Computer Science Vs Computer Programming: Which One Should You Choose

These days, technology is a must for every field of work, even for business. So the demand for computer scientists and programmers is undeniably very high.

This is the key reason why many students want to pursue careers in computer science and computer programming. However, many students struggle to choose one subject among these two. This may be due to the fact that both subjects sound the same, so they fail to distinguish the details of each subject. 

If you are one of these strugglers, do not worry. This article has got your back! Here, I will discuss in detail both fields of study, in order to help you choose the best one for yourself. 

Is Computer Science Programming?

No, computer science is not entirely programming. Although a portion of computer science refers to coding, it does not fully refer to it. There are other topics involved in computing as well.

This means computer scientists should know how to program, but along with that, they should also extend their expertise to other fields, for example, engineering group leadership.

Should You Learn Computer Science Or Programming First?

It is advisable to learn the fundamentals of computer science first. However, I do not disagree with the fact that having past knowledge of computer science is not mandatory for learning to code.

But, since computing teaches what computers do and everything related to that, such knowledge can eventually help you to code, as coding is very technical. 

Which Subjects Are Taught In Computer Science And Computer Programming?

The subjects taught in computing are listed below.

  • Artificial intelligence 
  • Computer processes and networks 
  • Database systems
  • Security 
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Vision and Graphics
  • Numerical analysis
  • Programming languages 
  • Software engineering
  • Theory and bioinformatics of computation 

The topics involved in programming are given below.

  • Introduction to computer programming 
  • Algorithms 
  • Data structures and web development 
  • Operating systems
  • Coding 
  • Debugging 
  • Hardware and software

Difference Between Computer Science And Computer Programming

Although they both are quite alike, computing and coding are different fields of study. But do you know that every computer scientist knows how to program? However, not every programmer can be counted as a computer scientist. Well, it is because computing also teaches how to code.

Nevertheless, computer science involves the study of broad sections of specialization, for instance, engineering, programming, and so on. On the other hand, programming mostly covers writing codes.

However, computing is concerned with the theory of computer systems, whereas programming refers to the practical implementation that gives life to that knowledge.

Similarities Between Computer Science And Computer Programming

Even though the major similarity between these two fields is that they both deal with computers, there are also many other similarities between them. 

Computer science and computer programming involve similar educational topics. For example, both fields of study include huge amounts of math. Moreover, they both contain similar career pathways.

In addition, both fields require similar skills, for example, data analysis, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, technical writing, and so on.

Besides, computer scientists and programmers can work together to solve practical problems and provide solutions that are valuable to customers.

Read More: Electronic Engineering vs Computer Science: What Are The Similarities And Differences

Computer Science Vs Programming: Job Opportunities

Generally, careers in computer science offer more flexibility and range compared to those in programming. This is because programming is known to be a specialization of computing, so the range of job diversity is less for programmers.

It is crystal clear that job opportunities in computer science are better than in programming. However, it does not necessarily mean that job opportunities in programming are not satisfactory.

Nevertheless, if you are looking forward to pursuing your career in computing, there are several job titles that you can seek. For instance, software engineers, software architects, hardware engineers, systems analysts, and many more.

On the other hand, if you desire to study computer programming, there are also many job opportunities that you can have. For example, software developers, mobile application developers, web developers, quality assurance analysts, and so on.

However, computer scientists are also capable of getting the jobs that programmers do.

Computer Science Vs Programming: Salaries

Although both areas offer comparatively quite high salaries, computer scientists generally get slightly more than programmers. The average salary of a computer scientist in the United States is $95,747. Whereas, the average salary of a programmer in the United States is $74,494.

However, the amount of a salary may vary depending on many factors, for instance, country, experience, educational qualifications, and many more. So it is not always the case that such scientists earn a higher salary than programmers.

Is Computer Science The Same As Computer Coding?

No, computer science is not the same as computer coding. Although they have many similarities between them, they also have many differences. Coding is a part of computing, so we can say it is a specialization of computing.

Computing focuses on the apprehension of computer operations, and programming focuses on the creation of such operations. So we can say they are similar but not the same. 


Is computer science a lot of programming?

Answer: No, there is not a lot of programming. Although coding is a concerned branch of computing, computing includes more math than programming.

What is the best age to learn computer programming?

Answer: The best age to learn computer coding is 7. However, it does not mean it is not possible to learn coding successfully at other ages.

Does computer science involve coding?

Answer: Yes, computer science involves coding, and it is in fact a sub-subject of computing. However, there are also many other topics involved in computing. 


Both fields of study are great options for your career. But to select a particular career pathway, you need to understand the specifics of both fields in detail.

And in this article, you have explored everything related to these two subjects. I hope that you will find all this information very helpful and will be able to select your desired subject.

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