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Career Change Path?

By newb13 ·
What is the fastest and simplest path to serve as a stepping stone into the tech field (mainly networking, security, programming and/or development) with a decent starting pay-scale (i.e. I can't afford to work as a just over minimum wage help desk tech)?

I am in an utterly different field with several years experience, but have grown to hate it and the path it leads to; however, have recently learned the joys of programming and the IT field. I have always been a bit of an IT geek I suppose all the way back to my days with a C64, but never pursued it. Now, what would be my best route to change to this/these field(s)? I have already begun learning Python and C++ and hope to begin learning networks as well, but don't know how to leap frog into an entirely different field without practical experience or an IT related degree.

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