During a meeting I was in, one of the women in the roomed asked those who were in engineering to raise their hands and naturally I did since I am a student in the college of engineering at my university. Well to my surprise, one of the girls looked at me across the room and yelled at me to put my hand down because I was not a true engineer — I was a fake engineering major.
In that moment, I was not sure if I was more shocked that she did that in a meeting or by what she was implying.
Computer science being integrated into many university’s engineering colleges is a relatively new process being adopted by some. While some universities have opted to keep computer science in their college of business, many have made the switch.
There has been debate from both sides of the argument if Computer Science is considered engineering. Whether you agree or disagree with this argument, hear the viewpoint of a Computer Science student first:
Computer science is a science by definition, but in practice and application, computer science is an engineering discipline.
My major may not involve taking things apart or building things that are primarily associated with the engineering fields, but that doesn't make us lesser engineers.
Computer science is the study of the theoretical principles and use of computers. Without knowledge of not only circuits but of computer components, a computer science major wouldn't be able to apply the things learned in the classroom. There is a focus on computer software in this discipline, but without knowledge of a computer’s hardware, software design is done blindly.
The computer science discipline overlaps with not only computer engineering but electrical engineering as well. About half of the credit hours I will be earning towards my computer science degree are in either the Computer Engineering or Electrical Engineering Departments.
There is a reason that not only the university I attend but many in the U.S. have integrated their computer science programs into the engineering colleges. The background needed to be a successful computer scientist requires math and engineering. Yes, it is a science, but itis not like the typical chemistry and biological sciences.
This science applies to technology and how computers work. Having this in the college of engineering only makes sense. The focus has become more on the algorithms, programming, and structure of software in the computer science discipline.
By keeping this major in the business colleges, those choosing to major in computer science are missing out on key parts of this discipline. Engineering includes more higher-level math courses than business. Also, being in an environment where there are more courses offered in the various programming languages and operating systems gives computer science majors an insight on both the software and hardware of a computer.
Being in classes where there are other students coming from other engineering disciplines offers computer science majors more insight on the tangible and nontangible aspects of computers. Giving the students, this opportunity not only enhances their learning experience, but it helps them become more prepared to go out into the industry.
Not only are computer science majors given a better curriculum by being in the college of engineering, they are also in a better environment.
Integrating computer science into engineering is also beneficial because it puts these students into the collaborative environment earlier rather than later. Computer scientists are going to be working more closely with computer and software engineers than marketing and business majors.
Being in the college of engineering and taking the same classes as fellow engineering majors means computer science belongs with engineering. Engineering is a diverse field and the addition of computer science helps to strengthen this diversity amongst the disciplines.
Next time you consider my major to be fake engineering, think about why the university made the decision to switch it to the college of engineering—they had a purpose for it.