Does a career change at 30 or 35 in India make sense?

A generation back, when ‘one job for life’ was pretty much the accepted philosophy for the conservative working class, a career change at 30 or 35 in India was taboo.

Unless there was a lay-off (another less frequent phenomenon), Indians employees wouldn’t even be thinking of a career change after 30.

The benevolent company ensure that all their needs were taken care of. As the employees crossed 25, 30, 40, 50, a change of career became not only less relevant but also less practical. Not any more.

Now you’d be shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t proactively evaluate the possibility of a career change after 10 years (or even 15, 20 years) of working.
 

Why a career change at 30 or 35 in India makes sense

The basic career story for most professionals in India is similar and it’s quite likely that it might apply to you as well.

You were forced into getting a degree that you never wanted. You did not choose your first job. You took whatever came your way during campus recruitment. You came for the salary and made job switches primarily for the salary. Now, you’ve reached a mid-career crisis much earlier than you expected.

Deja vu?
 

Career Change Reason 1: Your qualifications don’t match your jobs

Your basic graduation degree might be in chemical (or mechanical or aerospace) engineering, but you’ve been sitting in a cubicle managing software and other outsourced business processes.

Your plight is shared by thousands of other colleagues who have been pulled into the vortex just like you.
 

Career Change Reason 2: Your interests don’t fit your jobs

Your right-brained creative preferences have been pushed into the shadows by all the left-brained activities you are expected to do at work. or Vice versa.

You’d love to work with ideas, dream of new possibilities and connect with people. But you get paid to record, quantify and analyse what’s already happened.
 

Career Change Reason 3: Your personality isn’t aligned with your jobs

Your boss wants to see you as an outgoing, aggressive, back-slapping, in-your-face marketing person who’ll use the gift-of-the-gab that the Lord almighty provided you to get new business for the company.

What they don’t know is the introvert who lurks behind that mask, waiting to go home and enjoy the silent me-time. Round peg in the pentagonal hole!
 

Career Change Reason 4: Your salary & compensation package don’t match your expectations

The compensation package seemed very lucrative when you joined. But within a couple of years, you’ve realised that the market salary range has grown much faster than your companies HR policies like.

So, fresh faces with lesser experience pouring into your company are getting salaries that are getting too close to yours.
 

Career Change Reason 5: Your skills are rapidly losing their market value

This one is the killer. Think about this.

What got you into this company? Your skills.

What’s keeping you in this company? Your skills.

What’s stopping you from getting better jobs? I think you know the answer.

It’s in your employer’s interest to make the most of the skills you were recruited for. It’s in your interest to outgrow that role as quickly as you can.
 

Career Change Reason 6: You are getting too comfortable in the current job

This one sneaks up from behind and you don’t even suspect it. When it ain’t broken, why fix it, right?

Let’s be clear here. Being comfortable doesn’t mean being happy. You might have tons of complaints against your employer – the culture, politics, salaries, policies, how the canteen food has altered your once-enviable silhouette.

But you’ve accepted it as an unchangeable fact of life. That’s the comfort factor we’re talking about, of sticking to the known evil rather than venturing into the unknown.
 
If after working for 10 years, you have the maturity to evaluate your career growth trajectory and give it proper direction, then a career change at 30 (or 35 / 40 / 45) may still be worth it.

Try out this free online career assessment test to see how you’ve managed your career so far. Our online personality test might give you some insights into specific traits and tendencies you project. Be aware of the limitations of such tools though.

If you are under 35 and prefer a personalised 1-on-1 session, check out our career counselling option. [Disclaimer: This option is not a magic wand either. We’ll let you know upfront if we aren’t able to help.]

Have you been thinking about a change of career after 30? What is the primary reason?

Read these related posts: Fear and shame of career change and Teacher turned Management Consultant-Career Change Tips

[Edit: I’ve launched another initiative to help folks build, improve or change their careers using a simple but effective approach. Do check it out]


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Sameer Kamat //
Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Connect with me: Linkedin | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

45 Comments

  1. Oracle says:

    I wonder, why suddenly world has grown so impatient. ‘one job for life’ is no longer accepted and is considered conservative thinking. But then, people used to do the same “job” for generations, passing down invaluable knowledge to kins.

