General discussion


Second Professional life after 58

By stpmds ·
I am a professional accountant and nearing 58. To make rest my of life interesting I desire to enter IT industry. I am using computers in my work, using MS office, Email,accounting software, as an office applicance. I have stayed as self employed all along and wish to continue so. I have time and means to learn and branch out to IT. I request, suggestions, guidance, opinions regarding feasibility of this project.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

6 total posts (Page 1 of 1)  
| Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

by Black Panther In reply to Second Professional life ...

Funny to hear that as I am nearing the mid 40's and am trying to make my life less interesting ( less stressful ). I have been in IT for over 20 years starting off as assistant accountant and growing into IT.

Reading in-between the lines ( right or wrong ) I would recommend the following:-

Life Interesting:-

Are you talking your working life only or both work and personal. Remember you can make you personal life interesting and still keep your existing profession.

Are you ready to tackle a steep learning curve again, possibly putting in hours of study?

The IT industry is hard to get into and with the current outsourcing to India it is even harder.

Also you will be competing against a lot younger and UNI qualified people for positions.

IT has many different areas such as programming, analysis etc etc and many different operating systems and packages.

If i were you knowing the little information that i do - i would stick to accounting and to quench your thirst for something interesting pursue learning about IT as a hobby rather than a profession ie at home.

Try a few short courses at TAFE etc to see how you find it.

If you really enjoy it after doing that - then consider your options keeping in mind how many working years you have left and also what type of positions you may be able to achieve considering the age and experience of the competition.

hope this helps :)

Collapse -

by yeoman In reply to

Hi, stpmds,
Being from Chennai you would know that the market is full of young IT graduates, many with Masters degrees. However, I do not think you should/want to compete with them. I am over 60 & after over 30 years in IT am now conducting training, in Project Management. The suggestions given are all very useful & practical, & you do need to seriously assess what you want out of the rest of your life. E.g., How much income do you want? How much time to spend with your family?
I see your strengths in accounting & office use of IT as well as your ability to understand & work with people, and hopefully you are able to explain things to people patiently. Many of the young IT gurus do not know how to explain things and are impatient (Gen Y!) Here in Australia and I suspect in India you will find a large market of baby boomers (and older) who want to be IT-savvy, at least to the extent of being able to communicate with their grandchildren and with relatives in other parts of the country. I have met many in their 80s who are now actively emailing or into family tree research. There are computer clubs in many retirement villages.
So one possibility is in low-cost training & computer set-up for these older citizens. What you know already can be immediately useful. You may need to learn something about configuring home computers & some trouble-shooting. Your ability to talk their language (non-IT, that is, not Hindi) is paramount.
The other more lucrative area is helping small businesses set up their office systems and accounting systems. You do need a lot more knowledge of IT for this. The smallest shops will only need a stand-alone PC, but larger organisations might want links with banks, POS, VOIP, a website, etc. Bite off a bit at a time, as suggested by others. Start small: I have set up a simple information-only website for the Australian office of an Indian NGO (
Best wishes on your efforts.

Collapse -

by CG IT In reply to Second Professional life ...

First off reading a book is one thing but getting actual hands on experience is another. You have to have hands on experience with loading, configuring, screwing up on purpose and fixing a network. I recommend that you have a test network. At least 2 servers and a workstation. Here's the reason why. 2 DNS servers, 2 Global Catalog servers, 2 DCs, 1 DC at one site, 1 DC at another site with Active Directory Sites and Services site link configured for replication. 1 DC and 1 RIS server, 1 DC and 1 Exchange Server or 1 DC and 1 Unix or Linux server etc etc. You could try virtual servers running on 1 box but then you miss learning how to connect everything up. Get a rack and some cheap catalyst 1900 switches, a Patch Panel. Do some 568B wiring, do some VLANs, learn how to uplink from the switch to a router. Get some cheapo Cisco 2600's or opt for their new small business ADSL routers with a 2600 or 2500 behind it.

I recommend [ducking the paper wads and boos] that you get the self paced training kits so you can read a chapter, configure the servers, read the chapter again, configure it again. Screw up and configure it again.

Don't settle for anything but a MCSE 2003 certification on Microsoft stuff. Get linux and know that. If you can afford it, get Sun Microsystems O/S and learn that.

Get a A+ and Network + CompTIA certification.

Get a CCNP certification.

Collapse -

by CG IT In reply to

forgot the most important thing, learn scripting. Any IT tech has to learn scripting because scripts simplify one's life and there are things you want to do that you have to write a script for. Could go on and on but the big thing is, don't just read a book. Get practical experience.
If you can afford it, don't just buy a server. Buy the server board, the processors, the memory, the SCSI boards, SCSI drives, the case, and put it together yourself. The MS Press self paced training kits come with trial software [180 day] you can load up, mess up, reload up, and work just like the O/S that costs an arm, 2 legs and your first born.

Collapse -

by CG IT In reply to

last but not least. The young guys vs the old guys thing the first poster mentioned.

First off, the young guys are cheaper than the old guys which is why companies hire them. Young guys don't have wives, kids, mortgages, and Hummer payments.

I don't think the age barrier is that much of a deterent these days as it once was. Companies know that young guys will jump ship at the first opportunity for a higher paying job whereas old guys don't.

Young guys don't have experience, in anything. Old guys do.

Dont let age be a deterent. Heck, you can always become a consultant.

Collapse -

by ozi Eagle In reply to Second Professional life ...

First you need to define what area of IT you wish to pursue.
I am a one man band and started life as an electronics design engineer,and through various career changes found out that small businesses didn't have a clue how to effectively use their computers. Started my business in a town of 200k population and have gravitated into retail point of sales and accounting systems, as well as general PC support.
I now supply computers, point of sale hardware, software and consulting.

From your background and user knowledge of computers, why not look into supplying smaller businesses with computers loaded with accounting software or other business oriented software and train them how to use it. Maybe do a bit of computerised book keeping on the side. As other posts have suggested learn to build and mess around with your own, then you will have some of the basic skills needed to trouble shoot later on.
Unless you are really gung ho stick to systems using p2p networking of a maximum of 4 or 5 computers. Learn about security, viruses, spyware and how to protect against them.
Also learn about backing up and UPSs, these being the main areas where I have found total ignorance out there.

Link with one or two suppliers of software and hardware.

Use your existing client base to promote computerisation, ie suggest that you can do their books more effectively and cheaper if they run an accounting package themselves, and of course you will supply and train them. This idea gives you a transition path from the one career to the next, without having to go cold turkey on the first.

When supplying anything always get a hefty deposit up front, to at least cover your expense.

Good luck in your new adventure.

Back to Desktop Forum
6 total posts (Page 1 of 1)  

Related Discussions

Related Forums