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Can you be a software engineer with a general engineering degree? watch

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    Hello!
    So I was wondering whether it's possible to become a software engineer with a general engineering degree rather than a computer science/actual software engineering degree.
    Thanks in advance!
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    I would say definately if you have the aptitude. Probably the conventional way would be to do an IT related MSc. A friend of mine who studied engineering did this. But if self taught you have what it takes and can get through the quite tricky recruitment tests I think that's a way forward too.
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    (Original post by a-mg)
    Hello!
    So I was wondering whether it's possible to become a software engineer with a general engineering degree rather than a computer science/actual software engineering degree.
    Thanks in advance!
    Well, you will have to learn what a computer Scientist or Software Engineer knows. But it really depends on the job, you can just learn what the company wants and you can do their jobs. What do you actually mean by BECOMING a software engineer, that's just a person with a SE degree
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    (Original post by Hammad(214508))
    Well, you will have to learn what a computer Scientist or Software Engineer knows. But it really depends on the job, you can just learn what the company wants and you can do their jobs. What do you actually mean by BECOMING a software engineer, that's just a person with a SE degree
    I meant working as a software engineer for a company - as in that would be the title of role. Thank you for your reply!
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    (Original post by Zarek)
    I would say definately if you have the aptitude. Probably the conventional way would be to do an IT related MSc. A friend of mine who studied engineering did this. But if self taught you have what it takes and can get through the quite tricky recruitment tests I think that's a way forward too.
    Okay, and thank you for your help!
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    (Original post by a-mg)
    I meant working as a software engineer for a company - as in that would be the title of role. Thank you for your reply!
    Yes of course you can. Your chances at being hired for a job depend upon your overall software engineering skills; the title of your degree is pretty much irrelevant. In fact, you don't even need a degree to do it. Unlike some professions such as Law or Medicine, Software Engineering is not a regulated profession, so there's no requirement for any accreditation.

    When you're applying for jobs Employers will look at your CV for strong evidence that you have the analytical, problem solving and technical skills required for the job, and if they invite you for an interview, they'll spend several hours asking you to prove your ability to them. A degree is one form of evidence that you have those required skills (although it's not any kind of guarantee at getting a job - plenty of CompSci graduates fail to pick up the skills needed for the workplace). If you don't have a degree, then you need to find other ways to prove to employers that you have those skills and that you're able to do the job.

    You'll often be asked to take technical skills tests or logical thinking tests, you might be given some kind of small project to complete by an employer or recruiter, you'll be grilled in an interview and asked a whole variety of questions about programming and software engineering, and you'll need to be able to talk convincingly about your own ability, answering questions about how you think about problem solving, maybe asked to give a presentation on some non-trivial project you've worked on in your own time too.
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    (Original post by a-mg)
    Hello!
    So I was wondering whether it's possible to become a software engineer with a general engineering degree rather than a computer science/actual software engineering degree.
    Thanks in advance!
    I was thinking of doing the same sort of thing but with a physics degree. There's some programming in the degree anyway and the rest I'll learn myself.

    Can anyone approximate how hard it would be or how long it would take to learn Java or Python in your own time?
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    (Original post by winterscoming)

    When you're applying for jobs Employers will look at your CV for strong evidence that you have the analytical, problem solving and technical skills required for the job, and if they invite you for an interview, they'll spend several hours asking you to prove your ability to them.
    We may mention that many working software engineers that insist that good understanding of maths is very helpful in their work, especially when they are to do more complicated work.

    (Original post by G.Y)
    Can anyone approximate how hard it would be or how long it would take to learn Java or Python in your own time?
    From what I heard it roughly takes at least two years before you can achieve a level at which you stand a good chance to get a job. Of course, it largely must be dependant on how systematically and how much time do you actually spend on learning. I guess that as a physicist you are in that better position that you already have quite decent mathematical skills. Perhaps that, together with systematic work and spoil of luck can land a job more quickly.
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    (Original post by PTMalewski)
    We may mention that many working software engineers that insist that good understanding of maths is very helpful in their work, especially when they are to do more complicated work.
    I'm not quite sure I could agree with that so much; certainly not any kind of advanced degree level maths anyway. Even most of the maths topics you might study at A-Level would generally not be all that useful in the majority of software engineering jobs that I can think of.

    Maths is certainly useful in a handful of very 'niche' areas such as games programming, maybe some scientific domains, and some financial applications (basically any software where the domain itself is mathematical), but as far as general software engineering is concerned I see very little practical application for most mathematical methods to be honest; the majority of software engineers I know aren't exactly great mathematicians, but they are superb critical thinkers and problem solvers.

    As far as most commercial/enterprise software development is concerned, I would expect any complex maths to either be taken care of by some 3rd-party tool (probably in a library), or if there are developers writing code for it, then there are often subject matter experts who are responsible for that side of things, rather than it being down to the person who is actively involved in writing code.

    Most complexity that you'll get in software engineering is about problem solving and not about mathematical modelling - so the kinds of skills you typically need are down to critical thinking, systems analysis, problem decomposition, software design/architecture, and ensuring that the code is clean, modular, testable, loosely coupled, etc. It's often said that software engineering is all about managing complexity, but most of the time it's a very different kind of complexity compared to mathematics.
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    (Original post by a-mg)
    Hello!
    So I was wondering whether it's possible to become a software engineer with a general engineering degree rather than a computer science/actual software engineering degree.
    Thanks in advance!
    yes.

    side projects, knowledge of fundamentals, practical experience, interview prep and some hustle will put you in good stead. obviously some areas are probably not as open to you without deep CS knowledge though most jobs would be fair game given you have the right background and skill.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
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    Yes, even beyond the above there are quite a few software development grad schemes which just generally require a numerate degree (a friend of mine went onto one such programme at the Met Office with a physics degree).

    As above though, you can learn plenty of programming skills by yourself and through e.g. tailoring any individually led projects you may be given to allow that. Also most engineering degrees will at least include some basic programming in MATLAB, and some will include more substantial and varied programming teaching beyond that.

    Do bear in mind when developing these skills yourself that there are "good coding practices" that you should try as much as possible to emulate. It's probably harder to teach someone to stop coding badly than to teach them to code well in the first place...
 
 
 
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