Welcome to our detailed comparison of Web Developer vs Software Developer!

This article details the difference in academic background, work description, and licenses and certifications between these two professionals. 

After reading this article, you should have all the information you need to choose a career path that suits your ambition. 

We cover the following issues: 

  • Academic Background 
  • Work Description 
  • Licenses and Certification 
  • How to Choose Between a Career as a Web Developer vs Software Developer?

Let’s start!


Web Developer vs Software Developer

A career in a computer technology-related field can be quite rewarding and also satisfying. 

With technology at the center of every modern-day innovation, what could beat understanding computer language and becoming a professional? 

Even so, it is an extensive discipline with diverse career paths. 

Understanding the differences between Web Developer vs Software Developer can help you identify where your skill set fits and where you need to improve

With so many similarities, it may seem like everything falls under the same block, yet it doesn’t.

Hence, understanding the differences can help you identify where your skill set fits and where you need to improve. 

You become better placed to choose a path that better matches your expertise and personal interests. 

From a business perspective, it can be helpful when you need an online-based solution for your commercial dealings. 

You can tell whether you need a Web Developer or a Software Engineer.

One big puzzle that still confuses many is differentiating between Web Development and Software Development. 

Even with notable similarities, especially on the part of studies, they do not amount to the same regarding responsibility and practice as you will learn from this article.

So what is the difference? Read on for helpful insight into what differentiates the two.

Academic Background

Web Developer vs Software Developer

Software Programmers are more learned than Website Developers. 

One must enroll for a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science to understand all the computer fundamentals and frameworks. 

This provides much-needed exposure to the computing world to help learn about the various computer languages and attain the required skills to develop software from scratch.

A Web Developer does not require having a degree in Bachelor of computer science. 

Whereas some have studied a computer-related course, an added advantage, one can learn the craft without having to do a degree. 

Most Web Developers are self-taught or have attended coding boot camps.

The coding boot camps help budding Web Developers and Software Creators to build an appealing portfolio for employment purposes. 

A high school diploma or an associate degree may set you on your way to becoming a Web Developer in the future. 

Developing a website is not as complex as creating software.  

Work Experience and Job Description of Web Developer vs Software Developer

Web Developer vs Software Developer

Web Developer Job

Web Development entails crafting websites and web applications through coding and graphics creation. 

As easy as it may sound, it is a sophisticated undertaking that requires programming knowledge to execute. 

A website should be functional, user-friendly, and have an appealing web design, yet, all of these need to align with the client-side of business needs.

Web Developer vs Software Developer: Web Development entails crafting websites and web applications through coding and graphics creation

The work environment of Web Developers is in the marketing and IT sections. 

As such, it is paramount to have a clear understanding of the server-side functions. 

That also includes how to work with PHP, HTML, JavaScript, SQL, BLS, APIS, and CSS.

Besides creating and testing the different websites, Web Developers are also responsible for site maintenance and upgrades. 

It is such an extensive field that several Web Developers choose to specialize in a particular area once they are out of the coding boot camps. 

Web Developers fall under three categories, Front-End Web Developers, Back-End Developers, and Full Stack Web Developers. 

The Front-End deals with the user interface of the web pages and their interactive features, while the Back-End focuses on the site’s functionality. 

On the other hand, Full Stack Developers deal with both the Front-End and Back-End tasks.

Software Developers 

Computer Programmers focus on developing computer and mobile programs for the operating system. 

Their work is more about problem-solving and entails developing software-based solutions, which require technical skills and may even include conducting research.

It involves taking a concept through design, programming, and testing, plus maintaining and updating the end product, which is the program. 

All this is done to enhance a flawless user experience. 

These software applications help computer users who lack the technical knowledge to perform varying tasks.

They use different programming languages to achieve this. 

For them, keeping up-to-date with new programming tendencies is paramount, and so is having a grasp of various programming languages. 

It would be best if you attained specific academic qualifications to get the necessary skills.

Even so, there is a need to understand the customer’s needs and create the software based on those guidelines. 

The overreliance on intelligent devices has driven the need by firms to embrace technology as they incline more towards e-commerce.

There is an increased need for mobile applications and mobile-friendly web apps, which means that the services of Web and Software Developers will continue to get sought. 

With an estimated growth in demand for Web Developers projected to grow by more than 10 percent by 2030, the signs are positive for anyone willing to join the programming bandwagon.

