How to Change Careers as an Older Employee in a Young Workforce

Surely, it is no secret that times are changing faster than anyone can react. We are in the midst of a global pandemic that has sparked a technological change in the workforce and how work is performed. For older generations within the workforce, this change can be daunting and lead many to wonder what they should be doing now. 

Fortunately, technology has also opened up new forms of education that are meant to specifically help older members of the workforce who are passed the traditional educational years. These sources can help anyone of any age learn the new skills that are needed to tackle a career in a new field. Relying on these sources is a great way to develop a new skillset at any age and turn yourself into a dynamic member of the workforce.

Attend a Trade School

These new forms of education arrived largely in the last decade. Prior to this, they were known as vocational schools which taught students specific skills that helped them achieve specific careers. The idea hasn’t strayed too much, but trade schools of today teach students the skills and knowledge needed to enter a tech field.

For perspective, a popular option that is completely online is Thinkful, which offers courses ranging from data science to digital marketing. The best bit is that trade schools are far cheaper than graduate programs and can often be completed in a year. Trade schools have also shown strong enrollment in recent years, with the number of people attending rivaling those in college.

The reason for this is that older generations of the workforce are taking advantage of these opportunities. Employers are beginning to respect trade schools as much as traditional institutions, so employees are attending and developing new skills in order to advance in their current companies. Job Training Hub has a comprehensive list of popular trade schools around the country that may be near you today.

Consider a Coding Bootcamp

One of the most popular and useful skills in today’s day and age is coding. Knowing how to code can open the door to many tech-based careers. Contrary to popular belief, switching into one of these careers requires only basic coding skills, as many technical tasks can be taught to employees. 

With this in mind, attending an online coding bootcamp may be the best way for older generations within the workforce to obtain this skill. While it may seem like a difficult task, doing it from the comfort of your own couch should make you feel better about it.

Learning this skill now can help open the door to careers in software development and computer engineering, which are lucrative fields. Additionally, your past experience gained through a long career may help you to stand out among the less experienced competition.

It’s Never Too Late For an Online Degree

Truthfully, if you have the time and the money, there’s nothing wrong with attending a standard graduate program. Whether you choose to attend a program that is in-person or online, graduate degrees are widely respected by all employers. This option is great if you love your current company, since they may even be willing to sponsor part of your education.

Graduate school scholarships are also available to many students, which makes this an appealing option if you are worried about funds and have other bills to pay and a family to support. At the end of the day, changing careers is all about obtaining more education, which is something technology has made available to all.Conclusion

Changing careers at any point in your life can feel like a huge hurdle, regardless of your age. With that in mind, those who are members of Gen X or Boomer generations often have added difficulties considering they can sometimes be out of touch with recent technology. 

With that said, who can blame them? It’s been years since they have received their education and they’ve become experts in their careers. If you find yourself in these shoes, worry not given that there are multiple educational institutions you can pursue entirely online that can help you to switch career paths.

This is a guest post compliments of:

Artur Meyster, CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech.

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