Technology is redefining the world in multiple ways. It has changed the way companies do their business. It has also created a level playing field for individuals and professionals. That means anyone who is willing to work hard can earn decent money and start their own business.
Gone are the days, when you had to contact your friends, relatives or politicians to help you get a good job. You can learn any programming language and develop a sound career in IT sector. You don’t need to have a particular background in technology, science or Mathematics to become a programmer. Even if you have done simple graduation like BA, BBA or B.Com, you can become an IT programmer.
Let me tell you one thing – You can become an expert programmer and build a successful career in computer programming; irrespective of your age, gender, or educational background.
Learning computer programming is like learning any other language; you simply need to improve your vocabulary, learn grammar and practice it as much as possible to become an expert. To develop a career in computer programming, you need to learn any one programming language and practice it extensively to become an expert.
Moreover, if you don’t have a proper education background or can’t get a job in the good organization, you can work as a freelancer or start your own IT business and make a lot of money. In fact, many IT professionals leave their well-established jobs in MNCs to start their business in Information Technology.
Let me tell you a step by step process to develop a career in computer programming
Learn A Programming Language
The first step is to learn a programming language. The selection of a particular programming language may be little difficult especially if you are new to this field (I will write an another blog on this topic later). However, you can choose a language based on what kind of software or application you want to develop. For instance, you can learn android programming to develop Android Mobile Apps, PHP to develop websites or Java to develop enterprise software and web applications.
These are just examples; there are hundreds of programming languages used for various purposes. You can use any programming language to develop multiple types of software. For example, using PHP, you can develop websites as well as enterprise software. Similarly, you can use Java to develop a range of software including website, enterprise software, mobile and web apps, etc.
As a beginner, you should learn a language which is easy to learn and high in demand.
Join an Online Course
I am a big fan of online IT courses as you have the liberty to study as per your convenience. Moreover, an online course is affordable as compared to even the cheapest offline training courses which are provided by unqualified local tutors.
However, if you are genuinely interested in learning a programming language, then join a comprehensive paid course with advanced modules. For advanced languages such as Java SE8 training or even for Linux Training, you should join a high-quality online training service provider.
You should get certified by a relevant authority of the subject. Although the role of IT certifications in the success of IT professionals has been debated for long, I always recommend appropriate certifications as it can differentiate you from others. IT certifications also enhances your credibility from the perspective of employers. You should keep upgrading your skills and certifications to make it relevant for the changing times.
Work as a Freelancer
Work as a freelancer to gain some practical exposure. You can start your freelancing career by joining online freelancing marketplaces such as Upwork, Guru, PPH or Freelancer. You might have to struggle to get projects in the beginning. However, once you work on five to six projects, there will be no looking back. Established freelancers earn anything between INR 1-3 lakhs per month. However, most of the freelancers who work for 4-5 hours a day (in addition to a full-time job) can earn INR 50,000 per month or more solely through freelancing career.
Here is a comprehensive guide on how you can become a freelancer and make money online.
Join Corporate World
You can join corporate world and start an excellent career in computer programming. If you have no prior experience, you might have to start as an intern. Also, you have to start at an entry level job with a salary of anything between INR 6000-15,000 per month. However, as you gain expertise and experience, there will be no limit on how much you can earn. Many developers with two to three years of experience in India make anything between INR 25000-INR 100,000 per month. If you get offshore opportunities, your monthly salary may go up to INR 3-5 lakh per month. The idea is to start from somewhere and then continue learning new concepts to build innovative software solutions.
Start Your Own Business
Once you learn a computer programming language, you can start a business without any investment. Initially, you just need a computer and an internet connection to launch the business. Over time, you can hire more people and expand your business. The best way to start a business in IT is to work as a freelancer and understand the market conditions. In two to three years, you will earn and save decent money and also have enough expertise in sales, marketing, and other fields which will help you run your own business smoothly.
Work on Soft Skills
Advancements in technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, IoT (Internet of Things) and increased automation at the workplace is expected to kill many jobs, especially those which requires repetition of tasks. Thus, people need to work on their soft skills to stay relevant in the corporate sector. You need to go out of comfort zone to learn soft skills such as communication skills and negotiation skills, people skills, etc. to lead the change. You also need to work on your personality and networking skills to get connected with the right people. Without soft skills, you may not be able to develop a stable career or business in any field. Thus, it is crucial to learn soft skills to succeed in whatever you do.
If you want to develop your career in computer programming, be ready to work hard and face immense competition. Although every field is fiercely competitive, IT sector has to deal with global competition. That means a PHP developer in the USA competes directly or indirectly with the PHP developers from Kenya, South Africa, India or from any corner of the world. So you need to be expert in whatever you do to succeed. However, there is another reality. Despite a surge in the number of IT developers across the world, a programmer with even a modest skill set and commitment does very well. One strong reason for that is not all developers are employable or have the right skill set (technical or soft skills). Thus, the demand for quality developers has always exceeded the supply of high-quality software programmers.
So, if you can work hard and learn soft skills, you will end up becoming a successful global IT professional, with or without a degree.