Saturday, October 06, 2018

Computer Sciences vs Computer Engineering. What to choose?

Computer Sciences vs. Computer Engineering. What to choose?
Its nearly that time of the year, when A2 and Second Year Students are searching for options and universities to apply in for their higher education. Where many fields are clear that in what they are offering, curriculum in Computer fields are unclear to students. Students interested in the field of IT are utterly confused between Computer Engineering and Computer Sciences as the boundary between the two fields is thought to be blurred. However, this is not true, as we shall see.

You people would probably know the difference between hardware and software, right? That is simply the difference between ENGINEERING and SCIENCES.

In Computer Engineering, the main focus is towards the hardware side, such as designing new and better processors, storage mediums, etc. There is some focus towards the software side as well, though. So, it can be thought to be a mixture of Electronics Engineering and Computer Sciences, where you are required to work both in the hardware, which is actually the main area of study, and in software, which constitutes some part of the degree program.

Computer Sciences, on the other hand, focuses more towards the software side. You want to make games, you go for Computer Sciences (CS). You want to make any software for a firm, you’ll require Computer Sciences. And the list goes on. So, for all geeks out there who plan to sit in front of their laptop screens and simply change the world from there, then what are you waiting for? Simply sign up for the best CS degree you can get out there and be ready to fulfill your dreams. Kudos!

It’ll also be good to tell you a bit about the Accreditations of degrees for both the programs:
Computer Engineering, as the name suggests, is granted a degree by the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) once you’ve completed the program from any of the recognized universities. So, all in all, you can go out there and boast about it without thinking about “Log Kia Kahenge” as after all, you’ll still be an ENGINEER.

Computer Science, on the other hand, is not an Engineering Degree. Instead, it is something much bigger. Ever heard of a scientist, guys? Those Nerdy looking, Big Spectacle people who are carrying out crazy experiments and blowing up things? That is exactly what you are called at the end of the degree program. A. COMPUTER. SCIENTIST. Though, neither are you nerdy looking, nor (expectedly) blowing things up. Instead of the PEC, you’re accredited by National Computing Education Accreditation Council (NCEAC), which, in case you are wondering, is also recognized by Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.

So now comes the decision of which one to choose. However, it is surprising, that the choice is fairly simple for most of the people out there, both because of the job market and the work involved in the respective fields.

Computer Engineering, due to its nature of work, offers little in innovation. Its more or less about improving the existing technologies, or producing those which are similar in functionality to the previous ones.

Computer Sciences, on the other hand, is more about innovation. You’re a scientist, that’s what you’re supposed to do right? Create new things. Whether it be a solution to any real-world problem, or a game, or even a new operating system faster than Apple’s iOS, you need to use your innovation, which, as you can see, is more polished in this direction.

So, if you believe that you want to go for something more mainstream and settled, with a clear vision of what you need to do, and of course, the title of an engineer, you may go for Computer Engineering.

But, if you believe that your innovation and ideas can change the world, then go for being a scientist. No Second Thoughts!!

Related article: Why choose Computer Science as a Career?

By: Zafar Ali Khan

Zafar Ali Khan (ZAK) is an O/A level Computer Science Pakistani educator, entrepreneur, and former programmer. He supports a free online education platform to impart O and A level resources. His resources include notes, video lectures, online discussion groups, an artificial intelligence based virtual assistant, upcoming Android and IOS based apps and a website.

ZAK is teaching a wide spectrum of learners, mainly focusing on Computer Science 2210, 0478 and 9608. ZAK has a stellar online following, which is evident from his 50,000+ online followers. These exist wherever CIE is offered.

ZAK has taught in many auspicious and renowned institutes throughout Karachi for the past 23 years. His teaching methods coupled with his most innovative digital resources helped students achieve outstanding grades including distinctions in CIE. ZAK is an associate of The Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE), which is a Parastatal body, working under the aegis of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources of Mauritius. ZAK's yearly seminars and one-day marathon classes are very famous among the learners.

Before opting for a full-time teaching profession, ZAK has had the privilege of being associated with renowned public and corporate organizations. He has worked in a diversified array of the large local and international corporations both as a part of them and as a consultant. This wide array of organizations commence from Pakistan Army Engineering Corps to the Galileo Emirates, Dubai and The Acutus NY, USA. Industries that ZAK has experienced with, before opting for a teaching profession, are engineering, pharmaceutical, digital video R&D and customer reservation system (CRS). His expertise as application developer, IT administrator, project manager and IT teacher in a wide variety of business applications has always helped him in innovating teaching styles and resources.

To reap a maximum result out of Zak’s efforts it is important to understand his point of view. In simple words, he wants to showcase his research to widest possible audience, enhance subject’s reputation, fulfill social responsibility – provide education for all, share best practice locally & internationally, allow his work for peer review, maximize the use and increase availability of O/A CS educational materials, and to raise standards of educational resources by gathering more contributors.

Additional O/A Computer Science Resources: 

To save costs for students, provide access to more quality choices, help preparation for CS courses and retention of knowledge gained after course completion, more clarity and certainty regarding reuse of materials, Zak has developed few of the following resources so far:

A Detailed Website ( For O/A level computers all of the resources possible are built, optimized and made available through this website. These resources include but not limited to notes, lectures, assignments, and topical past papers etc.

Online Subject Discussion Groups (OL, AL For good understanding of a subject, learning never ends without sharing own and contributing to others’ efforts. These groups make that possible effortlessly. With several hundred teachers and thousands of students from many countries this group will never put you behind when you are in need of CS related help.

YouTube channel ( Modern learning is half done without online lectures’ videos. Here it all ends to seal the deal.

An Artificial Intelligent Chat Bot ( An effort to enhance 24/7 help, a virtual tutor A.I bot is on the way; not perfect though, it will keep you busy learning and may be entertaining.

Mobile Apps: Coming soon, these Apps will keep learners on toes when it comes to support seeking.

Student Encouragement & Support:

Education Fund: Not a big one though but in personal capacity and with friends’ help many students are given support for their tuition fees at schools, centers and universities.

Football Club, Karachi Intrepid FC: Zak being owner and president. Up-and-coming football club from the central region of Karachi, who soon will make in your hearts, gather your support, and will have the whole region glow with the memories it will make, and the echelon of success it will win! 

Online & Offline Tuition Classes: Reinforcement classes for school students and primary source of CS education for private students.

ZAKathon, Education Tomorrowland ( Initially started as a random experiment, these workshop classes in five years’ time have evolved phenomenally in strength and fame. ZAKathon are longer hours’ revision workshop classes that are held just before the CIE paper days and purpose is to help students increase their understanding of O/A level subjects, bolster knowledge gained during these classes and leave students fully prepared for their exams. Certainly it can be termed as "Education Tomorrowland".

ZAK can be reached at:
Contact Card

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