I am in the middle of changing careers at the age of 32. I'm currently in real estate, but have always enjoyed working with computer programs (mainly building websites) outside of work. I recently took an aptitude test and all signs were pointing into programming. So I decided to commit to the transition, but I don't have any idea on how to proceed.
Do I need to go back to school? Obtain some type of certificate? What can I do to prove to possible employers that I am qualified for the job?
Should I continue on the path I am on and stick to the books? What is the best way to get my foot in the door with an employer? Would anyone even hire someone that didn't have the appropriate educational requirements?
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm just a little lost and could use some direction. Thank you everyone.
If you don't have work experience, then corporate America is going to expect you to have a BS in Computer Science or Computer Information Systems. It's possible to have a fulfilling programming career without one, but your odds are slimmer and you have to be a rockstar coder. You'll want to fully absorb a core programming language, which right now is Java or C#/.NET, really. There are lots of other languages but sink your teeth into Java or .NET to establish your coding skills.
A lot of times, programmers start in IT doing non-programming type jobs, such as Help Desk, LAN Support, etc, and then slide into programming positions as they finish school and opportunities arise.
There are also a ton of non-programming careers within IT that you may enjoy-- network/infrastructure, hardware, etc.
Great, thank you for the information. Yeah, I was pretty sure I needed a degree if I didn't have experience. I do like the option of getting my foot in the door in an IT department.
Is this the same for a web developer too?
Again, I really appreciate your help. Thank you.