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Due to circumstances outside of my control, I might have to take a gap year from my computer science course at university. The trouble is that due to other circumstances, for example, living in the middle of nowhere, and even entry-level programming jobs requiring a completed degree, there's a realistically zero prospect of getting a job in this period.

What else can I do to significantly progress my career or education in this time frame?

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closed as off topic by Walter, Glenn Nelson, Dynamic, Jimmy Hoffa, Robert Harvey Jan 3 '13 at 0:09

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Not an appropriate question for this forum –  Ryan Aug 5 '12 at 6:01

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Join an open source project that deals with something you are interested in.

You will learn how to produce software in the real world and be able to point to it in your CV.

The more ambitious the project the more you will learn from it - the linux kernel is probably one that will advance both your education and career.

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"Living in the middle of nowhere" is not a problem anymore as long as you have a decent internet connection. Consider getting work from any of the many freelance sites: elance.com, vworker.com, freelancer.com, odesk.com and others.

I have been getting steady work off of vworker lately.

They usually don't pay as well as on-site work, but you can work when you want where you want and gain experience that can be included in your resume.

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With discipline, You can take a course or two independently. Just find any course syllabus and use that to make a schedule, etc.

You can work remotely with the net. If you are a good web programmer you can even make money that way.

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