Dear Bob ...
I could really use your feedback. I'm very much considering a career change into the IT field. My present background is in architecture (buildings), but since things are very slow these days, I wonder how much longer I can survive.
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Please let me know -- am I a fool to consider a change to IT these days? If it's not such a stupid idea, what area of IT would you think is good right now for long-term growth? Any good schools or training companies you could recommend?
Dear Dangling ...
I can't answer that question for you. You'll have to answer it for yourself. Here are a few points to ponder:
- Why did you choose architecture instead of IT in the first place? Have any of those reasons changed?
- If, in the middle of your career change, a decent -- not brilliant, but decent -- opportunity in your current field came your way, would you jump at it or would you let it pass because you've decided to change careers?
- When it comes to IT, what transferrable skills do you think you have? Are those skills strong enough to put you in the top 10 percent of your current field?
- Do you know enough about IT to know what transferrable skills you have? If not, what factors have led you to consider it for a new career, other than the possibility that there are more jobs available?
- Are you willing to take a serious hit in compensation in order to begin your change in careers?
My opinion is that the availability of work is a poor reason to choose a field. For most people this leads not to a career, but a job -- one they don't like very much. Chances are that your position will never turn into a career.
Assuming you love architecture and that's one reason you entered the field, you might be better off thinking of yourself as the sole proprietor of a business in that field. From there, approach your employment the way good executives consider business strategies.
In other words, traditional jobs might not be available, but there could be opportunities. For example, in an era of tight budgets, some businesses might decide to spend a small amount to refresh the space they have instead of building, homeowners might make similar decisions, and so on.
It isn't my field, so I'm just guessing. It is your field, and if you're good at it, you might find that if you focus your attention, you can envision a number of opportunities to pursue.