’s quite difficult to compare these two categories, especially since there are software jobs in various parts of government. In any case, I can only answer from my own necessarily limited experience in Canada.

Until recently government jobs have been quite secure, undemanding and moderately well paid, especially given how little is required of these employees. Some government employees are very well paid although not, admittedly, as high as some in the private sector.

The range of incomes available to those in software jobs is very wide. Even people in low-end jobs must usually expect to be able to use multiple languages fluently and to be able to keep up with trends. This is practically the definition of someone in software. Meanwhile, individuals in government jobs tend to stagnate.

Because certain government careers are known to offer good incomes for short working hours and other positive features they tend to be oversubscribed. The result is that many people are disappointed in not being able to obtain positions. There is perhaps greater potential for advancement in software; however, the competition is quite stiff.