What Pays More Software Engineering or Computer Science?

Tyler Yates

When choosing a career path, one of the most important factors to consider is earning potential. In the world of technology, two fields that are often compared in terms of pay are software engineering and computer science. While both fields are highly in demand and offer lucrative salaries, there are some differences that can affect how much you can earn.

What is Software Engineering?

Software engineering is the study of designing, developing, and maintaining software. It involves using various programming languages and tools to create software that meets specific requirements. Software engineers may work on a variety of projects, including web applications, mobile apps, operating systems, and more.

What is Computer Science?

Computer science is the study of computing technologies, including hardware and software systems. It covers a wide range of topics such as algorithms, data structures, programming languages, artificial intelligence, and more. Computer scientists work on developing new technologies or improving existing ones to solve complex problems.

Differences in Pay

When it comes to pay, both software engineering and computer science offer high salaries. However, there are a few differences that can affect how much you can earn in each field.

One factor that affects pay is the job title. Software engineers can hold titles such as Full Stack Developer or Software Architect while computer scientists could be called Data Scientists or Machine Learning Engineers. According to Glassdoor.com data from 2021 in the United States of America – The average salary for a Full Stack Developer was $113k/year while for Machine Learning Engineer it was around $112k/year.

Another factor that affects pay is location. Jobs in tech hubs like San Francisco or New York City typically offer higher salaries than jobs in less competitive markets.

Furthermore education level also plays an important role when it comes to earning potential. A bachelor’s degree in either field will provide a solid foundation for entry-level positions but those with Masters degrees usually get paid more than those with only a Bachelor’s degree.


In conclusion, both software engineering and computer science are excellent fields for those looking to earn high salaries. While there may be some differences in pay based on job title, location, and education level, both fields offer plenty of opportunities for growth and advancement. Ultimately, the best choice will depend on your interests, skills, and career goals.