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Software Engineering vs. Web Development: Similarities, Differences

Software engineers and web developers will often work together on projects. Yet, they aren’t two peas in a pod. Each is a distinct career, and have their unique work environments, skill sets, and end products. This article will cover what software engineering and web development are, and what you can expect when hiring them for your team.

Programming Languages in Software Engineering and Web Development

Let’s begin with software engineering. The most common coding language for software engineering is JavaScript, and by a large margin. According to Stack Overflow's list for most beloved coding languages, JavaScript is used by 67.7% of all software engineers and has been in the #1 position for the last 8 years. Behind JavaScript (yet still very common) are HTML/CSS, SQL, Python, and Java.

What about web development? Again, JavaScript reigned king. There are over 1.6 billion websites out there, and approximately 95% (so, 1.52 billion websites) were built through JavaScript. According to Statista, 64.96% of web developers use JavaScript in their careers. Similar to software engineers, HTML/CSS is right behind.

Make sure that the person you hire understands JavaScript and HTML/CSS at the back of their hand. This way, you won’t have to deal with wasted time or micromanaging that is avoidable otherwise.

Required Education For Both Careers

To make sure you hire the most qualified candidate, look at the general requirements for the two industries as a whole.

Entry-level software engineer positions will typically require at least a bachelor's in computer science. When working with a more established company, employers may prefer a master’s degree or higher. Background and knowledge of common coding languages, computer science, and math are additional benefits to look for.

Entry-level web development positions often do not require a college degree, provided that they understand how to code through online courses and the like. An associate degree in either computer science, web development, or graphic design is encouraged, however.

Regardless of education requirements, you will definitely want to take a look at previous works and review the applicant thoroughly.

Salary Comparison

Because software engineers require more technical skills and expertise, they also make significantly more than their web developer counterparts.

The average base salary of a software engineer is $118,992 yearly. With experience in the industry, the highest level earners are making more than $200,000 yearly.

The average base salary of a website developer is $67,360 yearly. While this salary is lower than software engineers, this career path is still an excellent choice with low educational barriers. Top earners are making around $90,000.

Is it Time to Hire?

For both careers, the demand for them has increased. With e-Commerce, mobile use, and entrepreneurship on the rise, more businesses are trying to snag software engineers and web developers alike.

Looking at recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) numbers, web developers will grow by 13% from now until 2030 while software engineers will grow by a whopping 23% in the same time period. Keep in mind that the average job growth rate is only roughly 7%.

There are currently 189,200 openings available for software engineers and 17,900 for web developers each year.,creating%20websites%20and%20web%20applications.,Linux%2C%20smart%20TVs%2C%20etc.,Job%20Outlook,the%20average%20for%20all%20occupations.,Job%20Outlook,the%20average%20for%20all%20occupations.,%22above%20average%20cyclical%20recovery.%22