Is it smart to buy a house and rent it out?

I am 20 yrs old and I always thought it would be a good idea to buy a house, especially around a college, and rent it out. I would think by the time I am 40 or earlier I would be able to profit a lot of that money and live more comfortably.
Is it a good idea to get into?
What are the steps I should take to do this?
Any advice or opinions would be appreciated, thanks!

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