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comp sci or software engineering (1 Viewer)

jkjkjk

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im confused as to what the differences between the two degrees in terms of job prospects are. which one has more job opportunities?
 

Lilpiggie0522

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SE is a bit more practical and hands-on. Whereas, CS has a significant portion of theoretical content in it. When it comes to job prospects in Australia, they are almost identical due to the relatively less opportunities and variations in positions in Australian tech industry. So in one sentence, if you enjoy coding more, and purely coding, you can't go wrong with SE. If not, then CS is probably your thing since it is really science related.
 

Porogamiii

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I recommend looking at the handbooks for which uni you plan to go to and see their course structure. For example USYD SWE has 3 majors (IoT, computer engineering and intelligent processing) which are actually more hardware/electrical focused whereas their advanced computing degree (aka their CS degree) has software majors (data science, infosys, software development). UTS and UNSW don't have majors for SWE and their course is more structured, whereas their CS has a lot more electives. This will see you taking subjects like interdisciplinary engineering, software lifecycle and agile development for SWE whereas CS has more technical/theoretical subjects in computational theory and the like.

Also consider that SWE is technically an engineering degree so certain unis have specific programs like UTS diploma of professional practice or USYD PEP as part of the degree in addition to a mandatory (?) honours year at all 3 unis, meaning a SWE degree is a minimum of 4 years, compared to 3 for CS.

So it depends on which uni but generally a SWE degree is more likely to lead you to a job working with other engineers where software is just a part of the project (like programming speed cameras for example by working with civil and electrical engineers) whereas a CS degree leans into working with other computer scientists or as part of developing pure software projects like web dev or data science. However, each degree can go either way and both are seen as equivalent for employers.

So choose whichever structure you like more. IT/software/engineering people in Aus are in a large shortage with strong projected future growth (see skills priority list by the National Skills Commission - developer programmer and software engineer are category 1). Also there was a recent stat that out of the 38 OECD countries, Aus ranked at 35/38 for the number of engineers produced meaning it's in quite high demand.
 

jkjkjk

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I recommend looking at the handbooks for which uni you plan to go to and see their course structure. For example USYD SWE has 3 majors (IoT, computer engineering and intelligent processing) which are actually more hardware/electrical focused whereas their advanced computing degree (aka their CS degree) has software majors (data science, infosys, software development). UTS and UNSW don't have majors for SWE and their course is more structured, whereas their CS has a lot more electives. This will see you taking subjects like interdisciplinary engineering, software lifecycle and agile development for SWE whereas CS has more technical/theoretical subjects in computational theory and the like.

Also consider that SWE is technically an engineering degree so certain unis have specific programs like UTS diploma of professional practice or USYD PEP as part of the degree in addition to a mandatory (?) honours year at all 3 unis, meaning a SWE degree is a minimum of 4 years, compared to 3 for CS.

So it depends on which uni but generally a SWE degree is more likely to lead you to a job working with other engineers where software is just a part of the project (like programming speed cameras for example by working with civil and electrical engineers) whereas a CS degree leans into working with other computer scientists or as part of developing pure software projects like web dev or data science. However, each degree can go either way and both are seen as equivalent for employers.

So choose whichever structure you like more. IT/software/engineering people in Aus are in a large shortage with strong projected future growth (see skills priority list by the National Skills Commission - developer programmer and software engineer are category 1). Also there was a recent stat that out of the 38 OECD countries, Aus ranked at 35/38 for the number of engineers produced meaning it's in quite high demand.
wow thank you, im deciding between usyd and unsw. is it a disadvantage that UNSW doesn't have majors for SWE? Also, is the difficulty level for cs and swe relatively the same? or does it depend on which course/uni you go to?
 

Porogamiii

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wow thank you, im deciding between usyd and unsw. is it a disadvantage that UNSW doesn't have majors for SWE? Also, is the difficulty level for cs and swe relatively the same? or does it depend on which course/uni you go to?
UNSW CS still has majors (the only uni in syd with cybersecurity I believe so go there if you're into that) and their SWE still has quite a few electives so I wouldn't say it's a disadvantage unless you're pretty set on one of the USYD ones. Generally people also consider UNSW to be better than USYD for SWE/CS, but it's not a huge difference and people often go to whichever one is closer.

You can probably expect CS to be more difficult in terms of maths and technical skills, especially if you go the data science/cybersec/intelligent processing route whereas SWE draws upon more general engineering concepts and soft skills like project management/planning and interdisciplinary work, however 80% of the content is pretty much the same between the two degrees. Not too sure on overall difficulty but I imagine they would be pretty close.

In terms of the uni's themselves, I've read mixed reviews about UNSW's trimesters as it's structured so students study 9 subjects / year as opposed to 8 with semesters at USYD meaning you go less in depth which some people have said makes the course feel rushed. USYD also has this work experience PEP program for their engineering degrees (so CS not included) which sounds good on paper, but I've also seen mixed opinions about it.

