Skip to main content
13 answers
14
Asked 366 views

Engineering vs. Law - After being a web developer for 10 years

Hi!

I've been a web developer for about 10 years. I am 31 and had left school before graduating after studying at university for about a year.

I am now reconsidering my options and I am wondering if maybe I would like to take a different path. My two options are: software engineering and law.

I'll need to study and pass required courses in order to be admitted to either. For engineering, I'll need some physics, chemistry and math classes. Here in Quebec, they consider the R Score, which is a grade I get based on how I position myself with the other students in the group. Based on that R Score, I can get into the program of my choice!

How do I know which major fits me the most?

#lawyer #law #engineering #college

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

14

13 answers


4
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

edmond’s Answer

your choice will depend the most on how much passion you have for either field, along with some other considerations.

Do you like writing, debate, philosophical arguments? ... Sounds like a lawyer. Do you like science, math, computers? Sounds like a software engineer! You will have to decide.

In general, law fits better extroverted personalities, while software engineering seems to work quite well for introverts.

Finally - you have been working for a while. I presume your salary is at a good spot right now. You have to decide whether going back to school is financially the sound thing to do - in terms of loans, etc. vs. continuing on with your present career.

Good luck.
Thank you comment icon Hi Edmond, thank you so much for your reply! 1. Do I like debate, philosophical arguments and writing? A: Yes! I do. Prior to university I was part of a debate group and started a philosophy club with one of my teachers! 2. Do I like science, math and computers? A: I love computers. I wasn't a huge fan of physics and chem. I'd have to get back in a bit of science material in order to see that has changed (since it's been 10 years already). 3. Extrovert vs. Introvert A: I am mix of both. I like to get into my bubble sometimes but I also love talking and engaging with people... 4. I've been working for a while. A: That's a good point, 10 years is a lot. Charles
4
2
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Aquiles’s Answer


You have to consider what will make you happy for the rest of your life. You mentioned that you already have a career in technology, changing to law is no small deal. I can tell you that, in law career as in tech career there are many specialties that you can consider, by example criminal, business, intellectual property, etc.

Another important thing is that you must consider your skillset, what are you strengths and how can you work with them. Life is too short to focuse on your weaknesses.

Think about the reason that brought you to this decision and evaluate the pros and cons, think if your are doing it for the right reasons and everything will be fine.

@BMCcares @careervillage BMCCares MLKdayofservice

Aquiles recommends the following next steps:

Have a conversation with people who has deep knowledge in the areas you are interested in order to make an informed decision.
2
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Yves’s Answer

Hey Charles!

I know you came here for answers so we will help you make a decision for yourself. If you would need to decide for a job in engineering or law which would be paid at a minimum would you still gonna do it? What was the last thing in your job that made you happy and why? What is it what you expect to be better with a different career path?
Put the efforts, earning potential and possible road blocks aside and ask yourself what you are more passionate about. If you genuinely like something you are/will become good in doing it which will make sure you are covered financially as well. I you want it you'll find ways if you don't want it you find excuses. Making the decision is the hardest part since you think but if I would have ... this does not matter as long as you are following your decision with all your energy. Good luck!
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Sameer’s Answer

Edmond has answered it well.

If you have already played a bit with computers and you think you like to build something creatively, have a liking towards logic and bit of Maths then you might like computers as a field. A lot of options today once you enter that field - Mobile applications, InternetOfThings, Artificial Intelligence and many other exciting areas which provides a good potential to grow.

Sameer recommends the following next steps:

Try an Aptitude test to find out what you are inclined to
Talk to senior colleagues who opted either for Law or Computers
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Betty’s Answer

I would recommend trying to talk to someone in these fields as they are both very different. Really ask yourself what you want to do, what do you see yourself doing? Sometimes the easy path is not always the one that is the most rewarding. What will help you want to get up each day and do x job vs y job? It is not always about what you will earn, but what you want to do. If you enjoy what you do it is not work. I would definitely, search for more details on typical work days for both professions. Then evaluate the length of time it will take for each one. Can you commit to the educational requirements? I think this important to try to find out from others who are in these fields what they do on a regular basis. Then see what works best for your life, your goals, your ambitions.

