Yeah, that's a good plan - even if UE3 and UE4 are that different - a basic understanding of the engine's predecessor always comes in handy. But I think you're wrong about not learning unreal script. Realistically if you want to work with the Unreal Engine you'll need to learn the basics of Unreal Script at least. This is also good for your resume.
I'm a fan of the work, a good deal of my friends love sci-fi games and they all chat about Infinity Universe a lot. I just like the fact that despite all the competiton, people telling them it isn't possible, the lack of funding, etc - they're still building this crazy project. I think that shows a dedication of the people to the company, let alone a dedication to the fans and the industry. It's unusual to find that kind of thing in this market.
C++ is one of the hardest coding languages around but if you get to a good understanding of it then it'll open more doors with other languages. For instance, C++ and C# are incredibly alike. I'd definitely suggest giving it a crack.
"To become a better programmer" work hard at it and eventually you'll be the best you could be. Look at online guides, maybe buy a book on coding for UDK, read the gamedev forums every now and then - it'll keep you up to date. Practice makes perfect.
Speaking of Unreal Engine 4, have you heard of Project Awakened by Phosphor Game Studios? It's worth a look. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1312036782/project-awakened
If you ever have any other questions relating to the industry, coding, or so forth then you can always reach me by mail over gamedev. I'm more then happy to help with any questions you might have.
I wish you luck in the industry!