Moderator, IT Pro Team
Certification and Career Expert
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: near Nashville, TN
OS: Windows 7, and I won't be upgrading to Windows 10!
We can't decide for you what path to take. There are quite a few available. To be a programmer, learn to program (however you want to learn - from books, from a class, however). To be a web designer, learn how to design webpages. To be a computer tech, learn how to be a tech, and take entry-level certifications such as the A+, Network+, and Windows client certifications. None of these paths require a degree or a formal course.
The others are right about having to start out at the bottom. This is the primary obstacle to career changers. Many people mistakenly assume that they can jump into IT making close to what they are making in their current job. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case. But take heart - although you will start out at the bottom, you won't be there forever. Pay increases will come with experience, either through promotions or by changing employers.
Regarding the $100,000 salary requirement... although you can make a good living in IT, you've got to be either particularly gifted or particularly lucky to make that kind of money after 10 years. I've been in IT for about 17 years, and I know many more techs who make under $100,000 than over it.
Working from home is another catch. Although remote support options have indeed increased these kind of job opportunities, they are rarely given to those who don't have much experience... and only occasionally to those who do. I have to deal with an hour-long commute each way every day.
So... if you're getting into IT for the money or for the work-from-home possibilities, I would recommend that you carefully consider whether IT is what you want to be doing. However, if you're getting into IT because you enjoy it, it can be a very rewarding, interesting, and financially stable career field.
BosonMichael / Senior Content Developer, Boson Software
CISSP, CEH, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
Served proudly, US Army, 98C Intelligence Analyst, '89-'92