Hello,

I just signed up here and am trying to get oriented in the best path for Java. I have several questions relating to the job field so any help people can offer would be greatly appreciated! I want to work as a Java developer and have a goal of making 6 figures (in Southern California) within 5 years. Please let me know how I should adjust my plans to make this possible.

My background: I graduated in Accounting actually and found that I didn't like it. When I started an MIS degree, my professors told me that it would not help me much to have that if I wanted to be developing so I dropped out. I was told that I should get some certifications and develop a portfolio, and that Java, SQL and C# are the best for business use. My plan was to also develop a portfolio and a website showcasing some freelance/personal work I have done in those and see if that can land me an entry-level or higher position as a Java developer. My portfolio would consist of Java EE, HTML/CSS, and maybe a little SQL and Javascript.

I was also considering a computer science degree but am currently lacking the money to do so. Is that a necessary step or do you think it's possible to get into the job market based solely on a portfolio/certs? I also may have the opportunity to do a tech support job in the next month. Do you think that would help my resume and overall outlook?

What other suggestions do you have for a floundering developer? I've heard websites like coursera, edx, and udacity are good to learn code but do you have any other suggestions? Thanks to any/all that take the time to read and respond to this thread. I'm just hoping to get a good start here and want to make sure the direction I choose is viable.