Although I work for an "engineering" company (in Canada), and most of our product is in the area of embedded comms, I have an even split between engineering and computer science grads in my group. I've found that there is no real difference between the two groups in terms of ability or creativity. Both types are also very capable in terms of understanding the H/W and the intricacies of driver level code. In terms of salary, both types are treated equally. The firmware architects in my group are comp sci types and there is an even split between engineers and comp sci types in the team lead and developer positions. I also have technologists who can run rings around an average engineer (or comp sci) type.
Perhaps we need to expand the definition to include others who are more than capable of doing the work traditionally described as engineering.
In our company we class all of the above as "engineers" although not all have graduated from an engineering program.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used on the Mars on EE Times Radio. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.