Borrowing from a lot of research done on who earns more between a data scientist and a software engineer, the two seem of those professionals seem to pay pretty similar salaries and wages. However, data scientists seem to earn more basically because they work around the San Francisco area whereas most software engineer jobs are scattered all over due to its dispersed demand nature. Most people also think that given data scientists have skills in both programming and statistics whereas software engineers know just programming, data scientists are bound to be in more demand and thus being paid more. Additionally, the fact that data scientists' positions require at least a Master's degree creates an illusion that data scientists are actually paid more than software engineers who even without degrees can program.
About data scientists
The data scientist role is relatively a new role in organizations, nicknamed as data junkies who have invaluable Mathematical and Statistics experiences, Scientific Modeling, Computer Programming, Data Analysis, visualization among other skills. Also, data scientists have the capabilities to do whatever there is to be done in the world of analytics. The field requires a minimum of a Master's degree but most data scientists hold a Ph.D.
With regards to salaries, data scientists can actually demand some pretty good salaries given there exists very few people with the capabilities to carry out what data scientists can do. Data scientists are literally the most valuable people in most companies that require them in their process and operations. On the other hand, a data scientist career path has a promising long-term growth. This implies that the field has promising future growth since there is nothing in the analytics or visualization paths that is going to limit a successful and prosperous career for data scientists. Therefore, data scientists earn more as compared to software engineers at a whopping average of $90,000 for medium employees to almost $250,000 per annum plus bonuses. Also, it is not surprising if data scientists get paid so much because their roles are actually hard to fill.
About software engineering
Software engineers are best known as hardcore computer programmers whose lives revolve around writing lines of code using low-level languages such as C and or C++. They often design and create software designs for many complex systems. Normal career paths take software engineers into software engineering and product management and tends to be more technological. Regarding salaries, software engineers' salaries range from $27,365 to $162,053 that averages about $96,995 a year. However, unlike data scientists which require MS/Ph.D. level knowledge, anyone with programming skills even without a degree can become a software engineer.
To conclude with, the difference in salaries for both fields is quite small but solely depends on the department, the type of work being done. Also, a software engineer with more data engineering skill set should earn approximately the same salary as a data scientist with approximately the same skill set despite the fact that, salaries aren't determined by the number of skills a professional has.