@BMCcares @careervillage BMCcares
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Michael’s Answer

The key for me is where do you feel your competencies lie. Do you favor the aspect of software development? Do you have an affinity for an abundance of working with people? In the case of Law, most certainly you are going to have to interface with people, and depending on which facet of the law it could mean working with people you do not even know. Relative to making the decision of which path to take, I think you also must consider where your true passion lies, is it with Law or Software Engineering. Both will take considerable work to complete. Lastly, determine which discipline in the long run will provide you with the best payoff (e.g. financial support, personal satisfaction, societal contribution, etc.).
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Virgilio’s Answer

It is good that you are in the middle of this choice and it is great that you have already highlight some of the options you have!...

Yes, it is important to understand your capabilities and in what "you are good" ... those answers cover only a part of the topic.

Best answers some times contain some key questions...

When you will be able to find YOUR own answers, you will have no doubts about what you want for yourself!

My key questions are:

Virgilio recommends the following next steps:

- What would make you really HAPPY?
- If you close your EYES for a minute and try to imagine a realized version of YOU ... Who IS that person?! What does he do?
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Devon’s Answer

Hi Charles. I have an electrical engineering degree and a law degree, and work as a patent attorney. Since you will need to get a degree to attend law school anyway, finishing your software engineering course load is probably the path of least resistance. Plus it sounds like the course work would be beneficial to your current position.

From there, I think it depends on why you are considering law. Is it to get out of the engineering ranks, or is there a particular legal field that interest you? If your current position is not fulfilling, becoming a lawyer may be a path forward. If you still want to remain in technology but not attend law school, at least for now, you could consider becoming a patent agent once you obtain your computer engineering degree. That would give you a bit of exposure to the legal profession and you can go from there. I hope this helps. Good luck.

0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Gloria’s Answer

Hi Charles,

There are multiple challenges to the change that you are trying to make. Software Engineering seems to be an extension of what you are doing now. This is the kind of change that I made during my career at almost the same time in my life that you did. I went from Instructor to Instructional Designer. So the jobs are related and that creates a solid foundation for the new career.

When you mention Law, that interested me. Like others, I wondered why. Is the law around computer usage related issues? Or is it a complete change, like tax law?

I cannot tell if you are tired of software work, just looking for a new challenge or trying to leave the industry entirely. I would say that the easiest road is using the knowledge that you have and build on that. That means that you can use your previous history. Since you did one type of job for 10 years, I feel like there is an underlying passion there so you should use that passion as you grow in a new direction.

Gloria
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Rebecca’s Answer

Software Engineering and Law are two very different professionals. It is depends on which subjects you are interested in and your commitment. Given you have working as an Web Developer already and you may have already established good people network in technology industry, it would be more easier for you to pick up and study. For Law, it is a completely new subject to you.
You may have already known how software engineering work. For Law, I would suggest you do more research on this career and the career path in the future. Also, if you know anyone who are working in the industry now to acquire understanding. Alternatively, you could consider to enrol some short-term part time course. This could help you to understand whether you are really understand on this subject.
This is a big change in your career path. I suggest you could do more research and consider it prudently before making the change.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Jeff’s Answer

Hi Charles, as someone who made a recent career change I really understand the feeling of being at a crossroads with your career choice. I think booking some time chatting with folks in both career fields is a great start. Next, I'd consider that with your background in web development that you'd probably find the jump to software engineering easier. The compulsory courses you'll need to take will take much less time vs. having to go to law school. I'd also suggest taking some of the stress off of your decision by focusing on the fact that it's okay if you make a decision, decide you don't like it and then change your mind. Do some related work in law, see if you like the environment and job. Talk to folks that have made the similar jump from web dev to software dev and see what their thoughts are. Best of luck!
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Joel’s Answer

I served as Editor-in-Chief of Law Review, a student run legal journal that ever law school has. I would strongly suggest that you create a list of the types of law you’re interested in practicing and take to lawyers who practice in those areas. You should also reach out to law school admissions offices in your area and schedule a tour. Law school is extremely demanding. It’s not what people generally think it is. The reading is tedious and extensive. I knew why I wanted a law degree so that helped me persevere through the challenge.
Thank you comment icon This is very helpful! Thank you. Charles
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Cody’s Answer

Those seem like two very different worlds. My question to you would be, what is your passion? Is there a reason you didn't complete your degree in computers? It's okay to say it wasn't for you, just make sure you aren't making the same mistake by going the law route if you don't have the passion for the field.
0