Software Engineering with Economics Degree

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ridwan157
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#1
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#1
Hey everyone, I'm currently studying BSc Economics at LSE but have an interest in programming. I used to code android apps when I was 12 and enjoyed it, I wanted to try pick it up again but I felt as though I'd limited myself to finance.

Now that I've matured and got over the hype of trying to get into investment banking, I want to try go into the software engineering industry.

My course is highly mathematical (no essay writing at all, we focus on econometrics), we also learn the programming language R for statistical computing. So it's not like I'm coming from a background with a poor mathematical foundation.

Do you guys think that learning additional programming languages on the side + doing projects would be enough to get my foot in the door, despite not coming from a computer science background?



(I'm finishing my first year this year)
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HueySE
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#2
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#2
(Original post by ridwan157)
Hey everyone, I'm currently studying BSc Economics at LSE but have an interest in programming. I used to code android apps when I was 12 and enjoyed it, I wanted to try pick it up again but I felt as though I'd limited myself to finance.

Now that I've matured and got over the hype of trying to get into investment banking, I want to try go into the software engineering industry.

My course is highly mathematical (no essay writing at all, we focus on econometrics), we also learn the programming language R for statistical computing. So it's not like I'm coming from a background with a poor mathematical foundation.

Do you guys think that learning additional programming languages on the side + doing projects would be enough to get my foot in the door, despite not coming from a computer science background?



(I'm finishing my first year this year)
Sounds like if you learn Python you'd have a good chance to get into data science, AI, ML, that bit. Getting into software engineering would be a bit more challenging, but definitely not impossible. The problem is that it's a highly competitive field. You'd need to know at least a few programming languages and demonstrate your abilities to stand out. Actually, you're not standing out at this point - you only show that you can code. You'll need to look into software engineering principles too, and familiarise yourself with the Agile methodology for development. Everything would be straightforward, and a potential interviewer would probably be impressed with your knowledge given it's a specialised field which you did not study. You should also familiarise yourself with algorithms, data structures, networks, databases, at least to the point where you would pass interviews. If you can do that, your chances would genuinely be pretty good.
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ridwan157
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#3
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#3
(Original post by HueySE)
Sounds like if you learn Python you'd have a good chance to get into data science, AI, ML, that bit. Getting into software engineering would be a bit more challenging, but definitely not impossible. The problem is that it's a highly competitive field. You'd need to know at least a few programming languages and demonstrate your abilities to stand out. Actually, you're not standing out at this point - you only show that you can code. You'll need to look into software engineering principles too, and familiarise yourself with the Agile methodology for development. Everything would be straightforward, and a potential interviewer would probably be impressed with your knowledge given it's a specialised field which you did not study. You should also familiarise yourself with algorithms, data structures, networks, databases, at least to the point where you would pass interviews. If you can do that, your chances would genuinely be pretty good.
Thank you so much for this reply, was very useful.

Data science is definitely a route I can see myself going into, I know that a lot of graduates from my uni go into it.

I'm planning to take free courses in Python this summer so that will be the first language I'll learn. Would you say I should read textbooks on computer science to familiarise with the concepts you mentioned? I have a lot of free time this summer so I'd be willing to take the academic route and go deep into a textbook. Or are there courses online that can cover the material I need to learn?
Last edited by ridwan157; 1 year ago
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HueySE
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#4
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#4
(Original post by ridwan157)
Thank you so much for this reply, was very useful.

Data science is definitely a route I can see myself going into, I know that a lot of graduates from my uni go into it.

I'm planning to take free courses in Python this summer so that will be the first language I'll learn. Would you say I should read textbooks on computer science to familiarise with the concepts you mentioned? I have a lot of free time this summer so I'd be willing to take the academic route and go deep into a textbook. Or are there courses online that can cover the material I need to learn?
Books and courses are both viable options, it really depends on what works best for you. I personally prefer books because, usually, they go into more detail than online courses (the main difference here is that courses usually explain how to do something, while books also explain how that works and why it is like that). Courses are faster and usually they will teach you something practical that you will be able to do afterwards. For more theoretical topics, like algorithms and networks, go for a book. For more practical topics, or if the book is ridiculously large, go for an online course.

