Questions

Any chance at pursuing a career in IT at 35?

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Any chance at pursuing a career in IT at 35?

OU812!
I am 35, almost 36 and took the time off of work (the only jobs I were getting were very low level admin stuff - office work) to get my BS in Computer Networking and Security. I am still a full-time student and should be done in about a year. Most of my IT experience is in sales support, customer support and roles that are sort of low level - more on the business side of IT.

I feel as if I am running out of time or have "missed my window" even though I am almost finished my degree and hold a CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, MCP, and MCDST.

Has anyone experienced the same feeling? Is my future as a high-level engineering not so bright? Should I focus more in the business aspects of IT? The only other field I am interested in is Law and have placed top of my class in every law class I have taken.

I know there are so many roles out there in IT but just can't seem to grasp what may a good fit for me.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks TR fans.
  • +
    0 Votes
    dezrtluver

    Yes, a career in IT is extremely rewarding and there are truly no limits on age, I've been in IT for almost 20 years and after working on a long-term project, I sometimes feel like I've missed the window. Windows are always short and the window today will be different from the window a year from now. Its all about keeping your skill set up at all times. What you know this year can be obsolete a year from now.
    Ken, CEO, Mind Chemistry

    +
    1 Votes
    monsurqa

    Hi,
    I am in my late 40s and I have same feelings of "as if I am running out of " my career path.
    So I have decided to change my focus to management perspective.
    I have earned an MBA degree and some certifications on ISO 20000, 27000 etc.
    Those help me to revive my career path.

    Thanks and regards,
    Monsur

    +
    1 Votes
    Pete6677

    It is definitely still possible! I'm 34 myself. You will have to take an entry level (unfortunately) position to get established in the IT security field. Luckily, in a couple of years you will be experienced and will likely see a big bump in pay.

    Age should not be a problem - just don't come off looking like a bitter, cynical curmudgeon in the interview. This is what eliminates a lot of older candidates from consideration and they think it is age discrimination rather than attitude discrimination.

    Additionally, I hope you are in a part of the country where IT jobs are relatively plentiful. If your local economy is awful with little high-tech hiring going on, it may be a good time to relocate.

    +
    2 Votes
    johndesd

    I'm in my early 50's and have more than a decade of career IT experience. I left aerospace in my late 30's to pursue IT as my 2nd career and spent 5 years on a helpdesk before breaking through to Network Ops at age 45. Spent the last 7 years in Network Integration and Infrastructure (primarily as a network admin) and I'm now looking to expand my skillset to SAN and BUR solutions. The reason why I chose IT as my 2nd career was due to the fluid and evolving nature of the field and the necessity to continually learn new technologies. It's never too late to start your career in IT and there are no missed windows other than the ones you close by not trying. Good luck!

    +
    0 Votes
    lasie

    I agree 100 % with what you said. I, too, have decided to pursue a career change in my 40's, and know that what I can bring to the table is a more mature and set outlook to the approach to IT. There should never be a feeling that it is "too late to learn."

    +
    2 Votes
    mcale54

    I was 55 when I decided to pursue a career in IT. I am 57 and working as a tier II network engineer for a telecom. It is very challenging to compete with the young guys, but I have never had an easy job that pays well. I am loving every moment of it.

    +
    0 Votes
    2Babetterdba58

    Brother , you are my hero! . I'm turning 55 in January , 2013. I have an older SQlL Servr dba certification from 2001. Now I'm studying to pass the 70-433 & 70-434. I have experience but it's not relevant.There's a plethora of entry level and midlevel dba positions out there and know I'm going to land one in 2013.

    +
    1 Votes
    Michael Jay

    a lot of companies are looking for that combination in the security role, no you are not too old, perhaps too young but age should not be a consideration.

    +
    1 Votes
    Flawless Cowboy

    I mean something less conventional, perhaps along the lines of a startup, an innovative website or service etc. etc.
    It's not for everybody and probably wouldn't be the best idea for a person with a mortgage, young family or other personal commitments that require a steady paycheck, but if you're that way inclined and the thought of working in a cubicle farm fills you with dread, it may be worth considering the less orthodox possibilities.

    +
    2 Votes
    terryhugill

    I don't see any barrier for you other than your level of passion. They say it takes 10,000 hours to master anything. Are you willing to put those hours in? If so I don't see any theoretical limit. As has been intimated you will have to start in an entry level permission but if you have the desire, that should not be a problem. A lad I know started (admittedly a few years earlier) with no qualifications two years a go. He showed tremendous passion, took a pay cut from his well paid but under fulfilling admin role, he has passed some MS qualifications and is now a thoroughly reliable and respected member of second line support.

