For those who worked in tech and then changed industries, where did you go?

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JD2775
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:47 pm

For those who worked in tech and then changed industries, where did you go?

Post by JD2775 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:14 pm

I know similar questions have been asked recently, but not this exact scenario from what I have seen...

For those of you who have worked in the tech industry and then voluntarily (or involuntarily I guess) left for something else, what kind of work did you go to?

I am currently 43 years old and working in tech (Data Warehouse) but I can't really see myself doing this kind of work in 10-15 years, the problem is I have no idea what I would do...

Just curious to see what others have done who have gotten out of the tech industry, and how old were you when you got out?

CascadiaSoonish
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Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:44 am

Re: For those who worked in tech and then changed industries, where did you go?

Post by CascadiaSoonish » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:32 pm

I'm late 40s with 20 years in the industry. When I'm done I'll go back to education and maybe writing.

I'll flag the 'involuntary' bit in OP's post. This is an industry that doesn't have a whole lot of use for the 50 and up crowd. Shouldn't be that way, and we should all work to change that, but that's what it is. (check out the ProPublica article about IBM for a frightening read) So I think it's good for all of us to plan accordingly.

masonstone
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Re: For those who worked in tech and then changed industries, where did you go?

Post by masonstone » Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:43 am

CascadiaSoonish wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:32 pm
I'm late 40s with 20 years in the industry. When I'm done I'll go back to education and maybe writing.

I'll flag the 'involuntary' bit in OP's post. This is an industry that doesn't have a whole lot of use for the 50 and up crowd. Shouldn't be that way, and we should all work to change that, but that's what it is. (check out the ProPublica article about IBM for a frightening read) So I think it's good for all of us to plan accordingly.
I wonder if people think about this when choosing computer science as a field. There are several older programmers I know that have been laid off and now work contracting gigs that don’t provide regular work and don’t have anywhere near the same benefits or pay.

mouses
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Re: For those who worked in tech and then changed industries, where did you go?

Post by mouses » Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:20 am

CascadiaSoonish wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:32 pm
(check out the ProPublica article about IBM for a frightening read)
Quote of just part of the article: Encouraged employees targeted for layoff to apply for other IBM positions, while quietly advising managers not to hire them and requiring many of the workers to train their replacements. Told some older employees being laid off that their skills were out of date, but then brought them back as contract workers, often for the same work at lower pay and fewer benefits."

That first sentence is particularly nasty and inhumane out of the whole nasty and inhumane mess.

As to the second sentence, I have a friend who was laid off from hp, and hired back as a contract worker. I haven't asked her explicitly, but my impression is that she's making out like a bandit because of her specialized skills and knowledge of the project she's working on. She's been working on a continuous contract basis for something like 3 or so years. Health insurance needs managing, but she's almost at Medicare age. So on very rare occasions, karma hits MegaCorp.

The whole tech employment thing is really rotten. Bias, regulations flouted, good people discarded. This is not a field I would go into if I were starting out.

craimund
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Location: Virginia

Re: For those who worked in tech and then changed industries, where did you go?

Post by craimund » Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:33 am

JD2775 wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:14 pm
I know similar questions have been asked recently, but not this exact scenario from what I have seen...

For those of you who have worked in the tech industry and then voluntarily (or involuntarily I guess) left for something else, what kind of work did you go to?

I am currently 43 years old and working in tech (Data Warehouse) but I can't really see myself doing this kind of work in 10-15 years, the problem is I have no idea what I would do...

Just curious to see what others have done who have gotten out of the tech industry, and how old were you when you got out?
By "tech" I assume you mean IT/software. If you mean tech broadly, I have a BS and MS in Materials Engineering and worked in a corporate R&D department for a number of years before voluntarily leaving (at the age of 26), attending law school (in the evening while working for the US Patent Office as an examiner) and eventually becoming a patent attorney. I have been practicing law since 2000.
"When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose"-Bob Dylan 1965. "When you think that you've lost everything, you find out you can always lose a little more"-Dylan 1997

student
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Re: For those who worked in tech and then changed industries, where did you go?

Post by student » Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:46 am

CascadiaSoonish wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:32 pm
(check out the ProPublica article about IBM for a frightening read)
A very well-researched article. Thank you.

dcabler
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Re: For those who worked in tech and then changed industries, where did you go?

Post by dcabler » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:52 am

I'll take the broader definition of "tech". I'm an Electrical Engineer in the semiconductor industry and just passed my 34th anniversary in the business and will turn 57 in a week or so. I don't have the love affair with it that I had early on, but I can't say I hate it either. I've been layed off several times now, but always landed back in the industry - often with higher pay/position than before. And I guess that's why I haven't left it. And if it happens again, I'll declare myself "done" or 2-3 years from now, whichever comes first.

Many of my colleagues have left and the industries they've entered are as varied as the general population including:
1. One left and became a Catholic priest
2. Three left and became fee-only financial advisors
3. There are a few real estate agents in there
4. Program/Project managers in other industries
5. One is finishing up his degree to become a Physcisian's Assistant

You get the idea....

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Watty
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Re: For those who worked in tech and then changed industries, where did you go?

