Cyber Security VS Software Engineering: Tug of War!


January 2023

The “Cyber Security vs Software Engineering” battlefield has been left unattended for a while. Like you, freshies often contemplate which career will meet their perimeters of “being successful”. Technical jargon, competitive salaries, and different growth potential of both fields bewilder newcomers.

It is a debate that even a computer cannot address with the ultimate finality. Despite the most imaginative descriptions in science fiction and promises for AI, computers can only do what they are instructed to do.

As the user, it is your responsibility to approach a complicated problem, research it, comprehend it, and devise a solution. Computers are only excellent at automating those solutions. Therefore, choosing cyber security or software engineering is not only a practical one but also a passionate decision. 

In this article, we hope to help you pick the best one:

What Is Cybersecurity? A Mighty Defense Code

Cybersecurity is the practice of executing security measures to prevent confidential and sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. It encompasses software creation, penetration testing, firewall building, and other malware prevention measures. It also entails employing digital forensics to establish when and how an attack occurred. 

Furthermore, cybersecurity is one of the most secure avenues to follow. The need for cybersecurity expertise will only grow. Cyber assaults are on the rise, and losses from cyber assaults are increasing yearly. 

What Is Software Engineering? A Clean Architecture 

Software engineering, also known as software architecture, is assessing particular requirements and developing the tools needed to construct software to match those requirements. It necessitates a substantial understanding of software design, computer programming languages such as Python and Java, as well as the operating systems they operate with (such as UNIX and Linux).

Unlike software developers, who build software on top of existing frameworks, software architects must build the frameworks on which new software may be developed. This is the “hard” part. 

They are increasingly bombarded with challenging dilemmas that no one has encountered before. This process involves various technical decisions with long-term repercussions placed on top of the interpersonal and political milieu. Similarly, architects debate the line between architecture and design, the former being structural and the latter more malleable.

Roles And Responsibilities

Dive into the roles and responsibilities of cybersecurity professionals and software architects: 

What Do Cybersecurity Engineers Do?

Cybersecurity professionals are frequently dubbed as the heroes of fighting off the hideous invisible threats that try to infiltrate your application. But what more do cybersecurity engineers do? 

A security engineer's job description includes doing a complete risk assessment, finding vulnerabilities in a network, and installing firewalls or configuring systems to improve current security features.

They document any security concerns, repair technological errors, and manage resources to offer actual solutions in an efficient manner. They must also be skilled in the following:

  • Understanding and handling complicated technological difficulties in a fast-paced corporate context
  • Maintaining all security-related software and hardware
  • Security certification documentation
  • Recognizing present and upcoming technological challenges, such as security trends, vulnerabilities, and threats
  • Threats intelligence
  • Identifying and deploying innovative security solutions to improve security perimeters
  • Conducting proactive research to identify security flaws and offer acceptable solutions
  • Collaboration with suppliers on the implementation of security solutions

What Do Software Engineers Do?

People often ask, “what do software engineers do?” They confuse this field with software developers who build different software components. In reality, architects design and build the framework or model on which developers build software.

A software architect collaborates closely with other project team members to develop a successful product. For instance, they write code comparable to that of a developer but emphasizes standards reinforcement rather than constructing software components.

As a result, an architect may create high-level pseudocode, a proof of concept, or a third-party API to aid in the speedier transfer of business requirements to functional code. In the meantime, a developer works on translating functional requirements into code.

Both a software architect and a tech lead improve the development process. Whereas the latter occupies him/herself with tactics, the architect focuses on the entire product strategy. In smaller businesses, though, a single individual may fill both functions.

To highlight, the function of a product manager is sometimes conflated with that of a software architect. The primary distinction is that the manager investigates business potential. In contrast, the architect examines present technological possibilities.

Salary Comparison

In this section, you will gain insight into the salary packages of both domains:

How Much Do Cybersecurity Engineers Earn?

In the United States, the projected compensation for a Cyber Security Engineer is $99,870 per year, with an average income of $92,725 per year. The extra salary is anticipated to be $7,145 per year. Additional compensation may include a monetary incentive, a commission, gratuities, and profit sharing. 

How Much Do Software Engineers Earn?

The annual pay for a Software Architect in the United States is $170,479, with an average base pay of $130,838. The extra salary is anticipated to be $39,641 per year. Additional compensation may include a monetary incentive, a commission, gratuities, and profit sharing.

Career Growth

It is always beneficial to consider the career path. So, what exactly is a professional path? It's a road map indicating how you could progress from one job title to another. Our career pathways are particularly thorough in terms of wage fluctuations. 

