EDIT: Before you read this I want to clear up one misconception right away. I have gotten many responses by folk on this form stating that these high computer science salaries are only for the elite or the top "1%" of programmers. I want to reinforce that this is absolutely NOT the case. I think this attitude is a psychological defense mechanism that current pharmacy students use to defend their current choice of career and debt path. I'm writing this as a public service announcement to hopefully convince folks that there IS ANOTHER way other than MASSIVE pharmacy school debt with questionable return on investment. If you work hard (it won't be easy) you could graduate with a B.S. in computer science and be earning 80k+ in most areas and 90-100k+ in key metro areas such as Boston, NYC, SF, LA, etc. If you continue to work hard after you land your first engineering job you can move up the ranks and be making upwards of 160k+ and depending on your stock compensation and your location you might even hit 200k+. The key "weed out" phase for programmers is actually before they become programmers at all! At all colleges throughout the country the biggest "weed out" is usually the intro courses in computer science. If you can crack the first couple of courses you likely have the capability to succeed as an engineer. It is really more about hard work and dedication than anything else. There IS a way other than MASSIVE and crippling debt On with the post: Software Engineering is HOT folks, RED hot, and it’s been this way since 2011/2012. I’ve been in the industry since 2005 and while we might be in a temporary bubble much like we were in 1999/2000, i think in 12 years from now the market will be BETTER than it is now. Just like the market was BETTER in 2012 than it was in the red hot days of 2000. In fact, the SW engineering job market mostly recovered by 2004. Comp packages for new grads in metro markets (boston, NYC, SF) are exceeding 100k/year. Experienced mid career level engineers in their early 30’s are pulling in comp packages of 160+ and in Silicon Valley that number is higher, more like 190-200k to adjust for the higher cost of housing in that location. Get in at a company like Google and you'll make even more! But the great thing about software engineering isn’t the salary or the fun working environment - it’s the lack of DEBT and the ability to enter the workforce at 22 years old at a strong salary out of the gate. A strong salary in your early 20s will allow you to better harness the power of compound interest and start your nest egg early which will pay off later in life. I’m 32 and i’ve been a programmer since 2005 right after graduating with my BS in comp sci. My net worth is ~ 500k and I rent so that doesn’t include any home equity. I’m a senior engineer and my current comp is over 160k/year and the strong salaries early on (I was making 65k in 2005) helped me build my nest egg. If i went the MD route i’d likely be significantly negative in my net worth and just be starting in my career. My work hours are 40hrs/week and i've never worked much more than that. Another great thing about software engineering is SATURATION and how the issue of saturation is much more difficult to attain in programming due to market dynamics. For mid levels (PA, NP, Pharm D, etc) saturation is becoming a SERIOUS issue. Take medical careers such as NP, PA, Pharm D, MD.. The demand for medical workers is a function of the size and demographics of the population. For example, you only need so many Physician Assistants per 1000 people. There is a fixed amount of work to be done per citizen on average. This has resulted in a dynamic where most of the desirable metro areas have become saturated and many of the open positions are now in rural and less desirable locales. For programming the dynamic is the complete opposite. You might naively think that the same rule applies — that there is a constant demand for things to be programmed and that once that demand is filled the profession would become saturated. But what if the demand was actually infinite? Why hasn’t it become saturated when the number of developers has exploded over the last 10, 20 and 30 years? Think back to the 1980s and 1990s as a developer. It is radically more productive to develop software now because the tooling has become much more advanced and the knowledge is so much easier to come by. Programmers used to keep stacks of books at their desk, now they find their answers online in a fraction of the time. The library of open source software has also expanded tremendously. Need a database? You have 10+ free options. Need an operating system? Linux will do. Need hosting and hardware? You can do it in the cloud for a fraction of the cost. There are literally thousands of free software packages that accelerate development times and boost productivity. Modern IDEs (integrated development environments) help catch errors and auto generate code to further enhance productivity. You might conclude that fewer developers are needed now with the massive productivity gains. Wrong. There are far more developers working worldwide than there were in the 80s or 90s. The space of possible things to program is only bounded by human creativity which is limitless. Software is layered on top of other software. The next generation of tools, frameworks, and applications, are built using the tools of the previous generation. For this reason I fully expect the number of developers working worldwide to continue to increase well until the next decade. Some of you remember the tech bubble of the late 90s and early 2000s and may conclude that tech will once again decline. True, there was a crash and it was difficult to get a job from late 2001 through 2003, but things turned around far quicker than many realize. By 2004 the job market turned and by 2005 and 2006 it was somewhat hot again. But during this brief crash there were other dynamics in play. The tech job market downturn of the early 2000s was also caused by outsourcing. You see the rest of the world hadn’t caught up yet and there were massive untapped populations of developers in India and other countries. This caused a massive wave of companies opening offices overseas and outsourcing firms like HCL or Infosys exploded which temporarily depressed wages and the job market in the US. By the end of the decade, however, the labor market in India and other outsourcing hubs began to heat up to the point where there weren’t enough developers to go around, forcing companies to either hire again in the US or find another country (such as Russia, Poland, etc.) Hiring and retaining dev in india is actually very costly right now. Salaries have risen and turnover is rampant due to the high demand. Many companies are looking to other countries like the Ukraine, Poland, or Russia to do their outsourcing now. All of these areas have literally EXPLODED with dev and companies have shifted to a strategy of having devs everywhere. Big companies like google and microsoft hire dev all over the world. There is a lot of money to be had in software in the next 10-20 years. No debt is required and only 4 years of college is recommended.