Should I be a Developer or an Analyst? (Career Comparison)

As you go through this article, you will discover vital insights into the key differences between data science & web development, the skills you need to attain expertise in each domain, and the career opportunities you’ll become eligible for. Let’s get started!

Should I be a Web Developer or a Data Analyst?

Data analytics and web development are two of the most prospective career choices today. 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% [1].

But here is the problem.

At the most basic level, both these career paths require individuals to know how to code.

For people who have just about made their presence felt in the tech space, this results in a lot of confusion and ultimately regretful career decisions.

But if you are here, have a passion for coding, and find yourself at a crossroads, you are in for a great ride.

As you go through this article, you will discover vital insights into the key differences between data science & web development, the skills you need to attain expertise in each domain, and the career opportunities you’ll become eligible for. Let’s get started!

Day-to-day activities

Data Analyst

Data Lifecycle
Source: Telework

Let’s set the context for day to day activity of a data analyst with the help of an example. An example on social media ads for cameras.

Consider a situation where you log in to your Amazon account and look for the cameras that have recently arrived on the scene. You carefully go about combing through each and every crucial product feature, comparing one camera with the other.

The ones you like make their way to your cart. But as soon as you are about to go hit the “Buy Now” button, you are reminded of how broke you are.

Of course, you have money in the bank to buy the lowest-priced camera available. But if you go ahead with your impulsive urge to buy the camera you would be left with not enough money to survive for the rest of the month.

So you decide to sleep on your decision. The next morning you wake up, and you decide to hold off on the decision. You decide to instead wait until the time your salary comes rolling into your bank account to buy the camera.

On the other hand, social media awaits. You log in to your Instagram account and… BAM! You come across an ad selling the same cameras you added to your cart the previous day.

All of this happens because of an algorithmically driven process in place that is enriched through data. The people that oversee the whole process, from collecting this data to stalking the user’s intent, to deriving conclusions are known as data analysts.

How do these data analysts go about pushing ads onto social media feeds?

They go about accomplishing this not so mean feat in 3 simple steps-

  • Data Gathering - Simply put this is the easiest aspect of the day-to-day activity of a data analyst. In order to gather data they don’t have to go about searching for data. Data is easily accessible.
  • Data Cleaning - This is where the understanding of data on the part of a data analyst is put to test. In this process, data analysts go about cleaning the data and making corrections to it by removing the data that is redundant or outdated or even data that does not hold a lot of importance. This is a time-consuming process but the most crucial one as it promotes a better understanding of the data at hand.
  • Data Processing - This is the stage where data analysts cast their magical spell. Using their programming language skills alongside the knowledge of different tools used for data analysis, they analyse the processed data and come up with solutions for the problem at hand.

Apart from these core functions, data analysts also create reports based on the discussions they carry out with the other team members.

Web Developer

Th process of web development includes various stages such as planning, designing, testing, and launching.
Source: SemiDot Infotech

Let’s again set the context here using an example. This time it is going to be YouTube.

Not only YouTube but even other media sharing and interaction platforms have both a front-end and a back-end aspect, both of which are designed by web developers.

YouTube has an interface that makes it easy for users to interact with the website and process their requests. This user interface has videos embedded on top of it. These videos have various buttons that promote user interaction with the platform.

All these YouTube features take a lot of time and effort to be set up and built by web developers to give a complete user experience.

Developing a visually captivating, responsive, and fully functional website forms the core operations of web developers. In addition to this, they have to perform various other activities daily to make sure the website goes live at the end of the day.

Let us give you a full lowdown of such activities.

