I work in a crazy industry called software. Companies with zero revenue get wild valuations, engineers complain that their employer doesn’t provide free food, and starting salaries are almost at the 6-figure mark. Yet what’s more crazy is the undeniable need for talented young professionals. I’ll claim that no other industry is anywhere near as creative and lucrative as the software industry. Sure, you can go get your law degree or work for an investment bank, and after a few years you’ll be making lots and lots of money. But the chances are good that you’ll be unhappy with your job. When I hear about my friends in law and banking I feel sorry for them — so many of them devote hours and hours to mindless, awful work, living lavishly on the weekends, slowly making their way to more creative roles as they mature and gain experience.
Forget giving away your 20s to working your way up the ladder, justifying a shitty job as a means to an end. The software industry has insanely high starting salaries, startups give out equity that can convert to large sums of money if the startup does well (and many of them do), and most importantly, you’ll be doing wildly creative, awesome, challenging work. Seriously. Data is being created faster and faster, and the need for smart, math-oriented analysts and engineers is only growing. Mobile is blowing up, and the need for mobile engineers and awesome designers/UX people is following in the wake. New websites are always being started, opening up all sorts of opportunities in scalable web infrastructure engineering, agile software development, design, and product management. There is so much happening in this industry, and so much opportunity.
I wish I could find a study that goes into the happiness of people in different industries. Hardly any of my software friends are unhappy: they love their work; they have excellent salaries; they are treated well by their employees; they have insane opportunities to grow and better themselves; and they’re passionate about what they do, the problems they solve, and the people they work with. In the software industry age and experience don’t matter. What matters most is your passion and motivation, followed closely by your intelligence and cleverness. So if you’re on the fence about what to study, give software a shot. Take a class in college, read a book or two, and see if you’re interested. The software industry is absolutely amazing, and there’s a huge need for good people. If you’re interested, be one of those good people, and be happy. You’ll love it here.