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.

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

What is Cyber Security?

The main tasks of cybersecurity 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.

Cyber Security

What is 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.

Software Engineering

Key Differences

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.

1. Education

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.

2. Skill required

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

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

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

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

3. Tasks

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

Specifically, as mentioned in the previous section, a cybersecurity specialist 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 consultants, 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.

4. Salary

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

Specifically, according to our report, the salary of a cyber security specialist is $116,920 a year in the US. Meanwhile, the salary of a software engineer will be slightly higher, maybe around $133,722 a year.

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 securitySoftware engineering
EducationBachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or a related field.Bachelor of Computer Science or related field
Skill RequiredCybersecurity skillsCoding language
TasksTake measures to protect computer networks.Working with programming languages, creating new one.

Pros and Cons

Both cyber security specialists 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.

Cyber SecuritySoftware Engineering
ProsHigh 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.
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.
ConsThe job can last for many hours, even on a day off.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 and software engineering. From there, you also have a deeper look at these attractive professions to make your career development goals.

Thank you for reading!