Data Science Vs Software Engineer | What to choose and Why?

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Data Science vs Software Engineering
Updated on 28th Sep, 23 3.8 K Views

In this blog on Data Science vs. Software Engineering, we will read in detail about the following topics:

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Data Science: Definition

Also known as one of the fastest-growing fields, data science refers to an interdisciplinary domain that uses several scientific processes and methods to study different kinds of data, including structured and unstructured data. Data science uses a lot of technologies, such as AI, machine learning, data mining, etc., to derive valuable insights from data.
Data science is heavily inclined toward the value of approximation, the results of data analysis, and the understanding of its results. Like software engineers, data scientists aim to optimize algorithms and manage the trade-off between speed and accuracy.

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The domain of data science is incredibly diverse and requires a skill set from several different domains to be used together for adequate results. If you are an Iron Man fan, you already know about Jarvis, Tony Stark’s assistant – a virtual AI. It helps Tony in predicting an outcome for any given action. The process of collecting data, analyzing the data, and predicting a certain outcome is data science.
In the real world, more data has been created in the past 2 years than in the entire history of the human race. For a typical Fortune 1000 company, just a 10% increase in data accessibility will result in more than $65 million in additional net income. Data accounts are an important feature for any organization due to their ability to direct in making decisions based on facts, statistical numbers, and trends. Data Science is a concept that involves data collection, data processing, and exploration leading to analyzing the data and consolidating the results.

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Software Engineering: Definition

Software Engineering is the process of developing software by systematically applying the principles of engineering. The entire process of software engineering involves planning, designing, building, and testing the software application to meet the requirements.
Software Engineering serves as the foundation for understanding software in Computer Science. It is one of the most widely chosen careers. Every year, lakhs of job opportunities are available in this field, offered by a few leading organizations such as TCS, Wipro, Infosys, etc.
It involves the analysis of user requirements by focusing highly on the best processes and methodologies used for producing high-quality software. The main goal of a software engineer is to find a suitable programming language and develop solutions for algorithmic problems that meet the requirements of the users.
Software Engineering proves to be invaluable when it comes to managing the constant changes in user requirements during the development of an application.

Both Data Science and Software Engineering domains involve programming skills. Where Data Science is concerned with gathering and analyzing data, Software Engineering focuses on developing applications, features, and functionality for the end-users.

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It is now time to learn more about the approaches and contrasts between Data Science and Software Engineering.

Qualifications Required for Data Science and Software Engineering

With the introduction of data science, many talents have been drawn to improve their computer programming and machine learning abilities, and occasionally software engineering skills are required for data scientists. The abilities required for aspiring data scientists and software engineers are listed in the following section.

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Qualifications for Data Science

Data Scientists come from various educational backgrounds. Primarily, they involve B.Tech or M.Tech majoring in Computer Science or Information Technology, a B.Sc or MSc in Statistics, and a few MBA graduates from top business schools.

Qualifications to be a Data Scientist

The role primarily requires a skill set in mathematics, statistics, knowledge of programming languages, and other computer science essentials. Machine Learning plays a major role in Data Science.

Along with these, domain expertise will come in handy to soar in your company’s domain.

To sum it up, a Data Scientist can be from the following educational backgrounds :

  • Engineering
  • A degree in statistics or mathematics

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Software Engineering

A software engineer requires a Bachelor’s degree majoring in a relative computer program as a minimum entry-level requirement. Software Engineering demands a deep understanding of at least a couple of languages and how they function. Some of the popular languages are Python, JavaScript, C#, C++, Ruby, and Java.

Knowledge of data structures and algorithms is recommended, as a lot of interviewers look for these skills during recruitment. Along with theoretical knowledge, there is a high recommendation for practical knowledge in reading code, building projects, and working in a team.

An outline of the qualifications and requirements for Software Engineering are listed below:

  • Bachelor’s degree in any relative computer program
  • Deep and practical programming knowledge
  • Data structures and algorithms

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Career Paths for Data Science Vs. Software Engineering

Let’s look at how to get started in Data Science and Software Engineering. Further in each part, we discuss the professional choices you can pursue if you want to be a Data Scientist or a Software Developer.

