Options

Career change

After being released from my previous job of working with children with special needs, as well as a string of bad jobs, I have decided to change careers. I have a BS in Social Work but am finding that it is not the right field for me.

That being said, I love working with technology and like the idea of a job where there is a concrete problem with a concrete answer. My husband is a sys admin and a good friend of mine does networking and security. I am fortunate to have a lot of good resources at my disposal. I am self studying for the A+ exam.

I would love to hear some anecdotes from others who have switched careers "later" in life. (I'm only 30, but, yknow...)

Thoughts? Advice?

Thanks everyone!

A+ certified
Bachelors of Science in Social Work, Augsburg College
Working on: Network+

Comments

  • Options
    overthetopoverthetop Banned Posts: 61 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Ma'am,

    I wouldn't consider 30 as "later" in life. If you have the time, you could search through the forums and find the post of the guys/gals that spoke on what age they entered the IT Field, and you might find yourself being young(er) again. In my own opinion, I am neutral to be honest. Do I think that the cost of the two exams required to be A+ certified is worth it, no. But, getting your foot in the door will more than likely require A+ for some type of Desktop Support, Help Desk, NOC, Jr System Admin, or one of the other 10 different names that do similar job functions. Put in one of the titles listed to the left in Job Search | one search. all jobs. Indeed.com and see what employers are looking for in your area for candidates. I am sure you know this but those job I mentioned are "foot in the door" to gain "experience" types of positions (no offense to those that stay 5 years). So I would do 6months to a year and move on. A second fact is that they don't pay much (no offense again). Trying to give you the good and the bad. Since you have a husband and a second income making 25k-45k for a year or so shouldn't be a set back (no offense again). If you had a clearance I would say SKIP over A+ and drink 5 beers to erase the thought out of your mind. A+ has foundational knowledge, you can gain foundational knowledge by reading the book and not wasting 300+ dollars or by hands-on. I am not sure how the job market is in Minneapolis, but the area you stay in plays a big factor. A lot of people live in cities where the job market is bad for IT and complain about not finding a job, its like stepping on your own foot and saying it hurts. If and if the job market is bad in Minneapolis you'll have an even harder time finding a job, unless you know someone, which I assume you do. I haven't heard anyone say the IT jobs in Minneapolis are outstanding and they are paying ###,### but you would know better than me. You are on the right track. Go to the CompTIA forums and look and see what the individuals that passed A+ used as study guides, then get on Amazon.com and purchase it. Some people like watching video series, honestly besides for OnDemand SANS Training, every other video Ive watched in my entire life in regards to Certifications has made me sleepy icon_silent.gif. Knock out that A+. You can do it!

    Sincerely,

    Overthetopicon_cheers.gif
  • Options
    NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    How is 30 later in life? You still most likely have 30+ years left of your career.

    If you really bust your ass (and find the right positions) you probably could get close to $80k+ in 5 years starting from scratch. (and probably even more money if you move out of Minnesnowta) Just imagine making that by the time your 35. I would consider that better then most and the start of a very profitable career.

    Just have to always continue to push yourself to become better and learn more. Which easier said then done. If it was easy everyone would be making that much.
  • Options
    powdered toast manpowdered toast man Member Posts: 33 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I think this is the thread that overthetop was talking about regarding what age people started entering the IT field. http://www.techexams.net/forums/jobs-degrees/97749-how-many-late-starters-do-we-have-here.html

    I am 28 and also consider myself a late starter and found the thread very motivating.
  • Options
    thatguy67thatguy67 Member Posts: 344 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I started my career change at 27. I have always gotten along with computers so it wasn't too difficult. I think the fact that you are married to a sys admin and have a friend who works in network security will help you out a lot. It's hard when you don't have any connections.
    2017 Goals: []PCNSE7 []CCNP:Security []CCNP:R&S []LCDE []WCNA
  • Options
    anhtran35anhtran35 Member Posts: 466
    Got into IT at age 30. Previously from 18 till 29 was working in customer service field. Supervisor for some defunct financial company managing over 20 CSRs. Finish my degree got into IT by default. LUCK.
  • Options
    bloodshotbettybloodshotbetty Member Posts: 215
    I was mostly joking when I called myself later in life :) I guess what I mean is- I already have a bachelors and career experience in a radically different field.

