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    Mechanical Engineering vs Computer Science – Making the Right Choice

    by BML Munjal University June 8, 2023

    A comparison of mechanical engineering vs computer science might be odd for some because these two streams seem to be completely different from one another.

    However, some similarities between these two fields create confusion about which is better computer engineering or mechanical engineering.


    Mechanical Engineering vs Computer Science – An Overview

    The job description for both mechanical and computer engineers denote the creation, design, development, testing, and providing results with tools that are meant to provide comfort to the people’s work and lifestyle.

    One difference is that computer science focuses more on the digital aspect of design and development while mechanical engineering focuses on the physical construction of the tools and techniques.

    From the scientific and mathematical roots to the other tools that help in making the entire work possible, computer science and mechanical engineering have a lot of common ground to share.

    Even with the divergence in the specialization, there is a lot common between the two fields. An example of this is that mechanical engineers are often known to study robotics, nanotechnology, energy usage, vehicle systems, and thermodynamics as well.

    As opposed to that, the computer science students will be more focused on the areas such as simulation, modeling, AI, interactions between human and computer, deep learning, visual analytics, programming and so much more.

    The syllabus is more focused on learning the new developments in the tech field. More primarily getting a hold of new programming languages like Python, hands on experience of Mongo DB etc.

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    Understanding Mechanical Engineering


    Mechanical engineering involves the identification and troubleshooting of several problems with the assistance of different science and engineering principles.

    To be more specific, the students who have a career in mechanical engineering have the job of testing all the types of machinery and physical tools and they work closely with the design and the development of these tools as well.

    The syllabus itself focusses on the practical aspects of learning. Overall, you can expect some good exquisite labs if you are pursuing Mechanical Engineering from a good college.

    The demand for mechanical engineers is mostly in the power plants, hospitals, and factories, where there are more requirements for the physical tools.

    The mechanical engineers are equipped with some of the most advanced tools and skill sets which make them a very important addition to several industries that work to have certain advancements in technology.

    Understanding Computer Science


    The job description of the computer scientists might have some similarities like the mechanical engineering because the computer scientists also have the job of identifying and then solving the same type of problems with the assistance of scientific and mathematical principles of the same time.

    It is the job of a computer scientist to ensure that the design and the development of the tools are seen through properly.

    The only visible difference in their jobs right now is that which the computer scientists would focus more on the computing of the solutions, the mechanical engineers would mainly focus on the physical solutions.

    Most of the computer scientists are all focused on the creation and development of new technologies on the basis of research.

    However, there are still some people who want to make improvements to the existing programs that are the field of computer science.

    Mechanical Engineering Vs. Computer Science – The Similarities

    There is not a single speck of doubt about the fact that there are many similarities that come to surface between mechanical engineering and computer science.

    The intentions are similar along with the procedures of problem-solving for both the platforms.

    The dimensions are different but the intentions are pretty much alike. However, that is about the extent of the similarities that mechanical engineering and computer science have.

    The professionals that work in the respective fields need to have different skill sets and experience which will play a very important role in their education.

    With the help of a mechanical engineer, the creation of physical tools might be possible, but it would be nothing without the assistance of the computer scientist and vice-versa.

    Mentioned below is a comparison that can help students identify the key areas of dissimilarities between mechanical engineering and computer science.