Data Science Careers

As a fast-developing industry, we do not expect this need to slow down anytime soon. Specializing in Data Science leads to entry-level positions as an Analyst in several sectors.

  • Data Analyst
  • Quantitative Analyst
  • Business Intelligence Analyst
  • Business Analyst
  • Systems Analyst
  • Marketing Analyst
  • Operations Analyst

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These roles can further lead to senior and lead roles. To maximize your earnings, your eventual goal can be a C-suite role in data science as a chief data officer for an organization.

Timeline if you are choosing to specialize in Data Science.

Data Scientist
  • Data Scientist
  • Senior Data Scientist.
  • Machine Learning Engineer.
  • Lead Data Scientist.
  • Chief Data Officer.

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Software Engineer Careers

An aspiring software engineer can expect regular opportunities to progress in their career. As you learn technical skills and gain experience, new opportunities will open. A career in software engineering can be kickstarted with the following roles:

  • Front End Engineers
  • Back End Engineers
  • Full-Stack Engineers
  • Mobile App Developers
  • Graphics Engineer
  • Game Engineer
  • Data Engineer
  • DevOps Engineer
  • Software Development Engineer in Test
  • Embedded Systems Engineer
  • Security Engineer

These roles can further lead to senior and lead roles such as :

Software Engineer
  • Junior Software Engineer
  • Senior Software Engineer
  • Tech Lead
  • Team Manager
  • Technical Architect
  • Chief Technology Officer

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Career Transition

Data Science Vs. Software Engineering Salary

Pay is normally skill-based, competency-based, or performance-based. This section will give you a brief overview of the salaries in the Data Science and Software Engineering domains.

Data Scientist Salaries

One of the most crucial variables influencing a Data Scientist’s salary is experience. A data science professional’s remuneration grows dramatically with each year of expertise.

LevelUS Salaries (USD) / YearIndian Salaries (INR) / Year
Entry Level$57k₹341k
Data Scientist Salaries

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Software Engineer Salaries

The average software engineer salary is highly regarded and it is no secret that they are in high demand to earn a large amount.

LevelUS SalariesIndian Salaries
Entry Level$63k₹274k

Both Data Scientists and Software Engineers are highly paid professionals and both professions come with great benefits and challenges.

Software Engineer Salaries

** Source of salaries of Data Scientist Vs Software Developer: Payscale 

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Difference between a Data Scientist and a Software Engineer

All the differences in this article Data Scientist Vs Software Developer domains have been summarized in the below table.

Data ScienceSoftware Engineering
Data Science focuses on gathering and processing data.Software Engineering focuses on the development of applications and features for users.
Includes machine learning and statistics.Focuses more on coding languages.
Deals with Data Visualisation tools, Data Analytics tools, and Database Tools.Software Engineering deals with programming instruments, database services plan instruments, CMS devices, testing devices, integration apparatus, etc.
Deals with Exploratory Data.Software Engineering focuses on systems building.
Data Science is Process OrientedSoftware Engineering is methodology-oriented.
Skills include programming, machine learning, statistics, and data visualization.Skills include the ability to program and code in multiple languages.

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Which One is Better, Data Science Vs. Software Engineering?

Ultimately, when comparing the professions of Software Engineer and Data Scientist, the crucial question arises: “Which field is superior?” Data science and software engineering requires you to have programming skills. While data science includes statistics and machine learning, software engineering focuses more on coding languages.

Both professions are in great demand and highly rewarding. Finally, it is determined by your area of interest. In the ever-expanding realm of technology, while the field of data science is experiencing remarkable growth, the significance of software engineers remains paramount. Software engineers play a crucial role in constructing the very foundations upon which data scientists rely. While data scientists extract insights from data and contribute new perspectives to businesses, it is the expertise of software engineers that allows these insights to be transformed into tangible software solutions. Hence, the symbiotic relationship between data scientists and software engineers ensures the continuous advancement and success of technological endeavors.

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2 thoughts on “Data Science Vs. Software Engineering”

  1. For a mechanical engineer having industrial experience in mechanical domain. Which is best software engineer or data analyst

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