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I've been daydreaming recently about escaping the web / app development field as it just isn't appealing to me. I've been interested in other subfields for years, but it seems that web development is the only real accessible field for people without a formal education. Recently, I've been looking at various things like FPGA development, etc., and I understand if I wanted to get into, I pretty much have to go back for at least a bachelors and likely a masters, but I don't understand is how you actually land a job.

Doing application development was easy. There are a number of entry level or junior web / mobile / etc app development jobs, and I was even able to help make up for some things with th fact that I had done freelance / hobbyist work for a couple years.

But I look at jobs in more niche fields and I see very few entry level jobs, most wanting experience with the relate tech. There isn't really going to be a freelance market for a lot of this stuff nor really an accessibility for hobbyists (or if there is, it seems that you aren't going to get the same type of exposure as working with said tech professionally)

Is it all about connections? Do you have to know numerous people in these fields before you can even consider working in them? I'm a bit lost as of right now as to how to escape spending the next x decades doing something I'm not very enthusiastic about.