If you are sitting there right now thinking, “I wish I had a job” or even “I wish I had a job that pays $75,000+ a year” then listen up.

What if I told you that a corporate recruiter from a $10 billion dollar publicly traded company contacted me about a job simply because I had expressed interest in learning a particular skill? Check out this email:

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Last year I was looking for a promotion at work and I wanted to get into the mobile development space because I knew it was booming. Unfortunately I didn’t have any experience there. I joined Meetup groups in my area to try to learn more about it, but then found a new job in a different department and stopped my quest for mobile development knowledge.

However, my Meetup account is still active and this was in my profile:

I am very new to android development. I just downloaded the SDK a few days ago and walked through a tutorial to put an app on my ASUS Transformer Prime. I want to learn more about android development…

If you aren’t a technical person, those three sentences mean I know next to nothing about android programming. If there were an android development class at a college, I’d be on the first or second day of class.

And yet, a recruiter from a $10 billion company saw that bio and contacted me about a job. How crazy is that!?

The Opportunity in Mobile Development is Ridiculous

There are people with bachelor’s or master’s degrees and years of relevant work experience in different fields, and they might struggle to even get a recruiter to call them back after submitting their resume.

In the mobile development area, simply stating that you have done a web tutorial on the topic and want to learn more gets a recruiter contacting you!

So now that it’s clear being a mobile developer is basically a guarantee of a job, how do you actually learn to be a mobile developer?

Learning to be a Mobile Developer is Fast and Cheap!

The nice thing about mobile development is that it’s very new. Very few colleges even offer courses in mobile development, much less a whole degree program for it. Yes a computer science degree will help, but isn’t necessary to be a mobile developer.

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photo credit: ashkyd

If you want to be a mobile developer, many high paying jobs will probably just require you to know how to program on mobile platforms. Some may want a college degree as well, but I find it hard to believe many companies would pass on a skilled mobile developer because they don’t have a college degree.

So you probably don’t need a degree, but you will definitely need skills. Where can you learn such a specialized skill? On the internet of course. Here are a few websites where you can learn on your own.

Team Treehouse – I saw an ad for this website on a youtube video and decided to give it a try. Holy crap, this thing was the best tutorial I’ve seen for a beginning mobile developer! I do know some programming, but I’m pretty sure anyone could make it through these courses no matter what their background. You can try it out free, and if you like what you see it will cost $25 a month to get access to everything. They also have a 30 day money back guarantee.

Udemy – I used Udemy to learn some javascript and php, and I really like the courses from Mark Lassoff. They were good for a beginner like me, and I was able to follow along and see exactly what he was doing. These are great because once you buy the class, you have it forever (instead of a monthly subscription). You can learn Android and iOS here, as well as just about anything else you might want.

Mark Lassoff has an Android course for beginners for $99. There are also cheaper options such as Android App Development by Example for only $29, but I’ve never used that instructor so I don’t know if it’s good or not.

I’m sure there are plenty of other websites where you can learn to program. Just make sure you learn as much as possible and start coming up with ideas for apps. One or two internet courses isn’t going to make you an expert. But if you spend 3-6 months really studying hard and building apps then I think you have a shot at a job.

You may not have a computer science degree, but if you go into an interview and tell your interviewer to whip out their smartphone and download your app, that just might get you the job.

Maintain a Portfolio

If you want to become a mobile developer, you should maintain a profile of everything you have created. Get your apps out in the marketplace when they are nice and polished. It doesn’t matter if you make money from them; it just matters that they work, they look nice, and people can find them.

Try to build a few apps that do completely different things. If you build one maze game, another puzzle game, and a third word search game, that’s not going to impress corporate recruiters much unless they want a game developer. Build a game, a shopping list, and a news reader app. You will learn much more, and it will show potential employers that you have a diverse skillset.

A High Paying Job is There for the Taking

How many times in your life are you going to come across an opportunity to get a high paying job without even needing a college degree? Probably not many.

Five years from now the market will be flooded with college grads that have “Mobile App Development” degrees. Eventually it will become like many other jobs where there are tons of qualified applicants and you will need education, experience, and serious skills to get a great job.

This is an opportunity of a lifetime for anyone who is sick of making $35,000 a year. You could easily double that as a good mobile developer.

Readers: What’s stopping you from learning a new skill (not necessarily mobile development) and earning more money?