    +
    2 Votes
    kumailhussain

    Age is not the limit
    Aptitude + Attitude sets your altitude

    +
    0 Votes
    Flawless Cowboy

    I have that calendar too.

    +
    0 Votes
    mkelley_25

    I think that your mindset is more important than your age. With my AS degree in programming, I had gone as far as I could go as I couldn't even get interviews at some places. I finished my BS degree in Computer Science at age 36 (graduating "*** laude"), and have been working in IT Management ever since. I had to put in VERY long hours as I was working full time and going to school full time, but when questions about my ability to "do the job" came up, I was able to respond to those questions by pointing out how hard I was working. The combination of my new degree and how hard I had to work to get it was far more important to those interviewing me than my age.

    +
    1 Votes
    douglasadd

    I am 57 and like many of the posters I too am involved in IT, but more to do with business process and analysis and have been since 2001. I have owned three companies over my career and when the size got too big for my liking I sold them.
    However, I will say that I was having trouble getting a 'job' in IT when I was in my early fifties, so I incorporated again as a consulting company and have never looked back. I have many different clients and I set my own rates - much better than a 'job'. Don't be afraid to step out on your own - the current economy is forcing this - just make sure you do your due diligence and keep things simple to start, work from home and no employees.
    One is only old if they think they are.

    +
    1 Votes
    johnd161

    I am a perfect example. I didn't get into IT untill I was 40 years old. I am now almost 62 and have been at it all this time. I was working in Customer Service in the 80's and had an interest in PC's and computing. I started reading everything I could get my hands on. After that I started asking questions with the systems guy where I worked. (IBM systems 38) Before I knew it I asked if I could help. It was a career after that. A lot of devotion and time, but it was worth it. You find your nitch and work on it. I have had 3 different jobs now I have been working at the last one for 9 years. I do a little of everything from networking to systems admin on the I series.
    So it is possible.
    So don't be discouraged.

    +
    0 Votes
    Juanita Marquez

    Contracting, volunteering, fixing neighbor's virused machines - do whatever you can to get hands-on work and you can use the skills you learn to pad your resume. I personally favor contracting because it exposes you to a lot of different environments and situations, and if you really hate something you can terminate the assignment (I don't recommend that if at all possible, but the option is there) and if you land long-term work, it shows potential employers you are trustworthy, responsible and reliable - things that may seem like no-brainers but can be in short supply. I have also been hired on permanently at two companies through contract work. Just be willing and able to do whatever needs to be done, have a good attitude, and you will be valuable to a potential employer.

    +
    0 Votes
    nih_nay

    Till the age of 48 I had not even touched a computer. The I came across software development. Got interested into the same and since last 14 years I am in software development, It is highly satisfying - both work satisfactionwise and financially.
    Go thru the Tech Republic article: :"10 signs that aren't cutout for IT" answer the questions honestly for your self and you will have the answer. Age has nothing to do with it. Mindset is necessary

    +
    0 Votes
    mikejkemp

    With every year now the Standard Retirement Age gets further away - and I'm still devising and managing data and databases, and many 'true IT staff' still ask for information. It's some of the most enjoyable work I have ever done (I've designed bits for vehicles, welding equipment and printing, predicted reliability, assessed quality, Identified Training Needs, sold and delivered training, started using Pcs when they had names like Apple, PET, and Apricot, trained peolpe to use them) but making software work for people is the best!

    +
    0 Votes
    goedpaul

    I changed careers at age 55 to become a Clinical Analyst in healthcare, so it's never too late to change. My best advice - if it's what you love to do, make the career change. The self-satisfaction will carry you through a lot of jerks and company politics you might have to deal with. Use what you learn and never stop learning. As a supervisor I had nearly 40 years ago once said - "The only job security you have is your ability to perform". The only person who can kill your dream is yourself. Be aware of your abilities and limitations. Best of luck in your pursuit!

    +
    1 Votes
    Pete6677

    It is definitely still possible! I'm 34 myself. You will have to take an entry level (unfortunately) position to get established in the IT security field. Luckily, in a couple of years you will be experienced and will likely see a big bump in pay.

    Age should not be a problem - just don't come off looking like a bitter, cynical curmudgeon in the interview. This is what eliminates a lot of older candidates from consideration and they think it is age discrimination rather than attitude discrimination.

    Additionally, I hope you are in a part of the country where IT jobs are relatively plentiful. If your local economy is awful with little high-tech hiring going on, it may be a good time to relocate.

    +
    2 Votes
    johndesd

    I'm in my early 50's and have more than a decade of career IT experience. I left aerospace in my late 30's to pursue IT as my 2nd career and spent 5 years on a helpdesk before breaking through to Network Ops at age 45. Spent the last 7 years in Network Integration and Infrastructure (primarily as a network admin) and I'm now looking to expand my skillset to SAN and BUR solutions. The reason why I chose IT as my 2nd career was due to the fluid and evolving nature of the field and the necessity to continually learn new technologies. It's never too late to start your career in IT and there are no missed windows other than the ones you close by not trying. Good luck!

    +
    2 Votes
    mcale54

    I was 55 when I decided to pursue a career in IT. I am 57 and working as a tier II network engineer for a telecom. It is very challenging to compete with the young guys, but I have never had an easy job that pays well. I am loving every moment of it.

    +
    1 Votes
    Michael Jay

    a lot of companies are looking for that combination in the security role, no you are not too old, perhaps too young but age should not be a consideration.

    +
    1 Votes
    Flawless Cowboy

    I mean something less conventional, perhaps along the lines of a startup, an innovative website or service etc. etc.
    It's not for everybody and probably wouldn't be the best idea for a person with a mortgage, young family or other personal commitments that require a steady paycheck, but if you're that way inclined and the thought of working in a cubicle farm fills you with dread, it may be worth considering the less orthodox possibilities.

    +
    2 Votes
    terryhugill

    I don't see any barrier for you other than your level of passion. They say it takes 10,000 hours to master anything. Are you willing to put those hours in? If so I don't see any theoretical limit. As has been intimated you will have to start in an entry level permission but if you have the desire, that should not be a problem. A lad I know started (admittedly a few years earlier) with no qualifications two years a go. He showed tremendous passion, took a pay cut from his well paid but under fulfilling admin role, he has passed some MS qualifications and is now a thoroughly reliable and respected member of second line support.

    +
    2 Votes
    kumailhussain

    Age is not the limit
    Aptitude + Attitude sets your altitude

    +
    0 Votes
    mkelley_25

    I think that your mindset is more important than your age. With my AS degree in programming, I had gone as far as I could go as I couldn't even get interviews at some places. I finished my BS degree in Computer Science at age 36 (graduating "*** laude"), and have been working in IT Management ever since. I had to put in VERY long hours as I was working full time and going to school full time, but when questions about my ability to "do the job" came up, I was able to respond to those questions by pointing out how hard I was working. The combination of my new degree and how hard I had to work to get it was far more important to those interviewing me than my age.

  • +
    0 Votes
    dezrtluver

    Yes, a career in IT is extremely rewarding and there are truly no limits on age, I've been in IT for almost 20 years and after working on a long-term project, I sometimes feel like I've missed the window. Windows are always short and the window today will be different from the window a year from now. Its all about keeping your skill set up at all times. What you know this year can be obsolete a year from now.
    Ken, CEO, Mind Chemistry

    +
    1 Votes
    monsurqa

    Hi,
    I am in my late 40s and I have same feelings of "as if I am running out of " my career path.
    So I have decided to change my focus to management perspective.
    I have earned an MBA degree and some certifications on ISO 20000, 27000 etc.
    Those help me to revive my career path.

    Thanks and regards,
    Monsur

    +
    1 Votes
    Pete6677

    It is definitely still possible! I'm 34 myself. You will have to take an entry level (unfortunately) position to get established in the IT security field. Luckily, in a couple of years you will be experienced and will likely see a big bump in pay.

    Age should not be a problem - just don't come off looking like a bitter, cynical curmudgeon in the interview. This is what eliminates a lot of older candidates from consideration and they think it is age discrimination rather than attitude discrimination.

    Additionally, I hope you are in a part of the country where IT jobs are relatively plentiful. If your local economy is awful with little high-tech hiring going on, it may be a good time to relocate.

    +
    2 Votes
    johndesd

    I'm in my early 50's and have more than a decade of career IT experience. I left aerospace in my late 30's to pursue IT as my 2nd career and spent 5 years on a helpdesk before breaking through to Network Ops at age 45. Spent the last 7 years in Network Integration and Infrastructure (primarily as a network admin) and I'm now looking to expand my skillset to SAN and BUR solutions. The reason why I chose IT as my 2nd career was due to the fluid and evolving nature of the field and the necessity to continually learn new technologies. It's never too late to start your career in IT and there are no missed windows other than the ones you close by not trying. Good luck!

