Can I make a Switch to Tech at a Later Stage in My Career?
The tech industry is growing at unprecedented rates, and more people, young and old, are setting foot into this fast-paced and exciting world.
So, if you are one of the many people who want to get into the tech industry and you think it might be too late for you to get started, then this article is for you!
We understand that with the wide variety of jobs and opportunities that are available to the public, it can be strenuous and confusing to know and find out what is right for you. If you, too, are facing such a dilemma, read on as we unravel the secrets and break down the myths when it comes to starting a job in tech or making a career change.
When is it too Late to Change Career to Tech?
The world of tech is very fluid. It is constantly changing, evolving, and adapting to the times and changing human behavior. Something new and relevant today, maybe a thing of the past one decade from now or even one week from now in the tech industry.
In a place of so much dynamism, the only thing that matters more than experience is consistency. In the tech world, consistency supersedes experience. A person with years of experience in tech may be just as good as a fresher if he or she chooses to take a break for a few months or years.
Therefore, the secret sauce to moving forward in a tech career and climbing that ladder of success is by regularly learning new things, upskilling yourself, and staying relevant to the industry trends. Now, this is where you can find that glimmer of hope within the darkness you may be lurking in. The beauty of learning is that it can be done by anybody regardless of age.
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Moreover, with a tool as powerful as a smartphone or laptop with a processing power trillions of times more than that in the 1900s, you have access to pretty much everything you need to know in order to get started in your learning curve for a career in tech! You can sit at your home in the United States of America (USA), Canada or India and learn skills like coding in Python or User Experience (UX) Design from expert instructors that are in places like Hong Kong.
Before you dive into the nitty-gritty of a new career in tech, a good first step is to clearly recognize the sign that tells you it is the time to change your career.
Signs That You Need a Career Change
Switching to a new career or landing a new job can be scary. It can get absolutely terrifying if it is done around the age of 30 or 40 years.
A career change can be highly demanding of you. You should be ready to forgo all the authority, credibility, and experience you have built over the years, and not to mention the time and finances you have invested into getting to who you are today. With that being said, when is it, or how can you know if it is the right time to make a career change in the tech industry?
Here are three signs you need to look out for that indicate it is time to shift gears.
1. Feeling Unfulfilled
Right off the bat, is fulfillment and content. Jobs occupy a large portion of your life, and you certainly are not immortal. Hence, having work and a work-life that keeps you content and happy is extremely important.
More importantly, if you feel that you, and only you, are feeling unfulfilled by your job, please know that you are not alone. About 25% of the respondents in a Hong Kong survey indicated that they want to get a new or better job. The same survey also indicated that the people who are unhappiest in their current jobs are in the age group of the thirties and forties.
Hence, exploring new career paths is an excellent option to consider, especially if you are certain that it is going to make you happier in the long run.
2. Your Job is Endangered
Sad but true. No job is constant. In 2007, the New York Times recognized that when it comes to careers, change is constant.
As the human race advances, we keep making new strides in innovation and automation to make lives easier and simpler for the collective good. As a consequence of this automation, some jobs become redundant and menial for humans. These jobs are typically those that are repetitive and can require the accomplishment of tasks that can be done by robots and computers.
Hence, jobs get endangered and eventually expire. Two popular examples of jobs that are endangered are those of car drivers and pilots. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and autopilot technology are working in unison towards a future where driving cars and flying planes are tasks that can be automated by plugging in a different variable into an equation for a specific output by tech engineers and programmers which are then executed by computers or robots.
Assembly line jobs in the automotive industry are another example. Automation certainly eradicated thousands of jobs, but it has also created millions of new jobs and more exciting jobs for the evolving human mind.
Therefore, when tech is what is stealing your job, landing yourself inside, it is a smart move!
3. You Like Challenges, but Your Job is Stressful
We all crave new challenges every day. Challenges come in many forms and excite us. They are what make us jump out of bed every morning as long as they don’t come with the extra baggage of stress.
Since work occupies more than half of people’s lives in many cases, it is of prime importance that either you suit the work or the work suits you. Else, the ultimate result is a lot of stress and strain on your body and mind.
Stress has ulterior effects. It can diminish your lifespan, cripple your positivity and motivation, and also adversely affect your relationships with family and friends.
Getting a job in the tech industry like a front-end web developer or a full-stack programmer will expose you to new and interesting challenges that will empower you to unleash your brain’s potential and put your problem-solving abilities to good use without excessive stress.
What are the Advantages of Learning to Code?
There are many advantages of learning to code. Some are obvious, while some are hidden behind a curtain. Let us look at the latter, those that are embedded in the fabric of the industrial trends.
- Industry 4.0
- Job security
- Financial security
We are witnessing the next revolution in manufacturing and services. The fourth industrial revolution, otherwise known as ‘Industry 4.0’, is when the lines between a digital and a physical product are blurred if not completely faded.
Most of us are on the brink of this revolution, and we do not even realize it. All you have to do is look around.
Earlier, the manufacturing of products like toys and tools were restricted mostly to large factories. But now, even a teenager can make a complex mechanism on a computer and turn it into a fully functional physical product right at home. All thanks to on-demand manufacturing enabled by additive manufacturing techniques.
Only a few years ago, 3D printing was popularly referred to as an innovative manufacturing technique with particular applications for space missions. Today, you can get a 3D printer that you can keep on your desk right beside your computer.
Another example is cloud computation. Storing data has remained constant but how data is stored has not. People nowadays prefer to store data in remote cloud servers, which they can access from any place and at any time rather than having bulky physical copies.
By learning to code, you are always equipped to deal with anything that comes your way in Industry 4.0 because everything is digital and computerized.
Employing tens of people for a task that can be completed by one or more computers with greater efficiency and better accuracy indicates that the job positions are redundant. Redundancies imply higher operational costs for the organization, consequently leading to lower overall profits.
Coding helps you to cope up with redundancies. Redundant jobs are usually the ones that are automated. But, as a coder, it essentially becomes your job to automate things.
Programmers constantly upskill themselves with industry trends. This helps them to stay relevant to the current market demand and any changes that may occur.
Repetitive jobs have an easy fix using code. Computers are impeccable at doing jobs that do not require creativity and are repetitive in nature. As a coder or programmer, it becomes your job to program a computer or a robot to complete a job.
According to a US survey of 1,600 respondents, 86% of the people said that they were in jobs that are not ideal for them.
Hence, if you feel like you are not in the right place and what to explore the realm of tech and coding, then you can start even today!
The universe of technology is massive, and so are the job opportunities. When you are completely immersed in the tech industry, the only way you would go is forward. If one job comes to a halt or gets automated, you can use the same set of skills for another tech-related job and build up from there.
From building a simple calculator to writing complete Machine Learning (ML) algorithms for search engines, the scope is virtually endless, making it a very secure and stable job.
A person who can code can also get employed as a freelancer. Freelancing empowers you to dictate everything from the place of work to the price. Moreover, if you are freelancing while you also have a full-time job, then you can earn a bit of extra cash.
You can even choose to retire and still freelance occasionally if you need more cash in flow.
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A career shift can be a difficult choice to make. By reflecting on the pros and cons of both your present career and a career in tech, you can make informed decisions.
Furthermore, don’t forget when it comes to problems in tech, there are many people who are great mentors that can help you overcome any hurdle.