View Full Version : software engineering or computer science?

06 June 2006, 02:56 PM
Hello !

I wanted to ask any experienced programmers
or any current college students this question.
I know that programming for this field is broad and vast, from animation to
actual software creation, to 3dgames programming to writing compositing scripts
or scripts for video editing.

Any feedback for my following thoughts would be great in giving me greater insight.
I am applying for university next month, early application for march 2007.This is a big
decision for me as I will be applying myself for the next 4 years at university and
wanting to spend a career in it.

I was wondering if any one had done a computer science degree, what it involves,
as in what theory or skills do you get out of that degree that allow you to work in
the graphics industry?
This as opposed to a software engineering degree which from my guess focuses on
writing code for specifically software creation using C++, VB6, C, C# and maybe Java.
I`m thinking software engineering covers the strategies, rules and theories
behind making software.

My 3 key interest areas are programming for 3d games progamming,
and I wanted to learn neural net creation, (maybe some digital signal processing
if I could get it) and artificial intelligence creation technologies.

Any advice or insights or wisdom from your experiences would really help !:bounce:

Thanks ! I`m glad to be a part of this massive community :thumbsup:


06 June 2006, 04:31 AM
Hi there,
I'm not a programmer by a long shot, but I saw Games programming and AI, perhaps this might help?


06 June 2006, 02:11 PM
Software Engineering involves learning how to architect software and manage large-scale software projects. Computer Science programs normally involve detailed programming, design, math, theory, etc. Some schools offer computer science concentrations that focus on graphics. Overall, it's best to check which courses are required before deciding.

06 June 2006, 07:02 PM
From my experience you will most likely want to go with Computer Science.

A Soft.Eng. degree would be great but what you will want to watch for is what the course requirements are for each degree at the school you are looking at. I went to University of Waterloo which has both CS and Soft.Eng. degrees but once you add up all of the required courses for Soft.Eng. you didn't have that many free electives to choose from the courses that you may find more a graphics course.

e.g. I took the 4'th year Graphics and AI courses at Waterloo but if I had been in Soft.Eng. I would have had to take all of the 4'th year courses that were specific to Soft.Eng. and I probably wouldn't have had time to take both Graphics and AI.

That being could get the same job here at Alias (I mean Autodesk) with the CS degree or Soft.Eng. degree.

06 June 2006, 07:37 PM
I chose Comp Sci both times because the uni I went to didn't have Software Engineering. It didn't have much graphics either so I put my free-electives to good use.

Had I had the opportunity, I probably would have gone SW Engin, but I still would have had to made good use of the electives.

07 July 2006, 03:01 PM
I've just completed a degree in Software Engineering, and at my university (University of Teesside), following the module choices available, it was possible to just about make SE and CS the same (depending on module choices).

Following Software Engineering, it was possible to concentrate on things like Artificial Intelligence (or lack of, going by the tutor I had), and VR (using VRML scripting and the Unreal runtime engine).

Both degrees include a fair amount of programming (9 different languages for me!), along with databases, web programming, games design, etc.

CGTalk Moderation
07 July 2006, 03:01 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.