With more and more of our lives influenced by social media, the Internet, smart phones, and other tech-related innovations, it makes sense that folks might want to see what they can do about getting in on the action, specifically when it comes to employment.
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Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just quitting your job and getting hired in a tech field. Prospective employers tend to be funny about that sort of thing; they want experience, and if not that, then at least some sort of tech degree.
You can get a degree online, if you know where to look
And therein lies the problem. If you don’t have the experience (and if you did, this whole hypothetical exercise would be rendered irrelevant), then you need the education. But you already have a job, and you just can’t quit it and go to school full-time. You have minor details like paying bills, housing, and eating to deal with. But it’s possible to keep your job and get a tech degree at the same time. And wouldn’t you know it; the means is brought to you by the very industry you want to get into!
No doubt you’ve seen commercials on tv or read the banner ads online, calling attention to various universities that offer online degrees. Rather than just dismiss them as yet more annoying advertising, this is the point where you start checking into them.
First of all, you need to decide what kind of tech degree you want. For instance:
More and more businesses are turning to e-commerce to sell their goods and services, and these companies need people to design their sites, whether it’s hiring people to design sites in house, or outsourcing it to freelancers. Web development can be further broken down into web design, front-end development, and database development.
Mobile devices are rising in number and influence in today’s market, and people who know how to design apps for them are in demand. With a degree in mobile development, you can design and program mobile applications, as well as learn market deployment.
With more businesses and residences relying on the Internet for their everyday activities, it’s more important than ever for there to be professionals who specialize in keeping that data secure. Getting a degree in information systems and cyber security is a good way to insinuate yourself into the front lines of the fight against computer piracy.
And even more.
There’s network administration, network design, software, and communications technology, to name just a few.
How To Start
Okay, so you know it’s possible to get a degree. What now? First of all, decide what field you want to go into. Research the schools online, find the ones that offer degrees in your field of interest, then vet the schools themselves and check things like accreditation, and whether they offer financial aid for online learning. Once you’re sure that the school is legit and offers you what you’re looking for, contact them directly and get a feel for what they want from you, what their policies and procedures are, etc. When you’re ready, fill out applications, pay the right fees, and see what happens.
There is a plethora of online universities out there, and many that offer a tech degree. You may have heard of some of them: Harvard and MIT, for example. Do your research, and watch out for sketchy places that will send you a diploma in exchange for you throwing a quantity of money at them. That sort of arrangement never works out well.
Bottom line, it’s never too late to consider a career change, and if education is a necessary piece of the puzzle, there are lots of online programs that let you earn your degree while still making a living.