mantika23
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Cardiff university offers these 2 courses and not sure which one to take.

Computer science is a lot more theoretical and therefore a bit harder too while the software engineering is all practical, there's barely any exams and they teach through this project based learning system

I feel like, I'd enjoy the software engineering one better but I might have a harder time getting through those coding job interviews at the big companies like Facebook, google where they test you on algorithms and data structures

Like, the software engineering one doesn't have any modules on data structures and algorithms nor networks while computer science covers the fundamentals of CS like operating systems and computer architecture.
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Princepieman
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(Original post by mantika23)
Cardiff university offers these 2 courses and not sure which one to take.

Computer science is a lot more theoretical and therefore a bit harder too while the software engineering is all practical, there's barely any exams and they teach through this project based learning system

I feel like, I'd enjoy the software engineering one better but I might have a harder time getting through those coding job interviews at the big companies like Facebook, google where they test you on algorithms and data structures

Like, the software engineering one doesn't have any modules on data structures and algorithms nor networks while computer science covers the fundamentals of CS like operating systems and computer architecture.
CS is the real, academic discipline. Software Eng is the watered down vocational discipline.

Much like physics and engineering.

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winterscoming
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(Original post by mantika23)
Cardiff university offers these 2 courses and not sure which one to take.

Computer science is a lot more theoretical and therefore a bit harder too while the software engineering is all practical, there's barely any exams and they teach through this project based learning system

I feel like, I'd enjoy the software engineering one better but I might have a harder time getting through those coding job interviews at the big companies like Facebook, google where they test you on algorithms and data structures

Like, the software engineering one doesn't have any modules on data structures and algorithms nor networks while computer science covers the fundamentals of CS like operating systems and computer architecture.
Cardiff is a great university, and your employment prospects are pretty safe either way. One consideration is whether you're 100% certain you want to enter software engineering, or whether you want to keep more options open. Computer science is far more general and widely applicable. The former is a specialised skillset, albeit one which is in high demand.

If you're stuck trying to decide, then choose the subject that you enjoy - whatever motivates you to want to learn and gives you the very best chance at graduating with a 1st is better than regretting the choice later.


Specifically on Cardiff's Applied Software Engineering degree I'm initially rather surprised it has no content related to data structures or algorithms. Having just taken a look at the content I can see where they're headed with it though. Most conventional software engineering degrees are under a completely different UCAS code (G600) which usually includes some maths as well as data structures/algorithms (At least this is true at Staffs Uni on the course I studied).

Cardiff's approach seems to be much more heavily focused on 'craftmanship' and the day-to-day realities of writing big, complex software. It rarely matters to most employers whether you know how to write common data structures and algorithms because those are always wrapped up in the Java/Python/C#/C++ standard libraries having been written for you by some really smart people already.

At the same time Cardiff is also putting a lot of emphasis on group project work, alongside things most graduates would otherwise never encounter at university; such as test-driven development, build servers and CI, debugging, versioning, agile/scrum, and a whole bunch of tools and ideas which have become mainstream in software teams over the past 10+ years.

You're right that any company who wants to hire a computer scientist will be after people with a stronger mathematical background which won't be covered in the applied software engineering course.

On the other hand, it's a smaller percentage of companies who have any real preference for mathematicians or computer scientists. Software engineering on the whole isn't mathematical beyond niche areas such as finance, game development or 'cutting edge' R&D in AI/Machine learning. The rest would most likely be interested in graduates who have been trained in real-world software development, for many of the same reasons that graduates with a 12-month industrial placement are usually in-demand. Most interviewers focus on technical skills, problem solving and the ability just to actually build and release high-quality working software to clients and customers.

So I'm reasonably impressed with Cardiff's approach up to a point, but I also see the lack of attention on computational thinking. I have a feeling that people who successfully graduate from the Cardiff software academy are probably in high demand among the majority of businesses whose priority in hiring software engineers is building complex technical solutions which manage their business operations, reach customers/clients, etc.
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