these fields will prepare their students to develop the related roles. As both these fields have some similarities but actually they are not same. They have so many similarities and also have obvious difference between among them. When we see the basic definitions of difference between computer science and software engineering.

Difference Between Software Engineering and Computer Science

What is Computer Science?

Computer Science

We came to know that field of computer basically emphasizes and focus on the understanding, designing and developing different programs. When we talk about the software engineering it basically deals with the building and maintaining the software systems that have been developed. When we talk about the differences between these two fields we came to know that Computer science is basically a branch of mathematics and it really involves the following

  • Computer sciences really includes discrete mathematics in it like graph theory, combinations and logic.
  • It contains programming languages theories that includes like type theory, languages and compilers.
  • This field also contains information, theories like crypto compression and errors.
  • It also contains the theory of computations like automatons and complexity.
  • Algorithms and data structure also included in the computer science via algorithm analysis.
  • Artificial intelligence also included in the computer science in the name of machine learning robotic and data mining as well.
  • Digital logic, operating systems, networking systems architecture also included in the computer science.
  • Mainly the graphics and geometry also included in this field.

What is Software Engineering?

Software Engineering

Basically not everyone say that software engineering field is comprised of computer sciences but actually it makes some sense. The thing that we, must focused in software engineering is that we are building something. This is really appropriate field of engineering. The things on which you have to worry and which are similar in other engineering fields include:

  • Software architecture and design (how the software been architected and what is its design)
  • How you will maintain your software and what is its scalability.
  • These are basic points that you must focused in software engineering field are validation, testing and automation.
  • Quality assurance is also very important in this field of software engineering.
  • User interface must be under consideration in the software engineering.

Difference Between Computer Science and Software Engineering

You will notice something interesting here is that you can’t do anything on the second list without knowing few basic things from the first list. The field of computer science basically gives you the knowledge while software engineering field helps to build the real world stuff. The difference is the Physicist and a civil, mechanical, nuclear or aerospace engineer. As engineer uses physics but there is lot more in the field of engineering than just calculations, equations or some experiments. These two fields are actually overlapping as you can’t find something in these fields without knowing something in both fields.

This is really helpful to understand that how these both fields are similar in nature. As both these fields are concerned with the sciences and software and virtually these both fields are related with each other. One of the basic similarities is that both these degrees either it is computer science or it is software engineering it specializes the programming fields, developing systems their architectures and applications as well. To know about these core systems one must have knowledge about the computer sciences especially about the software and its subfields and applications.

As we know there is difference between these two fields although no two professionals of computers explain these two fields in really same way. Really an informative way to understand the difference between these two is by given nomenclature like science and engineer. As we all know that engineers have tasks to develop the solutions of different problems. They also create much efficient processes by using different tools that already been used. Software engineer, we often find them in creating new software by using the existing languages that are already in their practice. On the other hand computer scientists have their expertise on research and developing the limitations of that field. In short the computer scientists, are the creators of the algorithms and languages that are used in the development of software used by the software engineer.

Side by Side Comparison

Let’s have some side by side comparison between these fields. We will understand that which field individuals prefer more.

When we talk about the computer sciences and software engineering and their fields and knowledge areas we came to know that curriculum of computer sciences focus on the following knowledge areas:

  • The field of computer sciences has association with the algorithms and its complexity.
  • Majorly deals with the computer architecture and its design as well.
  • Computational sciences also refer in computer sciences and a lot of work is been done so far on this.
  • Discrete structure and human-computer interaction also refer as the fields of computer sciences.
  • You know the terms of networking and communications and mainly the operating systems. These are one of the major areas of computer sciences.

The IEEE society of computers and the association of computing machinery study and found the following core areas in the software engineering.

  • Mathematical and engineering fields are core areas of software engineering on which still a lot work is in process by the scientists.
  • You often see the modeling of the software and their analysis as well also done by the software engineers.
  • When the software engineer designs a software they pass it through a complete process all these processing and its quality, assurance, and security also covered by the software engineers.

Read Also: Hardware vs Software


Many people agree on the field of computer sciences that it provides the core knowledge and abstract problem-solving technology whereas software engineering field allows the individuals to implement the computer science knowledge to build the software. Both these fields have equal importance but without getting knowledge of computer science you can’t achieve the goals of computer engineering. Rate our comparison and difference between the both terms in below comment box.

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