Switching careers as a seasoned professional can certainly present some challenges. And if you're looking to get into the IT realm, it's easy to become overwhelmed by the many languages, programs, and technical terms that dominate the space. But fear not; if anyone can do it, you can. Below, we've compiled a few things to keep in mind when you're looking to make the big leap into IT!
Online training and courses
The digital revolution is in full swing, so use it to your advantage. Online courses are a great way to acquire the IT skills you need, often at a fraction of the cost of a traditional degree program. If you have web development on the brain, for example, you'll need to learn how to code, design, and develop websites. Bootcamps, such as Practicum's Software Engineering bootcamp, teach the basics and more in as little as ten months. (We offer a free 20-hour introductory course to get you started!)
You should also consider the quality of education that online courses offer. When it comes to online training, choose the one that best fits your lifestyle. Keep these points in mind:
- Know your educational goals and choose a course that offers you the best resources, guides, and instructors to reach them.
- Look for online schools that offer affordable online degrees
- Make sure that a reputable agency has accredited the school you choose. Check out the school website and read the reviews. Consider asking former and current students for extra information on the best second careers after 40.
Already in the tech field but want to take your career to the next level? Try getting certified. According to Indeed, taking time to gain qualifications could improve your prospects and enable you to pursue a completely new career. Some certifications do require a foundation degree, however. For instance, if you wanted to become a technology consultant, you'd need to have a degree in IT or a related field. After passing the exam, you'll be ready to tackle the world of tech consulting. Sites like Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, or edX offer hundreds of courses on a variety of IT-related subjects (some require subscriptions.)
Pro-tip: Certifications can be expensive. If you're looking to save a few dollars, we suggest taking some online courses first.
Like your education, you should also consider the quality of online career mentoring that you get. Mentoring is an integral part of online career training. If you can find an excellent online career mentor who is willing to work with you, your online training will be much more beneficial. When collaborating with an online mentor, remember to beopen, honest, polite and take constructive criticism and feedback in a positive manner. Your mentor's ultimate goal is to help you be the best version of yourself.
Various online job portals offer plenty of opportunities for professionals after they reach the age of 40. Most of these websites, like Indeed, CareerBuilder, or Monster, are free to use. They are ideal for job hunting, as you can easily register and upload your resume. When building your online profile, make sure that you use the appropriate keywords to help you stand out to potential employers. According to Monster, personal keywords like "managed," "achieved," and "experienced," speak to your work ethic and previous accomplishments. Also, if you want to apply fora role at a specific company, check out their website and the job description, being sure to include any skillsets, like SQL or VPN, in your resume/jobprofile. Note that each role may require a different set of skills, so be ready change up your resume when it needs to be.
You've got this
Remember that age is nothing but a number. And a second career after 40 doesn’t have to be a pain, rather a chance to reinvent yourself. There are various reasons why some people hesitate to pursue their dreams, but the results are always worth the time and effort. Arm yourself with the best resources available and conquer the world of IT, no matter your age.
At Practicum, our coding bootcamp has a variety of programs and a large, supportive community ready to assist you in your career change. Whether it's software engineering, data analysis, or data scientist there's something available for everyone.