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Is an IT career a bad decision?

backinthe80sbackinthe80s Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
I'm looking for a little advice from those with experience in the IT field.
I'm 33 years old and thinking of attending WGU for a bachelors in IT-security.
I have no experience. I would get a cert to get into the school.
My concern is that by the time I graduate I will be 37/38 years old with no experience.
Yes, I will have a degree and certs but I am hearing from quite a few people that age discrimination is prevalent in
the IT field. On top of that, I hear from many college graduates who are having a hard time getting in the door.
Also, outsourcing.

I do have an "ok" job now working for the state government. I would like to learn new skills but I also don't want to
switch jobs and later become unemployed because I was too old.

Any advice is appreciated.
Thanks!
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    AlexsmithAlexsmith Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    IF you've done your research and truly desire a career in IT Security than I say go for it, your not to old to follow that goal as long as you keep on the right track.

    I made a thread a while back about others who had a late start in IT.


    http://www.techexams.net/forums/jobs-degrees/97749-how-many-late-starters-do-we-have-here.html
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    markulousmarkulous Member Posts: 2,394 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Why would you wait until you graduate to get experience? You'll have to get a cert to get into WGU anyway (unless you have an associate's). Grab an easy CIW cert to get admitted entry, get your A+, and then find an entry-level job. By the time you graduate you should have a few years experience along with a nice degree and a lot of certs. I don't see being 37 being an issue at all at that point.
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    VAHokie56VAHokie56 Member Posts: 783
    You in no way NEED a degree also...If you know what tower of the IT industry you have a taste for you could always just get cert'd of course but toss in some night school classes that relate to the cert you are taking. Keep you day job for now and once you feel like you have a shot at a IT job (it will be entry level) start throwing your resume in the hat for it.
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    Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,772 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Your not really giving us the relevant information.
    What is your reason for considering IT. What are your long term goals.

    Getting into IT for no reason is definitely a bad idea.
    Your age is probably not a limiting factor as long as you are good at what you do.

    Good Luck!
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    backinthe80sbackinthe80s Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Jon_Cisco wrote: »
    Your not really giving us the relevant information.
    What is your reason for considering IT. What are your long term goals.

    Getting into IT for no reason is definitely a bad idea.
    Your age is probably not a limiting factor as long as you are good at what you do.

    Good Luck!

    The reason: I have been at my current dead end job for 10 years. I feel the need for a change.
    My long term goal is to complete a degree at WGU.
    "Getting into IT for no reason is definitely a bad idea"... ok, I want to "get into" IT because I think the sound of a person typing on a keyboard is soothing. There is now a reason.
    Does this help?
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    ande0255ande0255 Banned Posts: 1,178
    I'd maybe get your feet wet with studying for a cert rather than starting a 4-year degree prior to your first job in the field, as you may find that the sound of fingers typing away at keyboards is not as soothing, along with the entry-level purgatory like jobs / irate customers / on call rotations / immense competition for worthwhile positions.
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    iBrokeITiBrokeIT Member Posts: 1,318 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Keep your current job and start studying for the Comptia A+ and Network+. Make it your goal to complete those certifications in 6 month from when you start studying. If you can't handle that pace or don't like the material then WGU probably isn't for you and you aren't out $3k and a job. It will also give you an idea what it is like to be employeed full time and have to study outside of work. In order to remain relavent in the IT field you will have to do this regularly to stay up to date on your certifications and knowledge of new technologies if you want more than an "OK" job in the IT field.
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    backinthe80sbackinthe80s Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    iBrokeIT wrote: »
    Keep your current job and start studying for the Comptia A+ and Network+. Make it your goal to complete those certifications in 6 month from when you start studying. If you can't handle that pace or don't like the material then WGU probably isn't for you and you aren't out $3k and a job. It will also give you an idea what it is like to be employeed full time and have to study outside of work. In order to remain relavent in the IT field you will have to do this regularly to stay up to date on your certifications and knowledge of new technologies if you want more than an "OK" job in the IT field.
    Thanks and good points on the concern of tuition. My fafsa efc is 00000 so it should pay for mostly all of it according to a mentor I spoke with.
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    ande0255ande0255 Banned Posts: 1,178
    iBrokeIT wrote: »
    Keep your current job and start studying for the Comptia A+ and Network+. Make it your goal to complete those certifications in 6 month from when you start studying. If you can't handle that pace or don't like the material then WGU probably isn't for you and you aren't out $3k and a job. It will also give you an idea what it is like to be employeed full time and have to study outside of work. In order to remain relavent in the IT field you will have to do this regularly to stay up to date on your certifications and knowledge of new technologies if you want more than an "OK" job in the IT field.

