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+ - Career change into programming or IT?

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An anonymous reader writes: How viable is a career change into software engineering or IT later in life? I've been something of a hobbyist most of my life and have started to wonder if I should jump in as a new career. I'm getting close to 40 and have a bachelors degree in physics. I only make about $50K a year, and in my industry now I will cap out at $55K to $60K.

What would be the best approach to making the switch? I only have a couple of CS classes as most of the stuff I have learned was on my own, so should I take some more classes? How about programming certs, do they help at all? What's the best way to get my foot in the door.
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Career change into programming or IT?

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