Cyber Security vs. Software Engineering: Which Is For You?

Computer science is a vast field with many different specialties. Therefore, when you want to build a career in this field, you have many paths to choose from.

Cyber security vs. software engineering is two areas of great interest today. Are you curious about the difference between software engineering vs. cyber security? Find the answer right in the article below!

What Is Cyber Security?

Cyber Security

The main tasks of security engineers will focus on developing and implementing security measures that help protect computer networks.

In the era of network security problems with many uncertainties with the attack of malware and hackers, security professionals need to update new security protocols and test and handle them constantly.

What Is Software Engineering?

Software Engineering

Software engineers will work with programming languages. The main job is to patch bugs and research and develop measures.

With the primary tools being programming languages like Java, C++, and Python, software founders will create computer programs with various features.

Two leading software development directions can be programs that help perform a specific task, such as computation, entertainment, and programs that help ensure the machine’s overall performance.

The Main Difference

Although both belong to the field of computer science, as you have seen, there is a difference between software and engineers, right from the primary task.

To further clarify the distinct characteristics of these two professions, here are some breakdowns on essential criteria such as required skills, salaries, and more.


An engineer’s career path will often begin with pursuing a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or a computer science-related field.

However, a bachelor’s program may not be enough to turn an engineer into an expert in the field and offer many career advancement opportunities. That is also why a bachelor’s of cybersecurity needs to pursue a master’s program.

Upon reaching this level, the expert will have advanced knowledge of the network. Some advanced learning can be mentioned as troubleshooting and violations, using ethical hacking methods to detect vulnerabilities, or retrieving data from handheld mobile devices.

Meanwhile, to become a software engineer, you can start with a bachelor’s degree in data science or a related program.

To have many career advancement opportunities, a software engineer needs to learn constantly, especially should pursue more advanced courses such as a master’s in software development software master of data science.

Skill required

In addition to education, both positions above require applicants to possess specific skills to complete the job well.

Specifically, network security engineers with their job characteristics will have to master the skills related to intrusion detection testing and intrusion handling.

Cybersecurity analysts and defenders must also know ethical hacking, data retrieval, and other specialized skills.

Meanwhile, software engineers will spend a lot of time coding languages.


With specialized knowledge and skills, each position will take on additional jobs:

Specifically, as mentioned in the previous section, a network security engineer will have the main task of implementing measures to protect computer networks. Experts will be responsible for preventing malware, fixing vulnerabilities in network security, and maintaining a secure setup.

For software engineers, the main job will be quite different. Employees and experts in this field will work with programming languages ​​such as Python, C++, or JavaScript. The result of the work is a new one on both mobile and computer platforms. Of course, software engineers have security concerns.

However, unlike cybersecurity experts, the job of founders will be to ensure that the operating system is always running smoothly, not having much to do with improving security for the entire network.


The salaries of many professions in computer science, including software engineers and security engineers, are pretty attractive.

Specifically, according to our report, the salary of the cyber security is $96,484/year in the US. Meanwhile, the salary of a software engineer will be slightly higher, maybe around $107,470/year in the US.

Comparison Table

Here are a few comparisons between two similar occupations, based on important criteria like education, skills, and salary.

For a more general overview, you can refer to the comparison table below:


Cyber security engineering

Software engineering


Bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or a related field.

Bachelor of Computer Science or related field

Skill Required

Cybersecurity skills

Coding language


Take measures to protect computer networks.

Working with programming languages, creating new one.




Pros and Cons

Both security engineers and software engineers are the most attractive professions today. To explain this attraction, it is impossible not to mention a series of advantages worth considering, such as.

Security Engineer


  • High salary compared to the average.
  • Job demand is high.
  • Good career advancement opportunities.
  • It is an exciting and challenging working environment.
  • Can switch to network security tasks.


  • The job can last for many hours, even on a day off.

Software engineer


  • High salary.
  • Job demand is high.
  • You are free to work anywhere.
  • Have great potential to become the owner of a startup.
  • Have favorable conditions for intellectual development and skills.


  • Need to improve my thinking ability.
  • Need to constantly learn and update new programming languages.


Although there are similarities, such as working with computers, each profession has different tasks.

Hopefully, with the above sharing, you have a detailed comparison between cyber security vs. software engineering. From there, you also have a deeper look at these attractive professions to make your career development goals.

Thank you for reading!