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Need help with a possible career change

Zaichik

Prominent Member
For reasons which I won't go into here, I think I'm going to need to make a change in my career in the near future.

One of the options I am thinking about is moving into IT. I've always had a keen interest in technology and one of my A-Levels (back when PCs were just starting to replace BBC Micros in schools) was in computer science.

I guess the questions I have are: is it viable for a 48 year old to move into this field and, if so what (courses etc.) would I be best off doing to develop the skills that employers would be looking for and to gain experience?
 

Naaktgeboren

Distinguished Member
IT will be a tough transition, firms are looking for experience as opposed to qualifications. Hard to catch a break in the IT sector these days. If you can find someone to give you experience, qualifications in cloud engineering or vision engineering is where the money is and will be for a while.
 
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Egg White

Distinguished Member
yep, not worth going into IT as the market is saturated with young grads etc... plus, ageism exists very much in this field too :(
 
D

Deleted member 27989

Guest
I would say it could be possible, but totally depends on what you haven't shared and that is your experience and what you do.

IT is a very wide field covering many disciplines. Experience in other fields can sometimes be translated into IT very well, and sometimes not at all. For example at your age you may have very valuable domain knowledge of certain business areas, in order to pivot and have the emphasis on IT that could be possible. But then your domain knowledge needs to be strong.

So you need to be specific about where you have an interest, a lot has happened in computer science since the BBC Micros :)

Good luck!
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
I'd second what @Naaktgeboren has said but it also depends on what you mean about moving into IT.

For example it could range from

(1) setting up your own business to help local people with computer repairs, configurations, fault fixing
(2) doing the IT for a very small business - has a small need and not much to spend
(3) working in an IT team for a school or charity - has a resonable need but can't afford experienced skilled staff
(4) working in the IT department for a medium business or government office
(5) working in the IT department for a large business
(6) doing IT consulatancy

I'd say your chances decrease as you consider up from (1) to (6), probably not a chance at (5) and (6), unlikely at (4) but a reasonable chance below that.

What sort of income would you need?

Cheers,

Nigel
 

BB3Lions

Distinguished Member
Today is blue Monday, worst day of the year apparently.

From talking with associates across many fields, buts specifically retail, hospitality, IT, it's a common thought when we get to this age, such as did we choose the right career etc

I wish I'd done mental health or child care/NHS but it's too late now, I'm still looking for that right role, insofar as personal growth.

Maybe you can look into your current role & look for a company that offers what you crave?
 

RicksonGracie1972

Distinguished Member
I'm 46 and have no idea what I want to do when I grow up :(
Good luck to the op in changing careers
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
What do you do at the minute?
 

sergiup

Distinguished Member
As above - what kind of experience do you already have?
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I work in IT... sort of!!

My job title is Head of Technology, but basically I manage a team of 17 developers and am the product owner for a work planning app that is used by large warehouses to plan their full time and agency labour.

I have zero IT qualifications. My background was in large scale production touring as a sound and video engineer, so I am technically competent and have an analytical mind. I do have health and safety qualifications and in the first few months of the role, learn't a lot about the industry and the technical jargon needed to speak to the developers.

What I am saying is that don't just think of IT as basic office systems and networks. That's a small and quite specialised area. IOT, web, Apps, AI, VR, AR etc. all need both the developers to write the code and more importantly, the visionaries to think up the use cases in the first place. Being a product owner means you need to be a subject matter expert on the use of the app and you don't really need to know that much about what makes it work. I employ an ex-agency contract manager as my implementation manager, as he knows the industry very well, but could not tell you the first thing about the code that makes the product work. Maybe you could use your current skills in this way to slide in through the back door into the industry?
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
Agreed.
It seems you want to move quite a way from where you are now but I do have a suggestion.
Look at possibilities that can use some things from your current role while being closer to what you want.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
I’ve done lists before why you shouldn’t go into IT.

Can’t seem to find it at the moment.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
You turn into the BOFH?
Families, friends and complete strangers expect you to fix their computers?
Think up an obscure job title and spout complete b**locks about what you do.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
You turn into the BOFH?
Families, friends and complete strangers expect you to fix their computers?
Think up an obscure job title and spout complete b**locks about what you do.

Pretty much.

You become IT support for friends and family. Sure, i’ll spend 3 hours trying to recover your laptop data cos you couldn’t be bothered to install / update anti-virus software.
Zero appreciation for anything, even when you drop what you’re doing to assist.
You’re seen as an “expense” to the company because you bring no cash into the revenue stream.
You can’t enjoy any downtime as people always want advice on their crap wi-fi / sluggish laptop / PC upgrade.
And because you work in IT that means you know everything about gadgets in general.
Other managers will think you are a geek and as such have no friends or social life so will be available for any urgent work.
Non-IT people give you funny looks when you tell them you don’t watch Star Wars, play COD and instead are into martial arts, go karting and driving.
 

TylerDurden

Prominent Member
yep, not worth going into IT as the market is saturated with young grads etc... plus, ageism exists very much in this field too :(

I've just turned 50 and have worked in IT as a developer for over 20 years. I'm finding it increasing tedious / difficult to keep my skill set current, I just dont have the drive that the younger devs / grads have. When I get home from work I want to spend time with my wife / daughter / walk the dogs, etc, instead of studying for MS certs.