    This is very true, I am lucky to have people in my life who accept my study habits, cause I study 2-3 hours after work every day and that is almost all of my free time M-F. This has been my schedule for the last 3-4 years, with few short breaks of not studying, and studying did not always mean studying for a certification - So I wasn't always getting that pat on the back you feel when you pass an exam.

    It is a life long commitment, or at least for the length of your career, unless you want to wind up in another dead end position.
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    tkerbertkerber Member Posts: 223
    The reason: I have been at my current dead end job for 10 years. I feel the need for a change.
    My long term goal is to complete a degree at WGU.
    "Getting into IT for no reason is definitely a bad idea"... ok, I want to "get into" IT because I think the sound of a person typing on a keyboard is soothing. There is now a reason.
    Does this help?

    I think what Jon_Cisco may be really asking is--does technology interest you? Are you passionate about it? Or is it just some sort of goal you've had in mind?

    I always find the best IT people to be the guys who play with gear and learn in their free time. If you cannot see doing either of these you may want to reconsider.
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    iBrokeITiBrokeIT Member Posts: 1,318 ■■■■■■■■■□
    My concern is that by the time I graduate I will be 37/38 years old with no experience.
    Yes, I will have a degree and certs but I am hearing from quite a few people that age discrimination is prevalent in

    From my experience age is not the issue with older workers as much as attitude. You need to always be learning new technologies, keeping an open mind towards new technologies and more efficent ways of doing things. The "well that's the way I've always done things" attitude is the express lane to the exit then the age discrimination claim gets made.

    This thread is a good example of what it is like dealing with someone like that: http://www.techexams.net/forums/off-topic/102663-how-do-you-deal-sr-engineer-holding-back-your-work-vmware-related.html
    2019: GPEN | GCFE | GXPN | GICSP | CySA+ 
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    WGU BS IT-NA | SANS Grad Cert: PT&EH | SANS Grad Cert: ICS Security | SANS Grad Cert: Cyber Defense Ops SANS Grad Cert: Incident Response
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    backinthe80sbackinthe80s Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    tkerber wrote: »
    I think what Jon_Cisco may be really asking is--does technology interest you? Are you passionate about it? Or is it just some sort of goal you've had in mind?

    I always find the best IT people to be the guys who play with gear and learn in their free time. If you cannot see doing either of these you may want to reconsider.
    Thank you. That is very insightful. I like my free time to be used up in the gym and playing with my kids.
    I have done some basic web programming and found that very interesting. I'm not sure if I would like to take my work home every night.
    Life is just too precious for me to be ignoring my physical health and most importantly my children.
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    Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,772 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Have you researched the types of keyboards used in your ideal company?
    The newer keyboards are not quite as soothing as the original clicky kind.
    I am sure you could find a soundtrack of typing sounds and just use it for some ambient noise.

    In all seriousness. If you ware asking us if a 40 year old with no experience can change careers. Then yes you can. If you are asking us to tell you if it will be good for you then you will probably not get a very useful answer.

    I am currently working on a career change. I am 41 years old and enjoy the work that I do. However I work in commercial printing and the industry has been on the decline since the beginning of the internet. So I am seeking a career change that will allow me to remain employed for another 20+ years. Computers are a big part of most businesses and this creates a demand for IT professionals. I believe that if I am good at what I do this will make it a good choice for myself over the course of my career.

    Good Luck!
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    backinthe80sbackinthe80s Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    iBrokeIT: Thank you. I agree, change is inevitable.
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    backinthe80sbackinthe80s Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Jon_Cisco wrote: »
    Have you researched the types of keyboards used in your ideal company?
    The newer keyboards are not quite as soothing as the original clicky kind.
    I am sure you could find a soundtrack of typing sounds and just use it for some ambient noise.

    In all seriousness. If you ware asking us if a 40 year old with no experience can change careers. Then yes you can. If you are asking us to tell you if it will be good for you then you will probably not get a very useful answer.

