CS or EE?
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: CS or EE?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    206

    CS or EE?

    Hi,
    I didn't find anything on google, so can anyone explain what's different between a degree in electrical engineering and computer science? Also, which is a better foundation for a security-based career?
    It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.

  2. #2
    Elite Hacker
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    1,407
    I'm in the process of getting my bachelors in computer science. So far I think it has been really good in helping me understand stuff where a lot of vulnerabilities occur. I'm not sure that you would get exposed to much in the way of security studying EE. Some schools have degrees in computer security, or at least a course or two. I'm excited because I'm taking a course on unix and network security in the fall. I think it's going to be one of the best courses I'll take. But yeah, I think computer science helps you understand things and see where vulnerabilities occur. I think next semester I will even be learning how to exploit them, which has been a skill evading me for some time now. Should be great. I hope whatever you choose works out for you.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    469
    In short, CS is how to make software. EE is how to make hardware.

    Since most vulnerabilities are software based, I think CS is a better idea for security but it really depends on what part of security you want to take part in. Its more for finding vulnerabilities in code, but it atleast gives you a nice basis as to how stuff works even if that isn't where you go with your career.

  4. #4
    ********** |ceWriterguy
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,608
    I bet I'm going to sound like I'm jumping ship here, but...

    CS is the bottomless pit of degrees. If you take it, plan on going to school forever to stay atop of the changes, plan on trying to enter an already saturated market of computer professionals, and plan on a mostly substandard salary. Universities, Colleges both private and public, and even community colleges are cranking out IT professionals with their CS degrees at a very alarming rate, far too many for the current demand.

    EE, on the other hand, opens up far more possibilities than just circuit design. An EE is the guy who builds and designs robotics in factories. He's the guy who improves our cars, designs the better weapons, builds and flies the satellites and spacecraft of our age. It is an EE who is behind all things electrical, not just computers. IMHO a FAR better degree for one who is interested in making large amounts of money and never wanting for a job. ANY degree oriented in engineering of ANY kind is worth more than most other degrees. Of course, you *could* wind up like Dilbert unless you diversify (study business with it -you'll never lose).

    Just my 2 pesos.
    Even a broken watch is correct twice a day.

    Which coder said that nobody could outcode Microsoft in their own OS? Write a bit and make a fortune!

  5. #5
    Jaded Network Admin nebulus200's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    1,356
    Would also like to mention that many universities have a hybrid of the two: Computer Engineering. That was what my degree was in and although I had alot of CS classes (programming 1-4, algorithms, operating systems, tcp/ip, etc), I also had alot of EE classes (circuits i-iii, electronics i-ii, computer architecture, VLSI, digital devices, microprocessors I & II (assembly), signal processing, etc). I found it to for the most part be a good mix and something that distinguished me a bit in that I had a formal engineering degree (which the CS at our school claimed since they were part of the school of engineering, but I am sorry, no comparison ).

    Would also like to add that communications is all EE and something that not many EE's do anymore, so is power distribution

    As a comparison, here is what I did not take as a CPE :

    CS: Databases, formal languages
    EE: Fields I & II, Electronics III

    Not including a few electives I would have had...

    Hope that ramble helps out a bit, but I would say that CS / Computer Engineering would be most applicable towards a security field.

    EDIT: As a side note, if you do engineering, you better ROCK at math...minimum for doing stuff in an A/C world with active components (diodes, capacitors, inductors, transformers, etc) is Differential Equations I ... (I got a minor in math just simply from doing the math prereqs for my program).

    There is only one constant, one universal, it is the only real truth: causality. Action. Reaction. Cause and effect...There is no escape from it, we are forever slaves to it. Our only hope, our only peace is to understand it, to understand the 'why'. 'Why' is what separates us from them, you from me. 'Why' is the only real social power, without it you are powerless.

    (Merovingian - Matrix Reloaded)

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    206
    |3lack|ce - do you think it'd still be pratical to have a career in security with a degree in EE?
    It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.

  7. #7
    ********** |ceWriterguy
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,608
    Actually, I'd hire an EE for such a position if, and only if, he could show me certification in that arena (cissp?).

    All other things being equal save for the degrees, (same certs, same level of experience, etc) I would hire the EE in a New York minute. His degree is tougher and more demanding to acquire than that of a CS.

    Now to the contrary - remember we're comparing apples to pears here (not quite so different as oranges, but you get the picture) - EE is technical detail on everything when it comes to computers. He deals with circuits and electronics. In the Navy we called 'em Twidgets. CS deals with circuit cards (designed by that same EE we were just talking about) and softwares.

    Would I hire an architect to be a carpenter on my house? You betcha, if he could swing a hammer and was willing to work for the same pay as the carpenter...
    Even a broken watch is correct twice a day.

    Which coder said that nobody could outcode Microsoft in their own OS? Write a bit and make a fortune!

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    206
    Would getting a double major in EE/CS be useful in your opinion?
    It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.

  9. #9
    ********** |ceWriterguy
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,608
    Yes, absolutely. It's kind of like being a Lawyer who's also a Cop, or a Racing Driver who's also a mechanic. It most certainly cannot hurt, if you can handle the caseload - EE is a pretty tough degree. With EE you open yourself to fields which are completely unavailable to those with CS - things not even remotely computer oriented. With CS and EE you've specialized - you can design, build, operate, repair, create and destroy virtually anything with computers. Quite frankly, I would have heights of respect for those two degrees combined much akin to the PhD's who taught me (or at least attempted to).

    Again though, what I'm saying is that EE is a completely different world from CS, overlapping only slightly, and I've tried pointing a few of the differences out to you. Use your selection of degrees like you would select tools from a toolbox. What job do you feel you'd be happiest doing in your future? Select the degree to fit that job.

    Luck to you.
    Even a broken watch is correct twice a day.

    Which coder said that nobody could outcode Microsoft in their own OS? Write a bit and make a fortune!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •