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Can You Start A New Career In Tech When You’re In Your 40s?

June 1, 2021

Many people aren’t sure if starting a new career in tech when they’re in their 40s is for them. Why? The tech industry is perceived as being very young person centred, and unconsciously, many people believe that there is no place for more seasoned workers in tech, especially if they have no previous experience in the field. 

But transitioning into tech in your 40s or 50s is actually a great idea! In this article, we’ll look at the benefits of starting a new career in tech later in your professional life, and we’ll also discuss how to overcome the most common fears that hold people back from choosing this path. 

Why Should You Consider Changing To A Career In Tech When You’re In Your 40s?

There are plenty of reasons why choosing the tech industry is an excellent choice. Consider these points:

  • The tech industry is booming. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the Computer and Information Technology sector is projected to grow 11% between 2019 to 2029. And under this growth, 531,200 new jobs will be created. This means that companies will need more qualified professionals to fill these new positions. So, by switching into the tech field now you’re getting yourself into a profession that will be in high demand for years and years to come. 
  • The tech industry has jobs for everyone. It’s a common misconception that working in tech always means programming and coding. But that’s not true. There are various positions in tech, like project management, design, sales, product management, customer support, and marketing to consider. There is something for everyone in tech. 
  • It’s easier to start working in the tech industry than you probably think. Another widespread myth is that you need a college degree in Computer Science or Engineering to work in tech. This is one of the main reasons why many people don’t even consider a tech job when they’re thinking about changing careers. Plus, people don’t want to invest several more years of their life educating themselves for a brand new role again. But in reality, none of this is true! You can enroll on to short-term courses, learn necessary skills pretty quickly and find your first job in a few months.
  • Tech jobs are well-paid. If you decide to start working in the tech industry you can expect to earn an excellent starting salary, and it usually comes with a great salary growth outlook too. Based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Computer and Information Technology occupations is $88,240 a year, while the median annual wage for all other occupations is $39,810 a year.
  • The tech industry is flexible. Another reason to consider a new career in tech is that you can find many part-time jobs, remote positions, and jobs with flexible working hours. It’s incredibly easy to find a job that suits your needs! 

By now you’re probably thinking, "All that sounds good, but it’s not for me. I don’t have any special knowledge or skills. I cannot get a job in tech." 

Well, let us put you straight – you definitely can. We’re not saying it’ll be easy. But with some  learning, hard work, and staying positive you can absolutely achieve your goal of becoming a tech professional when you’re over 40. You just have to overcome your fears. 

Common Fears That Hold People Back from Changing Their Careers When They’re In Their 40s...

Undoubtedly, changing your career when you’re in your 40s can be tough, because at this age you have to deal with new challenges and fears. So, how do you overcome the most common fears? Check out our solutions below. 

  • “I will have to start all over again”. Many people get stressed out when they think that they have to throw away all their current knowledge, just to learn something new for a new career. But this is not the case. You probably have many skills that can be transferred into a new career, and you may not even realise how much you might know already. So, don’t go thinking that all those years you’ve spent learning to get you to where you are today are a waste of time, they most certainly aren’t. The experiences and knowledge you have gained along the way are still very valuable. 
  • “I don’t know where to start”. The task of getting a new job in tech can seem overwhelming. But all you need to do is divide the whole task into smaller pieces. You will quickly see that it’s not so scary after all. Pick where you want to go, determine what skills you need for the job, choose a course which suits you best, complete a course and finally, start applying for jobs. 
  • “Where do I find the time and money to study?” Obviously, people in their 40s have more responsibilities and expenses than those who have just graduated from college. They might be caring for children or older parents, have a mortgage, saving for retirement, etc. But luckily, there are plenty of affordable courses, training schemes, and bootcamps to choose from today, so you don’t have to worry about spending huge amounts of time and money studying. For example, if you’re short of time, you can enroll on an online self-paced course to study and you can fit it around your schedule.   
  • “What if I feel out of place when I’m working with younger colleagues?” The average age of tech workers is quite low, when it’s compared to other industries. And some would say that ageism is a real problem in tech. But there are plenty of companies making diversity in the workplace their highest priority, and they’re hiring qualified professionals no matter what their age, gender, or ethnicity is. Keep that in mind while you go to look for a job. 

If you put your mind to it you will be able to achieve the goal of getting into tech. You’ve got to get your mindset right. Don’t let self-doubt and fear stand in your way.   

Tips For an Easy Transition Into Tech When You’re In Your 40s...

Finally, we would like to share a few tips with you for when you start your new career in tech. 

  • Take your time when choosing a new career path. Take time to explore your options and find an occupation that fits your interests and values. 
  • Leverage your past experience as much as you can. Think about those skills you mastered in your previous jobs. Your resume and LinkedIn profile must show how they are relevant in your new role. It can be anything from effective communication to the ability of meeting short deadlines. 
  • Finding your first job might take some time. Inevitably, there will be recruiters who won't consider you, but don’t feel discouraged by this. Many companies out there are looking for skills and knowledge rather than specific age ranges. 

Still not sure if this is all possible for you? Think about it this way, if you’re planning to retire at the age of 65, as many people do nowadays, you still have more than 20 years of work in front of you, if you start your new career in tech when you’re in your 40s. That’s plenty of time, and in that time you could make a real difference to the tech industry! 

Check out the information about our Manual QA, QA Automation, DevOps, and Sales Engineering courses to see how you can start your career in tech right now!

Bureau of Labor Statistics 

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