Career Change - Advice

Hey Everyone!

I’m glad I found this website. Been going doing all of the exercises. Here is my dilemma and very nervous about it. I’ve been working in Operations Management for 12 years and I’m at a 6 figure salary. I hate the career and the health is start to go down a bit. I wake up every day and just hit my head against the fridge. (This is real!)

I come home at night completely exhausted and when I try to code I don’t get the results I want because I’m so exhausted. I have a masters degree in Math education but in coding I’ve learned that means nothing. I know everyone is trying to be a coder at this point and I’m really considering leaving my industry and studying for 6 months, moving back in with the parents to save money and go down this route because it’s addicting and I love it.

I get nervous because I go online and see these stories that you need a CS degree or no one will take a chance on you compared to college kids. In my case, I’m 35 years old and I feel because I’m mid career, I’ll get looked over for jobs.

Any advice would be great. I know one big thing from my masters degree that I can give everyone here advice would be make sure you know BIG O Notation. It’s one of the first questions my Engineering managers ask as well as basic data structures and Algorithms.

Thanks in Advance!


I would recommend looking into a Coding Bootcamp from Europe called Code Institute. They have an affordable 14 month payment plan at about $450/ month and it’s accredited when on completion of the program you receive a Diploma of Software Development. The program is an Online FullStack Python course that is go at your own pace with mentorship. I’ve done considerable research on them and think they are very solid.

With your fund’s I’d recommend a Bootcamp over self learning because you will be pushed harder in a Bootcamp and make quicker gains; not to mention the Diploma of Software Development is great for getting past the HR firewall.

I’d also recommend doing FCC curriculum as well for additional practice.

This varies by area and industry, but in my experience a lot of companies look very favorably on a STEM degree. Sure, the closer to computing it is the better, but having a degree in math puts you in pretty good standing if you can also demonstrate the ability to code.

Hey, I did the 35 year old career change. It isn’t easy, but you can do it.

If the field interests you, maybe consider machine learning / data science. I work with a bunch of PhD maths and science types, and they spend all day solving really complex and interesting problems while I’m mostly centering <div>s…

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Have you thought about maybe transitioning within your current company. Sometimes internal hires have a leg up on outside candidates because they already have references on you as an employee. Although you do still have to prove your proficiency in the area and position into which you wished to transition, so that could be a hur

Bootcamp is probably a viable option, especially if you already have some math and computer science foundation, it’s more focused on practical skills and framework that are job oriented.

I’ve thought about it but they want me to go mainstream Masters degree in CS. I don’t want to do enterprise right now. Also, I don’t think I’d like enterprise C at this current moment.

Hey starlasher1515!

If there’s anything I’d recommend you is to think about what you actually want to learn before you do anything. Since you’ve said that “math in coding means nothing” it’s probably because you’ve been learning web development.
There are many different specializations within this industry. The one where you work with math, algorithms, data, etc. is data science, machine learning, AI, cryptography, blockchain engineering, Internet of Things (this one seems really cool). It’s a lot different from being a front-end developer where you focus on writing a rather simple logic and think of how things can be more interactive and efficient for the website visitor.

In case you were wondering how to start in this field, the answer would probably be learning Python. That’s the usual choice in this field.

Now, there are loads of resources for that:

  • Udemy is the usual destination for finding good courses and it’s usually great when it comes to programming languages.
  • Udacity offers premium courses (they call them “nanodegrees”) and are more business-oriented and are supposed to get you ready to work. Also, I THINK those courses often taught by big tech companies. Pricey though.
  • Bootcamp - never been, not looking to, I’ve only heard about them. Apparently, you’re learning at a pretty rigorous pace and consume (& produce projects) the entire curriculum in just a few months by coding and coding for many hours a day. Kinda like going back to school but with less leisure. Costs even more than Udacity courses.

And yes, if you’re feeling about your job and it’s as physically and mentally demanding then you’ll eventually have to jump out of it (or undergo a paid training if your company wants to offer you that) and focus on learning code. It takes taking in a lot of theory and producing many projects to get comfortable and be ready for work.