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Old Feb 11, 2013, 12:40 AM   #1
jc0481
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Quick way to get out of my warehouse job and into a computer related job?

I know what I want out of life and I want to do it quickly. Ultimate goal is to become a software engineer. But I know there are steps to take to make it there. I'm going to school right now by the way for that same reason. But I just barely started school. It's a online school by the way. A reputable and regionally accredited one too. I did my research. I just want to pick up the pace and get a computer related job.

Few of the reasons I need to do this in a hurry. My unborn son is due to be born within two months. I want to provide for him and my wife. I don't want my wife to go back to work. She really wants to stay home and raise our son. A white collar computer job pays well enough for my family in my state of Utah.

I have dabble here and there in programming but nothing concrete. I want to change that.

The reason I am posting this because I want to know. What is the quickest computer related skill I can learn and obtain a job with that new found skill? I don't mind that job being full-time, part-time or doing freelance work. As long as I'm bringing in some extra income.

Do I learn HTML and CSS? Do I study for A+ certification test? Should I learn Excel?

I want to do this for my growing family. I hope someone here can help out. Thank you.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 08:47 AM   #2
stonyc
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There is no easy answer. It all depends on what people need in your area. What do the companies in your area need?

HTML and CSS are good skills to learn, but that doesn't mean that if you learn them, that people in your area will want them. You also have to remember that there are going to be certain time and networking requirements in order to even get those jobs/clients. How will you market yourself? People and companies will want to see that you have the experience, and have examples of your previous work to show them so that they have an idea of what to expect. Most people/companies, unless they're extremely desperate or patient are not going to want to hire someone who has freshly learned X, Y and Z.

There are lots of people on these forums who do freelance work, and they will tell you much of the same things... it's not easy. Many of them started by working at a company, built up a network of contacts, then struck out on their own.

I understand what you're going through, as I also have a baby on the way... but let me ask you a few more questions.

1) Your warehouse job is obviously not ideal, but is it at least steady and consistent work? I ask this because just because you learn CSS and HTML, that doesn't mean someone is going to automatically hire you. Just because you can put "HTML and CSS" on your resume, doesn't mean that they won't want to see actual experience. They'll want to see a portfolio of your past work. Do you see what I'm getting at? Without a good deal of experience and a network of contacts, I think at best, you're probably looking at some minimal freelance work or perhaps an intern-level position (which may or may not actually have a salary). I guess what I'm trying to say is to not put all of your eggs in one basket until you know that you have a reliable source of additional (or primary) income.

2) I understand why you and your wife would want her to stay home with the baby... but given your situation, do you think it might make more sense for her to work part-time perhaps? That extra income might come in handy should you have to do an unpaid internship (these do happen sometimes) for example... or if freelance work is not coming in to the level that you need to maintain your finances. Again, I understand your situation, but perhaps re-visit what is required for your new field and what your new family needs to thrive.

3) Getting back to what I mentioned before about what are the needs in your area, have you given more thought as to what a "software engineer" means? When you're first starting out, it's okay to have a more general view of things and try to pick up as many skills/languages as you can. But at a certain point, many companies are going to be looking for a certain level of "expertise", and less of "I know some HTML, CSS, PHP, Python and I can do a little MySQL". They're going to be looking for how you can apply your skills to what they actually need. So, take a look at the software engineering firms in your area... what do they specialize in? Maybe it would help to look at the employment ads for some of the companies in your area and get a general idea for what kinds of expertise they're looking for. That way, you can tailor your education and certificates towards what will actually help you get hired at some of these companies. For example, you're not going to help yourself as much by getting a MCSE if most of the companies in your area use Unix-flavored infrastructure.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 10:15 AM   #3
mobilehaathi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jc0481 View Post
...I want to do it quickly...I need to do this in a hurry...What is the quickest...
Here is your first problem. I realize you're feeling a lot of pressure to earn some more cash right now: babies are expensive. And in the US, we're taught that anything we want should happen immediately and without much effort.

You need to focus and put energy into building some real knowledge and expertise, gaining a bit of experience, and fully understanding the direction you want to take.

Perhaps others can give you more practical advice.
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