A new career for the future
February 18, 2010 3:31 AM   Subscribe

I have a friend who is entering his middle years and is looking to change careers. He's in IT, but would like to make a break from it - and try something completely different. What are some ideas for short courses, certifications or degrees that could lead to an interesting, future-ready career?
posted by Dag Maggot to Work & Money (10 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm about to do a Certificate IV in Government Investigation. I've been in IT for a long time now and am looking to do some interesting field work. Investigators can work for pretty much any Government department (provided there's a need) and can do anything from fraud investigation, to financial, to OH&S, to legislatory faffle-faffle. It sounds fun to me at least!
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:49 AM on February 18, 2010


Nursing - I'd strongly consider that. Not a ton of training required to start but plenty of enrichment options in the future, very in demand and super portable.
posted by Salamandrous at 5:34 AM on February 18, 2010


My husband went to culinary school after he was laid off from his last job, loved it, and is now opening a restaurant.

I have known a couple of people who took massage training, and one man I know is now a doctor of acupuncture.
posted by chocolatetiara at 6:01 AM on February 18, 2010


Before embarking on training, visit the library and do some research. What's My Parachute is the old-school standard; I'm sure there are new career search tools. The new career that suits 1 person may not suit you.
posted by theora55 at 8:34 AM on February 18, 2010


Would the Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-2011 from the Department of Labor be any help? It shows job trends and has information about what specific jobs are like and what education/background is required for them.
posted by cadge at 8:58 AM on February 18, 2010


Why doesnt he like IT? Does he like It but not the places hes getting jobs?

He can do civil service and try to get a job in a library. I am an IT guy in a library and it rocks. Get to do the things i love in a non profit place where I can work at my own pace.
posted by majortom1981 at 9:10 AM on February 18, 2010


I'd step back a few paces and look at what's going on currently. Is it the whole IT field he doesn't like or just the place where he works now?

I'm just finishing up a six-session series with a career counselor and it's been very helpful. She had me do a few surveys and tests (eg, Myers-Briggs) and each one gave me a handful of options. I've now reduced my list of likely next-careers from 25-30 down to 5-8.

Maybe your friend would benefit from something like that.
posted by booth at 1:19 PM on February 18, 2010


Thanks for the suggestions. To answer majortom's question, he says that "life is too long for one career" I think he would just like to try something new.
posted by Dag Maggot at 4:10 PM on February 18, 2010


I've been meaning to ask a question like this for ages. How do you choose something new if all you know is what you know? I was in China years ago and had to order dinner from a menu with no English whatsoever. Uhmmm...? Sometimes, researching a new career feels like that.

What Color Is Your Parachute must work for some people, but it did nothing for me.

Here's my advice: Surf Amazon.com like mad. Read book reviews for stuff like Parachute and take notes. Find a stack of career help titles that people recommend. Check them all out from the library and spend an afternoon on the sofa pouring through them all for bits and pieces of advice that click.
posted by 2oh1 at 12:12 AM on February 19, 2010


I'm in the early years in IT and I already want out.

Given how expensive it is time- and money-wise for me to do it (and I'm young, debt-free, and don't have a family to support), I wanted to point out that at his stage in life, the most realistic option may be to make the switch within IT itself, ideally gravitating towards jobs that have a high pay/work ratio, are not easily outsourced, and for which the demand can be readily understood (that's about as close as I'll allow myself to associate with "future-ready").

Within IT, these jobs would be in the general direction of sysadmin/DBA/information security and at a government organization.
posted by renovatio1 at 9:02 PM on April 22, 2010


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