    +
    0 Votes
    lasie

    I agree 100 % with what you said. I, too, have decided to pursue a career change in my 40's, and know that what I can bring to the table is a more mature and set outlook to the approach to IT. There should never be a feeling that it is "too late to learn."

    +
    2 Votes
    mcale54

    I was 55 when I decided to pursue a career in IT. I am 57 and working as a tier II network engineer for a telecom. It is very challenging to compete with the young guys, but I have never had an easy job that pays well. I am loving every moment of it.

    +
    0 Votes
    2Babetterdba58

    Brother , you are my hero! . I'm turning 55 in January , 2013. I have an older SQlL Servr dba certification from 2001. Now I'm studying to pass the 70-433 & 70-434. I have experience but it's not relevant.There's a plethora of entry level and midlevel dba positions out there and know I'm going to land one in 2013.

    +
    1 Votes
    Michael Jay

    a lot of companies are looking for that combination in the security role, no you are not too old, perhaps too young but age should not be a consideration.

    +
    1 Votes
    Flawless Cowboy

    I mean something less conventional, perhaps along the lines of a startup, an innovative website or service etc. etc.
    It's not for everybody and probably wouldn't be the best idea for a person with a mortgage, young family or other personal commitments that require a steady paycheck, but if you're that way inclined and the thought of working in a cubicle farm fills you with dread, it may be worth considering the less orthodox possibilities.

    +
    2 Votes
    terryhugill

    I don't see any barrier for you other than your level of passion. They say it takes 10,000 hours to master anything. Are you willing to put those hours in? If so I don't see any theoretical limit. As has been intimated you will have to start in an entry level permission but if you have the desire, that should not be a problem. A lad I know started (admittedly a few years earlier) with no qualifications two years a go. He showed tremendous passion, took a pay cut from his well paid but under fulfilling admin role, he has passed some MS qualifications and is now a thoroughly reliable and respected member of second line support.

    +
    2 Votes
    kumailhussain

    Age is not the limit
    Aptitude + Attitude sets your altitude

    +
    0 Votes
    Flawless Cowboy

    I have that calendar too.

    +
    0 Votes
    mkelley_25

    I think that your mindset is more important than your age. With my AS degree in programming, I had gone as far as I could go as I couldn't even get interviews at some places. I finished my BS degree in Computer Science at age 36 (graduating "*** laude"), and have been working in IT Management ever since. I had to put in VERY long hours as I was working full time and going to school full time, but when questions about my ability to "do the job" came up, I was able to respond to those questions by pointing out how hard I was working. The combination of my new degree and how hard I had to work to get it was far more important to those interviewing me than my age.

    +
    1 Votes
    douglasadd

    I am 57 and like many of the posters I too am involved in IT, but more to do with business process and analysis and have been since 2001. I have owned three companies over my career and when the size got too big for my liking I sold them.
    However, I will say that I was having trouble getting a 'job' in IT when I was in my early fifties, so I incorporated again as a consulting company and have never looked back. I have many different clients and I set my own rates - much better than a 'job'. Don't be afraid to step out on your own - the current economy is forcing this - just make sure you do your due diligence and keep things simple to start, work from home and no employees.
    One is only old if they think they are.

    +
    1 Votes
    johnd161

    I am a perfect example. I didn't get into IT untill I was 40 years old. I am now almost 62 and have been at it all this time. I was working in Customer Service in the 80's and had an interest in PC's and computing. I started reading everything I could get my hands on. After that I started asking questions with the systems guy where I worked. (IBM systems 38) Before I knew it I asked if I could help. It was a career after that. A lot of devotion and time, but it was worth it. You find your nitch and work on it. I have had 3 different jobs now I have been working at the last one for 9 years. I do a little of everything from networking to systems admin on the I series.
    So it is possible.
    So don't be discouraged.

    +
    0 Votes
    Juanita Marquez

    Contracting, volunteering, fixing neighbor's virused machines - do whatever you can to get hands-on work and you can use the skills you learn to pad your resume. I personally favor contracting because it exposes you to a lot of different environments and situations, and if you really hate something you can terminate the assignment (I don't recommend that if at all possible, but the option is there) and if you land long-term work, it shows potential employers you are trustworthy, responsible and reliable - things that may seem like no-brainers but can be in short supply. I have also been hired on permanently at two companies through contract work. Just be willing and able to do whatever needs to be done, have a good attitude, and you will be valuable to a potential employer.

    +
    0 Votes
    nih_nay

    Till the age of 48 I had not even touched a computer. The I came across software development. Got interested into the same and since last 14 years I am in software development, It is highly satisfying - both work satisfactionwise and financially.
    Go thru the Tech Republic article: :"10 signs that aren't cutout for IT" answer the questions honestly for your self and you will have the answer. Age has nothing to do with it. Mindset is necessary

    +
    0 Votes
    mikejkemp

    With every year now the Standard Retirement Age gets further away - and I'm still devising and managing data and databases, and many 'true IT staff' still ask for information. It's some of the most enjoyable work I have ever done (I've designed bits for vehicles, welding equipment and printing, predicted reliability, assessed quality, Identified Training Needs, sold and delivered training, started using Pcs when they had names like Apple, PET, and Apricot, trained peolpe to use them) but making software work for people is the best!

    +
    0 Votes
    goedpaul

    I changed careers at age 55 to become a Clinical Analyst in healthcare, so it's never too late to change. My best advice - if it's what you love to do, make the career change. The self-satisfaction will carry you through a lot of jerks and company politics you might have to deal with. Use what you learn and never stop learning. As a supervisor I had nearly 40 years ago once said - "The only job security you have is your ability to perform". The only person who can kill your dream is yourself. Be aware of your abilities and limitations. Best of luck in your pursuit!

    +
    1 Votes
    Pete6677

    It is definitely still possible! I'm 34 myself. You will have to take an entry level (unfortunately) position to get established in the IT security field. Luckily, in a couple of years you will be experienced and will likely see a big bump in pay.

    Age should not be a problem - just don't come off looking like a bitter, cynical curmudgeon in the interview. This is what eliminates a lot of older candidates from consideration and they think it is age discrimination rather than attitude discrimination.

    Additionally, I hope you are in a part of the country where IT jobs are relatively plentiful. If your local economy is awful with little high-tech hiring going on, it may be a good time to relocate.

    +
    2 Votes
    johndesd

    I'm in my early 50's and have more than a decade of career IT experience. I left aerospace in my late 30's to pursue IT as my 2nd career and spent 5 years on a helpdesk before breaking through to Network Ops at age 45. Spent the last 7 years in Network Integration and Infrastructure (primarily as a network admin) and I'm now looking to expand my skillset to SAN and BUR solutions. The reason why I chose IT as my 2nd career was due to the fluid and evolving nature of the field and the necessity to continually learn new technologies. It's never too late to start your career in IT and there are no missed windows other than the ones you close by not trying. Good luck!

    +
    2 Votes
    mcale54

    I was 55 when I decided to pursue a career in IT. I am 57 and working as a tier II network engineer for a telecom. It is very challenging to compete with the young guys, but I have never had an easy job that pays well. I am loving every moment of it.

    +
    1 Votes
    Michael Jay

    a lot of companies are looking for that combination in the security role, no you are not too old, perhaps too young but age should not be a consideration.

    +
    1 Votes
    Flawless Cowboy

    I mean something less conventional, perhaps along the lines of a startup, an innovative website or service etc. etc.
    It's not for everybody and probably wouldn't be the best idea for a person with a mortgage, young family or other personal commitments that require a steady paycheck, but if you're that way inclined and the thought of working in a cubicle farm fills you with dread, it may be worth considering the less orthodox possibilities.

    +
    2 Votes
    terryhugill

    I don't see any barrier for you other than your level of passion. They say it takes 10,000 hours to master anything. Are you willing to put those hours in? If so I don't see any theoretical limit. As has been intimated you will have to start in an entry level permission but if you have the desire, that should not be a problem. A lad I know started (admittedly a few years earlier) with no qualifications two years a go. He showed tremendous passion, took a pay cut from his well paid but under fulfilling admin role, he has passed some MS qualifications and is now a thoroughly reliable and respected member of second line support.

    +
    2 Votes
    kumailhussain

    Age is not the limit
    Aptitude + Attitude sets your altitude

    +
    0 Votes
    mkelley_25

    I think that your mindset is more important than your age. With my AS degree in programming, I had gone as far as I could go as I couldn't even get interviews at some places. I finished my BS degree in Computer Science at age 36 (graduating "*** laude"), and have been working in IT Management ever since. I had to put in VERY long hours as I was working full time and going to school full time, but when questions about my ability to "do the job" came up, I was able to respond to those questions by pointing out how hard I was working. The combination of my new degree and how hard I had to work to get it was far more important to those interviewing me than my age.