I got a BS in CS back in 1987 with a specialty of IBM mainframe and Cobol/Assembler.
I spent 15+ years as a Cobol programmer, know it like the back of my hand.
I always hated the Cobol language, felt it just was too crippled or limiting, and I dread the idea of ever going back to it.
I also haven't been working as a programmer since October 2004.
I learned some java at that job but never got past the 3rd day of a 5 day corporate class.
I've written tons of java code at home, but never did any windows or internet programming. I'd really like to do some windows or internet coding.
I'm a person who is really good at programming, and really good at learning new things. I love object oriented programming, it just seems beautiful to me (in reverse to how Cobol was so ugly).
SO - the question is - How do I reinvent myself as a Java programmer? Do I take classes at a company or community college and get some certification? Do I get a masters degree and focus on java?
I'd really like to do it in an inexpensive way. I am broke and will be tapping my Mom's retirement money to fund this education, so I really don't want to have to take too long to pay her back. So even if the Masters is the best, if community college is good enough I might prefer to go that route.
I'm in located in the NW suburbs of Chicago. I'm a female and 45 years old.
I really sincerely appreciate your help.