There is a lot of good advice in these postings. This is a hard market to make a change in. Moving from your previous background to IT was not an overnight decision. It shows that you evaluated where you were, and where you want to be. That shows that you can make tough decisions. You can play on that because in IT, you have to make tough decisions based on time, priorities and resources. Your otherwise lack of technical "on-the-job" skills, or proficiency is what they are questioning. Find a way to get some "hands-on" time and take that argument away from them. Play up your sound judgement, your willingness to change things for the better will put a positive spin on things.
I too made a similar change in 91, stepping out from Telco into WAN/LAN. I went to night school at UW-Milw. for a start. You may want to Google for clubs, organization local to you that can help you along the way. You have to cast a wide net to catch the right position when making the change. Good Luck to you!
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