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I would still do it but I would also do something else.

I didn't realize this until after college, but outside of a CS 101 class you can't be just a programmer. Programming doesn't happen in a vacuum - it must be applied to a domain.

For some people, a lot of whom are on this website, the domain can be computer science. Writing a compiler, database, or operating system would fall into that category. Things on the cutting edge like VR or AR would also fall into this category. This particular kind of programming has never appealed to me personally. I don't much care for programming itself or even computer science itself.

However, there are a lot of interesting problems to be solved in other domains that require programming. Economic models, biotechnology, digital synthesizers, etc.

Unfortunately, without the domain knowledge required in those fields, it's pretty hard to find a job solving those problems. All that's left is CRUD work where the domain is opaque business logic that requires little to no expertise but is dreadfully boring.

So I would go back and treat programming as a tool to be applied to problems that I care about instead of the main focus of my education.

This makes sense and I agree. You will learn some about the domains you write software in but often you are in those by force and not by choice and you will only ever be so interested in the problems you face/software you build. I once got to write a compiler for financial formulas and that was very interesting but that was the exception and not the rule for most of my professional work.

Maybe you get lucky and have a hobby/personal interest that can fulfill this need to some degree (this partially has happened to me, apparently people who write software don't often overlap with people who cross stitch).

I do enjoy writing code but I much prefer writing code for problems or in domains that interest me.

This resonates with me. Although I did not get into programming for money, I have come to hold the belief that I could make significantly more money as a programmer in a non-programming field. Money aside, the problems can take you far out of your comfort zone. I recently worked for a fashion start-up and the number of interesting problems that did not resemble at all what you are used to in the CRUD world was fascinating.

So can you not shift into this work? I imagine for something like economics, not all the programmers behind banks or quants have a high level of economics knowledge? I would have thought they want someone with a major CS background to fill the gap they have in that regard?

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