    I am currently working on a career change. I am 41 years old and enjoy the work that I do. However I work in commercial printing and the industry has been on the decline since the beginning of the internet. So I am seeking a career change that will allow me to remain employed for another 20+ years. Computers are a big part of most businesses and this creates a demand for IT professionals. I believe that if I am good at what I do this will make it a good choice for myself over the course of my career.

    Good Luck!
    Thanks and keep the positive attitude!
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    the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Think of it this way, I have a friend who was a Homicide Detective for over 20 years and was getting to the point where she could retire with a full pension. The hours were weighing on her and she wanted something that was more regular along with being less risky. She went back to school for IT Security and worked while attending school (as a Detective). She graduated, retired, and got picked up for an entry level job very quickly. She's now a Linux Security Admin and loving life. Never too late to start if you have a plan.
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    backinthe80sbackinthe80s Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    the_Grinch wrote: »
    Think of it this way, I have a friend who was a Homicide Detective for over 20 years and was getting to the point where she could retire with a full pension. The hours were weighing on her and she wanted something that was more regular along with being less risky. She went back to school for IT Security and worked while attending school (as a Detective). She graduated, retired, and got picked up for an entry level job very quickly. She's now a Linux Security Admin and loving life. Never too late to start if you have a plan.
    Now this is where I get confused. I will hear stories like this. She actually found a job, loved it, and worked regular hours.
    Then I will hear stories where the person is unemployed and their new favorite term is "outsourcing"
    I will also hear stories where the tech has a job, is stuck on call, and their favorite phrase is "hell in a cubicle".
    I think of Fred Sanford. He lives in watts selling junk. He may be dirt poor but he gets to work with his son everyday and is full of life. Some of these techs just make it seem like a living hell. I would rather sell junk for the rest of my days.
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    iBrokeITiBrokeIT Member Posts: 1,318 ■■■■■■■■■□
    It's all about what makes you happy and only you can answer that question. If you don't enjoy constantly learning new technologies and want to put in the time then IT isn't for you. Most people that work in IT enjoy learning about technology, are very passionate about it and it's pretty much a hobby that benefits their career.

    If you don't want to put in the time to regularly study new technologies outside of work, have a passion for technology and have the persistance to stick with it then I would recommend you do not get into IT.
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    WGU BS IT-NA | SANS Grad Cert: PT&EH | SANS Grad Cert: ICS Security | SANS Grad Cert: Cyber Defense Ops SANS Grad Cert: Incident Response
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    backinthe80sbackinthe80s Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    iBrokeIT wrote: »
    It's all about what makes you happy and only you can answer that question. If you don't enjoy constantly learning new technologies and want to put in the time then IT isn't for you. Most people that work in IT enjoy learning about technology, are very passionate about it and it's pretty much a hobby that benefits their career.

    If you don't want to put in the time to regularly study new technologies outside of work, have a passion for technology and have the persistance to stick with it then I would recommend you do not get into IT.
    Thanks for the honesty
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    ande0255ande0255 Banned Posts: 1,178
    If you land a job with a decent company that encourages growth from within, and work your ass off, generally the company will give you extra duties a bit above your pay scale. If you continue to work your ass off, producing good results on the extra work while keeping your usual work top notch, generally they will work you up the internal food chain.

    The people who complain about getting outsourced or stuck in a position, are the people who get into a company who do not promote growth from within the company, and have not yet moved on to other companies. I would plan on grinding, studying late hours and all that, until you find this type of company to work for which may never happen (probably will, but I'd just assume it won't).

    Are you willing to spend the next foreseeable future busting your chops, including studying and working like a champ every day, until you possibly find that good company to work for? If not, I'd recommend a different career path, cause you will not enjoy your time in IT.
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    stryder144stryder144 Member Posts: 1,684 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Well, let's have a go at my story. I am currently 43. I got into IT when I was 41, after serving 22 years in the USAF. It took me about three months after completing five classes at a local tech school to find a job. Due to family considerations, I found a second job, part-time, a couple of months after that. I have the three certs to the left. I also have about 18 years fixing computers for friends, family, and myself (some employers consider it experience, some don't). I am currently enrolled in WGU, have finished a course through Stanly CC, and plan on getting my CISSP in the next year or two (I have met the minimum requirement of five years experience in two of the ten domains).

