How Electrical Engineering and Computer Science differs



Looking at how even the smallest computer components like the Summit are built, it is easy to see how a wide range of disciplines communicate within electrical engineering and computing. The summit is designed to handle highly advanced machine learning processes that require a lot of data. One of the challenges with machine learning in particular is that it often requires purpose-built hardware to be effective. For example, one of the most common hardware-focused questions for machine learning algorithms is whether to use graphics processing units (GPUs) or central processing units (CPUs). The problem is that the best option depends on the type of technique used and the goals of the application.

Computing covers the knowledge needed to write and train a complex algorithm, but it does not necessarily cover the experience in building hardware that will enable its efficient operation. On the other hand, electrical engineering and computer engineering build an understanding of the structure, design, and power needs to operate complex machines. Since the two fields are closely related, those who have a degree in electrical engineering and computer engineering have in common the performance of tasks closely related to computer science and vice versa. For example, PayScale shows that software engineering is a common career path for graduates from both disciplines.

In addition to the layout and design of individual components, computers and electrical engineers must take into account the materials they are made of and how these components communicate with each other. As technology matures, these systems will become even more complex and will likely include other types of processors.

Master in Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering Programs

The structure of graduate programs in electrical engineering, computer engineering, and computer science varies by program, but, in general, students can expect computer science programs to focus more on programming, networking, databases, and other computer systems.

The electrical and computer engineering degree programs will have a mix of core courses on key engineering concepts, such as random process applications, embedded computer systems, as well as classes in more specific areas such as nanotechnology.

For example, the University of Utah’s Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering program offers courses covering areas such as:


Power system design and analysis

Digital signal processing

Techniques and materials for the construction of sensors and embedded computer systems

Integrated radiofrequency circuits

Remuneration considerations for electrical and computer engineering

With most of the roles listed above, salary potential varies significantly based on years of experience. For example, mid-career electrical engineers earn 10% more on average than overall electrical engineers, and those later in their careers earn over 40% more on average.

As more compact and complex systems become more common in all areas of society – from autonomous vehicles to smart home technology to embedded computing devices for industrial systems – the need for engineers who have both the specialist skills related to their areas of interest that familiarity with more disciplines will grow. As Glassdoor noted in an article earlier this year, some of today’s best engineering jobs, such as electrical engineer, have become long-standing roles in the field, while other roles have emerged due to technological evolution. .

As growing technology markets such as supercomputing, embedded smart technology and others mature, they may give rise to entirely new specialties in electrical and computer engineering, while some of the specialist skills for electrical engineers and knowledge areas of computer engineering and learning to apply principles to specific technology applications will help engineering professionals future-proof their careers.

Enhance your job prospects with the University of Utah’s Online Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering

The University of Utah’s online Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (MSECE) program equips students with advanced skills in solving engineering problems, building effective systems, and leading multidisciplinary teams. Utah is a top-tier research university, listed at number 11 for best value in the Wall Street Journal / Times Higher Education College rankings and among the nation’s best engineering schools by US News and World Report.

Our faculty offers personalized tutoring and draws inspiration from its own cutting-edge research to teach the latest methods and tools. You can complete your MSECE entirely online, incorporating world-class education into your program as you discover opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship. The University of Utah Career and Development Center helps students achieve their long-term goals with a variety of professional resources and coaches available for online dating.

Electrical Engineering vs Computer Science

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