Full Stack Web Development vs Data Science

December 7, 2020

Are you interested in tech—but not sure what path is right for you? Here, we compare data science vs web development. Read on to learn the difference between the two, how to learn each, and what jobs you can get by learning web development or data science.

So you've fallen in love with tech and decided to make the leap to an online coding program. You narrowed down the best online coding program to fulfill your professional goals and requirements and weighed what type of bootcamp schedule will fit your individual, family, and professional needs best.

At this point you might be considering which tech track to pursue. Maybe you're weighing data science vs web development.

Answering this question can be particularly challenging as someone new to tech. This post will explain the differences between data science vs web development.

Then we'll help you figure out how to learn the skills needed for both.

How are data science and web development different?  

To start, it can be helpful to understand the fundamental differences between data science and web development.  

Full stack web development is a field focused on the user experience and involves building, creating, and maintaining websites. This can include web-based internet applications, electronic businesses, and social network services such as Facebook or Twitter.

Web developers use interdisciplinary skills, including web design, graphic design, web publishing, web programming, and database management to create web applications. Web developers are often considered creative-minded and team-oriented based on the types of projects they work on and teams they work for. They're proficient coders, good at creating websites from scratch. 

Unlike data scientists, however, web developers need less math knowledge than you might think. In comparison to data scientists, web developers often spend longer spans of time on bigger projects, such as a website, which will take longer to launch. This means web developers often get a lot of satisfaction from launching big projects, staying creative, and seeing people interact with their work once it's gone live.  

Data science is a tech field used for analysis, prediction, forecasting, and optimizing data. Data scientists use math, statistics, and algorithms to analyze data using a combination of tech expertise and programming skills to find patterns and extract meaning.

By applying machine learning algorithms to audio, video, text, and images, data scientists produce artificial intelligence (AI) systems that can perform tasks that normally requiring human intelligence. In response, these systems give clients valuable feedback that can translate into insights, greater efficiency, and even tremendous business revenue. In other words, data scientists focus a majority of time on analysis, with some time on programming and development.

Data scientists are often considered analytical. They might spend their days cleaning, analyzing, and manipulating data, as well as creating reports. They work both on teams and alone, but on shorter projects with more succinct project timelines than web developers. Knowledge of statistics and mathematics is required in this field. (Check out our post on how much math data scientists need for more details.)

Data science vs web development job growth

While both have  intersecting skills, data science and web development lean on different professional strengths and hold different salary potential. For example, web developers make over $75,000 per year on average, while data scientists make over $95,000 on average, with earning potential in some growing AI fields topping mid-six figures. 

While both tracks hold tremendous earning potential, you'll want to consider your interests as well as job growth when deciding between data science vs web development. Openings for data scientists increased 46% between 2019 and 2021, according to LinkedIn, and demand for software developers is expected to rise 22% by 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It should come as no surprise that both these tech fields are growing. The pandemic only increased the amount of time we spend online to do everything from studying and hanging out with friends to working and banking. Likewise, companies are scrambling to take advantage of the potential of data. Machine learning and AI are unlocking what insights companies can gain from vast amounts of data—and employers need data scientists to make it happen.   

How can I learn web development or data science?

In addition to weighing future trends, it’s important to select your track based on your unique skill set, strengths, and interests. For instance, are you a more creative thinker and do you enjoy programming? Web development might be best for you.

Are you drawn to statistics and interested in automation? Data science might be right up your alley.

Are you on the fence? Take our quick and fun Choose Your Course Quiz. It will help match your preferences and personality to a BloomTech course that could be a great fit for you. You can also check out our BloomTech course comparison, which breaks down the differences between our programs.

Consider also the most common data science and web development traits, characteristics, and professional skills:

Table breaking down the personality traits, professional skills, and programming languages used for Data science and web development

What else should I consider about a career in web development?

Now that you have a better sense of the differences between web developers and data scientists, it can be helpful to look at the big picture to identify which track will be best suited for your life. Consider the following about web development:

1. The user experience drives the work of a web developer. Being focused on the user experience adds another element to the web development role in that sometimes you will work with teams or directly with clients in order to execute the product. This can be both creatively rewarding and frustrating, but it is important to know up front how well you work in these interdisciplinary team environments.   

2. Web development is popular… for a reason. Many in the tech industry may speak about web development like it is a saturated field, but this is misleading. This is because there are an estimated 26.9 million web developers worldwide (and growing), according to a 2020 Global Developer Population and Demographic Study by The Evans Data Corporation. This is, in part, because the term “web development” is eleven years older than the term “data scientist” and the field has had a hefty head start.

