Computer Science vs. Mechanical Engineering: Which Is For You?

Mechanical engineers and computer scientists have a lot in common that confuses many people when distinguishing these two careers.

Both fields are concerned with designing, testing, and developing tools that make our life easier. So, computer science vs. mechanical engineering: Which is for you? Let’s read on to discover!

Which is Better for You?

None are better than others. You should rely on your preferences, aspirations, and abilities to choose one of these two fields.

Specifically, you should rely on the following factors to choose the most suitable industry for yourself.

No area is better than the other.

Consider Your Preferences

It is essential to consider your preferences between these two fields and determine which aspect of each area interests you. You can then look at the career options associated with them to choose one that suits your interests.

Think About Your Career Needs

Think about your career goals and compare them to careers in these two areas. If your goal is to release new software applications, CS is your best bet.

Learn the Different Roles

You should do your research and research about the different jobs you can get in each field. For example, the CS field usually gives you more career options, while the ME can offer more specialized positions.

Consult an Academic/Career Counselor

It would be great to consult with an academic advisor or career coach who can give you more insight into these two areas.

In that way, you can easily consider your options and find alternatives if needed.


Before comparing these two fields, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the concept and role of each.

Mechanical Engineering Overview

Specialists in this field will be responsible for the fabrication and production of structures, machines, engines, and various mechanical parts.

Mechanical engineer positions are common in this field. These professionals are responsible for analyzing, designing, constructing, and maintaining machines, structures, components, and mechanical equipment.

If you want to pursue this field, you must have skills and knowledge that help in various applications:

  • Use design skills and computer technology to examine mechanical problems and implement resolutions.
  • Test and develop mechanical prototypes or modify elements as needed.
  • Draw blueprints for devices, structures, equipment, and machine parts.

The ME area includes a variety of applications where you can find positions in many different fields. Here are some industries where you can find a job:

  • Avionics
  • Structural design
  • Automotive manufacturing
  • Healthcare
  • Aerospace engineering
These two fields have a lot in common.

Computer Science Overview

This broad field focuses on studying aspects of computers and their applications. Experts in this area will focus on dealing with software systems and applications.

If you pursue this field, you will need to focus on many of the processes that require the application of computer science, such as:

  • Security functions
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Database systems
  • Computer programming
  • Software engineering
  • Bioinformatics
  • Numerical analysis

Applied computer design theory and development are some of the essential aspects of this field.

  • Software design & development
  • Cybersecurity
  • Network architecture
  • Informatics
  • Computational theory
  • Database administration


Mechanical engineers may have to design technical parts.

Mechanical engineers and computer scientists design, develop, and test the equipment and tools needed in many applications.

Each professional works to identify and solve problems using systems, mathematics, and modeling. These two fields are both rooted in math and science, and both require the ability to communicate complex ideas.


Following are the prominent differences between these two professions, including education & training, applications, job outlook, and average.

Education & Training

If you’re pursuing a CS field, you can get your bachelor’s degree before pursuing an advanced certificate in your field. Below are the courses related to this field:

  • Computer architecture
  • Algorithmic functions
  • Data structure
  • Data science
  • Logic
  • Software development
  • Computational theory
  • AI & machine learning
  • Informational theory

On the other hand, education and training related to ME mainly consist of understanding and studying mechanical and engineering principles.

Several of the field’s degree programs include:

  • Dynamics & mechanical control system
  • Manufacturing & design management
  • Technical communication.


CS applications can include functions and processes in many industries. It will often focus on creating and deploying software solutions, making databases and computer networks, or programming functions.

Professionals in the ME field will apply their knowledge to create objects, components, and other products in engines, machines, equipment, and tools.

Job Outlook

Professionals in the ME field will increase job prospects by about 4% from 2019 to 2029. As a result, they will enjoy a robust rise in career opportunities over the next 10 years (According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

On the other hand, Professionals in CS can expect around a 15% rise in job openings, significantly more than ME.


CS professionals often apply the scientific method to test, record and evaluate information about various computer applications.

For the ME area, experts rely on design theories & physics, and engineering principles to develop goods and products that require mechanical parts to work.

Average Salaries

According to the BLS, mechanical engineers may earn a median annual income of about $92,595. Meanwhile, computer scientists can gain about $106,850.

Of course, this average salary can vary based on your job, experience level, qualifications, etc.


We have just compared mechanical engineering and computer science to show the similarities and differences between them.

Both of these areas offer good salaries and excellent career prospects. Therefore, you should rely on your abilities and preferences to make a choice.

If you have any related questions as well as personal experiences, don’t forget to leave a comment. We are always happy to assist you to the best of our ability.