    Technology, marketing, sales etc have increasingly become complex over the last few decades. On the top of it, Globalization has accelerated the pace of innovation in all the fields. Consequently, one has to spend considerable amount of time and dedication to deliver anything meaningful. Now, after working in a field for 10+ years and be ready to innovate in that field, if one quits the job in search of vaguely defined personal goals, it a big loss for that particular field and more so for the individual. It’s a waste of energy at the anvil of personal ambitions. Stop this non-sense. You can build a great career in any field and earn same amount of money and fame. There is no shortcut here. It’s a matter of time. Some professions such as IT give a big start by paying huge salaries to freshers, but than salaries stagnate after few years. Whereas, for doctors, it’s just the other way around.

    So, invest your time and energy in any one field and you will succeed. It will also give you peace of mind. Don’t be so impatient. Give your best to your job, that’s what people have been doing for generations.

    • Akash says:

      It is not about being impatient at all. You seem to have completely missed the point. Why should someone continue with a career which seems soul sucking to them? They should have gotten out sooner, ideally they never should have entered that career at all, but it is better late then never. Why should someone continue doing work that seems unbearably mundane to them? Just so they can contribute to a field they do not even care about?

      You also seem to be really hung up on the money aspect. Money is important, but making a huge amount of money while doing something you hate is an excellent recipe to make a disaster out of your life. Even if someone decides to make a change, they can earn a respectable amount of money in their new careers, provided they are true to themselves about what they really want.

  2. Sameer Kamat says:

    Thanks for sharing your views, Oracle.

    You’ve got some valid points in there, specially about being patient, not looking for short-cuts and most importantly being clear about personal goals.

    We see folks who take it to the other extreme as well, and end up with 5 different jobs in 5 years.

    Good to have you contributing here, buddy!

  3. Stealth says:

    I think a career change would become more of a norm going forward. the ‘skills’ which recruiters used to value are not very difficult to obtain in the market today and the need to learn new/niche is even higher.

    its just that indian economy is not yet ready for anything other than outsourced business yet. Yes there are a few startups that are growing to be successfull , but we really need massive industries reinventing our economy for a easy career change to be both ‘accepted’ and become ‘possible’

    i dont see this happening in this decade atleast.

  4. Oracle says:

    This is not about India’s or US or any other country’s economy. Only “Skill” that companies are looking for when you have 10+ years of experience is your EXPERIENCE. This is as much true today as it was 100 years ago.

    There is no substitute for experience acquired hard way, with sleeves rolled up, right on the field. Of course, while you acquire those experience, you must keep yourselves abreast of what is happening in your field. This is not about career change, it about being at the top of your profession, whatever it may be. Changing profession is viable only during early stages of career (4-5 years exp.)

    If you doubt, try this:
    After spending 10+ years in IT, go for a Finance or Marketing degree ( from a premiere school in India or even US) and acquire those “new” skills. You will soon realize how much your “new” skills fetch you vis-a-vis your “Old” skills!!!

  5. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Stealth: My humble view is that the Indian economy is more than ready to embrace a whole lot of skills and careers that weren’t unheard of and/or financially not viable earlier…for instance, my extremely niche current job as an international MBA admissions consultant.

    And I made the career switch after 35 :-)

  6. Gururaj says:

    Hi Sameer,

    I am Gururaj, 33 years old. I have done my engineering degree in mechanical engineering and I have more than 12 years of industrial experience now. About 10 months back, I moved from a MNC (where I was working more than 5 years), as I lost trust in the management. The new MNC which I have joined was a little differenct industry; but I was taking care of the operations which was doing in my earlier assignments. Recently there was a change in my organisation and I am moved to another area where I do not have much interest and the ambience is also not so supportive. Coincidentally my ex-boss called me and he is offering me to come back. I am really not in a mood to look for another job now and the same time I can’t continue here. I have a bit of hesitation to go back to the same organisation; but my mind says that I enjoyed the work there and so won’t be a problem. I need your advice on this, please.

  7. Anshika says:

    Sameer,

    I am single (recently divorced) and 35 years of age.
    I hold a Masters in Personnel Management from Pune University (2001 passout).
    However, I have lived and worked in Australia & the US and worked with MNCs there mainly in Operations and IT Operations ( 6-7 years of work experience). I am now in India for good and currently a lecturer in Management for BBA. I am not satisfied with my current profession and would like to explore other options. Also as far as IT Operations is concerned ( I hold a 1 year diploma in software programming from Aptech) I do not have a professional degree and feel there might be a lot of competition in the work place. To sum up my main questions are around:
    Where can I begin at 35 (which area or field of work)? specially since my education and work exp do not concur
    What would be my best option in terms of a suitable work culture? – given the fact that i majority of my work experience has been in the US
    What field/sector I should be pursuing that pays reasonably well and has growth opportunity?
    What kind of jobs can i expect and what packages should I be expecting with my prior experience.

