If you have an interest in both computer engineering and business studies, 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:
|||Business Administration||Computer Engineering|
|Types of jobs|
you can qualify for
Embedded software engineer
Computer hardware engineer
|Difficulty of the|
|Key things to note|
A general degree. This can
make it difficult to qualify
for specialized jobs that
Can improve your job
prospects by double majoring with
something more specialized
such as finance or computer
Can make for a good minor.
|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 business administration 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 a business administration major which is $66,127. This could be because a computer engineering major is applied to jobs in hardware engineering and computer science. Whereas, a business major is more general and not as applied to as many high-paying jobs at the entry-level.
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 harder than a degree in business administration 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 business administration
Below are some details about a degree in business administration.
According to Payscale, the average salary of a person with a degree in business administration is $66,127. As mentioned above, this is lower than the average pay of someone with a degree in computer engineering.
A business administration major will have you taking classes in a range of disciplines including: business, finance, accounting, and economics. As a result, a business degree is a somewhat general degree that is not specialized on a particular type of job. This means that the degree can qualify you for a large amount of jobs. However, you will often be less competitive than people who have degrees related to that specific job.
While it can be difficult to compete with people who have degrees related to specific job roles, you can improve your job prospects by getting internships, completing projects and learning skills related to the specific job that you are interested in.
Jobs that you can qualify for with a bachelor’s degree in business administration can include:
- Project Manager
- Marketing manager
- Account manager
- Operations manager
- Financial analyst
Overall, a business administration degree will usually be relatively easy when compared with alternative degrees such as finance, economics and accounting. The reason for this is that, being a general degree, you will not be taking many specialized classes that tend to be more difficult that other majors would include in their junior and senior years.
Classes you can expect to study
In a business administration degree, you can expect to take the following classes:
You can also expect to have the option to take other business classes as your degree requirement and the ability to take any classes in your electives. It would help to consider what job you are most interested in and to choose your electives accordingly.
If you are interested in a business administration degree, there are some alternatives that you might also want to consider such as:
Things to consider
As mentioned above, a degree in business administration can be quite general which can make it difficult to qualify for specific jobs. With that being the case, it would likely help a lot to minor in another field that is more specialized such as finance, accounting, or computer science. A double major would also be an option if you are willing and able to put in the extra time. Alternatively, you could major in the more applied major and minor in business administration instead.
Regardless, you will be able to drastically improve your job prospects if you learn skills related to the job you are interested in, take classes related to the job you are interested in, complete related projects, and get internships in that field.
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, a computer engineering degree is among the best degrees that you can get right now in terms of job prospects.
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 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 lot of mathematics including calculus, discrete math, differential equations and linear algebra. With that being said, 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.
A business administration degree can also qualify you for a number of different jobs but not as many as a computer engineering degree and they will not be as highly-paid for the most part. If you do decide to get a business administration degree, it would help a lot to make sure to take classes related to the job that you are most interested in, to learn skills related to that job, to complete related projects and to get internships during the summer. I would also strongly recommend that you consider at least getting a minor in computer science, finance or accounting since it will improve your job prospects considerably.