The rise is caused by the shifting preferences of companies to develop websites that work well on mobile devices.

That is according to the bureau of labor statistics. 

The advent of mobile apps and technological innovations concerning various devices and marketing mediums has driven shoppers away from customary stores to online shopping.

It means that old and new businesses must develop user-friendly and functional websites to remain competitive.

Such sites require maintenance and updating, further expanding the software and Web Developer market.

The prospects for the Software Developer also look good, with an estimated growth rate of 22 percent by 2030.

As the brains behind the systems across various industries, demand for software will remain high as new technology continues to roll out. 

Almost every sector today requires software-based solutions to the immense digital challenges they face.

Cybercrime has been rising recently, and companies are investing in cyber security software to safeguard their data. 

Integration of computers into various consumer products by industries also spells the need for functional programs to be developed. 

This means employment opportunities will keep opening up as demand for software increases.

Licenses and Certifications

software developer vs Web Developer

You must get the necessary approval to conduct web and software programming through licensing. 

Ensure you undertake all the procedures required to get a license from the oversight licensing body. 

Certifications are essential if you want to achieve your career objectives. 

They help build your portfolio, making you more marketable to potential employers.

As a Web Developer, there are several certifications you can pursue to enhance your knowledge and skillset without the need to enroll in a degree program. 

You will earn a certification every time you indulge further in your studies to learn new programming algorithms, trends, and languages.

In addition, you will be up-to-date with the current practices in Web and Software Development.

Some of the Certifications You Can Seek to Pursue

  • Web Development and Design        
  • Professional Certificate in Coding      
  • Programming Foundations with Java, HTML, Microsoft Oracle, and CSS       
  • Technology Leadership Certificate

With more businesses migrating to digital platforms, the demand for Software Developers will keep rising. 

Beginners must seek additional knowledge and get extra certifications. 

To have an extra edge and make a difference in software programming, look for opportunities dealing with security, cloud applications, and data management.

Some of the Best Software Development Certifications

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional      
  • Certified Ethical Hacker          
  • Certified Information Security Manager       
  • Certified Cloud Security Professional 


The salaries for Website and Software Engineers are also dependent on several external factors like experience and position

The salaries for Website and Software Engineers are also dependent on several external factors. 

Some employers may pay better than others depending on the nature of their firms, size or location, and the individual’s skill set. 

Experience and position may also bring about some contrast.

Whereas both career paths attract handsome compensation, the complexity of developing desktop applications calls for more advanced skills and know-how. 

That is why a degree course is essential, as it forms the foundation for acquiring the necessary skills. 

As a result, Software Developers earn more than their web counterparts on average per year when underemployment.

Web Developers, on the other hand, get paid based on completed projects. 

But with a large market for their services, they can earn more by maximizing the work completed. 

They have the time and ability to achieve this because they can work remotely.

Hence, they enjoy more flexibility and can take up freelance jobs. 

For Web Developers, the annual earnings are estimated at $80,000 on average, while that of Software Developers is about $110,000 per annum.

The Flexibility of the Work

Web Developer vs Software Developer

Whereas the demand for services from a Software Developer or Web Developer remains high, there is a discrepancy in job flexibility. 

One can maintain and update websites for multiple clients and across different industries simultaneously.

The market for Web Developers is expansive, and with demand seemingly set to remain high, one can easily make a living as a Freelance Developer. 

The flexibility in this path gives website Developers the liberty to choose between full-time engagements with a Web Development company or working as freelance professionals. 

As a Freelancer, you get to plan your timetable, and you can even work remotely.

The demand for services from a Software Developer or Web Developer remains high, there is a discrepancy in job flexibility

The situation is a bit different with building computer programs because flexibility is hard to come by.

The market for Software Development is not as expansive and getting freelance projects is difficult. 

They depend on employment from the government or joining an established Software Development firm. 

Also, their work requires them to work in teams and for a prolonged period, further limiting their flexibility.


The ability of a Web Developer is only limited to creating websites and web applications and, to some extent, graphic design. 

On the other hand, Software Developers are well-versed in developing different kinds of programs as required by the client.

