Skip to content
Home » From physics to software engineering

From physics to software engineering

In this post we’ll be talking about switching from physics to engineering and mentioning its pros and cons, and what are the best ways to do that.

Do you need physics to be a software developer?

Physics is not required to study software engineering, you don’t need physics to become a software engineer. Typically students study one single Physics course in their first semester or even the whole year, which is a General Physics course.

 In the General Physics course, you would be required to complete some  High School physics courses like kinematics, motion electricity,  electromagnetism, optics, and waves. 

This course is basic and the only course that you’ll be required to complete as a Computer Engineering or software developer major.

 Software development is focusing more on math, especially in such topics as calculus and linear algebra.  for instance, in your first two years you will have to complete all the calculus courses like:

So if you are good at math, you will guarantee success in software development if you take it in college. On the other hand, you could become a software developer without taking College courses and stay away from any math headaches. We’ll be talking later about that in the article.

You would not need physics in software development unless you decide to minor in some field like gaming, robotics, or computer hardware.

You could find more details in this article if you are interested to know how physics is related to computer science and software development.

Can you make a transition from physics to software engineering?

Software engineering is one of the greatest and the most flexible fields that give you a lot of choices and the route to take. If you follow formal education, meaning studying in college you can make a transit from physics to software engineering by finishing your bachelor’s in physics and applying for a master’s in software engineering. 

There is another option for students who are studying Applied Physics or Engineering Physics. These kinds of programs offer specialization students should choose in their third and Senior year.

 In other words, you can choose software engineering as a specialization and graduate with a double degree, one in physics and another in software engineering. You can find more details about the engineering physics programin this article .

How to transition from physics to software engineering

To make a transition from physics to software engineering  you have 4 options to choose:

1 – drop physics and take computer science

If you are still in your first year and have not completed a lot of physics courses, Also not feeling comfortable in this major you could drop the physics major and take computer science.

  you will lose one year but you can take the advantage of this time and prepare for computer science topics like doing summer math courses in calculus or learning some programming languages like C or python waiting for the next year.

This method sounds rude, but sometimes it’s better to take critical decisions than do something that you feel is not aligned with your personality or your purpose.

2 – continue your bachelor’s and apply for a master

If you are in the middle like in the second or third year, it is very hard to drop from your major so the best thing to do is to continue your bachelor’s in your physics major and then apply for grad school like a master’s in software engineering.

 Having a physics background would be wonderful if you decide to take software engineering fields like embedded systems or computer hardware.  In other words, you would be learning to develop programs for electronic boards like computers, phones, and any electronic programmable devices.

If you are not interested or tired of studying more, take a master’s degree. you don’t have to worry about that.

 You still have a lot of opportunities to work in software engineering companies. You just have to take some courses related to programming and take some internships. There is a lot of demand in this industry. This industry is booming and here is the proof.

Every year there are more than half a million jobs offered in software engineering. Software engineering is expanding by 250 times more than any famous other engineering like mechanical or electrical engineering.

 you could have a look at this table to know more statistics about software engineering and other famous engineering occupations.

majorssoftware engineeringelectrical engineeringmechanical engineering
number of jobs offered yearly500,00020,00020,000

We picked electrical and mechanical engineers because they are in the second position. There are many other engineering fields that don’t exceed 5000 jobs per year.

3 – self-study software engineering

The other option you have that would not cost you anything is to Self study software engineering. You could become a software engineer or software developer just by taking courses online and having a willingness to work hard and stay in front of the computer for long hours of time.

we’re going to give you this video below to watch a real case study of herself top software engineer. 

$37k to $125k+ Self-taught Software Engineer

4 – join private programs

The last option you have is to join private programs, in this case joining some boot camps. It is the fastest way to become a software engineer. is even faster than having a bachelor’s in software engineering but you have to invest some money.

 If you have $10,000 of cash and you want to reduce a college headache you could join Bootcamp programs that will teach software development in just six months or less. They provide focused and accelerated courses.  Some Bootcamp programs help you to find a job immediately after finishing the course with them.

If you want more information you can watch this video below.


Software development is a great field. It has a lot of potentials. It doesn’t matter if you have a Physics degree or don’t have a degree at all.  In software engineering, you just have to be passionate and interested in a topic.  There are no degree requirements or any formal studies that you should pursue.

 However, taking a bachelor’s in computer science or software development will give you some advantage to studying deeply in the field and gain some problem-solving skills according to the huge amount of math you take in college.

 if you are interested to know the difference between computer science and physics you could read this article.

physics vs computer science which is better.