CareerFilter: I will be finishing my BS in Computer Science in 2-3 years. What industries will likely offer the best earnings potential and interesting work to a software engineer, and how do I improve my attractiveness as a potential hire to those industries?
My question is similar to this one
, but I'm specifically interested in identifying industries that are desirable to software engineers in terms of pay, growth potential, and challenging work. I don't have a fixed definition of "interesting," but at a minimum it would mean solving problems more complicated than connecting web forms to databases. (I find games programming interesting as a hobby, but as a career I can't reconcile the long hours and the low pay.)
1) What industries should I consider? At this point I'm open to pretty much anything: finance, defense, health care, anything else I may not have considered.
2) For a given industry, what minor and/or electives should I consider to be a strong candidate? Statistics, economics, systems design, information security, Standard Chinese, _________? If it's not premature, what should I be thinking about in terms of my Master's?
3) Possible complication: I would like to spend a few years working in East Asia, most likely China or Japan. I would be willing to accept reduced earnings for a few years as a fair trade-off for this type of opportunity, as long as I would be gaining relevant experience that would make me a strong candidate for higher-paying positions when I return to the states. What would be the best way to prepare for this, and how would this affect answers to the above questions?
Some possibly relevant details: I'm 29 and going back to school after several years away. I have a junior degree in liberal arts (oops). I've done programming as a hobby most of my life, but I work in an unrelated field. I am willing to work long hours as long as I'm well compensated for it (exception for opportunities in East Asia, as noted). I do well in high-stress environments but don't need pressure to feel satisfied as long as I find my work interesting. I'm willing to relocate to pretty much anywhere but will not be able to do so for about three years (hopefully by the time I graduate). I have some experience in corporate training and technical writing but have no formal education in those areas.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions or advice!