General

Why becoming a software engineer is a great bet

The software engineering field is an amazing field to be in. And aside from the basic growth statistics you see everywhere, I will show you a new argument for why you should pick it.

Before we dive in the discussion, fun fact, see that bridge in the image on the right? It's in my college town.

It's much longer than it seems in the image. Wind makes it dwindle and I've only crossed it once because I'm genuinely afraid of heights.

Back to the topic, the software engineering field is an amazing field to be in.

The demand for good engineers is high and going up. The average income is high, the unemployment is low, you can work remote, you can freelance/contract.

Also, itโ€™s a field that allows for a lot of pivoting either within it (full-stack to frontend) or to other engineering fields (sysadmin, network, cybersecurity, web3).

But, one thing I questioned once was...

What if we were in an economical crisis?

There hasn't been any data looking at software engineers (avg income, unemployment) in a real crisis. I'm talking the bad kind, not like 2008.

I'm thinking something like the 1930s depression era.

We can't see how software engineers would fare in such a crisis, but we can see how engineers in general have done in that era.

Life as an engineer in the Great Depression

I have aggregated data from quite a few places (including a book!) and this blog post has lived in my iCloud notes for a while now, so you will have to take my word with these numbers. Sorry ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ.

Anyways...

In 1929 to 1934 (worst of the depression), engineer unemployment was at most 10,1%. Whereas the general average unemployment reached a peak of 24,9% at one point.

So, if you were an engineer you were doing observably better than the average person from this regard.

Also, I'm sure at least some of that 10,1% were unemployed by choice.

The ones that weren't unemployed by choice, I'm willing to assume that at least some of them weren't that greatly skilled to begin with.

My point? If you were good at your skill & willing to work, you'd likely have kept your job or found another.

Let's talk about average income as well:

The average yearly income in the 1930s was $1.368, whereas an average engineer with 2 years of experience would earn around an average of $2.000 per year.

Adjusted to official inflation, that today would have been $22.235 and $32.508 respectively.

Side note: I urge you to reconsider the validity of official inflation numbers.

My conclusion?

Even in a major economical crisis, if you are an engineer you will be ok. Even more so if you are a software engineer, I recon.

If you are in tech, you are in an amazing position. You will likely always have a good income so long as you are willing to work.

Romanescu Park, Craiova
Romanescu Park, Craiova

*Fun fact* The 3 colors under the navbar are Romania's flag ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด.