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Is there life after IT?

By Lumbergh77 ·
I have a bachelor's in computers and have been programming and working with databases for nearly 10 years. While I am content at this point, I can't see myself coding for the next 40 years. I feel like I'm starting to burn out and not really excited about CONSTANTLY learning new programming terminology like I used to be. They pay is decent but not great, and it seems there are easier ways to earn the same amount. Also, I'd like to have a life outside of work someday. It seems almost impossible in this field with the long hours and constant study. Programming is a lonely gig and I'd like a little more people contact.

So I'm looking for a possible career change. I would be willing to go back to school. I've considered an MBA but they seem to be a dime a dozen these days. I've also considered a masters in psychology because it is an interesting subject IMO. However, I'm not sure how well I could utilize my IT skills in that field. So my questions are: 1) What is a good degree to pair with an IT degree? What field(s) are good for those with an IT background? I'm looking for a field with some longetivity. 2) Have you or do you know anyone else who has successfully transitioned from a career in IT and how they did it?

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Just the reason

by NOW LEFT TR In reply to Is there life after IT?

I did not go in to programming in the first place....happy with system design and management. Meet peeople & interact all day.

So why not try a different IT area instead?

Failing that you can never go wrong with Law these days.

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Why not move backwards of my path

by deskanthony In reply to Just the reason

I started with Chemical Engineering project management, as i was graduated ChemEng about 18 years ago. Then, for the subsequent 7 years, i switched to Production Management (so I needed Management Skills), you know dealing with people, planning of raw materials, meeting/presenting ideas, finance numbers/office politics (that i hated).....etc. I was the youngest Director amongst company Dir's at age of 30's. Not by coincidence, i got my MBA by distance learning during that time, and married with small small kid. Then, i shifted whole family to other country nearby Singapore (migrated rather...), started still with Ops.Management (the easiest), then felt bored so i took quality management's role (ie. systems, compliances, audit etc., became the best'advisor' of the Ops.team)and stayed for about 6 years. Not a coincidence, i worked in an Australian's company for about 3 years, learnt of OZ's culture and kept my eyes open of this great 'lay-back' country, and prepare to say 'goodbye' to one of the most competitive country int he world.


As Ops. is closed to Planning (ie. the same 'ops. supports area' as quality) i took 'Planning' role, managing about 2000 manufactured 'fast moving goods' products with stress/sweats/...and semi dealing with suppliers/stocks/etc....here, i did a tremendous data crunching and moderate 'negotiation skills'. Beleive it or not, i did this role in one of Australia's company.

Now i can see i'm moving towards IT, as now i'm the business systems and quality manager of a construction company..(so i learn and set up company database (using access & sql)/flowcharting (processes) part of workInstructions /networks (IT administration) such as intranet & internet accessibility of my depots within our state-wise depots as part of so called 'systems'. We are about to implement application systems such as SAP, so now i'm learning about this system, so excited about how the IT can help company operations...beleive it or not, next year i think i think i'm moving towards 'Project Management' as my contruction company seems need a good project manager (so i'll learn- project management software such as MicrosoftProject/ Autocads....starting next month)...wow- life seems very exciting to me...but still i'm a dust in the middle of an ocean, part of our 'earth' that i used to dream to own when i was 5 years old'....One say once i'm a granpa..i should be able to tell my grandson/daughter of 'excitements' along the paths i took in many different countries/different companies/with different people...

I'm considering USA of my next destiny- if only if God supports us...

So, the above is some 'small' paths you could try....

JA- an indonesian now in WA,OZ

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New Horizons

by harold-brown In reply to Just the reason

I was a consultant to a telecom advising on technology for digital cable rollouts. After the age of 70 years I could not get work in this area, so I used the info, which was still being emailed to me daily, to start the Digital Technology Group which is now 6 years old.

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go with what you like

by bigbigboss In reply to Is there life after IT?

There is life after IT. You can count on it. You will find something worthwhile for you to do, in IT or out.

There are many areas in IT besides programming and database. Education, management, consulting, law, security, privacy, system design, architecture, networks, etc. And there is a whole new world of other fields, like business, law, psychology, medicine, engineering. I know a lot of good lawyers and doctors who used to be programmers. There are many successful managers and CEO's who used to be programmers too. Bill Gate was a programmer once, before he bought DOS.