Explore how far the roots of each profession extend in this section: 

What is the Career Pathway of Cybersecurity?

After you've completed your schooling and developed a strong set of hard skills, you may begin gaining on-the-job experience. As with other occupations, cybersecurity professionals typically begin with an entry-level position and work their way up to become senior experts.

Let's look at some of the available entry-, mid-, and senior-level positions.



1. Manager, Information Assurance (13 Years)

2. Manager, Information Assurance (10 Years)

3. Manager, Information Assurance (12 Years)

4. Senior Security Engineer (11 Years)

5. Senior Security Engineer (10 Years)

6. Senior Security Engineer (13 Years)


What is the Career Pathway of Software Engineering?

If you started as a software engineer, you may eventually advance to a position such as product manager. You could wind up with the title “information technology director” later in your career.



1. Solutions Architect (14 Years)

2. Solutions Architect (10 Years)

3. Solutions Architect (15 Years)

4. Chief Technology Officer (13 Years)

5. Software Development Manager (12 Years)

6. Software Development Manager (10 Years)


Finding A Job

As both fields are highly competitive, finding a job can be challenging. Adopt the following tips and tricks to build yourself a lucrative career while calming the mental chaos of cyber security vs software engineering discourse.

How Can You Land a Job in Cybersecurity?

Make yourself more competitive for a career by taking an internship to get experience. You might also seek job shadowing to observe experienced cybersecurity experts at work and ask questions about what they do daily. 

Certifications are also an excellent approach to getting the attention of prospective employers. Consider becoming a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), a Certified Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), a SANS/GIAC Certification, a GIAC Certified Incident Handler, or any of the other numerous trade credentials available.

How Can You Land a Job in Software Engineering?

If you want to work as a software engineer, there are several paths you may follow to get into the field and earn a position. Depending on your degree of expertise, the following procedures can help you locate a software engineering job:

  • Create a professional portfolio: Employers are more likely to consider you if you have a track record of success in software design, implementation, testing, and maintenance.
  • Keep your resume updated: Update your CV to reflect your achievements as you gain experience, enhance your abilities, and expand your industry knowledge.
  • Networking: Reach out to other software development, engineering, and computer science experts to broaden your network. Participate in collaborative initiatives, give your time, and become involved in your professional networks.

Career In Cyber Security vs Software Engineering: Which One Is Best For You?

The demand for educated cybersecurity specialists and skilled software developers has never been higher. Technology is evolving faster than ever, and experienced specialists are at the forefront of innovation.

While most cybersecurity and software engineering professions demand a bachelor's degree or above, a master's degree may provide additional opportunities for promotion.

A master's degree can open numerous doors, including prospects for a higher wage, more expertise in your skill set, and a range of work alternatives in any area.

It will be relatively easy to figure out which profession is ideal for you if you enroll in ARFASOFTECH's training program! It is a once-in-a-lifetime networking opportunity as we arrange a one-on-one session between you and the industrial experts. So, jump onto the bandwagon and collect as many accomplishments as possible for your professional portfolio.

Is cybersecurity better than software engineering?

Both fields are extremely difficult, but cybersecurity generally necessitates far less mastery of actual software development methodology, algorithms, and data structures, but does necessitate a broad and, at times, unusually profound knowledge of how computers work - hardware, operating systems, applications, and every bit of 'glue' code in between those major layers.

Both are in high demand and can be extremely highly compensated in the near future.

Only you may choose which is more appealing to you.

Who is better, software engineer or cyber security?

They both create computer programs as well as design them. The distinction is that security engineers are only responsible for providing computer solutions to improve the security of an organization's systems.

In contrast, software engineers work on projects ranging from app development to website coding.

Is cybersecurity harder than software engineering?

In practice, cybersecurity is harder than software engineering. Although cyber security is "harder" than software engineering, pay is typically proportional to effort. However, this does not imply that learning cybersecurity is difficult.

Who earns more in cyber security or software engineering?

Both job roles provide lucrative career opportunities. However, because the future of technology and security is so important, cybersecurity engineers will be compensated more than software engineers.

Can a software engineer become a cybersecurity engineer?

Software engineers can be excellent candidates for high-level cybersecurity positions. Coding experience, software engineering know-how, critical thinking, and analysis abilities may be valuable assets in an organization's long-term cyber security implementation.

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Fahad Ali, Author

Fahad is PM at ARFASOFTECH but has a knack for writing. He enjoys writing about the latest technologies and evolving trends. Most of his writings revolve around trending technologies and their integration into operations.

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