If you have an interest in both computer engineering and accounting, you might be wondering which would be a better major. This post will show you the advantages and disadvantages of each and help you decide which would be a better major for you.
At a glance:
|Types of jobs|
you can qualify for
Embedded software engineer
Computer hardware engineer
|Difficulty of the|
|Key things to note|
Often necessary to
complete the CPA
exam to progress
into senior positions
and to get the more
lucrative jobs. A
master’s degree will
Lower level bookkeeping
roles are likely to become
Has good overall job prospects.
Can be a path into a number of
different fields including finance
|A very employable|
High average pay.
High job satisfaction.
Can qualify you for many
roles as well as engineering
Lower predicted job growth
for computer hardware
engineering when compared
with software engineering roles.
Source for accounting salary and jobs
There are many things to consider when choosing between the two degrees and there are also some important things to be aware of when choosing either of them.
Details about the computer engineering major
Below are some of the key details about the computer engineering major.
According to Payscale, the average pay of someone with a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering is $87,240. This makes computer engineering one of the best paying majors available and significantly higher than the reported average pay for someone with an accounting major which is $70,762.
This could be because a computer engineering major is applied to jobs in hardware engineering and computer science that are high-paying at the entry-level. Whereas, the entry-level accounting jobs usually do not pay as well.
However, computer engineering jobs do tend to be concentrated in high cost of living areas.
According to the BLS, it is predicted that computer hardware engineering will only grow in demand by 2% by 2029.
However, a computer engineering degree involves a lot of computer science. This means that you can qualify for software engineering roles and other computer science-related roles. The predicted growth for software engineering is 22%. This is probably because it is much cheaper to start up a software company as opposed to a hardware company. With that being the case, it would likely help you a lot to make sure to take a number of additional computer science classes in your electives.
Examples of jobs that you could qualify for with a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering includes:
Embedded software engineer
Computer hardware engineer
Something to consider is that the more research-based roles will usually require at least a master’s degree.
Computer engineering includes a number of math classes including linear algebra, calculus, discrete math, and differential equations. Also, many of the electrical engineering classes can be difficult. This means that computer engineering is not an easy degree. Overall, you can expect computer engineering to be harder than a degree in accounting at the undergraduate level.
Examples of the types of classes that you can expect to take can include:
- Calc 1,2, and 3
- Discrete math
- Differential equations
- Linear algebra
- Circuit analysis
- Introduction to electronics
- Digital electronics
- Signal processing
- Embedded systems
- Algorithms and data structures
However, the classes can differ a lot depending on the university. Some will require you to take more electrical engineering classes while other universities will require more computer science classes.
Usually, data structures and algorithms are required classes in computer engineering but not always. These are important classes for software engineering interviews. If the program you enter does not require these classes, it would help to take them anyway.
Things to consider
On average the required classes will be 50% electrical engineering and 50% CS. However, some universities will be much heavier on electrical engineering while others will be a lot heavier on computer science. It would help to consider what you are more interested in and to take that into consideration when applying to universities if you are not already in university. If you are already in university, you could still take electives from the side that you are more interested in. Alternatively, you could major in CS and minor in electrical engineering or major in electrical engineering and minor in CS.
While computer engineering is a degree that can qualify you for many jobs at just the bachelor’s level, a master’s degree can also help you a lot when getting more research-based engineering roles. If you are interested in the more research-based roles, it would help to consider whether or not a master’s degree would be worth it for you.
Details about a degree in accounting
Below are some details about the accounting major.
According to payscale, the average pay of someone with a bachelor’s degree in accounting is $70,762. This is higher than most other majors but lower than computer engineering which is one of the best paying majors right now.
Something to consider, is that completing the CPA exam and getting an accounting master’s degree will increase your earning potential significantly.
A degree in accounting should give you good opportunities with just a bachelor’s degree. This is because the degree can qualify you for a number of accounting roles and it can also qualify you for roles in related fields such as finance and business since accounting knowledge is useful in many business applications.
However, a lot of the more lucrative accounting roles require you to be a CPA and most people that become a CPA also get a master’s degree in accounting.
Jobs that you can qualify for with a bachelor’s degree in accounting can include:
- Account manager
- Financial analyst
- Tax manager
- Financial advisor
Some other jobs that you can get with a master’s degree would include:
- Forensic accountant
- Managerial accountant
- Chief financial officer
An accounting degree can be difficult especially in the junior and senior years when the classes become more specialized. Overall, accounting is generally considered as a moderately difficult degree.
Things to consider
If you are thinking of majoring in accounting, it could also help to minor in finance. This is because many people with accounting degrees end up in finance. Getting a finance minor should help you when looking for jobs within finance. Getting an internship, in the field, could also help a lot.
If you want to go far in accounting, it would help you to complete the CPA exam as soon as you are able to. This is because many of the more desirable jobs require that you have completed the exam.
While accounting is a degree with good job opportunities, it can still be competitive. With that being the case, it would help you a lot to try to get some summer internships while you are completing the degree.
As mentioned above, a computer engineering degree should qualify you for many jobs that pay well and have high levels of job satisfaction. With that being the case, is among the highest return on investment degrees right now.
Also, the combination of math and computer science that a computer engineering degree provides can help you qualify for jobs that are quickly growing in popularity including data science and machine learning engineering.
While computer engineering is one of the best paying degrees to get right now, it might still be the case that it might not be for you. It is a degree that involves a decent amount of mathematics including calculus, discrete math, differential equations, and linear algebra. If you are not great at math right now, I would still recommend a computer engineering major since you can quickly improve your math skills using the website khanacademy.org.
An accounting degree can also qualify you for a number of different jobs and can be a good path towards a stable career. However, the number of jobs are not expected to grow as much as for software engineering, data science, or other programming roles. Although, the number of jobs in accounting is already high, so the slower growth shouldn’t be a significant issue.
If you decide to get an accounting degree, it would help a lot to make sure to become a CPA and it would help to also consider getting a master’s degree. Minoring in finance could also be a good way to broaden your job prospects. It would also help a lot to get summer internships while in the major.