    Minneapolis does have a great job market for IT. We are home to a lot of major corporations and there is never a lack of opportunity. I have a lot of things working in my favor!

    Thanks everyone!

    A+ certified
    Bachelors of Science in Social Work, Augsburg College
    Working on: Network+
  • Options
    broli720broli720 Member Posts: 394 ■■■■□□□□□□
    My advice would be to focus and really dedicate yourself to what you enjoy. I would say forget about salary and certifications for the moment. If you want to do system administration then grab as many books as you can and a cbt nugget subscription and focus on learning the content. Really learn your craft and the money will follow.

    My suggestion would be to go the programming route. Pick up a language or two and really work on it for the next 3-6 months. As long as you don't take any shortcuts, I'm fairly confident you'll get an opportunity if you market yourself well.
  • Options
    bloodshotbettybloodshotbetty Member Posts: 215
    I think I can really use my social work degree to my advantage. I know how to make people feel comfortable, and draw information out, and to help problem solve with them. I figure if I pimp out my customer service skills I can go a long way.

    A+ certified
    Bachelors of Science in Social Work, Augsburg College
    Working on: Network+
  • Options
    J_86J_86 Member Posts: 262 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I think I can really use my social work degree to my advantage. I know how to make people feel comfortable, and draw information out, and to help problem solve with them. I figure if I pimp out my customer service skills I can go a long way.

    You have the right attitude for sure.
    Many aspects of IT are customer services focused. Technical skills can be taught at lot easier then people skills. People skills will get you a long way!
  • Options
    bloodshotbettybloodshotbetty Member Posts: 215
    My husband set me up with my own laptop and VMWare so I can start learning. I downloaded some nuggets and Mike Meyer's A+ book- I'm on my way! He has also been scheming with his best friend about how he can mess up my virtual machines so I have to figure out how to fix them :) I'm a lucky gal!

    A+ certified
    Bachelors of Science in Social Work, Augsburg College
    Working on: Network+
  • Options
    anhtran35anhtran35 Member Posts: 466
    There are other free resources on youtube. Eli the Computer Guy and Professor Messer are some of the best online teachers I've seen.
  • Options
    jdancerjdancer Member Posts: 482 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thankfully, the IT field is very wide in terms in what you want to work in. You just need to find your niche. I would start taking free courses from edX.org, coursera.com, udacity.com, codeacademy.com, and saylor.org. For example, I work on the systems engineering side of IT, whereas my sister-in-law is a project manager in IT. I got started in IT being a software engineer. Good luck in IT and remember, everyone starts from the bottom.
  • Options
    rensationalrensational Member Posts: 30 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I actually do kind of consider 30s in IT as "later in life" because 1) so many people actually got their 1st job in IT in their teens or very early 20s, and 2) there are all these rumors about certain sects of IT discriminating based on age. The fact that so many people started younger is, to me, more intimidating than the "discrimination" rumors, at least with respect to age (maybe because I look 10 years younger than I am?).

    I think what you wanted is to read stories, so I have one:

    I graduated from grad school at 27 in a completely different field. I spent about a year and a half to varying degrees trying to find work related to that field and never could. It is a field that outsiders think that if you get a degree in that field you'll end up making 6 figures, but a lot of people--including myself--have found out the hard way this isn't true for a lot of people. My student loans were coming due, so I just decided to take any job.

    I started thinking about what I actually want to do, and I realized I really like working with electronics and technology, and was good at it. I took a class that taught me A+ types of things and networking, and eventually I got a job as an Apple tech. I was lucky because this particular place basically hired anyone off the street and trained them, so it allowed me to get some experience on my resume. I was about 30 when I got this job. Then I started applying for tech support jobs and help desk jobs and got those, but I hated that type of work and within 2 years started feeling again like, "What do I really want to do?" I am kind of like you...I do have a psych degree, and I'm really good with people. But I am also an introverted loner, and I can't deal with people needing me every second and throwing fits every day, as well as just dealing with people all day every day for any reason, and, to me, that's what tech support/help desk and some other similar jobs are. Coworkers and clients alike loved me at these jobs, but I couldn't stand a lot of them.