    My experience, in the crowded IT market in Denver, is that there is little to no age discrimination going on. What does go on, though, are attitude checks. Employers want someone who will mesh well with their team and is teachable. Being curious and up on things is also well received.

    Just my 2 cents. Your mileage will vary.

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    veritas_libertasveritas_libertas Member Posts: 5,746 ■■■■■■■■■■
    As others have said, you don't have to wait to graduate in order to get a job in IT. Study for the A+ and CCNA first, pass them and then start attending WGU. That should be sufficient for you to nab an entry-level position in IT. I know that government likes to hire from within, so maybe you could transition to IT?
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    LinuxNerdLinuxNerd Member Posts: 83 ■■□□□□□□□□
    The reason I went back to IT after being out for over a decade was the money.

    It's the only field I could think of that you can be disciplined enough to teach yourself a skill set to make good money. And by good money I mean at least $70k a year. With a husband and wife both in IT and working for $70k each, retirement can be attained in 15 years with good money management and investments.

    That's my goal now. Retire by 50. Pref by 45 if my stocks do good.

    What other field could I make $70k or more? I can't think of any, especially that I can sit around the house and train myself.
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    RockinRobinRockinRobin Member Posts: 165
    LinuxNerd wrote: »
    The reason I went back to IT after being out for over a decade was the money.

    It's the only field I could think of that you can be disciplined enough to teach yourself a skill set to make good money. And by good money I mean at least $70k a year. With a husband and wife both in IT and working for $70k each, retirement can be attained in 15 years with good money management and investments.

    That's my goal now. Retire by 50. Pref by 45 if my stocks do good.

    What other field could I make $70k or more? I can't think of any, especially that I can sit around the house and train myself.

    You just don't know how much this post has motivated me! Thanks, man!!!
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    abyssinicaabyssinica Member Posts: 97 ■■■□□□□□□□
    IT is going to become the most important thing, probably by 2020 when we have drones, smart mirrors and other unfortunate inventions everywhere, and computer security is even worse off than it is now.

    But all that aside, you should do a job because you like it and you think it is useful to yourself and society. Not based on whether there's a lot of money in it. Because when there isn't money in it anymore, you'll be in for a rough time.
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    jibbajabbajibbajabba Member Posts: 4,317 ■■■■■■■■□□
    the_Grinch wrote: »
    The hours were weighing on her and she wanted something that was more regular along with being less risky.

    That doesn't sound like IT at all. Not the IT I worked in for 10+ years :)

    Less hours ? Less risky and more regular ? I Must be working in the wrong area of IT :D
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    JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 Mod Posts: 2,835 Mod
    jibbajabba wrote: »
    That doesn't sound like IT at all. Not the IT I worked in for 10+ years :)

    Less hours ? Less risky and more regular ? I Must be working in the wrong area of IT :D

    You must not be working in IT for a large bank/financial firm lol. At least my experience working for two of the US' largest has been that of less risk, regular hours (one with a set on call rotation a few times a year), and only working more than 40 hours maybe 5 or 6 times in 8 years.
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    philz1982philz1982 Member Posts: 978
    If IT is your passion than do it. You only live once. If your doing it for a "job" then find what your passionate about and do that.
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    Hammer80Hammer80 Member Posts: 207 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Age discrimination happens very little in IT, seriously. The part of Tech you hear about age discrimination is from the software engineers and developers. If you develop software by the time you're 40 you are a dinosaur and if you're smart then you start to transition to management or more business oriented aspect. Of course there are always exception to the rule where it does not matter what you do and end up out of job just because you hit 40, these exceptions usually get massive class action lawsuits that they lose every time.
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    Hammer80Hammer80 Member Posts: 207 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks to whoever just dinged my reputation with this comment "absolute rubbish". How about this instead of of giving me a negative rep why don't you do something constructive and be part of the discussion. If you got something to say then just say it, I don't have to agree with you and you don't have to agree with me but in the end we both get to say what we think which is beauty of freedom of speech.

    Second its not my belief that software engineers are dinosaurs by the time they are 40 it's the industry in general, don't fault me fault the industry. In majority of IT a little seasoning is usually viewed as good thing.
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