Midlife Career Change

Question for those of you that changed careers midlife or later, How did you approach it, and what were the factors that led your to choosing your new career?

Have been thinking for the last few months about changing careers and going to Uni but not sure what I want to study. I have an inkling to study IT as it is something I do enjoy a little bit, but am wondering is that enough to push myself into committing to 6 years of study (would be looking to study parttime) and 20K in debt and for those who have done it, at what stage did you feel capable of finding work within your new career?


As an IT employee turned salesman and later went into sales management , I would speak for my personal experience. Even if I can “code” still , there are younger people who would do a better job at a much lesser salary.

Also IT involves learning stuff almost on a continuous basis. It’s just not a degree otherwise you wouldn’t find that many unemployable graduates esp in places like India. It’s now AI which is the new fad and sooner or later quite a lot of IT jobs will get phased out (if they aren’t already)

What I did after a stint of management was to do a course as a product manager more because my management job increasingly led me to manage cross functional teams (across sales/operations/IT development/customer service) , I could do this as I had a background in IT and quite a lot of domain knowledge apart from my management skills.

I wouldn’t suggest to not do a course. Any learning isn’t wasted but what I would suggest is whether there’s a course/degree around which while related to your current occupation also allows you to branch into the more IT side of things.


And continuously learning new tools to keep up with the IT industry requirements is a thankless job but one that needs to be done if someone is to maintain relevance in the IT job scene.


I’m probably in the minority as well as a hiring manager but I find domain experience to be more valuable than a IT based skillset (based on how many tools the person knows).

IT tool’s aren’t difficult to learn. But someone having domain knowledge is much more valuable.

When you talk about domain knowledge, are you referring to web domains?

Curious, as this caught my attention. Is it IT degrees in general that people have which makes them unemployable, or is it certain subsections within IT that is maybe an area where there is a massive influx of people creating huge competition for the roles that are out there?

Could it also not be a case of the reason people are unemplyable is not due to their IT degree, but other factors that is turning employers off them?

Typically that would mean knowledge about the area or thing you are making/selling your product to solve rather than being a tech person.

Good luck, whatever you decide. Is a career in IT the only thing you considered? Or are there other fields you feel attracted to?

I meant more as core engineering disciplines or even other disciplines like Manufacturing , Pharma , finance etc.

Too many people out there being churned out with qualifications which can get them into IT.

And even experienced IT employees do not often enough upgrade their tool knowledge to remain competitive in today’s job market. That leads them to being redundant when the company either goes the AI way or decides that they can get away with hiring 3-4 freshers employees for the same CTC with more potential upside.

Personal experience is that its tough financially in the short term, and is amplified if you have a family. I did not technically study for the change (Uni), however you always study regardless if its a career change or not. The more money you make the harder it is to make the decision in the direction of change. You should try to look ahead enough time into the future and ask yourself if you think you will regret not attempting a change.

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if I could go back in time, I’d have taken the opportunity to become a lineman for BC Hydro that was basically gifted to me. I didn’t want to get my class 3, and didn’t have the confidence to climb towers. I still don’t like heights. but to make 225k/yrs with OT and a full pension, that’s priceless.

30yrs in logistics, my only adult job I’ve ever had…now it looks like I’m moving to a fleet management role hopefully this year…

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Yip, that’s the thinking you want to avoid. I have the same about programming languages. I started out with a language that is now literally dead, so 20+ years of experience wasted on something I cant use, yet while i was using it, it was profitable which makes it hard to change.

I’ve seen this scenario happen with quite a lot of people around me.

It becomes much more of a problem when you are learning “open-source” languages.

100%. Fortunately for me, I’ve made a good living off what I’ve learned in this business and will continue to do so.

The hard part it, it’s just a job that requires me to get up in the morning and do something that doesn’t interest me. But I missed Sunday’s game for a meeting about a potential role that’s been offered on the edge of what I’ve been doing for the past 30 years, transitioning back towards managerial work which I’d given up on 5-6 years ago as a waste of time (as it’s a shitty role in more transport companies).

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I was into gps based fleet management systems about 3-4 years back. Logistics and fleet management is a thankless task. As seen by the responses that some of the fleet companies wanted from the systems.

I think one thing to remember and really make sure you are clear about is that ultimately all jobs suck. I really enjoy a lot of mine, but it also fucking sucks in lots of ways. People who leave a profession to do something else because they dont feel satisfied rarely find the change really worked. I know several lawyers specifically who walked away from law because it was just so fucking boring and soul sucking, but found something that still had a lot of things they didnt like about it and also didnt pay them anywhere near as much. They ended up still having things they hated about their work and able to do far less fun shit on their weekends.

If you think you’ve found yourself in a career dead end, or you are concerned about your industry’s prospects, then career changes can have a lot of benefits. But I think a lot of people considering this would do well to first try to reframe what works is to them.


It seems to me that @aussielad is going through a midlife crisis.

NP - Faith No More - Midlife Crisis

Just because it’s an amazing song and Mike Patton is a wonderful wonderful singer.

If you’re going to commit to studying for an IT degree, I’d recomend ethical hacking.
My lad did that and he’s making a very good living.
Constantly being headhunted too, which tells me that qualified personnel are in high demand.
Can only see the need for cyber security getting wider as scammers get smarter


Good systems can spend a lot of money on trying to find ways to break them. It’s probably the most fun you can have in tech/coding as well, unless you like the satisfaction of seeing the thing you’ve worked on become a real product (which is an under rated aspect of the value of software development)