IF you want to learn how to mig weld carbon steel, you are going to need some basic equipment.
For starters you will need:
Basic Safety information ( here is a free safety download from the american welding society)
Most of the steel we see every day is low carbon steel and can readily be welded.
But there are other grades of steel like coil springs or leaf springs on cars that are made from high carbon steel and shouldn't be welded.
No need to go much deeper than that here but if you want to learn more about metals and how to weld them, here is a page on that.
Since you need a good mig welder in order to learn how to mig weld, here are a few good options for beginners.
Miller makes really good machines and the one I have enjoyed the most is the multimatic 220 ac dc (that also is a good tig welder.). its pricey for a beginner but a great machine.
The Lincoln 210 mp is also a nice welder for beginners and it also stick welds and does scratch start tig. The latest version of the 210mp is the 215mpi. I have not had a chance to try the 215mpi yet but I really like my 210mp.
The machine that has really impressed me lately is the PrimeWeld mig180.
The mig 180 is very affordable and would make a great entry level mig welder for anyone learning how to mig weld.
I will be trying out a few other more powerful primeweld machines soon but the mig 180 is the most affordable and has been working great. ( I have mostly used in on 115volt so far using a 20 amp circuit).