difficulty meter
Which is harder: engineering or computer science? 6/30/2011 8:01PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I know all engineering fields are not equally difficult but take a ubiquitous discipline like mechanical engineering and compare it to CS. Which is harder?
math
RE: Which is harder: engineering or computer science? 6/30/2011 8:03PM - in reply to difficulty meter Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
math: it makes me sleepy and/or makes my head hurt

never liked it, much prefer literature
bguyj2009
RE: Which is harder: engineering or computer science? 6/30/2011 8:19PM - in reply to math Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Engineering, I can assure you. As a CompSci undergrad at GTech, I admit that our electrical engineering buddies have it harder. They have harder math requirements, more physics based classes, a harder course load in general, and not as much leeway with answers to problems.

You have to get exact answers in engineering classes. In CS, it is more about theory, and less about having exact answers.

Another thing is that, unless you're really good at applying math to real life situations, engineering will be difficult for you. In CS, we mostly translate the formulas that the engineers used into code...not nearly as hard as correctly applying the formulas.
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As an aside, I will say it depends on the engineering. I've heard from fellow undergrads that CivilEs and IE's (industrial engineers) have it the easiest. On the opposite side of the code, you have your computer engineers, electrical engineers, and, the hardest of all, seeming to be the rocket scientists, aka aerospace engineers.
luv2run
RE: Which is harder: engineering or computer science? 6/30/2011 8:23PM - in reply to difficulty meter Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Some people find one more difficult than the other. I did a little programming a long time ago and liked it (not as a career---bad move there). I know some really smart people in each field that would probably find the other occupation hard.
bguyj2009
RE: Which is harder: engineering or computer science? 6/30/2011 8:27PM - in reply to bguyj2009 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
If you're good at abstract thinking, go with computer science.

If you're better at true critical, out of the box thinking to solve real world scenarios, go with engineering. You'll make more money as an engineer.

The reason I say this is because most fresh CS grads will end up as code monkeys, but they're competing with people from India who will work for 1/10th the pay.
To land the really good jobs like at the NSa and the FBI and CIA, and our research agencies, like Nasa, you have to have a fairly high GPA. These jobs are less likely to be filled by Indian code monkeys and run-of-the-mill CS graduates. But you need a high GPA and must be exceptionally strong in math as well as all your other subjects.
bguyj2009
RE: Which is harder: engineering or computer science? 6/30/2011 8:31PM - in reply to luv2run Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

luv2run wrote:

Some people find one more difficult than the other. I did a little programming a long time ago and liked it (not as a career---bad move there). I know some really smart people in each field that would probably find the other occupation hard.


I take back my comment about engineers making more money. You can check out the statistics on the Internet for information like that. Its obviously gonna vary by the type of engineer. My guess is that social engineers make the lowest.
CS Grad
RE: Which is harder: engineering or computer science? 6/30/2011 8:45PM - in reply to difficulty meter Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I can only speak to CS from personal experience. It seems to be a field that you either get conceptually, or you don't. For part of the class, most of the concepts were pretty easy and the work was just learning the languages, processes, and technologies. For the other half the class, it seemed they would marginally understand and be able to work with the concepts even if they worked hard.

There's a certain part of CS that is mechanical and anyone could do it (learn a language, perform basic commands). There's another part that takes a creative/analytical mind to excel at. I always found this reality to limit how the class could operate, and thus I don't think CS classes are all that hard.

From my observation of my engineering friends (aerospace, mechanical), it seems that engineering is a whole lot more work, and probably conceptually harder as well.
bguyj2009
RE: Which is harder: engineering or computer science? 6/30/2011 8:52PM - in reply to CS Grad Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
That is true. And in engineering, you can't be as sloppy with your work. I know people who get by with sloppy code but as long as it gets the right output, it doesn't matter.
I can't imagine an engineer's workspace being as disorganized. Half the time, a CS student who doesn't know what the hell they are doing will just keep moving braces and if/else statements around until the output matches what the test output should be. And then, they turn in the work and think they've coded the right solution.
cs alum
RE: Which is harder: engineering or computer science? 6/30/2011 11:12PM - in reply to difficulty meter Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Engineering is hard just about anywhere. Computer science is more hit-or-miss, but the top computer science programs at Stanford, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Berkeley, etc., will challenge anyone. Same deal with the top engineering programs.
Engineering
RE: Which is harder: engineering or computer science? 7/1/2011 2:08AM - in reply to difficulty meter Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
CS is easy since the tools are are in place.
Engineering
RE: Which is harder: engineering or computer science? 7/1/2011 2:08AM - in reply to difficulty meter Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
CS is easy since the tools are are in place.
rekrunner
RE: Which is harder: engineering or computer science? 7/1/2011 7:52AM - in reply to difficulty meter Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I found them both easy.