    I am soon to finish with this academic session and had plans to prepare for GMAT.
    Like all others sailing in my situation I was thinking a Global MBA would be a fix to my problem.
    However after reading the articles on your site, which I am so glad I did, I would like to seek some advise.

    My frustrations with my current job are that I am not adding any skills on the contrary look at it as a much needed break from the burnout and has helped me cope with my life event.

    I am hoping your advise would help me get perspective and direction towards building a future.

    My last job was within the healthcare industry (US Healthcare) as an EDI Analyst.

  8. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Gururaj: Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know!

    Talk to your ex-boss about why you left the company and what would make you come back (e.g. getting shielded from the stuff that got you pissed off).

    @Anshika: I’m afraid there are too many questions in there that can’t be addressed with a short answer. See if this looks interesting – Career MAP Counselling.

  9. Joy says:

    Hi Sameer,
    I am a 31 year old guy in IT. I specialize in custom app, more specifically in Microsoft Technology stack. For the last 2 years I am feeling really tired and disengaged about my job. I was passionate about technology but now I feel that it is difficult to chase technology, mostly as it grows at a very fast pace. I realized that catching up with technology is very difficult as you grow old ‘coz you need to spend time with your family and other things come in between. I have been looking for other job role but sadly the last two companies – inspite of the role recruiting HR’s promise at joining time :) when you join the company it is very different. I feel totally frustrated, GMAT/MBA is not an option ( I tried but the finance stuff is just too much for me, can’t quit job). Right now I work for a very large Indian IT service company – the work that I do (or I am forced to do) does not really require my expertise, it’s just that the management forces you to do things – I realized that after spending more than a year in this org. I have not added any value to my profile.At this juncture I am really lost. I hope you can help.

    Regards,
    Joy

  10. Pooja says:

    Dear Sameer,

    I am B’com graduate. Have taken admission for Part time MBA-HR from ITM 3 years ago.

    I am 39 yrs old.

    But due to maternity, i had to take a gap from my studies. I could complete it now but will take another 2 years.

    I was with MNC company drawing 5.55 lacs with designation as Sr. HR Executive last year.

    But due to odd circumstances I had to leave the job. After 2 months gap , I got a job on one year contract basis in a college with some of my known person.

    But I got into Academic line. Having 6+ years of experience in HR, finding difficulty in accepting this profile. Also my pay is 3.60 lacs without any benefit and assurance of getting permanent here.

    After talking to my seniors they recommend to be in this job and complete my MBA. Post which they will see if they can help me getting permanent job in college but again no surety, as there is union issues between teaching and non teaching group.

    Also i have to take care of my child who is now of 5 years of age and need good attention from my end.

    Thinking from the timing issue then I am able to go home early rather than in corporate where I use to be there for not less that 10-11 hrs. Where in my child nurturing was getting affected.

    I am trying to get the HR job from past 4 month but so far no luck.

    My husband is with Capgemini earning 3.5 lacs as of now. And we have personal loan as well wherein his 3/4 pay gets deducted as EMI.

    Request your suggestion in this regards do I continue with Academic profile or get HR job if I am able to get thru.

    Regards

    Pooja

  11. Niraj says:

    I am 40 years old, with 16+ years of experience, at a Senior Manager position drawing CTC of Rs. 19 lacs p.a.
    I have 12 year experience in the retail sector and have spent good number of years in both Finance and Accounting and Supply Chain Management area and recently since past 3 years involved in IT implementation role.
    About a year back I shifted from retail as it is recession prone and now no longer showing signs of growth.

    I have mentioned below my limitations for not wanting to continue in the Finance and Accounts stream and the lack of good opportunities in the Supply Chain area.

    I am willing to enhance my capabilities and take on an executive program or course which will supplement me in advancing towards higher position in the given fields that I have worked so far.
    Considering my other major experience as a MIS and analysis person and that I had always been an interface to IT function, I am seriously looking for a career in Business Analytics (BA) and/or Business Performance Management (BPM).

    I seek your advice and guidance on the kind of career path I should be following and the courses that I should take up to enhance not only my career but also my remuneration so as to make it a stable, long lasting and fruitful one in the long run.