But also consider that the demand for web developers has grown with the increase in web developers, as every modern business requires a web presence. As you search for online web development programs, many will include a full stack web development course, but not every online program will offer a robust data science program.

3. Web developers are generally happy in their field, topping the list as the best tech job according to Glassdoor’s annual report on the 50 best jobs in America for 2020. Many tout that out of all the coding professions, web devs typically find entry-level work the quickest out of coding programs, and in this pandemic economy are able to more easily find remote work than any other tech field. Thus, the demand is high and steady in this ever growing and desirable field. 

What does a web development program look like? Coding online programs will vary in content, and may prepare you for different web development specialization, such as Front End Development, Back End Development, and Full Stack Development. As you search for a program, make sure the curriculum fits your professional end goals and covers languages, frameworks, and other coursework that will motive, support you, and give you a professional edge.

For instance, BloomTech’s Web Development Program helps students become Full Stack Web Developers, with a curriculum focused on HTML, CSS, JavaScript, React.js, Python, SQL, Java, Node, and more. The program includes live instruction, Computer Science coursework, job preparation, group labs projects which can be used for an individual’s portfolio, and an invaluable peer-to-peer support network.

BloomTech's Full Stack Web Development program is flexible, allowing you to learn part-time or full-time—whatever works for your schedule. We offer live classes 7 days a week, recorded lessons you can take anytime, and personalized job hunt support. (Read more about how we help you get hired here!)

To find out more about the program, visit our Full Stack Web Development course page

What else should I consider about a career in data science? 

Now that you have a better sense of web development, it can be helpful to consider the bigger picture questions about data science. Consider the following:

1. The hiring process can be different. Although data scientists are in high demand, hiring in this growing field can take longer and benefits even more from networking.

While most companies can benefit from a web developer, not every employer can hire a data scientist. So typically, positions are available at larger companies. This means the job search and even the job culture may be different than someone in the web development field, who may have more flexibility in the types of opportunities available to them.

Thankfully, BloomTech's Data Science program helps you navigate the job hunt—and start a well-paying career you love. We have an entire Career Services team that helps you fine-tune your resume, practice interviewing, earn better scores on technical assessments, and even negotiate a higher salary. Read all about how we help you land a great job here! 

2. Data science is consistently ranked as a fast-growing field. Not only has data science climbed the job charts since the term was coined in 2008, but it is in the Top 20 Fastest Growing Occupations in the US according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Data science is a great field for someone who loves to learn and experiment. It's a field for problem solvers who look to provide valuable feedback and keep businesses running and profitable. There is great value and job security in providing this service, and for those filled with passion for numbers, great satisfaction as well.  

3. What does an online data science program look like? Prior to the more recent popularization of online data science bootcamps and programs, students were only able to gain data science skills through traditional channels like a Master’s degree in mathematics or accounting. That slow route can take 6 or more years if you don't already have a bachelor's degree, not to mention the cost of attending a university.

Thankfully these days, you don't need a college degree to land a great job in tech. Focused bootcamps and online training programs, like BloomTech's Data Science course, can train you in the technical and professional skills you need to be hired as a data scientist.

As you research data science bootcamps, be mindful of how comprehensive the curriculum will be and how much support you will receive. BloomTech’s Data Science curriculum helps learners pursue a career in applied statistics and machine learning by training them in Python, SQL, data visualization, machine learning, linear algebra, databases, statistics and modeling, natural language processing, and more.

Our data science program includes job preparation, an invaluable peer-to-peer support network, and even access to a hiring company network specifically looking for BloomTech graduates. Unlike other data science programs, BloomTech offers Computer Science coursework and team projects building real products for real clients, both of which give graduates a value leg up in the job hunt. To find out more about our program, visit the Data Science course page.  

At the end of the day, both the full stack web development and data science fields hold different opportunities. They're deeply rewarding with great financial and professional possibilities for those willing to work hard.

Still not sure if data science vs web development is best for you? You can test out our Data Science and Full Stack Web Development courses without any financial commitments in our Risk-Free Trial. You'll get 3 weeks to see what it's like being a BloomTech learner, get access to 1:1 coaching, and start learning the foundations of these tech fields. To get access to the Risk-Free Trial, simply apply here. You could get access to the trial in as few as 20 minutes!

Consider where your curiosity might take you, and follow your passion as far as your potential is calling. 

Curious about BloomTech? Learn more about our online courses, or if you are ready to apply, start your application now.