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Is it too late to restart a career in IT?

(9 Posts)
Butterbur Mon 30-May-11 14:06:03

I'm 54, and haven't had a career as such for 17 years now, although I've done other stuff. I was in project management, and was brilliant at it. I've thought about it for a while now, and I can't think of anything else that I would enjoy.

I wouldn't mind paying for retraining - I have thought of learning a programming language, getting Microsoft qualifications, or getting an Oracle Financials qualification ( I am also a qualified accountant).

There's just a limit on how much I'm prepared to shell out if there is little prospect of a job at the end of it. And I'm rather aware that as a middle aged woman, I don't fit the expected demographic for IT employees - especially those starting out.

I know there are a lot of people around here in IT, and I wondered if anyone had any ideas.

mom101 Mon 30-May-11 23:48:32

Hi I would be consider which speciality you choose to go in carefully as from experience this now an industry which is heavily outsourced to cheaper labour like china and india.

emy72 Tue 31-May-11 09:25:19

I am a project manager and would agree with mom101, ie that development is definitely not the way to go as it is heavily outsourced and I do know a lot of development gurus out of work.

I would consider however brushing up on your project management skills with a qualification such as Prince2 foundation and practitioner and then try for a junior project manager role and build your experience back up from there.

Butterbur Tue 31-May-11 13:07:22

I did Prince 2 practitioner about ten years ago (so out of date). I can't say I found it of much value in the job market. I finally got a rather crappy job in a local authority (crappy because they out sourced the whole of IT, and the job was managing the crappy supplier).

Does anyone outside the public sector value Prince?

Do you think a project admin job would be worth applying for? Or testing? I'm not sure I could prove my credentials in either.

emy72 Wed 01-Jun-11 08:51:06

Well I have worked and currently work for a large multinational company and Prince2 is seen as the minimum standard for all Project Managers. I have been involved in recruiting and would not recruit anyone who does not have a project management qualification, is part of our recruitment policy now. Things have moved on a lot in the last 10 years.

You could start off with applying for Project Support role, that would give you a good view of how things have evolved, and with a bit of luck you could get the company to pay for your Prince2 or whatever qualification they think would be suitable.

Why don't you google or jobserve project manager and you'll see most companies now are after Prince2 or APM or Six Sigma or ISEB or similar, depending on the flavour, but most will ask for Prince2.

Hope that helps..

Butterbur Wed 01-Jun-11 15:13:13

thx emy

Smum99 Wed 01-Jun-11 20:00:32

Do you have experience of SAGE? Have you considered working on projects for SAGE resellers? They need a mixture of IT & finance skills as mostly you will be working with smaller organisations and your finance background is really useful to interpret the business requirements.

A Prince2 qualification - tends to be a week's course is worthwhile investing in.

Butterbur Thu 02-Jun-11 11:18:45

Yes, I do have Sage experience - both payroll, and accounts. Am not up to speed on the report writer, but I could become so. I haven't done courses, but have learned on the job.

Do people actually need Sage consultants? It's pretty self explanatory.

GrendelsMum Thu 02-Jun-11 14:52:06

I don't think it would be worth learning a new programming language if you haven't done programming before, as (to be brutally honest) you won't be very good at it for quite a while, whereas you've got skills and experience as a project manager, and financial savvy and qualifications as well.

I wonder if it's worth contacting some smaller companies where someone who could look after some money aspects, do payroll, and also project manage would be very valuable? My DH recently recruited a project manager in his 50s, and is singing the praises of having an older staff member.

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