3 tips to switch from mechanical engineer to CS

If you think of switching from mechanical engineering to computer science, this post is for you.

In this post, we give you full guidance to switch from mechanical engineering to computer science in the right way. Also, warn you of some famous mistakes that many students fall into.

So keep reading if you don’t want to miss steps.

From mechanical engineering to Computer science

It is easier to switch from mechanical engineering to computer science. Because computer science is the most flexible engineering major you could do, it is the zero barrier entry major, which means it doesn’t require having strong knowledge or scientific background.

But if we reverse it, going from computer science to mechanical engineering is almost impossible. Mechanical engineering is hard, and one needs to have a degree. A computer science degree is not required to find a job.

It is the only special major that doesn’t require having a bachelor’s or master’s to find a job. Today many software engineers are getting paid over $130,000 and even more without having any degree.

So, in general, a mechanical engineer can become a computer science engineer. But computer science engineers will never be able to do mechanical engineering after getting a computer science degree.

So if you are close to getting your bachelor’s, you don’t have to worry. You still have a chance to go in any time you want. Because you can become a developer working in mechanical engineering software developments like:

  • CFD
  • FEM

As a mechanical engineer, you should normally be aware of CFD and FEM, but we will give a short definition of each one.

  • FEM or ” finite element method “is a numeral technic that helps to calculate or determine the resistance of a mechanical component before breaking and also a lot of mechanical details.
  • CFD or “computational fluid dynamic ” it’s technic to study the fluid behavior in mechanical objects to build suitable designs.

So this will give you a bigger advantage if you don’t want to lose your mechanical engineering career by becoming a CFD and EFM programmer. You will have the advantage because this domain requires mechanical engineering background, which liberates you from a competitivity.

Some shocking numbers about the computer science industry

to be honest, computer science engineering is a promising domain, and these numbers are the solid proof:

  • 61% of graduated students get hired instantly after college
  • 500,000 new occupations are offered every year, which is 300 times more than mechanical and electrical engineering.
  • Getting only 3 years of experience in the field is enough to bring your salary to the roof, $130,000 or more. In comparison, you need 10 years to reach this position in other engineering positions.

if you want further informations, you can read this article: 10 reasons why software engineers are overpaid

So after discovering these encouraging numbers, we will give 5 steps process to make the sweet and best transition from mechanical engineering to computer science.

1 – don’t go and have a CS degree

You don’t have to lose money and time going back and studying computer science simply because most domains don’t require having a degree in computer science except for some heavier math subjects in computer science that we’re going to talk about later.

So you will have two options to teach yourself computer science:

  1. need to go BootCamp
  2. or self-taught

1 taking Bootcamp classes

The best and quickest method to integrate computer science into the workforce is to take an accelerated BootCamp course. if you have $15,000 on the side you can invest, BootCamp classes are worth it.

In other words, you will be rounded by professional mentors who will teach you the essential thing you need in the market in just 6 months.

Not like a computer science degree where you lose 4 years and put yourself in 100,000 of debt studying some additional unuseful things like English and chemistry.

2 self-taught

You could learn on your own by taking some special online courses and choosing your domain.

For instance, let’s just say you want to become a front-end developer. So you should choose the right online courses that you can find internet easily and start learning afterward.

This process is hard and requires a lot of practice, but it is still effective and gives results. In addition, some online courses offer full support where you can ask for something you understand.

But to be honest, being or becoming a self-taught programmer will require you to spend double the time and effort compared to the software engineering boot camp courses. You could watch this video below off self-taught programmer success story.

2 – make internships with companies

after Finishing the process of learning or finishing the course you’ve taken, now is time to take some serious internships with companies to learn how things are going in the markets about the specialty you’ve chosen.

This phase is so essential for you as a beginner in the computer science industry field. It is serious. So you have to try to grab as much as possible of information by engaging in many projects.

The Great thing about computer science is that you can remotely take internships from your home. But is better and recommendable to go and train yourself in the company in order to show them your personality and core value.

Because in most cases, software engineers companies hire a big portion of the people they train. So you have bigger opportunities to get integrated if you prove your skillset in a domain.

3 – apply to companies and don’t discuss a salary

The last step is to apply for jobs. The first and most interesting thing as a previous mechanical engineer is showing your employer interest that you need to learn and get the experience more than having a good wage or salary.

That is to say. You don’t have to negotiate a salary at this stage simply because you do not have the experience or something that allows you to bargain.

That is to say, accepting any humiliated salary, but getting a good starting salary job software, Junior engineer get.

After getting 2 years of experience, your goal will be to switch from the company you’ve started with and look for a more high-paid alternative job. Even if you get a raise with your previous company, it won’t be better than working in a new company.

With this strategy, you can reach $130,000 within only 3 years of experience. This process is impossible in the case of being a mechanical engineer. This is what makes computer science the greatest and the most rewarded field.


You can watch this video stroy about an example of a person who switched from mechanical engineering to comptuer science.


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.