If you’re thinking that you should have learned computer science or software engineering in college, then it’s time to put that worrying to rest. Undertaking a career change at least once in your professional career isn’t unusual. In fact, it can be a pretty common experience for many adults.
According to a 2019 study conducted by Indeed, nearly half of the people surveyed said that they underwent at least one major career change in their lives. The study also found that this wasn’t an impulsive decision — the average age of respondents was 39 and the average time spent making the decision was 11 months.
Changing careers doesn’t have to be challenging, particularly if you’re interested in one of the fastest-growing industries in the world today. Adult education has evolved to keep up with the rising demand for tech jobs, providing various ways to learn important skills such as coding and computer science.
You Get to Work at Your Own Pace, so Use it to Your Advantage
Adult education is different from traditional learning in that people are learning a new skill in their free time. After all, as an adult, you don’t have a parent who is telling you to do it.
It may be challenging at first to find motivation, but with the right mindset, it can also be transformational. It’s best to start with one programming language and once you’re comfortable you can move onto another and build your skill sets.
It may also be important to have tangible goals that can be beneficial for your career. For instance, some job positions may require a bit more experience. Having a certification to show your expertise in the area can prove to employers that you are more than capable of handling specific programs.
Education Doesn’t Have to be a Four-Year Degree
You don’t need to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a technology-related field to pursue a career in the technology industry. Whether you’re interested in becoming a data scientist or a software engineer, every type of technology has skills that can be taught as an adult.
Picking up a new skill requires genuine interest, not thousands of dollars, so start with what you want to learn. There are many courses available that can allow people to learn programming languages or work with databases and frameworks.
There are Informal Coding Opportunities Too
Adult education doesn’t have to be about learning through programs and courses. Part of what makes the technology sector exciting is that you get to work in a very collaborative environment.
Hackathons can be a great opportunity to be part of a more collaborative environment, allowing yourself to see what it’s like to solve problems with fellow programmers. Hackathon events are easy to find, both locally and internationally.
Google is well-known for its coding competitions, which can allow anyone to try their hand at solving algorithm puzzles in a friendly competitive environment.
Nonprofit Organizations are Available to Lend a Helping Hand
Becoming a part of something that will provide mentorship and additional opportunities can help make adult learning a bit easier. Nonprofit organizations can help provide additional guidance and a sense of community. Women Who Code works to provide women with the skills needed to get a career in tech, while providing opportunities that allow them to become a leader.
Coding 4 Community serves as another example. Run by volunteers, the nonprofit organization provides charity organizations with software and also holds free coding and software development workshops to teach people specific skills such as UX design or machine learning.
It’s Time to Make that Career Change
Whether it’s because you’re no longer interested in your current job or want a career with better job security, transitioning to a tech job doesn’t need to be something that intimidates you.
No matter what age you are, you can get a job in the technology industry. You don’t need to learn technology skills through a formal college education if that isn’t what you want. Adult education has adapted tremendously and people can learn in-demand skills in many ways.
Through the assistance of online resources, nonprofit organizations, and accessible opportunities, you are more than capable of exploring a new career and making it into something feasible. All you need is to take that chance and make that change.
Sophia Acevedo is a journalist based in Southern California. She is a 2020 graduate from California State University, Fullerton, and a proud Daily Titan alum.
This article was published on: 02/17/21 12:01 PM
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