and they are “recession proof” to boot.
I started out, while I was in high school, helping a neighbor get names and address out of a database an printed out on pieces of direct mail, like a mail merge in a word processor. By doing this, I also had to grunt my way through learning some basic Xenix commands (a Unix variant, and Linux hadn’t been created yet), connecting computers to printers, networking commands, hardware upgrades, etc. The mid to late 1980’s was the Wild West of Personal Computing.
His kids were all off to college and couldn’t be bothered to help their Dad anymore.
This guy thought I was a complete hack. Dumb kid from across the street. Cheap labor.Whatever, I was making some decent spending money for a high school kid.
This was awesome experience.
It planted the seed that sprouted into a multi-million dollar career.
There was a time in the 2004-2010 range where having a college degree was critical to getting hired as a programmer, specifically in the Washington, D.C. area where I live. Any number of reasons for this, but in this area the primary one is that to work for the Government, or as a contractor, they want you to have a degree.
I eventually went to college because I got tired of swimming upstream in the local market. I’m not saying college isn’t valuable (it’s a ticket that prevents anyone from denying you a job based on not having one), I’m saying that you don’t need a college degree to get a killer job in the IT field.
The “2020 HackerRank Developer Skills Report” (found at https://research.hackerrank.com/developer-skills/2020) has some great information on this topic. You can get a killer job in the field without a college degree.
Cloud computing, DevOps engineering, cyber security, web development, network management, and data center operations. They are all wide open fields with huge labor shortages.