If you choose Python, there is a great book my lecturer recommended, called Automating the Boring Stuff with Python. It explains Python and then uses its feature to build practical systems. My go-to publisher is O'Reilly, their books are consistently good but obviously make sure the reviews are good and that it teaches what you want to learn. Udemy is a good place for courses. Coursera too probably, I don't really use it so I can't say for sure
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ridwan157
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#5
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#5
(Original post by HueySE)
Books and courses are both viable options, it really depends on what works best for you. I personally prefer books because, usually, they go into more detail than online courses (the main difference here is that courses usually explain how to do something, while books also explain how that works and why it is like that). Courses are faster and usually they will teach you something practical that you will be able to do afterwards. For more theoretical topics, like algorithms and networks, go for a book. For more practical topics, or if the book is ridiculously large, go for an online course.

If you choose Python, there is a great book my lecturer recommended, called Automating the Boring Stuff with Python. It explains Python and then uses its feature to build practical systems. My go-to publisher is O'Reilly, their books are consistently good but obviously make sure the reviews are good and that it teaches what you want to learn. Udemy is a good place for courses. Coursera too probably, I don't really use it so I can't say for sure
I honestly prefer books just because I like seeing concepts being derived from first principles, like you said, I enjoy knowing how it works. I've found a book called 'Introduction to Algorithms' that's been recommended by a lot of people online, so that will probably be my study material on algorithms alongside the Python course. I'll check out the Python book too
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YunfeiJennifer
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#6
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#6
Hi,
I am also a BSc Econs student at LSE. I just finished my first year and am considering to go into DS or software engineering.During the summer I learnt Python and SQL, and I find it difficult to teach myself to a higher level.
May I ask what courses are you taking?For the first year I chose economics history as my outside option,but I plan to go for analysis and algorithm next year.
Last edited by YunfeiJennifer; 9 months ago
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jungle_ninja
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#7
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#7
First (and most important) question - what type of "software engineering" do you want to do? Web dev, mobile dev, game dev, data engineering/science?
As a general guide:
- Download Virtual Box and setup a Linux/Ubuntu virtual machine - learn your way around a Linux box
- Install a language of your choice - Python is a great first language
- Install MySQL and learn databases and SQL (structure, data types, indexing, etc)
- Install Git and setup a GitHub account
- Build some things using Python/SQL and push the projects to GitHub (search "code kata" and "project euler" if you want some ideas)
- Check out online tools like CodeWars: https://www.codewars.com/
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LearningPeople
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#8
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#8
(Original post by ridwan157)
Hey everyone, I'm currently studying BSc Economics at LSE but have an interest in programming. I used to code android apps when I was 12 and enjoyed it, I wanted to try pick it up again but I felt as though I'd limited myself to finance.

Now that I've matured and got over the hype of trying to get into investment banking, I want to try go into the software engineering industry.

My course is highly mathematical (no essay writing at all, we focus on econometrics), we also learn the programming language R for statistical computing. So it's not like I'm coming from a background with a poor mathematical foundation.

Do you guys think that learning additional programming languages on the side + doing projects would be enough to get my foot in the door, despite not coming from a computer science background?



(I'm finishing my first year this year)
Hi ridwan157

Having a portfolio of projects will be key to getting into programming. However, to give yourself the best chances of learning everything you need, you could also enrol onto a coding bootcamp. This will give you a really good foundation in a wide range of languages, plus the project portfolio to send to employers.

A lot of our students who enrol onto our bootcamp actually find themselves secure a role even before completing it! They work closely with our Career Services team to gain the tips and tricks needed to navigate the jobs market and land a role.

I hope that helps, and do let me know if you have any questions,
Jenny at Learning People
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Student10198754
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#9
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#9
There are plenty of courses for people from non- computer science backgrounds. The fact that you are from an economics background makes you a perfect candidate a you are from a mathematical background. There are many conversion masters course available.Also the INSTITUTE OF CODING has plenty of courses too.Example of courses:https://www.westminster.ac.uk/comput...conversion-msc
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