  • Writing code - A web developer's primary duty is to write code for websites. They frequently employ programming languages like CSS, Java, and HTML for this. Some developers choose to learn both, and then there are others who choose to specialise in either front-end or back-end code.
  • Client interactions - In-house web developers consult with management and prospective customers about the kind of website they require or how to better the cutomer's or their business's website. This communication typically occurs during a regular team meeting. Larger projects and code reviews are also discussed at this time.
  • Creating and testing websites and applications - In addition to creating websites, web developers make sure that none of the sites they work on have hiccups or bugs that restrict their ability to do their jobs. By testing the website and scanning it for viruses, they keep it accurate and responsive. Developers not only design and test websites but also mobile apps.
  • Coordinate with other technical departments - Web developers don't operate alone. Throughout the web design process, they collaborate with experts and teams from various company departments. The overall objective of this cooperative effort is to finish business projects on schedule and within the allocated budget.
  • Observing the performance and traffic on websites - A web developer typically acts as the webmaster for the internal websites of their employer. To ensure a seamless user experience, this involves keeping an eye on site errors, tracking site traffic, and fixing slow load times.

Now that we have laid the groundwork for distinguishing between web development and data analytics, let’s dive deeper into the subject matter by bringing in the knowledge factor.

Prerequisites for starting a career

As stated earlier, both data analysts, as well as web developers, require coding knowledge. But there are certain job responsibilities that demand knowledge of advanced programming languages specific only to one domain.

Data Analytics

It is required for data analytics to exhibit knowledge of programming languages such as Python and R for data gathering, cleaning, and processing. When it comes to visualisation, a data analyst would be required to demonstrate knowledge of data visualisation tools such as Tableau, Power BI, Google Data Studio, and others.

Developing algorithms is one aspect of a data analyst’s job that helps them in drawing out patterns to arrive at insightful conclusions.

In order to perform this function a knowledge of libraries is essential. Some of the important libraries that a data analyst is required to exhibit knowledge of are SkyKit, Matplotlib, Pandas, and NumPy.

Web Development

The prerequisites for a web developer role can be categorised on the basis of parts of the full stack which is a culmination of both the front end as well as the back end of a website or web application.

JavaScript is the most sought-after one solely because of its ability to add interactivity, improve the user experience and make the internet much more enjoyable.
Source: Halo-Lab

Web developers have an array of languages they can use to create websites, but JavaScript is the most sought-after one solely because of its ability to add interactivity, improve the user experience and make the internet much more enjoyable.

Front-end development: Developers who work on the front end are required to have a strong hold on programming languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and the various frameworks associated with it -  Angular, Vue, React, Node, etc.

Back-end development: For developers who are more interested in the back-end aspect of web development it is essential for them to know the ins and outs of programming languages such as C#, PHP, Java, Python, and its associated frameworks such as Node.js, Hibernate, Spring, Django, Flask, etc.

Now that the academics are done and over with, let’s shift our focus toward job opportunities and shower you with facts on the economical aspects of the subjects concerned.

Job Opportunities

If we take a step back and look into the history of web developers and data analytics as career options it is very easy to ascertain that data analytics is a vertical that has arrived on the scene fairly recently.

Data Analytics

It is a very recent practice for startups and big companies to have a separate team that gathers, processes, and analyses data.

The demand for data analytics is on the rise and it is only going to grow further. Also, the world is slowly and steadily realising the importance of data and there is a reasonable influx of people who want to build a career in this domain.

The employment of data scientists is projected to grow 36 percent from 2021 to 2031 [2].

Web Development

Comparatively, web development has been on the scene ever since people became aware of the importance of taking their business online.

Even today, there are small startups that keep popping up on the horizon. The influencer economy realises the need to get the word about their offerings and thus needs websites to spread awareness.

Agencies that offer a wide range of services require a website to list their services to their potential clients.

Bureau of Labour Statistics estimates Full Stack Developer jobs to grow from 21% in 2021 to 31% in 2031 [3].

According to LinkedIn's 2020 Emerging Jobs Report, Full Stack Engineer positions have increased by 35% annually since 2015 [4].

The same study ranked fourth among the top emerging jobs for 2020 in [5].

