So, I've decided to start towards a Masters Degree in Computer Science. My undergrad is in Mechanical Engineering. I have dabbled in programming in my Engineering career and I have found that I really enjoy it. I have no idea what I plan to do with the Masters in CS when I get it. I don't even know if it's a good idea to be honest. All I know is that I enjoy programming and I want to see where it can take me.
I figure, the worst case scenario is that I get the degree, take on some debt, and gain an additional skill set that I can use in my Mechanical Engineering profession.
Best case scenario, I find out that programming is a better fit for me than Engineering and somehow I make a complete switch over to a new career without having to take a big drop in salary.
Other scenarios could include keeping my Mechanical Engineering job while doing some part time freelance programming on the side. The freelance work could be a 2nd source on income and a potential safety net against a future layoff.
I also wonder about web development. I have a good eye for design and I feel like I could really do well with making websites that are easy to navigate and attractive.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm being realistic with all of this though. I'm sure the programming world is highly competitive. Can I compete in the programming field if I'm only involved part time? Am I hurting my chances of maintaining an Engineering career by spending time on Computer Science efforts? I see this as putting my eggs in different baskets in order to increase my options and security. I wonder if I will have trouble competing with people that are "all in", so to speak, in either of the fields. Can this plan backfire? Am I wasting my time and money? Should I just go "all in" with my Engineering career and hope for the best? Anyone have any advice or real world experience to share?