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Computing degree, Microsoft accreditation, self taught or nothing at all!

By dipesh.parmar ·
I am based in the UK, I want to start a new career in IT, at the age of 39! I used to code when i was a teenager, in Basic. Since then I embarked on a career as an artist, which is fantastic but doesnt pay the bills!

Anyway, I've always stuck at it with all things computing-related, and decided I need a new interest and career. Due to my 'advanced' age, i'm curious to know what people think might be the best route for me. Over the last year I've dipped my toes into Visual basic, .Net, Real Basic, Cocoa, web design languages like html, php, javascript, css etc, all to start to give me a grounding in software development, which is what I think i would like to do. The problem is the job market is very competitive, and I'm thinking about doing an IT Masters degree, as I already hold a degree (though in 3d Design).

I'm interested in the development side of IT, software and web development appeal, perhaps also using my creative skills somehow as well but not sure how? My question is this, should I do a degree, get some Microsoft accredited qualifications, or continue to go down the self-taught route, take the odd accredited course and build up this way? I'm siding with the Ma degree at the moment, as it gives me a good general overview in IT, can help me make my mind up as to which field within IT would interest me, and gives me a better chance due its higher qualification.

I'm very serious about starting this new career, but I have reservations due to my age and also which 'course' to follow if any? I'm also worried that the IT job market is too competitive and anything i try as far as learning would be futile as job experience is king and i dont have any? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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