Difference Between Technology and Engineering

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 24, 2023

       

Difference Between Technology and Engineering

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Introduction

The two terms Technology and Engineering are related closely. Essentially, they both serve the purpose of applying concepts of mathematics and physics for the creation of new devices. Engineering is based on the expertise gained in the fields of maths and physics by careful study. With the help of experience and practice, this expertise is put to use for the development of ways to utilize materials and natural forces for mankind’s benefit. It draws upon fields like applied sciences and industrial arts.

Technology, however, is more focused on the use of technical means based on the latter’s relation with life and environment. Technology tends to emphasize more on hands-on work, while engineering emphasizes more on theory. That said, there is a definite overlapping of the two fields, especially in the case of the job market. Both technologists and engineers work hand in hand to build new devices and develop plans to improve the existing ones.

Both of these fields have co-existed for thousands of years. When man first learned how to light a fire, technology was born. Then came the turn of the invention of the wheel, which led to the birth of engineering. Therefore, their importance cannot be denied. This can be further emphasized by considering their main purpose, which is doing their respective tasks with efficiency, in a more economical manner, and saving precious time.

Technology vs Engineering (Main Difference)

Simply put, technology is the final product that is created after the completion of Engineering. In other words, we should consider engineering as a question or a problem. Technology should be considered as the solution to this problem. For instance, how to build a house’s security system. This comes under the purview of engineering. Burglar alarm is the answer to this question and comes under the purview of technology. Further, engineering should be considered as a process of analyzing and designing systems and products, whereas Technology has more to do with the tools and techniques to maintain and improve the services and products. It is often seen that certain tools of technology that are available already are put to use to engineer a new form of technology.

The terms Engineering and Technology are often misunderstood in the sense that they are used interchangeably. In other words, we can say that the difference between the two terms is not obvious. To a certain extent, they can be considered similar in the sense that they both emphasize heavily on maths and science. This is especially true when one notices that physics and calculus are integral to both. However, the difference between the two comes to light when one can appreciate that engineering is more about developing concepts while technology is more about how various engineering techniques are applied.

The field of engineering encompasses other fields ranging from mechanical to medicine. The same is the case with technology. However, it needs to be pointed out that engineering is more specific as far as a certain task is concerned. Technology, on the other hand, applies to bigger areas. Take, for instance, genetic engineering. Now, this applies to an individual. But the science of MRI is not limited to one person; rather it holds for everybody.

Difference Between Technology and Engineering in Tabular Form

Parameters of comparisonTechnologyEngineering
InputThe technology aims at creating innovative products for the society.Engineering aims at studying maths and science to come up with discoveries which are further worked on by technology
OutputEngineering includes working on resources to create the technology that further helps create these devices.Engineering aims at studying maths and science to come up with discoveries which are further worked on by technology.
OrientationThe technology focuses more on actionEngineering focuses on knowledge.
Raw materialsTechnology requires knowledge and the application of knowledge.Engineering requires resources which need to be studied to come up with an idea that requires technology to work on it
ProductionEngineering leads to the creation of a trial product therefore it cannot be produced on a mass.Technology helps develop products and devices in huge numbers as engineers have already tested them.
ReliabilityTechnology takes the lead here and is more  reliableEngineering manufactures products based on several trials and is hence not so reliable.

What Is Technology?

Technology is putting into operation the concepts of engineering and science to problems in the real world. In other words, it is practically putting into operation the knowledge of science with the help of various tools and techniques. It covers many fields. These include primarily information technology, biotechnology, and electronics. Technology aims to improve productivity and efficiency and generally improve the quality of life for all human beings. It is used for problem resolution and/or fulfilling needs of a specific nature. To achieve this, it helps to develop, implement, and maintain various devices as well as systems and machines.

Technology as a branch of knowledge is aimed at creating and using technical means and their relation with the environment and society. For this, it takes inputs from various science-related fields, which include engineering, pure, and applied science. Last but not least, it takes inputs from the field of industrial arts.

Types of Technology

Technology embraces so many fields in our daily lives that it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss all. Following are some of the most important fields where Technology is used –

Artificial intelligence or AI 

Performance of certain tasks requires higher levels of human intelligence. When we, with the help of computer systems, simulate human intelligence to perform these tasks, it is known as artificial intelligence. Common examples of AI would include Google Assistant and Alexa.

Information Technology

When we use the hardware and software components of computer systems as tools to store, send and retrieve information, we are using Information Technology. This is extremely handy for dealing with challenges in businesses.

Space Technology

Space exploration, flight in space, and the observation of the Earth from outer space are fine examples of space technology. In these cases, technology helps human beings to communicate and navigate the various activities that are carried out in places that are beyond the atmosphere of our planet.

