I've worked in a non-IT field for many years, and I'm looking at pursuing a new career in IT. How easy will it be for me to make the transition?

A. Many people from a variety of career fields are looking at IT for their second career. The reasons probably include hopes of improved pay, boredom with their old job situation, or an early retirement from a career they started in their late teens or early 20s. Many people have made this transition successfully, but beware that you might find the pay scale of an inexperienced IT person is dramatically less than your salary as an experienced professional in your old field. Also, making the transition from being a seasoned expert in one field to being a novice in another can be an emotional experience.

However, many employers appreciate the benefits of life experience and value mature, experienced employees as a stabilizing force for the youthful and sometimes immature enthusiasm of younger workers. You could find that age might actually be a benefit in IT. You might find that you can use some of your accounting background to increase your value as an IT pro. You could add considerable value during a client visit when a discussion of business topics you are familiar with occurs and you are able to intelligently handle the issues.

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