Making a career change

I have 12 years' industry experience in engineering but have decided to make a career change.

Dear Advisor,

I have 12 years' industry experience in engineering but have decided to make a career change. I am 31 and have various tertiary qualifications in engineering and a lot of experience with automated production lines and robotics.

My current position as a manager means I control a dozen staff and projects worth several hundred thousand dollars. Although I have no IT experience, I am quite analytical and have good problem-solving skills.

After careful consideration of the various areas within IT, my first step will be a degree in software development at university. This is a three-year commitment, but I may only do a year or two full-time before seeking employment so as to get into the IT industry as soon as possible. I realise I will be starting at the bottom of the ladder but would be interested if you think my background would eventually be of any value to an IT employer.

I have come across many examples of inadequate software over the years and believe there are good opportunities for software developers and analysts. Would you agree?

Engineer

De Winter International replies: There are plenty of opportunities for developers and analysts. You may be surprised by the number of engineers who have made the move across to IT. Unless you really like living in dodgy flats and having no money, I wouldn't be in any great hurry to head back to varsity. By developing some programming skills and leveraging off your project management skills you probably won't find the transition as hard as you think.

Readers with career questions can have them answered in this column by IT recruitment specialists. Send questions via Computerworld journalist, Darren Greenwood, with "Dear Adviser" in the subject line.

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