On the talent front, one should not forget that there are uncountable resources available on the Internet aimed at helping someone build a website and learn the tidbits of other aspects of web and app development.

Web development thus outweighs data analytics by a fair margin on the job opportunities front.


Now we come down to salary, something that you must have been waiting to get a hold of from the moment you landed on this webpage.

Strictly keeping entry-level jobs in perspective, it is observed that data analytics offers a higher sum of money as compared to a web developer.

The average salary for a Data Analyst at the entry-level is INR 8 LPA.
Source: Talent

The average salary for a Data Analyst at the entry-level is INR 8 LPA.

One of the perks of working as a data analyst is that they're in high demand in India. Data analysts' salaries in India are directly dependent on how updated and skillful they are.

Experience plays a deciding role in finalising the salary of a data analyst. One’s experience in the field depicts more extensive knowledge, practical solutions, agile working, and leadership skills to train others. Therefore, an analyst with more than 3 years of experience will have an increased payment than the salary of data analysts who just arrived on the horizon.

The average pay for a web developer is around INR 6 LPA.

This might be slightly lower than what data analysts get paid at the entry-level. Aspiring web developers should not be disheartened by this statistic.

Things in tech change fast. Individuals who display the ability to adapt and overcome challenges gain recognition, and climb up the ladder faster than others and so does their salary.

Thus, if you are a web developer who knows his way around tech stacks, programming languages, and frameworks, chances are you will see more salary hikes than a data analyst who earns more at the entry level.

Learning Curve

The learning curve in both domains is steep.

If we look at web development, all the big companies could manage, were static websites using just HTML and CSS programming languages.

Jump cut to the present day.

Developers, today have at their disposal numerous frameworks and programming languages that have announced their arrival on the scene.

These recent developments have actually come as a boon that has resulted in a decreased turnaround time for their projects.

Thus, if you are someone who is looking towards web development as a potential career option, brace yourself for not just coding as a daily task that contributes towards building websites but also keeping up to date with recent developments.

On the other hand, when we look into the data analytics domain, we see the scale at which it has boomed and it is only going to expand further.

Since it is a vertical that has appeared on the scene fairly recently, it is growing at a brisk pace and thus the opportunities to learn and grow in this domain seem to be increasing rapidly.

For one who chooses to make a career out of data analytics or web development, it is essential to make sure that they come into this domain with a mindset that is ready to stay abreast with the rapidly changing data landscape.

Decision Time

With all said and done about two of the best career options in tech, it is now decision time. Well, we cannot influence your decision, and neither was this our objective when we saturated writing the article.

What we can do is become your guiding light towards the right decision.

Choose the path of becoming a web developer only

  • If you are enthusiastic about being at the cutting edge of technology
  • If you are enthusiastic about developing cool websites and applications
  • If you like the idea of learning various programming languages and web technologies, creating products from scratch, identifying and solving problems, and being a part of a field that necessitates constant learning.

Choose the path of becoming a data analyst only

  • If you are enthusiastic about working directly with data and contributing significantly to business decision-making.
  • If you enjoy working with numbers and statistics, prefer a more methodical and logical approach to your work
  • And most importantly if you want to take your fanaticism for mathematics and statistics to a whole new level.

If you are serious about changing the course of your career or are currently looking to accelerate your career in tech, we suggest you check out our full-time and part-time courses in web development and data analytics here.

Over the course of 30-35 weeks, students at Masai go through a rigorous training programme where we holistically develop students through assignments, projects, and mock interviews.

With this, we round up this interesting article that threw light on two of the fastest-growing tech domains.

We hope this article must have edged you closer to choosing the appropriate path in tech for yourself and busted a few myths related to both subjects.

[1], [4] & [5]



More resources on web development and data analytics-

  1. All you need to know about Masai's Full-Stack Developer Course
  2. All You Need to Know About Data Analytics
  3. How to Become a Remarkable Data Anlayst?