Medical Technology

the past decade has seen technology helping in the field of medicine by leaps and bounds. It leaves little to the imagination that the accuracy and efficiency of diagnosis and treatment have gone up immensely. The field of pharmacology, especially, has benefitted from technology in a big way. Various new techniques have come to the forefront. These include biometrics, robotic surgery, and diagnostic imaging.

Agriculture Technology

The manual work in the field of agriculture has, to a great extent, been replaced by technology. Earlier, these functions in agriculture used to be complicated and consumed a lot of time. But technology has come to their rescue. Especially where the production levels are high, modern technology has equipped the farmers with technologies such as GPS and also they have been provided with machines that help in the regulation of moisture and temperature.

Architecture Technology

A lot of emphasis, nowadays, is being laid on environment-friendly activities and this applies to the field of architecture to a big extent. Just designing structures is not enough nowadays. The environmental issue is of paramount importance. Other than that, there are other considerations before the architect starts with his design process. Space-saving is one such big factor. This is where Architectural Technology comes in. The latter not only helps the architect with the usual designing techniques but goes a step further by helping the architect develop new techniques and ways to promote a better understanding of the various design elements while keeping in mind how to make these techniques more practical and sustainable.

What Is Engineering?

Engineering is the application, with the help of judgment, of concepts of maths and science to come up with ways for the economical use of natural forces for the benefit of human beings. The job of scientists and inventors is to innovate, but the actual application of these innovations to the real world is the job of an engineer.

Thus, as suggested by the abovementioned, engineering aims at solving technical problems and increasing the productivity and efficiency of various systems, and for this, it uses natural sciences, mathematics, and the design process of engineering.

Types of Engineering

As in the case of technology, there are numerous types of engineering, and covering them all is beyond the scope of this article. Let’s take a look at some of the important ones.

Mechanical Engineering 

The job of a mechanical engineer is manifold. They cover many functions when it comes to farm machinery, turbines, robotics, products of aerospace, vehicles, and engines. Concerning the aforementioned, they are involved in the design, manufacturing, inspection, and maintenance of equipment and components. Further, they are also involved in the management of control systems.

Electrical Engineering 

Various aspects of electronic devices, machines, and systems are looked after by engineers in this field. These aspects include designing, testing, manufacturing, and inspecting. Their job vis a vis the abovestated functions include looking after the smallest of microchips to large transmission systems.

Civil Engineering

This includes performing various functions concerning projects of civil infrastructure. These projects include roads, railways, tunnels, and dams. Sub-disciplines in both public and private sectors are part of this category of engineering. These sub-disciplines include structural engineering and environmental engineering.

Aerospace Engineering

This is a branch of mechanical engineering and electrical engineering, and it involves designing, manufacturing, and testing parts of aircraft and spacecraft. Further, it involves specialized functions like vehicle aerodynamics.

Main Difference Between Technology and Engineering In Points

What Comes First?

It is on the completion of engineering that Technology is created. The reverse is not true

Usage

Engineering takes time to reach perfection. On the other hand, Technology can be used as often as required.

Nature 

Engineering has more to do with knowledge, while technology leans more towards being action-oriented.

Reliability

Engineering requires many trials before the product is finalized. The product of engineering goes through many tests before it is deemed perfectly accurate. Technology is more reliable in the sense that it uses the product of engineering, which, as already mentioned, has gone through several tests already. In other words, it is only after confirming that technology is produced.

Production Levels

Engineered products are created once, and then they are left for technology to work on them. Technological products, on the other hand, are produced on a massive scale.

Study vs Application

Engineering is a field of study, but the practical implementation of these studies and ideas is Technology.

Specificity

Technology is not as specific as Engineering

Basic Function

Technology provides the solution or the answer to the problem or question raised by Engineering. It can, therefore, be said that Technology creates builders, whereas Engineering creates designers.

Conclusion

To summarize the article, we need to emphasize the basic functions of technology and Engineering. After the aforesaid, we can say with confidence that Engineering is concerned with efficiency and implementation. On the other hand, technology is concerned more with the actual usage of the device or service. Also, the user experience is a big factor as far as technology is concerned. Further, those wanting to pursue a career in either of these fields should know that there are different skill sets and educational background requirements. Students need to note that technology is a more practical way of doing things and focuses on hands-on experience. Engineering is more of a theory that is based on mathematics and science.

It has been observed that the fields of technology and engineering have contributed immensely to the lives of human beings. Especially in this digital age, they have made significant changes that have gone a long way in the betterment of society.

There can be confusion in students' minds as to which field they should pursue since there is considerable overlap between our two subject matters. We hope that this article will clarify their doubts and enable them to choose the right path depending on their interests and unique strengths.

References

  • https://thecontentauthority.com
  • https://www.devry.edu
  • https://www.simplilearn.com
  • https://www.twi-global.com

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