Data science and web development are two of the most prospective career choices right now. While web development is more popular, data science is rapidly growing.
According to the LinkedIn 2020 report, data science careers showed an annual growth of 37%, and full-stack web development careers grew by 35%.
If you have a passion for the tech development space and find yourself at a crossroads of what career path and tech skills to choose, you’ve come to the right place.
In this guide, you will discover vital insights into the key differences between data science vs. web development, the skills you need for each expertise, and the career opportunities you’ll become eligible for. Let’s get started!
Key Differences Between Data Science & Web Development
One significant difference between data science and web development lies in their concepts.
Web development is technical expertise that focuses on the creation of websites and web applications, while data science focuses on the analysis and visualization of data to find patterns and interpret them in fields like artificial intelligence (AI), finance, statistics, and machine learning.
Notable differences between data science vs. web development are:
- Web development focuses on the creation and maintenance of websites and web-based internet applications, electronic businesses, and social network services while data science is used to analyze data for fields like analytics, forecasting, statistics, machine learning, and cybersecurity.
- The whole foundation of web development relies on coding languages, whereas data science incorporates other elements apart from coding.
- Web development has been around for a couple of decades now, making its introduction in 1999, whereas data science made its appearance in 2008 and is still relatively new in the market.
- The Python programming language is useful for both web development and data science skills. However, their purposes are different. While web developers (mostly back-end and full-stack) use Python to create websites, data scientists use it for analyzing data.
- Statistics is a vital part of data science, but there is no use for it in web development.
- While data science benefits large enterprises, web development can be to the advantage of large organizations and small business owners.
- Without data, there is no data science and so data science requires the availability of data. On the other hand, in web development, developers depend on their client’s specifications to build websites.
- There is often a fixed budget for data science projects since they are often straightforward, whereas budgeting is flexible in web development projects. This is because clients might have additional or new requirements.
- Large amounts of data can often be analyzed in seconds. This means projects are quickly done in the field of data science, whereas it takes a much longer time for web developers to build websites and web applications from scratch.
- Due to the emergence and growth of e-commerce, data scientists understand the workings of a website, whereas web developers don’t necessarily have knowledge of data science or the skills required for it.
- There is a rise in trends in data science, such as AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning, whereas there is no such rise in trends in web development.
Data Science Skills
A data scientist is responsible for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting large data to make informed decisions for businesses.
To become proficient in data science and analysis, you will need specific technical and non-technical skills such as:
- Statistics knowledge
- Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Knowledge of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning
- Good knowledge of Python, R programming language, Statistical Analysis System (SAS), and Scala programming languages
- Good communication skills
- Data Wrangling: Data science experts should be able to change data format and translate raw data into simplified forms that can be analyzed
- Data Visualization: You should know how to use data visualization software to present data in graphical forms
- Ability to understand analytical functions: You need to perform the identification and interpretation of data patterns
- Experience with Structured Query Language (SQL): Data scientists and analysts need SQL to query and extract data from multiple databases.
- Ability to work with unstructured data: Unstructured data is essential for analytics applications and business intelligence. As a data scientist, you need solid knowledge of how it works.
If you eventually pick a career path in Data Science, you will become proficient in several skills you can add to your resume. These skills include:
- Statistical Analysis
- Research Design
- Machine Learning
- Data Mining and Visualization
- Information Ethics and Privacy
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Web Development Skills
There are specific soft and hard skills you need to become a web developer and perform development tasks efficiently. These skills include:
- Front-end programming languages: As a web developer, you need to be skilled in client-side coding skills, HTML and CSS, and their frameworks and libraries.
- Responsive design skills: It’s important to create site designs that function across multiple browsing interfaces
- Database creation and management: Web developers should know how to develop and maintain databases
- Interpersonal skills: In web development, the role of teamwork is important. Web developers should have good interrelationship skills with teammates
- Version control: Web developers should have a solid grasp of version/revision control tools
- Testing and debugging skills: Web developers should be able to identify and understand programming errors.
- Back-end programming language: It’s necessary to understand back-end coding languages like Python, Java, PHP, Ruby, and their frameworks and libraries
- Search engine optimization (SEO): Web developers need to know technical SEO.
If you eventually pick a career path in Web Development, you will become proficient in several skills you can add to your resume. These skills include:
- Website Design and Development
- Computer Programming
- Technical Communication
- Project Management
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Career Opportunities in Data Science
Growing in your career as a Data Scientist and having been equipped with the necessary skills required, you are open to various career choices in this field.
Here’s a list of the careers you can take up when you learn Data Science:
- Data Scientist
- Senior Data Scientist
- Senior Data Analyst
- Data Systems Developer
- Machine Learning Engineer
- DataOps Engineer
- Business Intelligence Developer
- Data Systems Analysis
Career Opportunities in Web Development
There are plenty of careers in Web Development, and they are open to you as long as you have acquired the necessary skills to grow as a Web Developer.
Some of the careers available to you are:
- Full-Stack Developer
- Front-End Developer
- Back-End Developer
- iOS Developer
- UI Developer
- UX Developer
- Data Engineer
- Database Analyst
- DevOps Engineer
- Technical Product Manager
Which is Easier, Data Science or Web Development?
Anyone can learn Web Development as it requires no prerequisite expertise since every programming skill is part of it.
But before you dive into the field of Data Science, it’s useful but not necessarily required to have a rich background in math and statistics, and some programming languages. This means Web Development is a more accessible skill than Data Science.
However, the best way to judge the ease of these skills is based on your chosen career path. So before you decide whether to choose data science or Web Development, ask yourself the kind of tech expert you want to become and make your choice based on that.
Can a Data Scientist Be a Web Developer?
The answer is yes — a data scientist can become a web developer. The versatility of the field of Data Science makes it easy for one also to put a hand in Web Development.
Also, with the knowledge of programming languages such as Python already embedded, there would be virtually no problems encountered should a Data Scientist decide to learn Web Development.
In today’s world, Data Science is one of the most sought-after and fast-growing work areas. Also, Web Development remains a more popular and exciting choice.
Both of these tech skills offer plenty of career opportunities. So, make your choice based on your preferred career path.
Get started with Treehouse Techdegrees to kickstart your Data Science and Web Development careers.