Computer Science vs. Medicine (Which one is harder to learn?)

Both medicine and computer science are profitable fields of study. While there will always be a need for medical professionals, the demand for computer scientists is rising quickly as a result of technology advancements.

Without doubt, medicine is a lot more difficult. A good doctor requires at least ten years of education, whereas it takes me only a few weeks to master a new computer language. The goal of medical care is always to improve a person’s quality of life, if not their survival. When you are creating mission-critical applications for aircraft, spacecraft, or even medical equipment, computer science may literally mean the difference between life and death. However, it is never a software engineer who has to deal with a real-life crisis; instead, it is always a pilot, astronaut, doctor, etc. Reviving a heart attack patient at 2 in the morning is in no way comparable to writing code at 2 in the morning 

The study of programming allows you to be mediocre but still succeed in life. It is a talent that is useful because if you make a mistake, you can usually rectify it, depending on what you are designing. Studying medicine is hellish since there is little tolerance for error and many of the phrases are not as clear-cut as those used in programming. I don’t mean to disparage programmers—many of my friends work in the field—but from what I observed, the programming community is much more welcoming and entertaining. This makes programming simpler. The exciting parts of medicine are the labs, but reaching to that level requires learning a lot of material you can’t simply see, unlike programming, which you can do everywhere and begin at any skill level. Medicine is also a very icy and toxic community.

Pros and cons of computer science:


  • At age 22, you’ll have an excellent wage and be able to get work directly out of college. A computer scientist’s salary ranges from $69,000 to $114,000, with an estimate of $84,796.
  • There is high demand. You’ll be hired.
  • Due to the fact that you attended school for just four years after high school, you will owe less in student loans.
  • You can work from home
  • The world we are living is changing due to computer science.


  • Your salary will probably cap out below what an Medical Doctor makes
  • Working alone at your computer can be isolating. Rarely is computer science referred to as a social profession.
  • Due to competition from younger, less expensive graduates with the same degree, it’s likely that your career will age out in following years.
  • Most likely, you won’t have much freedom. The majority of computer scientists are employees of large corporations. Think of Facebook, Amazon, Apple or Google, 
  • Competition is present. Admission to computer science program at reputable schools is demanding, but not as challenging as admission to medical school.

Pros and cons of Medicine


  • A lot of people are in need of doctors. You’ll be employed. All members of the Baby Boomer generation now need a higher level of medical intervention as they get older.
  • You’ll get paid well. From $230,000 per year for pediatrics to $480,000 per year for orthopedic surgery, the average income varies by specialty.
  • You’ll support people’s health. That is satisfying.
  • If you choose, you can continue working into your 70s. Ageism is not very prominent.
  • You will be a lifelong learner. You become both an interested and an intriguing person for the rest of your life if you immerse yourself in medical knowledge.


  • The process of becoming an MD is one of deferred gratification. When your training is complete, you will be at least 30 years old. You will be years behind financially in comparison to your friends who started working right after graduation at that age because you will have a negative net worth.
  • Throughout your training, you will work long hours and spend the night in hospitals. It’s normal to work 80-hour weeks.
  • You’ll accumulate a substantial amount of debt which will need years to pay off. According to research released in October 2019 by the Association of American Medical Colleges, 73% of medical students finish with an average debt of $201,490, and 18% with a mean debt of more than $300,000.
  • Constant risk of burnout exists. You may be obliged to treat patients in 10-minute production-pressure clinic visits, you’ll likely spend a sizable portion of your working hours on electronic medical records, and you’ll be on call on the evenings and weekends. It gets boring taking calls or being called to the hospital at three in the morning.

Studies length


A Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree can be earned in 10 to 14 years. You will get academic knowledge and clinical training throughout this time.

Students go to medical school for four years after receiving their undergraduate degree. Throughout these four years, students study medicine through pre-clinical coursework and clinical rotations. Students must take two of the three components of the USMLE, the national medical license exam, during their second and final year of medical school. To be qualified to qualify for the National Resident Matching Program, you must pass the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 tests. After the first year of your residency program, you casit for the USMLE Step 3 exam to become a licensed physician. Overall, learning medicine requires a significant amount of time (Will, 2020).

Computer science

A computer science bachelor’s degree can be obtained in four years of full-time study. Following graduation, there are numerous master’s and doctoral program options in addition to internships and jobs.

A computer science Ph.D. may take four to five years to finish, compared to two to three years for a master’s degree.

The academic time for computer science is shorter than it is for medicine.


Computer science

According to a recent study by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), Computer Science has the biggest dropout rate in the universities universities, at about 9.8%. Although there are countless reasons why students leave computer science, a few commonalities become apparent when you examine a large enough sample of instances.

Many people don’t find computer science enjoyable enough to persevere in the face of the discipline’s extreme difficulty. It is less accessible since it moves quickly and is taught differently from other courses.


According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, results vary depending on the situation, but on average, between 81.6 and 84.3 percent of four-year medical program students graduate (AAMC). In contrast, the graduation rate for six-year medical programs was about 95.9%. While the majority of students who enroll in medical school eventually graduate, this rate is noticeably lower than that of students who need to complete combination majors, which can require an additional year or up to 4 or 5 years. Most five-year medical programs have graduation rates of well over 90%.

Acceptance Rate


Admission to medical school is very difficult. In the United States, 41% of applicants to medical schools were accepted in 2018–19. Out of the 52,777 candidates, only 21,622 were chosen for admission. According to the AAMC, each applicant received 16 applications, yet more than half of them were unsuccessful in getting accepted.

Computer Science

The acceptance rate for degrees in computer science varies by university. Compared to prestigious universities like Stanford and Harvard, which have low acceptance rates of 4%, the University of Illinois has a 60% acceptance rate.

Since there is less rivalry and more higher education institutions available countrywide, computer science is easy to get into than medicine.

Average Salary

More money is made by doctors than by computer science graduates. However, doctors start their careers far later than computer scientists do. By the time a physician starts earning a respectable wage after completing residency, a computer science graduate may already be among the top 25% of earners in their profession.

Physicians have a 3% job prognosis, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, but computer scientists have a significantly faster job prospective of 22%. The figure below details the wage discrepancies between the specializations of computer science and medicine (Sinai, 2022).

DoctorComputer Scientist
Neurologist- $287,283Network Architect-$121,681
General surgeon- $234,741Data scientist-$97,579
Pediatrician-$158,042Software developer-$73,999
Obstetrician-$235,792Machine learning engineer-$113,013
Psychiatrist- $219,174Computer engineer-$75,097



A normal doctor works 40 to 60 hours per week. Due to their extensive workloads and daily encounters with multiple situations, the majority of doctors endure stress and burnout.

Burnout is a rising issue in the healthcare sector, according to 96% of medical specialists. Doctors who don’t keep a good work-life balance have limited time for interests or social interactions.

Computer science

The outstanding work-life balance observed in computer science employment is one of the factors influencing the high satisfaction of job of CS graduates. They have flexible working hours and can do freelance or at-home employment. They put in eight hours a day, five days a week, just like the majority of people.



Sinai, S. (2022). Why I became a computer scientist instead of a doctor. QUARTZ.

Smith. (2022). Computer Science and Medicine: Which Career Should You Choose? CS career line.

Will. (2020). Medicine Vs. Computer Science: Which Is Right For You? Will Peach MD.