Cyber Security Vs Software Engineering? (Differences Check)


If you are interested in getting into a career with focus and promise, two of the careers you might consider are cyber security and software engineering. However, it’s possible that you have no idea what they involve and what the differences are between them. So, we’re going to look at the two of them and see what makes them different.

What’s the Difference Between Cyber Security and Software Engineering? Software engineering is about developing systems and software from application, games to operating systems for organizations. Whilst Cyber Security is about protecting assets from online attacks (cyber attacks) that can lead to information being stolen, tampered with or deleted.

Let’s look at some of the differences between Cyber security and Software Engineering careers.

  • A degree in software engineering will offer a focus that is broader than a cyber security degree.
  • A software engineer can take up roles in a variety of industries in addition to the cyber security field.
  • A cyber security degree will provide you with knowledge that is much more comprehensive in tackling things such as data breaches when compared with software engineering.
  • Programs for software engineering don’t require you to take courses in cyber security. However, there are some skills that can be transferred in the software engineering field that you can apply to cyber security.
  • Generally, getting software engineering and cyber security degrees both can lead you on the path to the exciting information technology field. However, if you’re interested in eliminating vulnerabilities, data protection from cyberattacks and digital defense, a degree in cyber security is going to be the one that will get you started down the right path.

Although there are quite a few differences between the two fields, there are also things that they have the same.

  • By specializing in both of these fields, you can get employment in roles that are similar.
  • Both of the career paths require a lot of computing and technical knowledge in the areas like networks, cloud computing and mobile.
  • They have experience in the big data and shell scripting technologies.
  • Understanding of software architecture in real time.

Both of these careers are perfect for people who love computers and who are always looking for the latest and greatest software and gadgets. Now that we know a bit about how they are different and the same, we’re going to take a closer look at them to help you with making the decision that is right for you.

Which is Better Cyber Security or Software Engineering?

This question is really hard to answer, because it really will depend on what you prefer. But first, we’ll look at cyber security, the career choices and what is involved.

A cyber security professional designs and implements the security measures for managing and protection databases in private firms and government. As data breaches and cyberattacks have become a lot more common, IT infrastructures and networks that are better secured are required so that sensitive information is safe.

When you have a cyber security degree, you may work with government officials in eCommerce, IT companies, firms’ IT departments, financial institutions and various other organizations requiring data to be protected.

It takes around two years to get your cyber security associate degree and you can get your bachelor’s in four years. With an addition 2 years, you can get a master’s degree.

Cyber Security Career Choices

  • Analyst for information security
  • IT auditor
  • Security analyst (IT)
  • Network architect
  • Manager for information security

A software engineer designs, develops, integrates and maintains the cyber security software. They can work the software developers so that they know the software’s got security in it.

He or she can design some new computing approaches, develop new electronic products and build software. They can work with government officials in the design of computer systems and companies who develop applications, software publishers, development, and research.

It takes four years to get your bachelor’s degree in software engineering.

Career options for software engineer

  • Database admin
  • Data scientist
  • Network systems admin
  • Software developer
  • Systems analyst
  • Videogame developer
  • Web designer

So, which one is better? There really is no answer to that. Though a software engineer might have more options when it comes to the type of work they do, the lure of cyber security can be exciting. It’s all up to the person.

Next, we’ll look at the amount that people in the fields make.

Do Software Engineers Make More Than Cybersecurity?

Now, let’s get to the nitty gritty. Chances are you want to know how much money you are going to make if you are in either one of these fields, right? Which one pays more? Well, let’s look at the two careers and see which one comes out on top.

Software Engineer

The average base salary of a software engineer in the US is $107,319, with a cash bonus of $4,000 per year.

Cities with the highest pay in software engineering:

Highest paying cities in United States for Software Engineers

  • San Francisco – $151,326/year
  • New York -$131,728/year
  • Seattle -$125,904/year
  • Boston – $119,465/year
  • San Diego – $116.037/year

Skills that could help increase your software engineer salary.

  • PHP – as much as $38,448 more
  • JavaScript – as much as $34,838 more
  • Java – as much as $28,779 more
  • C – as much as $30,811 more
  • C++ – as much as $28,949 more
  • Python – as much as $24,569 more

Cyber Security

For cyber security, the average base pay is $97,310 per year.

The states with the highest pay in cyber security are:

  • New York -$123,918/year
  • Massachusetts -$122,746/year
  • Washington – $121,890/year
  • New Hampshire – $119,461/year
  • Hawaii – $117,889/year
  • Maryland – $113,756/year

If you’re looking for the highest paid jobs in cyber security, here are the ones that you want to shoot for.

  • Manager of Information Security – $125,000 – $215,000
  • Cybersecurity Engineer – $120,000 – $200,000
  • Engineer of Application Security – $120,000 – $180,000
  • Cybersecurity Analyst – $90,000 – $160,000

Although it may seem surprising, it seems like a software engineer does make more money than a cyber security specialist. However, it’s important to note that the salaries depend on many things, including the type of job it is and where the person is working.

How to Choose the Path for You

Now that we have given you a lot to think about, maybe you have a clear path as to whether you want to choose a software engineer degree or a degree in cyber security. But if not, that’s okay too. Below are some final tips that you can use to help you find the right path for you.

  • Don’t Look at Just Salaries – Even though the salary is likely going to be one of the biggest considerations, it shouldn’t be your only one. Yes, making good money is going to be nice. However, you don’t want to choose a job simply because of the money you are going to make. A job doing something you hate is always going to be a hassle. But a job doing something you love is going to something you enjoy.
  • Think About Your Likes – Are you always trying to solve problems or tell people about making sure that they have good, strong passwords? Or are you looking at your favorite video game and thinking about how you can make it better? Do you have a whole book of ideas for apps? Or do you shake your head when you hear about a security breach? Thinking about these things can help you decide.
  • Talk to People You Know – Do you have a friend or family member who is in software engineering or cyber security? If so, talk to them and see what they think. See if they have any tips that they can give you.

Good luck on your career path and choosing the right one for you, whether it’s software engineering, cyber security or something else.

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