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Thinking about changing industries

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Old 26th August 2016, 12:11 PM   #1
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Thinking about changing industries

Iím currently finishing a masters degree in public policy. Iíve done really well in that program, and Iíve got two classes to go. After, Iím wanting to try to find some kind of job as a policy analyst, since that involves lots of writing and research, which I enjoy and Iím good at.

At the same time, I keep having recurring thoughts about what might have happened if I had tried my hand at computer science in undergrad. I keep seeing news stories about the median pay software engineers receive, which is astounding. There seems to be a lot of energy and action in that industry. I did a C++ course back in high school which I did well in, but havenít done anything related to that since. At my current job, I spend an inordinate amount of time helping people with their computer problems, and writing user manuals for new software the employees have to use (not exactly programming, obviously, but it at least means Iím not computer-phobic).

All these things have led me to start toying with the idea of doing an online bachelors in software engineering. It probably wouldnít take as long, since I already have a bachelors and a masters. Iím not married, and donít have any kids, so itís not like I have a whole lot of other things to do with my time. But I wonder if Iím too old to get into this industry? I turned 30 in July. Wouldn't a shift like this look odd to potential employers?
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Old 27th August 2016, 7:12 AM   #2
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So I've heard about those computer programming boot camps and how they get stellar jobs with 6 figure salaries right out the gate. Maybe you should check that out. BUT I've also been hearing lately about all the lay off going on in the high tech industries.
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Old 8th September 2016, 1:59 PM   #3
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I work in that industry, there is a lot of demand. With training your starting salary may be around $40-50k. After 2-3 years you should be able to move to $70k and after 5 years you can be at $100-150k.
It's one thing to know languages etc, the experience applying it is where the value lies. Once you get to the point were a customer ask for something and you can show them multiple ways they can achieve it based on past projects you did, that is when you become valuable. It takes a couple of years before you get there.
Some companies may start you lower like $35-$40k but the experience is what matters. Certifications can be enticing to employers but without experience it's not the end all be all. Anyone can pass a test.
If you are interested there is good money in the future and a lot of remote work and flexibility options which are huge benefits.
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