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My Bachelors is in Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE) but after university, I'd like to work purely in the software industry.

Every company that I aspire to work for almost always has this section:

Basic Qualifications:

Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or related field

...

For example, here is a screenshot from the Amazon Careers page for a Software Development Engineer role.

transcription below

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS

  • Programming experience with at least one modern language such as Java, C++, or C# including object-oriented design
  • Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science of related field.
  • 4+ years experience in building successful production software systems.
  • Proficiency in at least one modern programming languages such as C, C++, C#, Java

So am I eligible to apply for these companies? Is Electronics and Communication Enginnering (ECE) a "related field" as per most software companies' requirements?

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    This is really going to depend on the specific job and company in question, so there's really no way for us to be able to answer this. With that said, I've known a decent number of programmers who had electrical engineering degrees, so probably. Jun 12, 2020 at 19:31
  • It sounds like a related field to me. Jun 12, 2020 at 19:33
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    Looking at the clipping, I'd say the 4+ years experience in production systems and proficiency in modern programming languages are more important qualifications, and if you had those I suspect you wouldn't be asking here. Jun 12, 2020 at 19:33
  • @TheWanderingDevManager This image was just an example. Actually, I was looking at some software dev internships at Amazon. What about them? They obviously don't expect you to have experience! Jun 12, 2020 at 19:35
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    Rule of thumb for job applications - if you have at least 50% of what they ask, you have a good chance and nothing to lose by applying. Many lists are little more than wish lists. What's the worst that can happen? They say no? How does that leave you worse off than now? I've had several approaches from Amazon over the years, I have no degree. Jun 12, 2020 at 19:40

2 Answers 2

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This will likely depend on the job and the company (and even the specific hiring team). I can tell you that I've known several programmers who had degrees in electrical engineering, so many employers will likely consider it related.

Ultimately, the only way to know for sure is to apply - if they don't think it's related enough, they'll just reject you.

With that said, I'd make sure that you're extremely well-prepared for the technical interview. It could also help a lot if you had some kind of certificates.

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Fields as defined in academia can be quite large, as to accommodate the varied interests of faculty and researchers. Job roles as defined in industry can be very narrow, because companies are (almost always) looking to solve a specific business problem by filling that role. Correspondingly a degree in ECE could be solid preparation for a dev role, but it depends on the overlap between what you did in your studies and what the role requires.

If you spent most of your ECE studies writing code, like a lot of folks with Computer Hardware or Computer Software specializations, then you have a plausible case at being from a "field" related to Computer Science. Someone hiring for a dev role would be interested to know about what programming projects you have undertaken in your studies that could be relevant to that role.

On the other hand if you mostly designed circuits during your ECE studies you'll have a tough time convincing someone you're qualified for a dev role on the basis of those studies.

Here's just one example of different specializations in ECE

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