Similarities Between Software Development and Web Development

software developer vs Web Developer

Despite the differences that define these two job titles, they also have some things in common, which include:      

  • Software Development and Web Development rely on writing code to create computer programs and websites
  • They both require the use of technical abilities and skills to execute     
  • They both require an understanding of computers and how they work concerning software and hardware  
  • Web Development, like Software Development, requires the basics of code writing and the need to write clean, reusable, and test codes that are easy to read       
  • Web and Software Developments are informed by the client’s business to ensure they are in line
  • It is necessary to understand the nature of the client’s business operations     
  • Both are rewarding career choices in the diverse computing world

How to Choose Between a Web Developer and a Software Developer Career

Web Developer vs Software Developer

When it comes to choosing one of these two occupations as a career path, it boils down to what you consider the best fit for you. 

They both have advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before deciding. 

For instance, Web Developers deal with short-term projects and are more likely to shift from one job to another regularly.

Their counterparts in Software Development undertake projects that take time to complete and may stay put for a prolonged time. 

If you are the type of person that likes to move and take on new challenges more often, Web Development is right for you. 

However, if you do not fancy change and prefer dwelling in one place for longer, Software Development is a perfect match for you.

You may also want to look at your skill set and determine where it best serves your interests. 

Web Developers need to understand several programming languages and their craft’s aspects, including Front-End and Back-End Development.

On the other hand, Software creators specialize in a particular coding direction and dig deep into its technical aspects to have a solid grasp of that language. 

Your decision can be informed by pondering some of these facts and choosing the path that sits well with you regarding responsibility and the nature of work.

However, if you are still torn between the two options, there is nothing wrong with starting as a Web Developer and advancing into a Software Engineer over time. 

Knowing both disciplines is an added advantage and can place you in a better place in the eyes of employers.


Web Developer vs Software Developer

Based on what has been pointed out in this article, you should now better understand what Web and Software Development entails.

As the two most popular career paths in computing, it is fundamental to familiarize yourself with their main differences.

It will help you determine the best career choice based on your interests and skills. 

Even so, there is still a lot that you can learn about these two career opportunities.

Even though they are distinct in practice and function, you will always find overlapping duties.

Go out of your way to discover much more about your choices so that you can make an informed decision. 

The ever-increasing demand for professionals in these two career paths offers an ideal opening for individuals searching for long-term and sustainable career opportunities.

Established structures in Web and Software Development firms show that opportunities for career growth exist. 

By accumulating tangible experience over time, you may advance and become a Senior Programmer.  


Web Developer vs Software Developer

What is the difference between Software Development and Web Development?

Software Development involves creating computer programs for use on a network or the operating system, while Web Development entails the crafting of web-based applications such as e-commerce, Mobile Development, and websites. 

Software Developers and website developers work in different settings, and their daily obligations differ.

Who earns more Web Developers or Software Developers?

Software Developers have a higher remuneration because of their extensive know-how. 

They are more learned, and their work is more sophisticated. 

However, because of the market that Web Developers enjoy, more work can translate into more earnings. 

Web Developers can work between freelancing and employment, which earns them more money.

Can a Web Developer be a Software Developer?


All you need is hands-on experience and the right academic qualifications. 

Enrolling in a degree course in computer science is the most straightforward avenue. 

However, you can earn certifications and build a good portfolio by collaborating with your skillset and learning new trends.

What is the difference between an Application Developer vs Software Developer?

An Application Developer works on developing applications for mobile and computer use. 

A Software Developer turns a concept into a functional program.

It is a complex exercise that involves a combination of roles. 

Software Programmers work to create the software while Application Development can be web-based or on operating systems.

Can you go from Web Developer to Software Developer?

Yes, absolutely. 

Nothing limits you as long as you attain the required academic qualifications, and get tangible work experience. 

You can start slow by getting certifications that improve your software programming knowledge.

Build a good portfolio and get the necessary on-work experience for the recommended period.

Which type of Developer has the highest average salary?

The average earnings of a Software Developer surpass that of a Web Developer for understandable reasons. 

Software Programmers are more educated, and they have more skills. 

They also get employment from established companies and governments, both of which are good employers.  

Which are the recommended Software Programs for a Software Developer, to learn?

It is paramount that you become good at least one coding language. 

You can choose to specialize in JavaScript, Python, or Ruby. 

These are some of the most commonly used programs by Software Engineers. 

However, you need to be knowledgeable in coding and experienced in getting rid of bugs.




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