8 Best Tech Jobs for 40-Year Old Career Changers
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Although acute lifestyle changes during and after the pandemic have caused many employed Americans to reevaluate their career trajectories, it can be confusing and frightening to carve a new career path after several decades in the workforce.
With plentiful job prospects, accessible job training options, and high-paying entry-level work, the tech field can present excellent options if you're looking for a career change.
Why Start a New Career in Tech at 40?
Changing careers requires a great deal of consideration and risk-reward analysis. Many tech jobs are well-paying and in high demand, making them comparatively ‘safe' choices for midlife career changers looking for more financial stability.
Growing technology sectors have increased the demand for tech professionals within specific roles and specializations.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that between 2020 and 2030, the number of jobs for web developers will grow by 13%, while the number of jobs for technical writers will grow by 12%.
Additionally, jobs for software developers are projected to grow by 22%, dwarfing the national average job growth rate of just 8% for all occupations. Training and education requirements can be one of the most significant deterrents for people looking for a career change.
Fortunately, many tech roles do not require people to have a specific degree: Bootcamps and accelerated associate degree programs can provide more streamlined avenues to tech careers.
Career Change at 40: The 8 Best Tech Jobs
The following tech jobs are generally well-paying and in high demand. These can be excellent options for professionals over 40 who hope to work in the tech industry.
How to Change Careers at 40
People from all professional backgrounds can enter lucrative and in-demand tech careers. You can choose appropriate careers through a variety of training avenues.
With a Degree
Changing careers at 40 is usually less tricky if you already have a college degree. Many technology jobs require at least an associate or bachelor's degree, even if candidates' areas of study are not directly tech-related.
These individuals may still need to take courses, complete certificates, or build digital portfolios to kickstart their career changes.
College graduates who are interested in earning an additional degree while changing careers often have an easier time as they may be able to use previously earned credits to fill general education requirements and may qualify for accelerated programs.
Without a Degree
Changing careers can be a bit more difficult without a degree. However, non-degree training programs like bootcamps or professional certifications can help you pivot your career.
You can complete bootcamps in areas like coding, UX design, web development, cybersecurity, and data science.
You should also focus on building a strong portfolio to demonstrate your skills and credentials. Fortunately, many employers are open to hiring bootcamp graduates without relevant college degrees.
Frequently Asked Questions About Jobs in Tech
Is 40 too old for a career change?
40 is absolutely not too old for a career change. Numerous careers offer ample opportunities for midlife career changers.
In some cases, professionals who have worked for some time might have more resources to pay for postsecondary training or education and may have more options than they did at 18.
Furthermore, people who have spent some time in the workforce can have better insights about their professional strengths, weaknesses, and interests than less experienced workers and may make more informed decisions about their career trajectories.
Is 40 too late to go to college?
Pursuing a four-year degree at 40 can be challenging. Many midlife career changers have to balance school with more professional and family obligations than recent high-school graduates.
Grads who go back to college in their 40's also tend to have less time to ‘work their way up' to well-paying positions and tend to be more risk-averse when considering the job prospects associated with their degree areas.
However, tech-related degrees tend to offer a better ROI than other degree areas; even recent graduates can find entry-level tech jobs that pay well. Since many tech jobs are in high demand, college graduates have a better chance of finding gainful employment immediately after graduation.
Which tech job is right for me?
Many career changers choose professional trajectories that reflect their previous experiences; freelance writers or copywriters may be interested in technical writing, graphic designers may pursue web design, and business managers may enjoy digital product management.
Education requirements can determine the accessibility of certain roles. Not all working professionals are equipped or willing to pursue an additional four-year degree to pursue roles like software engineer or software developer.
However, people might be able to land UX design, digital marketing, or web development jobs through bootcamp training, professional certifications, and portfolios.
Feature Image: Thomas Barwick / DigitalVision / Getty Images