My work recently advised me that they’ll pay for a part time learning course of my choice (from any accredited educational provider) on a loan-based scheme. I’m 27 years old, never studied at College or University, and I’ve been in a call centre environment for about 7 years now. I know my way around a computer, have recently taken an interest in programming and I’m definitely ready for a career change. I’d like to take my company up on their offer, with the hope of getting employed in an I.T related field with my new qualification.
My question is- If you’d never been to University or College, what kind of course would you choose and what steps would you take in order to get gainful employment in the I.T field? What avenue within I.T would be the most likely to lead to employment without a formal degree? I’m at a cross roads in my life where I know I’m ready to put the hours in and knuckle down to make a career change, but going to Uni would be a bit of a problem in my current situation. I’ve been self-studying in my spare time pretty much since I left school (read- ‘pissing about on the internet’) and I’m not completely useless when it comes to applying myself to something, so I’m confident that taking a course won’t be a problem in itself. I realise that a course alone won’t cut it for many employers, so I know I’ll need to work on projects in my spare time to build experience and to show potential employers what I can do.
I can see how naïve of me it looks to be asking this by the way. There’s so much information out there on I.T careers but a lot of it is conflicting and I can’t see the wood for the trees. So I’ve come here for the opinion of those in the know.
Any pointers would be greatly appreciated, especially anything related to specific courses and what particular steps you’d take in the same situation.
... and the ones that won't