For context, I'm personally planning on going to USYD for SWE because I got their early offer and it's closer but if I did get early offers from both unis and lived equally close, then I would have probably chosen UNSW.
 

Drdusk

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im confused as to what the differences between the two degrees in terms of job prospects are. which one has more job opportunities?
There is literally zero difference when it comes to career prospects. SE forces you to do some extra mandatory courses that focus on stuff like the SE life cycle, project management etc. With CS you skip all these courses which allows you to do more electives that may interest you. However SE still does the same core theoretical courses that CS does. I would recommend CS over SE anyday, it's more flexible in that way and is also one year less. If you want a honours that badly you can still do honours with CS if you apply.
 

jkjkjk

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There is literally zero difference when it comes to career prospects. SE forces you to do some extra mandatory courses that focus on stuff like the SE life cycle, project management etc. With CS you skip all these courses which allows you to do more electives that may interest you. However SE still does the same core theoretical courses that CS does. I would recommend CS over SE anyday, it's more flexible in that way and is also one year less. If you want a honours that badly you can still do honours with CS if you apply.
yeah that makes sense although I don't enjoy math that much and doesn't cs have more math than swe? i just want to make sure I don't torture myself for the next 4 years lol. and do u need to have any prior experience with coding or anything like that for either degrees or do they teach you from scratch? I've heard people say that you need to self learn coding
 

Drdusk

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yeah that makes sense although I don't enjoy math that much and doesn't cs have more math than swe? i just want to make sure I don't torture myself for the next 4 years lol. and do u need to have any prior experience with coding or anything like that for either degrees or do they teach you from scratch? I've heard people say that you need to self learn coding
Both CS and SE do the same math courses. Yes they teach you from scratch, but UNSW moves quite fast compared to other unis so you have to stay on top of your game.
 

jkjkjk

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when u graduate from swe, you can call yourself a software engineer but when you graduate from cs, are you a computer scientist? is that a thing?
 

Porogamiii

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when u graduate from swe, you can call yourself a software engineer but when you graduate from cs, are you a computer scientist? is that a thing?
Well titles in tech are fairly interchangeable like software engineer/programmer/developer/coder. However a computer scientist as a job would be more theoretical than a developer role probably doing research or optimising algorithms being much more maths heavy. But both graduates can apply for either role at a bacholer's level, only when going masters or phd would there be a much greater difference.
 

brent012

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when u graduate from swe, you can call yourself a software engineer but when you graduate from cs, are you a computer scientist? is that a thing?
Depends on the company mostly, but usually you'll see a standardisation of roles towards "Software Developer" or "Software Engineer", irrespective of what degree (if any) people have. Any more specific titles are usually related to specialisation rather than qualifications, e.g. Front End, Back End, ML.

Every now and then there is talk about engineer registration and making engineer a protected title in NSW or parts of Australia, which makes a lot of sense for civil engineering and other majors, but maybe not so much in Software. If "Engineer" became a protected term in Australia and didn't exclude software from that, there would likely just be a shift towards "Software Developer" for titles.

However a computer scientist as a job would be more theoretical than a developer role probably doing research or optimising algorithms being much more maths heavy.
Computer Scientist as a job would be in academia, possibly in industry where the title is usually something along the lines of "Research Scientist" instead.

I haven't really seen a distinction in job titles for people that focus on low level optimisations and stuff, it's usually just an expectation in certain fields or working on certain types of software.
 

dasfas

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Well titles in tech are fairly interchangeable like software engineer/programmer/developer/coder. However a computer scientist as a job would be more theoretical than a developer role probably doing research or optimising algorithms being much more maths heavy. But both graduates can apply for either role at a bacholer's level, only when going masters or phd would there be a much greater difference.
Sorry this is not true at all. All CS jobs in industry are SWE. There is very little if any optimisation of algorithms, let alone any maths/research.

You're thinking of CS in academia, only then do you use algos/research.

And yes, CS/SWE are essentially the same with regards to job applications in tech. Maybe CS is a little preferred, but not significantly.
 

brent012

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Also, MQ offers a degree called bachelor of information technology, is it similar to CS or SWE
It depends if they are offering it instead of CS. It looks kind of similar to the BSc IT course at UTS which is offered in addition to a CS and SEng course. Those types of courses usually have less technical majors for more business oriented IT roles which are more popular amongst students.

It seems Macquarie have a "Software Technology" major just as UTS have an "Enterprise Systems Development" major that covers software development, the UTS program doesn't really have the mathematical or theoretical grounding of CS or the engineering core/breadth of SEng. It's probably fine for the average development role, but for more desirable roles you'd need some experience or self study to be competitive against a CS student. Which is not a deal breaker, as any serious student should be prepping a portfolio and self studying for interviews anyway.

The Macquarie program seems to cover discrete maths at least though and seems to be offered instead of CS, so it might be a bit different to the UTS IT program which has no maths.
 
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