Post by Watty » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:35 am

JD2775 wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:14 pm
Just curious to see what others have done who have gotten out of the tech industry, and how old were you when you got out?
Right out of college I was a software developer at several software companies. Among other things I worked writing inventory and warehouse management systems. By about 30 I shifted to being a software developer with the corporate IT department at a large tech company working with their inventory systems.

By my mid-30's I was working as a software developer in the IT department at non-tech companies working with inventory and warehouse management systems. I did that until I retired a few years ago when I voluntarily retired when I was 58.

I know at least two people that were laid off from IT jobs when they were in their 50's then got jobs as school bus drivers. That did not pay a lot but it has healthcare and other benefits and they got lots of time off in the summer and school holidays. That was enough for them for as a bridge job until they retired and they seemed generally happy with the job since they got so much time off. At least around here they are always looking for school bus drivers since it does not pay enough for someone that needs a full time job.

I know one guy that was some sort of engineer at IBM that became a potter and sell pottery at street fairs. I doubt he makes much but that seems to be what he wants to do.
JD2775 wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:14 pm
I am currently 43 years old and working in tech (Data Warehouse) but I can't really see myself doing this kind of work in 10-15 years, the problem is I have no idea what I would do...
You would be in your mid 50's then so retiring would be an option to consider. I was about that age when I got my house paid off and my kid finished college and got out on his own. At that point your income needs really change so retiring may be a lot more possible.

bodominiums
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Re: For those who worked in tech and then changed industries, where did you go?

Post by bodominiums » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:46 am

I became a U.S. diplomat after more than 15 years in network administration and information security.

engin33r
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Re: For those who worked in tech and then changed industries, where did you go?

Post by engin33r » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:59 am

Subscribed.

I have the same question. I'm late 30s with 2 young kids. While we thankfully have achieved FI, both my wife and I are still working software development jobs. We made the move out of Silicon Valley to a lower COL (north Atlanta). Right now, we're each working remotely for SV companies but who knows how long that will last. My wife is more content with her job and isn't necessarily looking for a change of pace. For me, I feel like software development has become rote and since I have the safety blanket of FI, I just don't care in the way that I used to. I feel like I'm at a point where I at least need to start thinking about what's next...but I have no idea what that will be.

noco-hawkeye
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Re: For those who worked in tech and then changed industries, where did you go?

Post by noco-hawkeye » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:12 am

Watty wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:35 am
You would be in your mid 50's then so retiring would be an option to consider. I was about that age when I got my house paid off and my kid finished college and got out on his own. At that point your income needs really change so retiring may be a lot more possible.
I think this is a key point. Hopefully you are ahead on your mortgage / 529 / retirement savings etc, being in tech does usually pay pretty well. Once the kids are gone, you can still work in tech for less money at the job of your choosing. Or take up another job that provides benefits. There are probably a good deal of contract / consulting gigs as well, which might help you also do some traveling that you have put off until then.

a
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Re: For those who worked in tech and then changed industries, where did you go?

Post by a » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:49 am

Change of heart: 34
Age left: 35
Previous employment: computer programmer
Years spent solidifying which path: 3
Currently: 1/2 way through master's
New field: Brain degeneration

DrivingFun
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Re: For those who worked in tech and then changed industries, where did you go?

Post by DrivingFun » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:49 am

Thread is very relevant to my interests. I'm a software developer, 36 years old. I primarily worked for small companies with very little opportunity to jump between technologies and learning on the job so to speak, so most learning has been self induced. Now that I have a family, kid, it's very difficult to do. Not to mention technologies (especially web) are moving at a speed of light, to the point where books can't even keep up. I make a very nice income, and I hope to milk it as long as I can, but I realize eventually it'll completely pass me by. I always loved software development, but I absolutely hate the pace of things. I am almost certain that in about 10 years time I'll need another plan. I just hope that I'm very financially secure when that day comes.

vested1
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Re: For those who worked in tech and then changed industries, where did you go?

Post by vested1 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:52 am

I don't know if this qualifies, but I worked 31 years in the top technical titles of regulated telecommunications, then another 8 years in the deregulated arena, designing cellular communications facilities and fiber delivery in urban and metropolitan environments. I was fascinated with all aspects of analog and digital communication and the shift from regulated to deregulated allowed me to delve into the technology from the other side of the mirror.

"Tech", as mentioned by others here encompasses a vast array of industries. For the OP, perhaps there is another branch of the same industry where his/her prior experience would made them more valuable than the average applicant, and thus more sought after by prospective employers.

I'm retired now for over two years, but at age 66 next month I'm still receiving job offers, another just last week. My only advice, for what it's worth, is rather generic but likely applicable. Don't be satisfied with merely doing "enough", but endeavor to expand your personal knowledge beyond the artificial limitations placed upon you.

ssquared87
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Re: For those who worked in tech and then changed industries, where did you go?

Post by ssquared87 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:57 am

Tech consulting is an option. A lot of the upper level management at consulting companies are in the age range that would have trouble working in IT. You have to be willing to manage others though and sell work to clients. But it’s a way for you to stay in the industry while learning about new technologies on a regular basis and taking on more responsibilities.

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