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Muhammad Bilal Khalid
Muhammad Bilal Khalid

Posted on • Originally published at

Why I Switched from Engineering to Computer Science

Let me begin with a quick overview.

So basically, I completed my bachelor's in Electrical Engineering in 2018. Back when I got admission in Electrical Engineering, it was of the most in-demand fields. There were a lot of opportunities, and the field, in general, promised a great career.

However, the demand started to go down gradually while I was still studying. By the time I graduated, there were only a handful of opportunities open for freshers.

Anyhow, I decided to give it some time and kept preparing for any opportunities that may come. However, the demand never went up, and not enough opportunities were created.

So, long story short. After giving my best for nearly 3 years, I realized it's not going to work. So, after re-evaluating my options, I finally decided to switch to Computer Science. And here I am today, sharing my journey with you!

So, let's address the first question first. Why did I leave Engineering?

Why did I leave Engineering?

During my 3 years of job hunt, I observed a number of things that eventually brought me to my decision. I'll break it down into three main reasons.

Reason# 1: Not Enough Opportunities

I was unable to land a job for almost 3 years. There were simply not enough opportunities for freshers.

Even among the few available opportunities, most were internal hirings. So, they never even got to me. On this point, I agree my networking wasn't that strong either. But still, the opportunities were scarce.

On top of that, the influx of graduating engineers further saturated the job market, which made the competition really tough.

Reason# 2: Uncertainty in the Job Market

The job market for Electrical Engineering had been quite uncertain. Those of us who did get a job had no certainty about their future. And in case one gets laid off, hunting for a job again will be a pain.

Besides uncertainty, salaries were also lower in comparison to other fields with equivalent qualifications. Because the competition was very high, people were willing to work at lower pay. After all, it is still better than being jobless.

Reason# 3: COVID-19!

Since the breakout of the pandemic, there was a complete lockdown in place. The industrial sector remained close for a significant share of time. This situation resulted in a huge number of layoffs.

For a field already facing saturation, this was a big blow. And with it, my hopes of making a career in Electrical Engineering went low.

PS: It is important to note that the job market varies significantly from region to region. Everything I have shared is within my radius. Your experiences in another part of the world might be completely different.

So, this was my journey of Electrical Engineering which came to an end half a year ago. Let's talk about the future now. So, why Computer Science?

Why I Decided to Go for Computer Science

Choosing Computer Science was a pretty straightforward decision for me. I'll break it down into three reasons.

Reason# 1: Familiarity

Since Electrical Engineering is closely related to CS, I was already familiar with the programming concepts. I had studied the core concepts of programming and data structures during my course of study.

Moreover, I did a number of projects that involved the programming of microcontrollers and Arduino boards. So, I already had some experience with programming.

Reason# 2: Better Opportunities.

Computer Science, in the foreseeable future, is only expected to grow. There are already a huge number of opportunities in the field, and the demand for IT professionals is growing continually.

Besides, you get so many options within the field. You can go for Software Development, Cloud Computing, Data Science, AI, Blockchain, etc. And the best thing is all are in high demand.

Reason# 3: Sustainability and Better Career Growth

If there is one industry that continued to grow even during the pandemic, it is definitely the IT industry.

Moreover, the demand for IT professionals is high. And in case you leave a job or get laid off, you can easily find another job, of course, with a bit of effort.

On top of that, IT professionals are getting competitive salaries and the field, in general, offers much better career growth as well.

To sum up, it made perfect sense for me to go with something I am already familiar with, that has decent opportunities and offers better growth. So, that's what I did!

Going Forward . . .

I actually decided to switch my career back in mid-2021. It took me some time to figure out my way forward. So, after some evaluation, here are the goals I've set for myself.

Goal# 1: Complete my Master's in Computer Science

So, currently, I am enrolled in a Master's program in Computer Science at FAST. However, since I did not come from a CS background, I had to take deficiency courses to make up for it.

Hopefully, I will clear the deficiency courses by June 2022. And after the summer break, My actual Master's degree will begin in Sep 2022.

It's a two-year program, so if everything goes well, I will graduate in mid-2024, InShaaAllah.

Goal# 2: Become a Self-Taught Developer

Besides the MS degree, I intend to learn web development using online resources. My aim is to go full-stack. However, for now, I am only focusing on front-end development.

Once I am well versed in front-end development, I plan to go for an entry-level web developer role. After that, I can continue to learn backend development alongside.

I haven't decided on a full-stack yet. Both MERN stack and .NET are in high demand in my region. So, I'll go with one of these, but that's a decision I will wait on for now.

Online Resources for Learning Web Development

If you are looking for online resources, do check out the Odin Project. It's a free online resource. I like it because the content is well structured and focuses more on the practical aspect.

Besides the Odin Project, we have other great resources like freecodecamp, Codecademy, Udemy, etc. So feel free to check them out as well. Find the one that best suits your learning style.

Please note that they are all great resources, and you can't go wrong with any of them. What's important is to just pick one and then stick with it. You'll make more progress that way. Wish you all the best!

What's next?

Moving on, I have decided to document my web development journey. So, I will be writing about all the things that I learn along the way.

So far, I have covered the HTML and CSS foundations section of the Odin Project. I will be writing shortly about that. So, feel free to follow along. After all, it's fun learning together!

In the end, I must say I have heard great things about the hashnode community. So, my expectations are high. Please feel free to share your valuable suggestions in the comments section. Cheers!

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