There are many ways to get into the coffee profession, from roaster to coffee journalist (yes, that exists!) to green coffee buyer. But probably the most common is becoming a barista.
Of course, there was a time when getting a job in coffee was as easy as walking into a cafe, dropping off a resume, and giving a good smile. Oh how times have changed! Being a barista is no longer the thing you just do to get your way through college; it's a respected, full-time profession with passionate, smart, dedicated people.