Should I Change Career to IT at Age 33 ?

Hi everyone,

I'm 33 years old. I'm thinking to change my career due to my current job comes to a dead end, and want to earn extra money in the next few years in Tasmania.

About me, I'm working full-time as a fast-food res manager. We're doing good in terms of sales and workplace environment (everyone is happy), I've built this team myself. The issue I am having now is my income is kind of low ~60k and 1-2k bonus (not too bad in hospo industry, but still low in general). Cant take % of sale as a bonus (not the way we operate). I can see myself stuck in this position for the next few years with a low salary. Everything is way too expensive. I don't think opening a cafe or restaurant is a good idea at the moment and I cant cook anyway. I can see through all the expenses and income of a hospo business with a very small % margin of profit.

After researching, I feel Cer 3/4 in IT could be a good start to join the industry. I cant afford Dip or a Degree in Uni. I'm doing self-study CCNA and focusing on Networking later on. I have done 2 degrees Bachelor Business Management and Master Accounting (for Visa purposes) but I'm not too bad at them. I also cant pursue Accounting anymore due to my age without experience (it's the fact).

Is this a good plan ? Does my age (33) matter to start over again in IT ? I understand companies are outsourcing people in IT industry but I still can see many job-ads on Seek.

You may say I'm crazy, but I'm willing to study to have better money in the next 5 years.

Thanks for reading !!


  • if it's what you want to do, do it, it's better that you start sooner, rather than later, if you are going to do it.

    I don't think opening a cafe or restaurant is a good idea at the moment

    you're right. i spoke to a guy who has a prime location in Tasmania and when business is bad, his staff get paid but he doesn't, that's just how it goes when you own the business, you eat the losses. that and there are so many different cafes at this point, the market is oversupplied. you definitely don't want to be starting right now, especially if your main concern is earning more money.

  • +6

    33 is still young, go for it

    • -8

      Not if you are a dog.

  • +1

    Go for it

  • +6

    My whole life was in retail and then in the car industry selling car parts.
    I had a 6 yr old and a 1 yr old and took the jump into IT at 33yrs old to work at an IT Service Desk on night shift.
    I quickly moved to running a team, then running a Service Desk. I moved up the management teams concentrating on Service Management, ITIL2/3/4 and SIAM with Change Management skills, and just kept training.
    Eventually I was doing contracts on deploy major software deployments making $250k
    If you are good at your job and can make a difference then you can thrive.
    I was initially hesitant but soon realised I knew more about IT and management than most of people around me, life skills can bring a difference.

    Just do it!

    • +2

      Lol how many years ago was this?
      Goodluck having those chances these days

      • +3

        Retail to car parts sales to helpdesk is a wild transition.

        I had 6 years in IT sales and couldn't get a helpdesk job. Definitely sounds like a career trajectory doable a decade or two ago, not so much these days.

        • Yeah because you keep saying 6 years so the majority of the Managers will think you're over-qualified.

          • @Montyjpm: I wouldn't think that 6 years in sales would mean overqualified for lower end support.
            Personally I thought it envisioned strong customer service background and a solid technological baseline. Probably less knowledgeable than people with a bachelors, but likely with a stronger service focus.

  • +3

    Bleurgh. There's always the ones who say go for it and then tell you they're raking it in. But let's be real.

    What are the job prospects in IT in Tasmania?
    How are they related to Cert III/IV?
    What are the chances of you ending up in basic IT helpdesk roles, call centres or something similar?
    Will you be willing to work 24/7 shift work?
    Is there a likelihood your role will be moved interstate or overseas?
    Are you willing to move?

    IT, imho, was 20 years ago. Everything moving forward is all about service industries, health and education (at various levels).

    You have a degree in Business and a Masters in Accounting. Why on earth are you wasting time in hospitality and looking at IT?

    Get a job managing IT monkeys 🐒 Run an IT business. Lord knows you don't have to be a technician to run technicians!

    • They're really good questions.

      I did some researches, there are not many jobs in IT available in Tasmania, 50% are helpdesks. Most jobs require a "territory certification in IT" which I dont have, that's why Cert 3/4 could be a start. At least I can put it on my resume, Vendor certification is valuable but without basic knowledge, it will be extremly hard for me to study.
      I'm doing Cisco CCNA in the meantime.
      I understand I have to move to find a prospect IT job.

            **You have a degree in Business and a Masters in Accounting. Why on earth are you wasting time in hospitality and looking at IT?**

      I forgot to mention, I'm not a Australian nor PR, with all factors ( bad lucks, complication of visa processes and not strong/excellent "speaking skills"), I unfortunately couldnt find a job in those fields after graduating (4-5 years ago).

            **Get a job managing IT monkeys 🐒 Run an IT business. Lord knows you don't have to be a technician to run technicians!**

      It could be true for some people, but not for all. You can run a business without understanding it, but the risks of failure is high. Also, you need a lot of money to run a business this way (hiring everyone to work for you). I learned it when running my restaurant.

