Why I Ditched Finance for a Career in Programming

Five years ago, I was faced with one of the biggest decisions in my professional life. I could continue with the education track I had established since high school – or take an alternate path.

My initial goals involved being a financial analyst. I was a few steps away from becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst, but something felt wrong. Despite all the time and money I’d spent in pursuit of this goal, there was another career path calling.

That path was coding.

The Importance of Software in Today’s World

Part of the reason why I wanted to learn coding is because I was witnessing how important software had become in the modern world.

Not only were people using various programs and apps for everyday interactions, but businesses were relying on software with ever increasing frequency.

I also felt as though it was a career where one could learn on their own time. And it is precisely what I did.


Learning to Code

When I made my big decision to decide against taking the CFA exam, I spent the next few months learning how to code. It was not a simple journey. And I had many days of wondering whether I’d made a huge mistake.

But I got there eventually. Through a mixture of online tutorials, YouTube videos, online courses and help from friends, I had gotten to a stage where I had mastered the skills I needed to get a job in the field.

Making the World a Better Place

It may sound naive or overly optimistic, but I truly believe that software makes the better place – in a way that a financial analyst cannot.

When I imagined my career as an analyst, it consisted of working for a major bank or consultancy. Ensuring the rich get richer, while doing little to truly make society a better place for everyone to live in.

With coding, the possibilities felt endless. Software is something that has become a key part of people’s lives. We use software to stay in touch with friends, learn about new cultures and topics, book trips across the world and entertain ourselves.

But there is even more to it.


How Software Helps Everyone

Software plays a key role in so many innovations, even though people may not realize it at first.

For instance, self driving cars are the future. And some studies suggest accident-frequency could go down by 80 percent when the road is mostly self driving vehicles!

Others are working on cancer-detecting algorithms, which are said to outperform the work that is done by human pathologists. Drones can deliver medical supplies to remote areas where a person would have a hard time going.

And it is the direction I hope my life takes me.

The beauty of coding is that something new comes up all the time. There are new languages, tricks and methods to learn. For now, I have a great job for a company that is making the world a better place.

I believe that I made the right decision to ditch a career in finance so I could learn how to code!