Is software engineering still a better career than data science?
Machine learning engineers are software engineers.
In the real world it's one in the same.
I program in Python and SQL all day.
Do I make more than most other software engineers? Oh yes.
If you want to get a good read on a career... stay away from articles in any mag and do a job search on indeed.
The idea that there's a saturation point in this field is laughable.
There will never be an over saturation in machine learning or data science.
Yes, the salaries may level off but if you're good at what you do and you are constantly honing your skills you'll be in demand.
Both Software Engineering as well as Data Science will be there in the market even after a decade or two.
I guess what you are talking about here is career perspective based on the technology hype. Gartner's hype cycle is on of the best resources to answer that. If you see the 2014 hype cycle graph below. You will see Data Science is reaching the peak and is on the edge of "Innovation Trigger", it is the same place where Big Data was couple of years back. So, yes in couple of years data science will be on the dip but thats not all. It in no way means that its a bad choice of career, it is more like the hype will settle down and field will saturate.