Wondering if its worth it....need some advice

runback22runback22 Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
At 37 years old, I'm looking for a career change. I was considering getting an associates degree in information systems and getting some certs to begin with (A+, Network+). I love computers but the thing holding me back is the lack of experience and possibly very low pay to start.

I currently make roughly $43k a year as an operations manager but the business might be sold so the future here is uncertain, but i'm safe for the next year or two. I'm wondering if its worth going this direction at my age. I was considering either getting as many certs as i can and freelance to build a portfolio of customers for experience or get an associates degree in IT along with certs. Which would be the better route to land a job the quickest?

I would love some advice from anyone who entered this field in their 30s or older.

Comments

  • nhan.ngnhan.ng Member Posts: 184
    I'd not waste time getting the AA, just get A+/Net+ and look around for a helpdesk position, while getting your BS at WGU or something if you dont have a BS already :) I just turned 30 last month. Almost all the interviews I go to, they rarely ask about my AA, a couple places did ask about my BS (currently enroll at WGU) and experience is very important. You'll start out making less than you're making right now, but do not be discourage, that number will climb as you gain more experiences in the field.
  • EveryoneEveryone Member Posts: 1,661
    If you're lucky, some Help Desk positions actually start out around $20/hr. With at least 40 hours a week, that'd be almost as much as you make now. I would not settle for anything too much less than what you currently make, especially if you have a family to support. At least you have your Operations Manager experience to fall back on and can move on to another company in that line of work if you can't find something in IT.

    With the certs and some work experience, while not IT related, you might not have that hard of a time switching. You'd be surprised, some places are willing to take an older more mature candidate who has been working in another career field, over the fresh out of college kid that has never had a serious job.
  • runback22runback22 Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    A buddy of mine got a help desk position at $20/hr with minimal experience and a nice portfolio of freelance work. No degree or certs. I'm sure he got lucky but it gives me some hope. Honestly, going back to get a degree isnt something I honestly think I can do with the way life is right now. I think the best route would be to do some certs with self study and hope for the best.

    Worst case, like you said, i can fall back on other skills. I think I just get discouraged by looking at all the crappy jobs on job sites. No one I know has ever gotten a job off one of those.
  • EveryoneEveryone Member Posts: 1,661
    I've never really looked at non-IT jobs on job sites, so not sure what to tell you there. They seem to work well for IT jobs at least.
  • nhan.ngnhan.ng Member Posts: 184
    I know what you meant, most of the sites asking for a bunch of things but then they list the pay as $10/11 icon_rolleyes.gificon_lol.gif Are u fawking kidding me? icon_exclaim.gif Don't give up, keep hitting F5 :)
  • LordQarlynLordQarlyn Member Posts: 648 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Don't let your age bother you. I've transistion fields and passed exams when I was over 40.
    Just takes commitment, and you need to have a passion for IT, since this field certainly isn't glamorous.

    I second the experience with ridiculous job postings, seen some seemingly ask for every cert out there plus a master's degree and 10+ years experience and only offer like $50K!
  • sentimetalsentimetal Member Posts: 103
    LordQarlyn wrote: »
    Don't let your age bother you. I've transistion fields and passed exams when I was over 40.
    Just takes commitment, and you need to have a passion for IT, since this field certainly isn't glamorous.

    I second the experience with ridiculous job postings, seen some seemingly ask for every cert out there plus a master's degree and 10+ years experience and only offer like $50K!

    This always cracks me up. It makes me wonder if the posting was written by a non-IT employee or a smug IT manager trying to take advantage of an employer's market.

    On the contrary, I recently came across a posting for an IT manager position that wants someone with at least 40 college credits related to IT and 5 years experience. An associates degree was a plus... for 78k-82k a year.
  • LordQarlynLordQarlyn Member Posts: 648 ■■■■■□□□□□
    sentimetal wrote: »
    This always cracks me up. It makes me wonder if the posting was written by a non-IT employee or a smug IT manager trying to take advantage of an employer's market.

    On the contrary, I recently came across a posting for an IT manager position that wants someone with at least 40 college credits related to IT and 5 years experience. An associates degree was a plus... for 78k-82k a year.
    well that ad sounds a little reasonable. Heck a newcomer to IT (professionally anyway) would qualify for that haha
  • JinuyrJinuyr CISSP, SSCP, Security+, Network+ https://www.linkedin.com/in/francis-nunziata-4a95b624/Member Posts: 251 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Get the certs, have the right attitude, and a strong willingness to learn and you can go far.

    The WGU is also a plus from what I have heard.
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