    Mechanical Engineering vs Computer Science – A Side-by-Side Comparison

    Mechanical Engineering Computer Science Engineering
    What they do Mechanical engineers play a pivotal role in designing, analysing, and improving mechanical systems and devices that shape our modern world. They apply their knowledge to various industries, including automotive, aerospace, energy, manufacturing, and more. They also contribute to optimising existing systems, troubleshooting issues, and implementing improvements.  Computer science engineers are experts in designing, developing, and implementing computer systems, software, and applications. Their skills encompass a wide range of areas, including programming, algorithms, artificial intelligence, data analysis, and cybersecurity. They have a deep understanding of computers and their applications.
    Examples of degree tracks and specialisations
    • Automobile Engineering [AE]
    • Robotics & Automation [R&A]
    • Data Science and Artificial Intelligence [DS & AI]
    • Cyber Security [CS]
    • Internet of Things [IoT]
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Big Data Analytics
    • Bioinformatics
    • Cyber Security
    • Internet of Things
    • Blockchain
    • Data Science
    • Machine Learning
    Concepts taught
    • Utilise mathematical, scientific, and engineering methods to identify and resolve intricate engineering challenges.
    • Possess a comprehensive understanding of the engineering design process and the ability to apply it across diverse industries.
    • Understand the most up-to-date mechanical engineering concepts and industry best practices.
    • Undertake the planning, execution, and analysis of research projects in the field of mechanical engineering.
    • Identify, analyse, and solve computer programs.
    • Create, deploy, and assess computer-based systems, processes, software, or components.
    • Demonstrate comprehension and adherence to current professional, ethical, legal, and security standards.
    • Apply knowledge of computing and mathematics to drive solutions to real-life complex problems.
    Possible career titles
    • Mechanical Engineer
    • Robotics Engineer
    • Auto Research Engineer
    • Aerospace Engineer
    • Design Engineer
    • Automotive Engineer
    • Systems Design Engineer
    • Computer Engineer
    • Computer Programmer
    • Robotics Scientist
    • Computer Scientist
    • Data Scientist
    • Computer Systems Architect
    Average Salary INR 4 lakhs – 10 lakhs INR 6 lakhs – 12 lakhs

    The fields of computer science and mechanical engineering share more dissimilarities and differences than similarities. It is essential for a student to recognise these differences between the fields which will help them in choosing a proper path for the success of their careers. Here are some of the differences that both these fields share with each other.

    • Based On The Jobs

      When it comes to the professions, the areas of differences between mechanical engineering and computer science are very large. While the mechanical engineers’ jobs are to create and develop the physical tools and test them to provide the results to the different industries, the computer science professionals would take the help of development and research to pan out several digital concepts which have the potential to solve several computer-related issues in the industry.

    • Based On The Degree Recommendation

      When it comes to the degree recommendations for mechanical engineers and computer scientist, there is no doubt that they are pretty different. For the mechanical engineers, it is important to make sure that they have a proper bachelor’s degree before they go for any other career prospects.However, it is also a fact that most of the companies and the bigger organizations are on the hunt for the engineers who have a particular Master’s degree in the field of mechanical science.As opposed to that, the students that study computer science need to have a proper master’s degree in their respective fields so that they can get employment in the near future.The students who are further interested in the field of research should be going for Ph.D. options after the completion of the master’s degree in the respective fields of computer science.

    • Based On The Departments

      Since the courses of both mechanical engineering and computer science belong to two different branches of science, there no doubt that the departments on which the programs for these courses are offered will be different as well. When it comes to the colleges that offer courses of Mechanical Engineering, the names that are most prominent are the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering.As opposed to that, the departments that offer the courses of computer science for the students are the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Computer and Information Science.

    • Based On The Specializations

      Most students have the scope of pursuing a degree and specialization in both the fields. However, the tracks and specialization courses for both mechanical engineering and computer science are completely different.In the field of mechanical engineering, the students can specialize in Energy and sustainability, Robotics, Engineering Management, Nanotechnology, Device Manufacturing, Biomedical Engineering, Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer, Vehicle Systems, and other branches.For the computer science students, there are some other fields in which they can have their specializations and these are Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Computational Robotics, Analysis and Management of Information, Computing Systems, Network and Computer Security, Software Theory, Simulation and Modeling, Interaction between Human and Computer, Visual and Data Analytics, and so many more such topics.

