Data Science vs Computer Science

Data science and computer science are two related fields, but they are not the same thing.

Data science is a field that focuses on using scientific methods and algorithms to extract knowledge and insights from data. Data scientists work with large datasets. Machine learning, data mining, and statistical analysis transform data through cleaning and processing. Data scientists then communicate their findings to stakeholders (including computer scientists!) in a clear and actionable way.

Computer science is the study of how computers work and how they solve problems. It involves the development of software systems.

In summary, data science is a field that uses the tools and techniques of computer science to extract insights from data. Computer science is a broader field that involves the design and development of computer systems and algorithms. While data science and computer science are related, they are fundamentally different.

Data ScienceComputer Science
  • Extract knowledge from data
  • Build software applications
  • Work with large datasets
  • Work with programming languages
  • Uses Python, Ruby, or R
  • Uses Javascript, Java, or Ruby
  • Median US pay is $150,000
  • Median US pay is $167,000

Programming Languages Differences in Data Scientists vs Computer scientists

Data scientists and computer scientists often use different programming languages. Data scientists use languages like Python, R, and Julia. These use data and are for performing complex statistical calculations. In contrast, computer scientists often use languages like C++, Java, JavaScript, and Ruby. These are very good at building computer programs.

The programming languages used by data scientists and computer scientists have different purposes. Data scientists use languages that are well-suited for working with data. Computer scientists use languages that are well-suited for building software.

Salary Differences in Data Scientists vs Computer scientists

The median computer scientist salary is higher than the median data scientists salary. The median US 2022 salary of a software engineer is $167,000 and the median salary of a data scientist is $150,000. Computer science is a well-established field that is in high demand. Companies are willing to pay higher salaries to attract and keep talent.

That said, the specific salaries of data scientists and computer scientists can vary. Factors like their level of experience, their education, and the specific industry they work in can influence salary. For example, computer scientists who have many years of experience may earn more than those who are starting out. Additionally, industries like technology, finance, or healthcare pay higher salaries.

Computer scientists tend to earn higher salaries than data scientists. The specific salaries of data scientists and computer scientists can vary depending on a variety of factors. It is possible for a data scientist to earn more than a computer scientist. Total compensation is very similar.

Is Data Science Harder than Computer Science?

Programmers working

Both data science and computer science are challenging fields. Both must have a strong foundation in math and computer science, as well as the ability to solve complex problems. Whether one field is harder than the other will depend on an individual's personal strengths and interests.

Can a Data Scientist be a Computer Scientist?

Yes, a data scientist can also be a computer scientist. Since these are related fields there are many transferrable skills. Data scientists often use computer science skills, such as programming, to work with data. They build programs that can help them to analyze and understand that data.

Many computer scientists also have skills and expertise in data science. They may use their knowledge of data analysis and statistics to build better computer systems and software.

While data science and computer science are distinct fields, they have many overlapping skills. A person can have the skills to be both a data scientist and computer scientist.

Is Data Science a lot of Coding?

Programmers coding together

Yes, data science often involves a lot of coding. Data scientists use programming languages, such as Python, R, and Julia. These lanaugages enable working with data and to build tools and programs that can help them to analyze and understand it. This can involve writing complex programs that can process large amounts of data and extract useful insights.

Data scientists may also use coding skills to build and use specialized tools. Data visualization and machine learning models are systems data scientists build.

Coding is an important part of the data science field, and data scientists often spend a lot of time writing code as part of their work.

Learn more

Join our mailing list and follow us on social media for more educational materials and to hear about exceptional opportunities across the USA.

Send us a message on social media or at if you've enjoyed this article or have any suggestions to improve it!

Twitter logo   Facebook logo   Instagram logo   Linkedin logo   Mastodon logo