  • YES.

  • +5

    Make the change out of passion, not money. You'll progress faster if you have a genuine interest in it.

    Anyway, just random advice from a random internet stranger.

  • +2

    As a few others have already mentioned - follow your passion, don't change just for money.
    Yes there are plenty of IT jobs that pay a handsome salary, but from my experience the ones that are most successful almost always have a genuine interest in their field.
    If I were you I'd be asking myself what my interests are, and following those through online courses.
    And when it comes to studying, be aware that a lot of IT hiring managers don't usually care if you've got a degree in IT, what usually gets people a job is their ability to demonstrate their knowledge, how they can be self-resourceful, and being open to constantly learn new things.
    While I still enjoyed the time I spent at Uni doing my course, I didn't know how to feel when not a single person at my workplace showed any interest in my degree when I was hired as a developer. Not to mention the things I learned at Uni were very much out of date… Other than learning the fundamentals of my field, I don't think it really provided me much value.
    And finally you're definitely not too old! Best of luck

  • +4

    Should I Change career to IT at Age 32 ?

    I'm 33 years old.

    Don't you think it's a bit late to be asking what you should do at 32 when you are 33?

    • lol

      You would they could at least be consistent esp when stating their age 3 times within the OP

  • If you're good enough to manage a fast food restaurant, you are good enough to manage an IT team. Just need the academics so you can start talking the right language. 33 is not too old. You still have a 30+ year career ahead of you (guaranteed the retirement age will be raised to 70 by the time you reach your 60s).

  • In Tasmania there's no shortage of people wanting to work in IT with degrees and no experience. Then there's a massive shortage of workers with prior experience looking for a job.

  • In 5 years, you're going to be 38 anyway. Might as well be a 38 year old with a cert 3/4 in IT.

  • +1

    20 years ago was the best time to plant a tree, today is the next best time.

  • +2

    Have you thought about pushing into management somewhere else? I know Bunnings love taking on Fast food managers or similar. Good growth in Bunnings too (for the right person)

  • Why can't you afford to do a degree? You can put it on HECS. If you fail you'll never have to pay it back anyway on that salary. You can study computer science online at Charles Sturt uni (I did). You can also study a "changing careers" IT masters.

  • I've got almost 15 years on you. I'm starting my study to be a code monkey in a couple of weeks.

    It always sucks to go from a standing start (I've done it a couple of times), but they do say, a change is as good as a holiday. On a side note, $60k is pretty much a standing start anyway. There's not much further you can go down from where you already are. Trust me, I'm in a similiar boat as you and I'm making the jump.

  • +1

    First get your PR/residency then start again.

    • I will be eligible to apply PR in Feb next year, that's why I want to know the option from now. :)

  • IT is an industry that is always changing. Therefore be ready to be continuously studying and getting industry certifications and recertification.
    I've seen many who think it's study one and done, get their foot in the industry and then after 5-10 years become irrelevant stuck on level 2 helpdesk.

  • I went back to school (TAFE) at 36. So you're never too old. That was 22 years ago.
    Did an Advanced Diploma of Computer Systems Engineering part time whilst working full time in a PC repair shop.
    Took 5 years to complete, but was worth it and the teachers were great.
    Ended up being invited back to the same TAFE the following year as a teacher and taught the computer repair classes.
    Once settled in, I ended up doing a Masters and now teach across a whole bunch of domains including Cloud and Cyber Security.
    Best decision I ever made. Just be aware that you'll be studying something new for the rest of your career as IT is always changing.

  • I would avoid the IT industry unless you can somehow become a specialist. CCNA (Networking) is almost a generalist these days, most guys know how to configure network gear. You will get a few serious network engineers in the ASX listed sorts of companies who earn 150+ who have the next level up in Cisco certifications where the serious money is, but your average "network" person isn't much more than any other IT generalist imo. IT generalists earn awful wages due to the simple fact there are millions of IT workers to compete against, most who have 10+ years experience already. The competition is the killer. You need to be niche, the catch is those niche IT jobs are restricted to the cities. My advice, specialize more than "Networking", get into a city, do the 5 year slog, get a few highly specialized certifications … or prepare to waste the next 5 years of your life to come out earning 70-80k in your first couple of years if all you have is the Cert IV and CCNA like every other generalist, not saying you need to do Uni to earn the big bucks either, but you wont find any generalists on serious money. Look up an IT career map with a tree diagram sort of thing and find your niche area. Focus every energy on becoming a "specialist" or choose another industry.

  • Why not? I started Uni at 34 and now second year in. Hard working Full Time and studying Full Time, but you feel better knowing you're working toward a goal. Just make sure whatever you study are qualify enough for you to land the job in the industry you desire.

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