So, first rule: Know what you like to do. Don't rule them out because you don't know of any link to IT. You may find these links when you know more about it. Take marine biology. No apparent link to IT, right ? Nah... You need GPS and GIS to track those stupid whales... And analizing the skull structure of whales in association with thier vocal and sonar ability needs scanning and digitizing and image data management. Analysing the data about skull structures needs a lot of statistical computing too. It's more like a statistical computing job than anything else.

One of my earliest assignment in IT was to come up with a portable system a disabled lawyer can go to court with, keeping track of all the evidence and arguments. That was in mid 80's, before all the new case management systems were even conceived.

Only 29 percent of US medical doctors are using computers in keeping their patient records and receiving alerts. That is a great opportunity for a computer literate medical doctor or psychologist.

There are many ways you can us IT in all fields. You just have to pick the one that interests you - so that you can put in the hardwork and still remain excited - and forget about IT for a while until it dawns on you what you can do with IT.

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Plenty of opportunities, and ways to leverage your current skills

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Is there life after IT?

Your degree shows that you know how to study, and how to learn. Your programing skills shows that you know how to put things in order, and make sure they're correct, and attention to detail.

Combine an MBA with what you have and you'd probably be looking at an IT management job. But you could probably do better at moving away from IT, by getting some recognised training in project management, and move over into managing projects, initially IT projects and then anything else. I know a few programmers who did this quite successfully.

I also know a lot who move over into being office middle managers. It's mainly a matter of applying yourself, and NOT expecting to start new the top when you swicth. You shouldn't need to start at the bottom either.

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Be ready to walk away from IT

by bschaettle In reply to Is there life after IT?

RE: "I'm not sure how well I could utilize my IT skills in that field."

So what? You just got done saying you're sick of programming, and you're ready for a change, so be prepared to walk away from it. Another poster put it well: ten years in IT shows that you have excellent analytical and organizational skills that will translate well into other areas where you'll have more interaction with people.

Are you working for a company that's primarily in the IT area, or is IT just an ancillary function at your company? If so, have you developed relationships with staff outside of IT? Take them to lunch and talk to them about their department, the work they do, and the steps you might need to take to be considered for a position in their department. My wife did this twenty years ago and her career really took off when she left IT and joined an operations group. FWIW, she has an MBA with an emphasis in Information Systems.

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This is interesting

by dcmjoker In reply to Be ready to walk away fro ...

I'm considering going into college for IT areas and solutions. Currently, I'm a student in Telecommunications and Web Design, I grew up hacking and doing graphics and little programing [mostly dead languages]

And you kind of sparked a question I can't answer

Will I be satisfied with doing this for the rest of my life?

Because I planned on devoting at least 6 years of college to learning every aspect Computers in general and now I'm wondering if it will just lead me to a life of frustration and solidarity

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Try Medicine instead -- it's easier

by bschaettle In reply to This is interesting

For the effort you'll put in over your lifetime constantly retraining in the IT field, you could easily become an MD and have much better employment prospects.

Also, your boss will never call a meeting to tell you that a month from now all your patients will be switched over to WinBlood version 6.2 (the one where they've dropped support for hemoglobin) so you've got 4 whole weeks to learn about it in your spare time....

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A few things to consider

by Lost_in_NY In reply to Try Medicine instead -- i ...

Lots of good advice from the previous posters in this thread. My husband is a clinical psychologist and if you're considering that area then keep in mind that you've got to have a PhD in it for most positions. A friend in industrial/organizational psych does very well with a Masters in the subject.

If having a life outside work/study is a top priority to you, then think long and hard before opting for med school. And law (at least as I personally know it to be in large firms) is driven by 'billable hours'...and lots of them are expected to be well rated.

My advice - consider carefully what's most important to you in life and seek to truly understand what you greatest strenths and talents are and you will make the right choice. Be sure to discuss this with those who know you best since they often see things you might miss.

A few more thoughts if you are people-oriented and want to avoid OT then the HR/Benefits area seems worth checking out. Project Management generally leaves enough time for a life - be sure to pursue PMI cert for the the best pay in this field.

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Question about gettng a position in PM

by russdwright In reply to A few things to consider

<i>Project Management generally leaves enough time for a life - be sure to pursue PMI cert for the the best pay in this field.</i>
I am a soon-to-be MBA and will be pursuing my CAPM from PMI shortly thereafter, as Project Management is one of two fields that really grabbed my attention (the other being DBA).

I am wondering how you can get into PM if you are just starting out.

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