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  1. #1
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    Career Path Changer in Need of Advice

    I'm in need of some career advice and figured it'd be best to ask people in the field. I'm 24 and graduated college 2 years ago with a Bachelor's in Economics. Since then, I really haven't been able to find a steady full time jobs in my field. Currently, I'm working 2 retail jobs just to pay the bill and don't see the future being very bright if I stay on my current trajectory. Because of this, I've decided it would be best to pick up a more marketable skill set in my free time (preferably without going back to school) which I can eventually leverage into a full time job. I've decided I'd like to do something related to computers as I've always enjoyed messing with them and have enjoyed learning what little I know about programming so far (ie a bit of HTML, CSS, and Python). I'm leaning towards working to becoming a web developer and am wondering if this is a good career field (as far as job availability) to go into or if my time would be better spent trying to break into something else (such as software development, web design, IT, etc)? Also, if web development has good career prospects, what should I go about learning and in what order? So far my plan is to learn (in this order): 1) HTML/CSS, 2) Javascript, 3) XML, 4) JQuery, 5) PHP, 6) ASP.net, 7) Python, 8) Ruby. Feel free to pick it apart. I'm starting from pretty much ground level. Thanks.

  • #2
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    Have you looked at community college web design programs? ( I agree those schools like DeVry, ITT, and fullSail are just bust. you're better off learning on your own than going to those places paying a fortune as they are majorly about their own sales). I'm not there yet either,(not working as a web developer) but from what I've seen , the industry seems to value also good graphic skills, i.e. Adobe Flash as well as good display and design with Adobe software or other graphic software.. i.e. half the artist. plus a website may often all be about the database/chatroom etc. so that means MySQL, Access, or learning Oracle or MS SQL as well.

  • #3
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    Thanks for your reply hvalley. I don't know that I would want to go through a full associates program unless having the piece of paper at the end would be significantly more valuable to employers than my BA (albeit from a different field). I've considered taking individual classes at my local community college, but I'm still not sure it's worth the price since there's a lot of free online resources out there. As far as web design, would you say, from you experience, that that field is more in demand than web development at the moment? I would definitely like to learn some database related things like MySQL as well. I do see a lot of job applications asking for that (though working with databases sounds kind of boring, so it probably isn't my preferred option ).

  • #4
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    I'm in a similar position to you (22, just got my degree, majored in psychology, which is also difficult to market), so I may not be qualified to provide much an answer. I used Codecademy.com to learn the basics of several languages, and I'd highly recommend it as an introduction. I found the HTML/CSS course to be easy (javascript and Ruby were much more challenging, in my opinion), yet it was enough that I managed to put together most of my personal website using the skills I learned from it.

  • #5
    The fat guy next door VIPStephan's Avatar
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    I’ve studied music and am a musician but got into web development during university by a basic HTML course that was aimed at musicians so they can create and maintain their own websites. Despite never having had anything to do in this field before it was so much fun for me that I started doing this on my own for money, since being a musician also isn’t the easiest job in the world. Besides the most basic HTML/CSS skills, which I learned in that course, I learned everything on my own and I don’t have a degree in web design or anything. And here I am now, still freelancing and making a good living with creating websites.

    Of course, the beginning is always the hardest part but if you’re good at what you’re doing you will get your jobs eventually.

  • #6
    Regular Coder bobleny's Avatar
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    I'm a .NET developer who writes and maintains several websites. Our sites are all in asp.NET. I spend most of my time writing C# and a fair bit of time writing Javascript/Jquery. I do a bit of html and css, but it is a very small portion of my time (It helps having a web designer who does the majority of it).

    I started in php, and moved to java and jsp to end up in asp.net.

    I've found asp.net and c# to be the easiest of the options I have worked with. As far as making a career out of it, I would recommend following the list you created, but I think you should switch 5 and 6 (php and asp.net) and move 3 (xml) to the end. In looking for a job, most of the positions I've came across were in asp.net. As far as xml, it's worth knowing what it is but it is easy to pick up and I feel it isn't worth spending too much time on.

    Also, once you start playing with some server side languages, make sure you spend sometime playing with AJAX. You almost can't create a website these days without it.

    Hope that helps.
    --www.firemelt.net--
    * No good deed goes unpunished.
    * Cheer up, the worst has yet to come...

  • #7
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    Hi! Bubbler really you have taken a right decision at the right time of your life. But you need to do one and only small change it would be very nice if you choose the field of mobile apps developer rather than web developer because now at present, the mobile app developer job has a great intensity, growth and also needs for the mobile apps developer is very high so, if you study about the course related to the mobile apps developer means then it will be very useful for you to earn lots and lots of money in a very short period of time.


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