I'm graduating soon with a Bachelor's in Software Engineering, however during the course of getting my degree I decided I do not want to be a programmer.

I minored in Business Management and really enjoyed that, particularly the management side of psychology and the basics of the processes involved with restructuring a business, but don't really want to throw away my programming degree either.

Is there a field for someone with a Software Engineering degree who wants to get into business management instead of programming? I'd like to combine my knowledge of making software with some kind of business process oriented work. How should I go about changing to this field?
Is this possible without going back to school?

Overview of courses I took: Java, C++, OO design; UML design; Concurrency; Algorithms; Systems Programming; Web technologies; OpenGL; some math courses; two mandatory internships in the field. Some other minor stuff and electives like AI; Quality Assurance and psychology. These were combined with lots of projects to get a taste of the process of software engineering, each had it's own theme in terms of methodology used. (Waterfall, RUP, Agile, etc.)

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    You had 2-3 years to change path, ever since you have known how much you hate programming. Why wait till you complete a degree?
    – Oded
    Jul 19, 2012 at 13:23
  • Because of the lock-in/commitment. Once I was a few years in, the thought of completely starting over scared me. The first few years I thought I'd be able to learn and then the problem would go away because I could grow over it. Then my life took a few turns for the worse and I wasn't able to advance much. Also there was considerable pressure from my parents to finish this. In the end the coin has flipped the other way instead.
    – Onno
    Jul 19, 2012 at 13:37
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    I'm having difficulty parsing the exact question here. If it's just "should I go into X field or Y field" it doesn't really fit here; per the faq we don't really don't do general recommendations, but rather answer specific questions about problems with solutions
    – Rarity
    Jul 19, 2012 at 14:00
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    Can you define the degree and what courses are entailed? You say that you have a Bachelor's in Software Engineering and then say "programming degree". I have a Bachelor's in Software Engineering, but the majority of my courses focused on system architecture and design, software process, and project management. What knowledge do you have from your degree? Please provide a link to the curriculum and/or provide a high level summary of the different types of courses that you took. Jul 19, 2012 at 16:18
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    Software Engineers should give you job options (other than programmers) such as: Business Analyst/Requirements Engineer, System Architect, Configuration/Build Manager, Project Manager, Test Engineer/Management, etc. Try looking for management jobs in IT, contractor/consultancy firms are big on this. Also, job fairs are a good place to start looking if you're still at the campus.
    – Spoike
    Jul 19, 2012 at 18:08

1 Answer 1


Sounds like a business analyst position would be a good fit for you. They are the translators between the business side and the developers who make sure the developers understand what is needed and the clients understand what can be done. A programming degree with business classes is a good thing for this type of position. The best business analysts I have worked for all understood programming even if they didn't want to do it.

  • Thanks for the suggestion. Do you think that having only a minor will suffice? Minors aren't very in depth here in the Netherlands. (more or less a 6 month course of bunched up electives)
    – Onno
    Jul 19, 2012 at 14:29
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    @Onno: Best way to find out would be to contact local professionals and review current job listings for your area.
    – blunders
    Jul 19, 2012 at 17:48
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    The problem is that at least in my job these people used to be programmers and spent some time working on my project. They got to understand how our software works and got familiar with the business side, only then did they get promoted to a role where they get to design new features and tell developers what they want them to code. I don't think this position would be open to a fresh graduate that the OP is.
    – kamilk
    Nov 29, 2015 at 10:40

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