Hello everyone I am new to your forum. I admittedly know nothing about programming but have some serious questions for anyone whom is willing to help me. First I am 30 years old and want to change professions. I have been a police officer for 7 years, a paramedic before that and worked in the automotive industry self employed since I was in high school. I did not receive a college education and feel I am paying the price for my choices. I have always loved computers since I was a child and got my first commodore 64. Since I really don't know anything about programming I don't feel I have a firm grasp on what a professional programmer does. I have an image in my mind of creating programs and would love to do this. I recently began researching different schools and have come across widely different recommendations. First I called my local college which has been recognized for its rich science programs; A 4 year bachelors degree in computer science. second a technical school which boasts a associates degree in computer programming. Lastly an institution called Tech Skills. This Tech Skills insists that you not only do not need a degree to have a successful career in computer programming but if you do receive a degree without receiving certification you will actually be further behind. I really want to be involved and then ultimately design programs on my own for the macs. Lastly I need to be able to make a decent salary 60-80k annual. I am not looking to shortcut an education so honest answers are greatly appreciated.