I'm interested in changing careers from the food industry to web development or something dealing with mobile app development. I don't have any college under my belt. I'd like to get into an entry level position then work from there at building my experience/education. Would the best route be some sort of trade/certificate program or are those a waste of time?
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I think if you're going for app development or web development, a certificate program or such won't be of much help. A college degree is nice, but I think the most important thing is to just make something. There are plenty of resources online (I could point you to a few if you wanted more specifics) and having a completed mobile app or web app to show to a prospective employer goes a long way...probably even more than the degree.
When I look to hire, I typically look for someone who either has a degree or is working towards one. I wouldn't necessarily say trade programs are a waste of time, some trade programs are linked to businesses and can help you land your first job. If you are considering that route, I would check with their rep to see what they can offer once you obtain a certificate.
You could get some exposure by creating a few mobile applications on your own and include that on your resume.
Hope that helps.