    • Based On The Concepts

      The concepts that are taught in the colleges of mechanical engineering and computer science have different approaches that help the students in preparing for their respective careers in different fields. The Curriculum For Mechanical Engineering provides the students with an opportunity to:

      1. Find out and solve the different complicated problems in the field of engineering with their knowledge and expertise in handling several sciences and mathematics related concepts.
      2. Gain the knowledge and experience that s required in order to design several procedures that can be a help to the field of engineering and then implementing these processes to industries and delivering results
      3. Design and conduct research on the aspects of mechanical engineering for several projects in the field
      4. Gain the knowledge that will help them in their respective professional careers as well

      The Curriculum for the computer science students in several colleges help them in

      1. Gaining and applying the knowledge that they have about computing and mathematics to solve the problems that are faced in the computing world
      2. Analysis and identification of several risks in the different computer programs before their implementations
      3. Creating and then implementing different systems that are design and device based and then evaluating the results that are shown in several industries after the implementation
      4. Practicing and understanding the newest and the most important practices that will be helpful to them in the professional fields in the near future
    • Based On The Job Designations

      The job designations and the careers that the students have after the completion of their courses in their respective fields of computer science and mechanical engineering are completely different and are mentioned below. After the completion of the professional courses in mechanical engineering, the students will be able to apply for the posts such as mechanical engineers, design engineer, auto-research engineer, aerospace engineers, robotics engineers, automotive engineer, system design engineer and a lot more.However, the job descriptions for the professionals from the computer science fields are completely different.The students that complete their professional courses in computer science will be able to apply for the jobs of a computer scientist, robotics scientist, data scientist, computer engineer, computer systems architect, computer programmers, and much more.


    Mechanical Engineering vs Computer Science – Common Required Skills

    When it comes to having a career in the respective fields, it is somewhat surprising to see that both of these fields have certain similarities. Here are some of the skills mentioned below that will help the students have a better understanding of what to expect.

    • Skills Of Communication

      For the students who want to have a successful career in the field of mechanical engineering and computer science, it is essential for them to have excellent skills in communication. The reason is that both of the fields have certain projects where there is a requirement for verbal contact.Having great skills of communication will help the professionals of both the fields in sharing and projecting their ideas to their teammates and the companies that they are working for.

    • Skills In Mathematics

      It is also very important for students who opt for a career in the fields of mechanical engineering and computer science to have excellent skills in mathematics. Their concepts about the basics of mathematics should be completely cleared from the knowledge of basic algebra to other important calculations as well.There is a chance that these students will be asked to work on several complicated problems of mathematics in their professional careers.

    • Skills In Practicality

      Another one of the prerequisites when it comes to the fields of computer science and mechanical engineering are practical skills that often combine logic and analysis as well. The knowledge about the logical and practical methods will clearly be a help when it comes to solving the problems of both fields.


    Mechanical Engineering vs Computer Science – Which One is Better?

    The students need to make the right decision regarding computer engineering vs mechanical engineering as both these fields have several differences in them. For those who want to have an established career quicker than any other field, choosing the field of computer science will be optimal.

    The reason behind this is that the computer programmers require lesser concepts of education when it comes to landing a job.

    Most students that opt for a career in Computer science do so after the completion of their Bachelor’s degree. However, mechanical engineering demands a master’s degree from the students who want to land a decent job in their career.

    It is essential to gain the experience when it comes to pursuing a career in both the fields. For the computer programmers who want to gain the experience and expertise, starting with an associate degree or a simpler diploma will be a good idea.

    Students can also opt for several programming basics courses that are offered in several of the institutions.

    However, this is not the case with the mechanical engineers as they have to go for Bachelor’s, Masters and other important degrees in order to gain the much-needed experience and knowledge about their subjects.

    Mechanical Engineering vs Computer Science – Final Verdict

    Choosing the right career after understanding mechanical engineering vs computer science will not be difficult if the students are all familiar with the basic concepts of similarities and differences.

    Hope you would now be able to decide a stream for yourself. Do share your views in the comments section below.

    Mechanical Computer Science Mechanical Engineering
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