Is computer science harder than engineering? (solved)

If you are wondering if computer science is harder than engineering or vice versa this post is for you.

 in this post, we’re going to discover the difference between computer science and engineering and also know the difference between subjects that Engineers study and computer science do.

So keep reading if you look for detailed information.

Is computer science harder than engineering?

Computer science has the same complexity or hardness as any engineering occupation. But the major difference that makes engineering harder than computer science for some people, is having concentrated physics classes That computer science doesn’t.

Engineers Majors or programs have tough physics subjects that a lot of people struggle into.  while computer science engineering students Focus on math and programming rather than physics.

  • Engineering is focusing  on some high-level physics topics, especially the following ones:
  • thermodynamics
  • kinematics
  • solid state physics
  • fluid dynamic

That is to say, if you find physics hard or boring, computer science would be easier for you. but in the condition of being good at math because computer science goes deeper and studies a lot of math subjects. Also other complex subjects such as:

  • algorithms
  • programming languages like c and c++ which is essential
  • machine learning
  • comptuer vision
  • data structure
  • artificial intelligence, etc

computer science vs engineering: difference in subjects

here are the 5 principal subjects in computer science focus alto on:

1 – math

Number School Text Math Symbol Education

the first and the hardest thing In computer science is math is essential and is more important than anything even physics or programming, computer science majors focus on math. Because is what make excellent programmers who can solve problems in the difficult industry like cryptography or blockchain.

The principal subjects that computer science students focus on are:

  • linear algebra
  • trigonometry
  • statistics and probability
  • calculus ( you will study calculus 1 calculus 2 and calculus 3)

calculus is taking a big portion in computer science, the same thing with all engineering majors. Calculus is the hardest subject that computer science and engineering students struggle with.

So before going to engineering classes or computer science, you have to take or prepare for some calculus courses. Especially precalculus and calculus 1 with preference.

Being bad in math is not meaning you should not study computer science, but you have to understand that math is needed in this field and you should improve yourself on it.

you could read this article: Should I study CS if I’m bad at math? (Honest answer)

So no matter any engineering you are taking, computer science, mechanical, electrical, or any engineering major. As a result, you will need to understand these 3 principal subjects

2 – programming

The second thing that is hard in computer science is programming, as a comptuer science student, you will need to learn the programming basics. So you will study a lot of programming subjects like:

  • algorithms
  • programming languages like c and c++ which is essential
  • machine learning
  • comptuer vision
  • data structure
  • artificial intelligence and so on

all these subjects are math-heavy, so you will apply a lot of algebra and calculus to these subjects. So math is too interesting.

for instance:

  • in machine learning, you will be using calculus and linear algebra
  • Data structure needs statistics and probability

At the same time if you take an engineering major like electrical or mechatronic you will be also needed to learn some programming skills. But you will not need to dig deeper into programming like a computer science student.

 It doesn’t mean that all engineering Majors need coding, but the majority of them require as we mentioned in the previous paragraph.

So in general as an engineer, you need to learn some programming Basics like C, C++ Python, and maybe other ones.

3 – physics

physics is hard

physics is also important in comptuer science, especially in computing subjects. But generally, it is not used hardly as much as in mechanical or electrical engineering majors. Computer science majors focus on math a lot more than any other subjects.

While other engineering majors use math or implement it in physics. So this is the solid difference between computer science and all engineering majors.

physis thought in computer science is not hard for other engineering majors like mechanical or electrical engineers who focus on complex physics subjects like:

  • Fluid mechanics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Quantum mechanics

So for students who hate physics, computer science will be easier for them if they enjoy studying math alone.

They just have to take some Physics Basics courses like physics 1 and physics 2 and their computer science program before keeping them in the next use In their last years of a program. 

4 – electronics

in the first year as a comptuer science student, you will study electronic basic circuit model. Wich, you will study electronics laws and discover the electronics components like:

  • resistor
  • capacitors
  • transistors
  • integrated circuits
  • diodes
  • MOSFETs and etc

you will build a lot of electronics circuits and learn how to program them. in the electronics model, you will be also using some math like algebra to solve equations, when you analyze circuits.

At the same time, if you are studying electrical or electronic engineering you dig deeper into this subject. Especially in the hardware part while a computer science major focuses a lot on software development.

But for people who are taking specialty in engineering and other engineering majors like biology, chemistry, or even civil engineering they don’t have to worry about Electronics. Simply because they want the study also released electrical and electronic subjects.

5 – Desing

CAD high schoolers

design is the last interesting subject that engineering students learn and focus hugely on.

Computer science students learn how to design apps like mobile and desktop applications. While other engineers’ fields focus on physical design like CAD for mechanical or civil engineers.

So if you find yourself in the design and you like to design material or English. Component engineering will be a good way to go for.  In other words, you must be taking specialties like mechanical or electrical engineering in case of loving Electronics or robotics.

But for people who don’t love Design or find it hard or boring, taking computer science occupations like programmers or Developers would be better and much easier for them instead of struggling with engineering materials.


 The last recommendation is that if you like programming and math, computer science would be good for you.

 on the other side, if you would like physics design and also math, you would likely be a good engineering major.

you could read this related article: Is computer science a stem major? (solved)


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.