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Digital cornicopia looking for next move in advancing skills/career
February 13, 2014 9:15 AM   Subscribe

What am I and where should I go?

Howdy,

42 year old digital strategist, project manager, copywriter and catch all professional. I have a little bit of everything type of experience and in my current job, that's fine. But I'm looking to improve my skill set and investigating certification classes, etc. I'm having a hard time with the "next thing" direction.

My experience so far has been 8 years copywriting, 20 years in communications (specifically healthcare), 13 years in digital (copywriting, project management (informally), production work (basic HTML, CSS, using CMS), strategy, analytics, most recently technology assessments for in-house usabe, and now I'm thinking of going into usability.

But here's the thing. I know our company won't do eye tracking ,etc. It's more of a "best practices" route. But as I try to look ahead at either a change in careers or if I ever got fired, where would I look for another job, doing a little bit of everything makes me wonder, where can I even find a job? Do I look under "digital strategist" and up the ante with my most "recent usability skills" via a certificate?

For a certificate, I was looking into getting CUA certified (then UX analylist) via : http://www.humanfactors.com/certification/CUA.asp or going through Bentley University's certificate program: http://www.bentley.edu/centers/user-experience-center/training/ux-certificate-program and do it online.

While a second MA would be great and dandy, I really don't want to spend 4+ years trying to obtain a degree part time. I also don't want to spend $60k in tuition (even if work kicks in for some, I would have to pay up front). I want the get down and get dirty education/experience.

So I think the challenge is what am I and where should I go to next in my digital career to ensure a solid, successful (and employable) career at 42 while in competition with those "kids" out there who know it all?
posted by stormpooper to Work & Money (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Could you cooperate with some of these "kids" instead of compete? Like, work together on a project on the side? That way you'd get some experience without having to pay tuition.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 1:10 PM on February 13


I've been recommending this book, "Don't Go Back to School" to a lot of folks recently. It helped me a lot, even if I am going back to school. It sounds like it would be helpful as far as helping you understand other paths you could take to get to where you want to be.
posted by MonsieurBon at 2:29 PM on February 13


In my current corporation, I am part of a team of 3---we are all in our 40s. Our company is significantly lagging behind in technology and innovation--thus the reason why I want to be in school or figure out my next steps. When employers are hiring, I know I am in competition with the younger crowd because 1) they know more 2) they are cheaper to hire than I am.
posted by stormpooper at 6:21 AM on February 14


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