Cyber Security VS Software Engineering

Are you someone who wants to work with mathematics and coding as well? Then it is mandatory to know two popular domains that help you to have a sneak peek at your career. The two domains which we talking about are Cyber security and software engineering. We must say both the fields are very vast and popular one when it comes to the career, you need to make the right decision while choosing the best career. So with the help of this post, you might be able to learn and explore yourself with the respective domains. In this Cyber security VS software engineering post, we will be explaining the major differences, and also give you a clear idea of which is the best field to pursue your IT career.

What is Cyber Security?

The cyber security industry is a fascinating field in the IT sector and apt for those who are ready to accept the challenges. The term cyber security can be defined as it is a type of IT application that designs and implements secure network solutions specially designed to act as a shield against hackers, persistence attacks, and any cyber-attacks.

Cyber security engineers are those who involve in designing and implementing security solutions to defend against various threats, cyber-attacks, and malware attacks. They are also involved in testing and monitoring the system devices to make us assure that all the system devices are up-to-date and ready to defend against any type of attack.

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What is Software Engineering?

Software engineering is also known as a Software architect or programming engineer, which involves analyzing the specific needs and creating the tools that are required to build software-related applications as per your or your client's requirement.  The software engineer should have knowledge of software design, computer programming skills, such as python, Java, JS, Ruby, and other operating system knowledge like UNIX, and LINUX.  

Software developers are those who create software applications from already existing software applications whereas Software engineers are those who create the frameworks on the new software product which you are going to build.

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Cyber security VS Software Engineering:

In this section, we explain the major differences between cyber security and software engineer as per a few categories. Let’s start;

1. Cyber security VS software engineering: Roles and responsibilities

 First, start with knowing the roles and responsibilities of aby cyber security engineer:

  •   Cyber security engineers or we can call them cyber security analysts they involve in implementing and creating plans, security portals to protect the computer network integrity, mobile devices from any kind of malware attacks or ransom attacks.
  • They are responsible for creating software and updating the computer hardware devices to implement security-related plans.
  • The information security analyst must involve in the constant monitoring of the networking devices to have a security breach.
  • They must involve in creating security incident responses to help minimize the damage caused by any type of malware attack.
  • Experienced cyber security professionals involved in communicating the plans or protocols to work enough to detect the intruders.
Software engineering roles and responsibilities:
  • Software engineers are responsible for building, maintaining, evaluating, and testing the new software.
  • They should have a deep understanding of information systems,  information technology, and programming. 
  • Sometimes they involve in developing the applications and should have a piece of knowledge in mathematics, and algorithms.

2. Cyber security and software engineering skills and qualifications:

Cyber Security Skills and qualifications:

  • Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science, and IT system engineering.
  • They should possess a minimum of two years of work experience in cybersecurity-related roles such as incident detection, responses, and forensics. 
  • Should have experience with the functionalities, operations, and maintenance of firewalls and various forms of endpoint system device security.
  • Must have proficiency in languages and tools such as C++, Java, Node, Python, Go, Power shells, and Go.
  • They should have the ability to work in fast-paced work environments, often under some work pressure.
  • Posses the right eye for details and must have outstanding problem-solving skills.
  • Must have a piece of up-to-date knowledge of cyber security industries, trends, and hacker tactics.
Software engineers skills and qualifications:
  • Strong knowledge in engineering, computer science, and mathematics.
  • Should have strong experience in software development.
  • Should have proven programming experience (various programming language skills).
  • Experience in using different kinds of tools and techniques the software development.
  • Creative and adaptive at problem-solving.
  • Deep knowledge of concepts and algorithms.
  • Strong coding knowledge is a plus.

3. Cyber security and software engineers salary:

Cyber security engineer salary:

According to, an average salary for any cyber security engineer earns $49, 750 and a software security architect earns $135,800.

Software engineer salary:

According to, an average salary for any software engineer earns $50, 000 and an experienced software architect earns $111, 430.

