To get a job in the computer industry is a dream for many, and it is a dream that can become the reality if only it is planned properly. The jobs can be in those companies that produces hardware and/or software, or it can be in a company, large or small, that uses computers and Information Technology.
But before the exact plan of a computer related career is made then there are some 'stepping stones' that need to be introduced. The reality behind a successful career in the World of Information Technology is not as simple as the following scenario, but even so let's use it as an introductory. The path of stepping stones could be as follows:
Learn Programming, by following some Computer Programming Classes and get a Computer Science Degree as the Key to an Information Technology Job.
The Information Technology job at the end of the computing learning path can be in the hardware or software industry, or a small or large company that is a consumer of computers, software, and a vast area of Information Technology. Today no company is too small to use computers, and computer skills are in high demand.
First stepping stone:
Learn Computer Programming!
Well, not all who work within the area of Information Technology are programmers, but even so then it is a good idea to have a basic understanding about how to program a computer system.
So what then is Computer Programming? Well decades ago most programs were either written in a 'computer programming language compiler' and the program was later compiled to the computer's 'machine code', OR the program was even written in 'pure machine code', and for people who weren't computer experts it was next to impossible to read the code and get an easy understanding of what the particular program was all about. Even other programmers could find it difficult to read a program written in machine code, and because of this it was very difficult to make changes to an existing program.
Today it is not that difficult. Many programming languages are written in a way that make it easy for other to understand the program. But maybe an even greater difference between 'old time' and 'present days' programming methods are the use of application software.
Well, some people might claim that one does not make programs if one is creating solutions by means of software such as Excel, Access and SQL database solutions, or design advanced websites with tools as HTML and CSS Editors. And yes, it is true that you don't need to know anything about programming in order to build a complex solution with Excel; but if you also know the basic principles of computer programming, then it will be even easier for you plus your solution will without any doubt be more effective.
So which programming language should you learn as your first language? The answer to this can engage tutors, computer experts and geeks in a more fierce discussion than arguments over politics and religion. If you learn your first programming language as part of a general computer science study, then most likely your tutor has selected it for you. However, if you are on you own then I advise you to select one of these as your first programming language: BASIC, C, C++, C#, or Java. Pick any one, or rather pick the one to which you can get some help from a friend, or pick a programming language which you just happen to find a good book about. Or join a computer programming class, either in your neighborhood, or online on the Internet.
Second stepping stone:
Computer Programming Classes
There can be several good reasons why you don't begin a complete education in Computer Science, but instead take some computer programming classes. First of all, you might want to test whether the work as a programmer is what you really want as a career. Or secondly, right now you can't afford the time or the costs of studying at an exclusive Computer Science School. Specialized computer programming classes will teach you much more than one programming language, it will introduce you to many other issues that are important in computing and Information Technology, such as: real-time applications, data security systems, distributed transactions, object oriented programming; just to mention a random few. But most of all you will learn a lot through the interaction with your classmates, regardless of whether your computer programming classes takes place in a real classroom or a virtual computer classroom on the Internet. And in both cases you and your fellow computer programming student should be active in forums and on bulletin boards, where you can exchange programming tips and tricks with each other.
Third stepping stone:
Computer Science Degree
There are of course many who works with Information Technology or as programmers in the computer industry, or in companies and the public service sector, but in the long run a career that has a Computer Science Degree as the foundation is more likely to become brilliant and result in a higher paycheck.
Therefore it is a wise move to aim at a Computer Science Degree a an early stage of planning the Information Technology or programmer's career.
A Computer Science Degree can be taken at a traditional college or university, but it is even possible to study computer science and programming online the Internet. However, a warning is needed here:
Be certain that the education you participate in is an accredited distance learning college; of course the knowledge about computing and programming you get might be equally good from an accredited institution as from a cheaper provider of education that isn't fully approved.
In both cases you might learn what you aimed for, so the warning is more meant as a price warning.
(Remember that if you don't believe that you will need a piece of paper which proves your knowledge about programming, then you might find ways to learn programming without any cost, apart from the cost of your computer and Internet connection)
The final stepping stone:
Get an Information Technology Job
Let us assume that you that you have reached this stage with a Computer Science Degree as a proof of your knowledge about programming and Information Technology. Maybe you have even on your way to this goal already had some part time jobs as a programmer or web designer. Part time jobs during studies give: Money, experience, and most of all connections. You might very easy be offered a permanent position in the company where you worked as a 'student trainee', or you got a network and knowledge about other job opportunities.
So, what will your job position now be when you hold a Computer Science Degree?
Well, the list is almost endless: Programmer, Java Developer, Software Engineer, Application Developer,
Web Designer, Web Master, Software Analyst, Senior Tester, IT Manager.
Whatever IT-position you begin or (years ahead, before retirement) end as, then you can be certain of an interesting life. And with a theoretical Computer Science Degree as foundation you are also prepared to a continuous learning process about whatever new inventions within programming and Information Technology the future might offer.