I'd love to jack it in and do something else, but my wife doesn't earn enough for me to be able to do that.
 
D

Deleted member 27989

Guest
I've just turned 50 and have worked in IT as a developer for over 20 years. I'm finding it increasing tedious / difficult to keep my skill set current, I just dont have the drive that the younger devs / grads have. When I get home from work I want to spend time with my wife / daughter / walk the dogs, etc, instead of studying for MS certs.

I'd love to jack it in and do something else, but my wife doesn't earn enough for me to be able to do that.
MS Certs does anyone still use those :D:p

Sorry I couldn't resist....

Studying after the day job is not always good indeed, definitely need to do something else after a focussed day.
 

The Dude

Distinguished Member
One of the options I am thinking about is moving into IT.

That would be an OK statement coming from somebody much younger, but if that's 'all you've got' aged 48 i'd suggest you'd find trying to break into the IT world much too hard/boring.

Do you actually want to work in IT?


If IT is what you want to do, what is 'IT' in your eyes?

Are we talking PC support? Programming? Website Design? Project Management?

:)
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
And how good are you at putting up with idiots?
This is a serious consideration if you get involved with support as so many users assume it's magic.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
And how good are you at putting up with idiots?
This is a serious consideration if you get involved with support as so many users assume it's magic.

Oh yeah. I can’t deal with “users” these days. I just can’t. Even the most simple of requests results in brain ache.

Some choice examples......
Hi, can i have the server serial number please?
It doesn’t have one.
Ok, what model server is it?
Rectangular
Ok, they’re all rectangular, i’m going to need some more information.
Ok, it’s beige

Woman spills coffee / tea into her laptop and instead of powering it off, mashes a bunch of kitchen towel into the keyboard.........deleting all her email.

Woman complains keyboard doesn’t work, screen dead and it just beeps. Usually constantly beeping means duff RAM. Not this time. Corner of handbag was sat on the Esc key.

Woman wants a restore done. But doesn’t know the document name nor the folder it was in.

And the favourite generic issue; user logs call for an urgent issue. Naturally information is sparse so you ring the user back but, either.....

The user has finished for the day and not bad for a few days
The user is too busy to talk to you
The user logged the call for somebody else
 

MarkyPancake

Distinguished Member
Oh yeah. I can’t deal with “users” these days. I just can’t. Even the most simple of requests results in brain ache.

A favourite of mine is when they're having issues with a site or page, but don't bother to include the link or any hint on how to find the site/page in the fault notes. :thumbsup:
 

RicksonGracie1972

Distinguished Member
I was thinking of getting a job in IT desktop support. I already know how to fix 95% of all IT issues. Just turn the PC off and on.;)
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Oh yeah. I can’t deal with “users” these days. I just can’t. Even the most simple of requests results in brain ache.

Some choice examples......
Hi, can i have the server serial number please?
It doesn’t have one.
Ok, what model server is it?
Rectangular
Ok, they’re all rectangular, i’m going to need some more information.
Ok, it’s beige

Woman spills coffee / tea into her laptop and instead of powering it off, mashes a bunch of kitchen towel into the keyboard.........deleting all her email.

Woman complains keyboard doesn’t work, screen dead and it just beeps. Usually constantly beeping means duff RAM. Not this time. Corner of handbag was sat on the Esc key.

Woman wants a restore done. But doesn’t know the document name nor the folder it was in.

And the favourite generic issue; user logs call for an urgent issue. Naturally information is sparse so you ring the user back but, either.....

The user has finished for the day and not bad for a few days
The user is too busy to talk to you
The user logged the call for somebody else

On the flip side, I find it difficult to deal with IT Support these days. Oh what joy it would be to speak to someone who would actually ask me technical questions.

Instead I have to deal with someone who walks through a script, who I suspect doesn't really understand what they are doing and eventually says "I've passed it onto desktop support, they will get back to you within the next two days".

And then of course no matter how much I explain "well I might be in a meeting or out of the office when they ring so please use my mobile number" and about three days later I get an email saying that my input is needed on the ticket which says "called customer's desk number, he did not answer, please advise how to proceed".

It's just one big game of running up to the SLA and then doing something deliberately stupid that will put the ball back in the customer's court and restart the clock.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
On the flip side, I find it difficult to deal with IT Support these days. Oh what joy it would be to speak to someone who would actually ask me technical questions.

Instead I have to deal with someone who walks through a script, who I suspect doesn't really understand what they are doing and eventually says "I've passed it onto desktop support, they will get back to you within the next two days".

And then of course no matter how much I explain "well I might be in a meeting or out of the office when they ring so please use my mobile number" and about three days later I get an email saying that my input is needed on the ticket which says "called customer's desk number, he did not answer, please advise how to proceed".

It's just one big game of running up to the SLA and then doing something deliberately stupid that will put the ball back in the customer's court and restart the clock.

Cheers,

Nigel

Ah, you’re talking about the 1st line support people. I think they share a brain cell and pass it round hourly.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Ah, you’re talking about the 1st line support people. I think they share a brain cell and pass it round hourly.

Unfortunately, when you work for a large company serviced by DXC they are the only ones you ever get to talk to.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

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