    I knew from my jobs that I hated networking. I was curious about how to create mobile apps, so I started taking programming classes and self-teaching. I started looking into coding bootcamps, and I was about to sign up for one when I saw a job ad for basically an apprenticeship in web development as long as I know basics (i.e. HTML, CSS, JavaScript). I applied earlier this week, interviewed, did a very easy coding exercise for them. I feel really good about the possibility of getting this position, but if not I'm going to do the bootcamp and do some freelance web dev (which I will also probably do freelance if I do get the job). I really have enjoyed coding, and I think that's a career choice that will finally make me happy (and finally allow me to pay off student loans). I will still deal with people, obviously, but I will also be by myself at a laptop for hours and hours and hours on a regular basis!

    One of the help desk jobs I had, a guy I worked with was from Minneapolis, and he and his wife had worked IT jobs up there. I am pretty sure he provided some type of tech support for Target. So, I do think you can find something, especially knowing some people who can help you.
  • Options
    MooseboostMooseboost Member Posts: 778 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Not too much later in my life but, I switched from working in the purchasing field (MRO) to IT. I was a PC tech before I got into purchasing and found that purchasing was just not my cup of tea. Took me about five years in that field to realize that it wasn't what I wanted to do for a living. The pay is pretty good but the interest level for me simply wasn't there. I got lucky with my start into IT though. I got my foot in the door through a friend and played on my experience as a PC tech and freelance programming. It got me in. You will find in IT there is a lot of self-learners and we all come from a wide variety of backgrounds. I know people here at work with degrees in Biology! It is never too late to start in IT. Some of the people who came on with me are making their career changes in their 40's. One of them in his 50's Its all about having that personal drive.
  • Options
    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    31 @ the time

    I had quite a bit of functional database and logistics knowledge, but other than that nada. I ended up taking a A+ course at the community college and started to rewrite my resume, finally landing on a help desk at the age of 31.

    Sadly I found myself back in a similar business unit, but now I am not completing operational task, more project technical related task.

    Good luck!
  • Options
    shodownshodown Member Posts: 2,271
    welcome

    You are in MPLS a city with a pretty large base of large companies, so there are tons of IT companies that support the larger companies around there. I lived there for a while, but moved away, but you can get your feet wet there. Don't give up I got serious at 27-28 so not much different than you.
    Currently Reading

    CUCM SRND 9x/10, UCCX SRND 10x, QOS SRND, SIP Trunking Guide, anything contact center related
  • Options
    KronesKrones Member Posts: 164
    It's possible. I made the move into my first real IT job at the ripe old age of 32. I did have to start off as an intern at $10.00 an hour just to get my foot in the door; however, I also did my research and applied at companies that I wanted to either grow with or try to gain other experience than the traditional helpdesk. Two years later, I am still at the same company that I started with, but now with Junior System's Administration title and fairly decent salary for what I do with one promotion and two raises in that time period. (I do a little bit of everything - can do - must get it done - helpdesk if it plugs into the wall krones can take care of it). I would avoid this trap and try to specialize into a specific area and or join a company that has some room for growth in a specific department. (networking, linux, databases, sietc). One thing about this field is you can never stop learning and age is just a number.
    WGU - Security
    Current: Start date Sept 1. Remaining:
    CUV1, BOV1, CJV1, CVV1, KET1, KFT1, DFV1, TPV1, BNC1, RIT1, DHV1, CSV1, COV1, CQV1, CNV1, SBT1, RGT1 Completed:
    AXV1, CPV1, CTV1 Transferred: AGC1, BBC1, LAE1, QBT1, LUT1, GAC1/HHT1, QLT1, IWC1, IWT1, INC1, INT1, BVC1, CLC1, WFV1, DJV1
  • Options
    bloodshotbettybloodshotbetty Member Posts: 215
    It is definitely my plan to get out of help desk ASAP. I have a plan for the next couple of years and as long as I can keep some self discipline it will be attainable. And like some people have said, Mpls is an AWESOME area to live for tech jobs. And I live right downtown so I will have a lot of opportunities :)

    A+ certified
    Bachelors of Science in Social Work, Augsburg College
    Working on: Network+
  • Options
    nsternster Member Posts: 231
    How good are you at self-learning? I don't think I would have gotten far without a few classes from college. They not only gave me a foundation knowledge to work with, I got to touch on several subjects which enabled me to find my niche
  • Options
    bloodshotbettybloodshotbetty Member Posts: 215
    I am pretty good. College isn't an option right now so I have been self studying for A+

    A+ certified
    Bachelors of Science in Social Work, Augsburg College
    Working on: Network+
Sign In or Register to comment.