If I would start over, I would probably focus the first 5-6 years on acquiring breadth of knowledge and then select whatever I liked the most:
- back-end development
- front-end development
- data analyst/engineering/science/big data
Hi Tyra, you'll want to enroll in a college that provides a major in Math or Computer Science. These are the usual two "gateway paths" leading to computer programming careers. Others may include Engineering, Business, Finance/Economics, and Science majors, too.
You can start with a good community college with a strong IT department. I would look at an Information Systems major. Do you know what industry or business are you'd like to work?
Some of the smartest and most successful IT people I know and work with have little college. Find a good tech school and look for apprentice positions or intern jobs where you can learn on the job and with a mentor.
A survey published in 2016 reports the vast majority of programmers are self-taught. The report concludes:
According to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, only 1 in 10 schools nationwide currently are teaching computer science classes. If developers aren’t being presented the opportunity to study computer science during their school years, they’re going to have to find alternate ways to learn to code. This helps to explain why so many developers are learning to code in non-traditional ways (aka not through earning a BS in Computer Science).
How do they learn?
- They read popular programming blogs, like Joel on Software and Coding Horror.
- They learn through free online resources, such as Code Academy and Bento.
- They participate in online coding communities, like Stack Overflow.
- They watch video coding tutorials.
- They read programming books.
- They build their own websites, apps, or another project to practice their coding.
- They join local meetups, hackathons, or educational groups to code with their peers and mentors.
Read more at https://www.stackoverflowbusiness.com/blog/how-todays-developers-are-learning-to-code