We’ve released a major update to our career profile on software engineering.

See the updated profile and the full report on which it’s based.

Our recommendation in the profile:

Software engineering at large tech-firms is a highly promising option that’s especially easy to test out. If you have good analytical skills (even if you are from a humanities background), you should strongly considering testing it.


You gain a great set of skills that are in short supply, which gives you great bargaining power and opens up a wide range of options, including founding or joining early-stage startups, continuing in large tech-firms, data science, quantitative finance, research and remote freelance work.

Excellent working conditions, with flexible hours that are shorter than in many corporate jobs and ability to work remotely.

In the US, the pay is relatively high, especially early on in your career (many can start on $100,000), making it a good option for earning to give.


Mid and late stage earnings lower than in many other professional jobs.

Less opportunity to develop non-technical soft skills.

Topics explored in the full report include:

  • How to test out your fit for software engineering.
  • Using software engineering to pursue high-impact projects on the side.
  • A comparison of US and UK earnings – we found that average salaries are 40% higher in the US than in the UK, 80% higher in Silicon Valley than in London, and starting salaries for bootcamp graduates are around twice as high in Silicon Valley as in London.
  • What software engineering is like day to day and the key stages of progression.