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4. Cyber security and software engineers: career path

Cyber Securit Career path

In the cyber security field, you will get to see various kinds of specializations. Let us know them;

  • Cyber security analyst: should have a piece of strong knowledge of analytical and thinking. They must be creative problem solvers.
  • Cyber security engineers: they should have experience in different operating systems and strong experience in various database platforms.
  • Cyber security managers or administrators: should have a strong experience with firewalls, and a basic understanding of proxy servers, packet shapers, and load balancers.\
  • Cyber security consultants: must have an in-depth knowledge of IT security measures and protocols, and methods to detect intruders. Must have experience in finding and repairing the damages. 
  • Information security Analyst: Experience in providing IT support, and have an organized or in-depth knowledge of intrusion detection systems. Effective problem solver, organized, and detail-oriented.
Software engineer career path:

Below are the few niches where you can get specialized;

  • System engineers: should have a basic understanding of principles and techniques. They must be able to use databases and MYSQL.
  • Full-stack engineer: must have a strong coding knowledge, able to manage both front-end and back-end development tasks. Understanding of system protocols and techniques. 
  • Software engineers: a deep understanding of the developments, coding, building, and deploying applications. Should be proficient with various and multiple coding knowledge. Must have hands-on experience in software-oriented architecture. Able to work independently and must involve in team building. 
  • IT security specialists: must have an in-depth knowledge of IT security tools, anti-virus software management, content filtering, and firewalls. Should have experience with coding, and be able to identify any malicious attacks.
  • Cloud engineers: able to create roadmaps that take you into the storage capacity, and should be a problem solver. Should be able to communicate with all the levels of employees. 

5. Cyber security and software engineers: Certification lists

Cyber security engineer certification lists:

Below is the list of major cyber security engineer certifications:

  • COBIT 5 control objectives for information and related technologies.
  • COBIT 5 Professional certification.
  • CompTIA security+certification -SYO-601.
  • CISA certification and training
  • CND - certified network defender
  • CHFI - Computer hacking forensic investigator certification
    CISSP certification
Software engineer certification lists:

Below is the list of major software engineer certification lists:

  • Certified secure software lifecycle professionals.
  • Certified software development professionals
  • Certified software engineer
  • CIW web development professionals
  • C programmer certification
  • C++ certified associate
  • MYSQL Oracle certification
  • Microsoft fundamental certifications 
  • aws associate certification
  • Salesforce fundamental certifications

Which career is best for you?

Here we are going to list out a few reasons to choose the best career;

You should consider cyber security if;

  • You intend to get a 4-years of degree
  • You can handle anxiety or work pressure
  • You can communicate verbally and orally.
  • You enjoy solving puzzles
  • You can multi-task 

You should consider software engineer if;

  • You like to learn things hands-on (real-time).
  • You have a genuine interest in programs or coding
  • You are a self-learner 
  • You are a good team handler 
  • You are unique, creative, and innovative.

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Final words:

It is very difficult to say which one is the best without determining the parameters for that. If you are someone who has a desire to get a college degree, then we must say the cyber security profession is the easy choice for you. Suppose if you are more interested in self-learning, then cyber security would be a difficult field for you. If you are someone who has a desire to learn to code, then you can choose the software engineering field. But both careers require mathematical knowledge, and how the algorithm works. So our advice is to choose the right profession based on your priority, and educational background. We must say it's a wise decision to take! In this Cybersecurity VS software engineer post, we have mentioned important differentiations based on a few parameters. Hope you found this information helpful.

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Saritha Reddy
Saritha Reddy
Research Analyst
A technical lead content writer in HKR Trainings with an expertise in delivering content on the market demanding technologies like Networking, Storage & Virtualization,Cyber Security & SIEM Tools, Server Administration, Operating System & Administration, IAM Tools, Cloud Computing, etc. She does a great job in creating wonderful content for the users and always keeps updated with the latest trends in the market. To know more information connect her on Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook.