Re: Joining the Club
I would recommend looking around the area where you live (or want to live) at what jobs are available. Visual C++, Visual Studio... all that stuff is great... Unless of course you live in an area like I do where most shops are Java based and then it ends up being a complete waste of time and money.
Another thing you can do: go to the web sites of universities or tech colleges. Many have a list of programs they offer and then list all the classes that you would take to get a degree in that program. Some even have on-line book stores and tell you the book you would use for the specified classes.
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