    Diagnoses –
    1. Finance and Account – overall 6.5 year experience
    Though I have worked in areas of accounts payables, banking and reporting financials performances and monthly MIS there has been no exposure in areas of funds management, treasury, taxation and finalisation of accounts. Also as I am not a Chartered Accountant, the prospects of growing further in the Finance and Accounts Function to become head of department even in an SME seems bleak.
    2. Supply Chain Management – overall 7 year experience
    I have all the knowledge in the area of Distributions, Logistics, warehousing and Imports from planning and budgeting, systems implementation to setting processes. I am confident of taking up a senior management role in SCM but fall short on number of years spent in operations more over I do not have exposure to area other than retail operation. Getting an opportunity for a senior position with good remuneration other than retail is demotivating.

    The only area in SCM I am willing to explore is systems implementation for warehousing and transportation and Consultancy in SCM for retail.

    3. IT Interface – overall 3 year experience
    a. EPM / BI :
    Have experience as project manager of two EPM implementations, on two different tools and in two different industries. Hyperion (Oracle) in Retail and BPC (SAP) in Pharmaceutical industry. I represented the organisation (client side) and not the implementers. I can manage customer expectations, queries, training and change management. Documentation for ASIS and TOBE process are my strengths. Well conversant with Planning and Budgeting implementation.
    The worrying factors are that I do not have exposure to Financial Consolidation from the functional side and my technology skillsets are not mature enough. No exposure to script writing and coding which makes me less preferred as a techno functional resource.
    b. Project Management :
    Since I have experience in managing two EPM projects and few smaller implementations in my overall career, the option of taking up the role of a professional project manager keeps coming to mind. Of course I will have to equip myself with the correct course and qualification.

    I am not sure on the growth prospects at a senior managerial level and whether there is scope for enough opportunities in future.

    c. Business Analytics :
    I have been engaged in gathering data from different sources, slicing and dicing the information and presenting it in various reports and formats for the management. I always played the role of an interface with IT department in coordinating for data and system generated reports and automating the flow of data.

    With all the buzz on Big data, and the dearth of Data Analyst and the nascent stage of the BA sector I am willing to explore and make a career in this field.

    Overall in the IT sector there is tremendous competition with new comers who have lesser experience and pay package.
    I seek help in understanding the IT scenario and how I should make this as my career path.

  12. locomotivefor20(name changed) says:

    I am a 38 year old Mechanical Engineer from a college under Karnataka University with a decent academic record. I have worked with four companies & have 14.5 years experience.

    After remaning in technical roles of power plant & petroleum refinery /factory operations ( in which I was really good) for 9 years I have moved to the very short stint of designing a refinery & further to Petroleum Oil Trading Operations. This lateral movement to Trading Ops was a difficult transition & led to decline in overall compensation by 10-15 % from my peers ( who were more experienced than me in the new function). To be very honest it gave tremendous heart-burn for a risk averse person like me, but I learned to stay put in the related roles & stuck to the tasks assigned.

    I was also in Strategy & Business Development Role worked directly under top leadership ( who had worked for 20 years in an Oil Major in UK) for a brief period of time (1.5 years) where felt that my knowledge regarding business management / asset buy/sell analysis was very ordinary but this did not deter me from making my frank contributions to the new role.

    Due to continuosly changing roles I suffered a set back of not getting promoted in time ( 3 years ). Last year I received my first promotion in 5 years in the current organization but I have no regrets, really I learnt more by not getting promoted.

    Past 2 years I have tried to systematically analyse my weaknesses which also includes communication/presentation skills & have started working on the same one by one. To a certain degree I have been successful in overcoming my weaknesses. Long back during 2001-02 I appeared for CAT/XAT/IIFT but could not clear even one of them. I still beleive it is imperative that I should have business qualification ( International Business / Finance) to climb up the corporate ladder but I have certain family responsibilities as a sole bread-earner due to which I am not able to consider a full time course now as with me my two kids are getting older too whose education is my first priority.

    Need your assitance to guide me.

  13. Peter says:

    Hi Sameer,

    I am a 40 year old man struggling with mid-life crisis and need your precious advice to make a important decision in my career.

    1) I did diploma in electronics and completed my graduation in 1995. I’ve worked in a small company for a while then started running my own business in electronics.

    2) I always wanted to move abroad and in order to achieve my goal I started re-training my self in the field of IT as this was in huge demand at that time.

    3) Linked to my electronics background I moved into hardware and networking and also did some certifications like MCSE and CCNA. Soon I got a job and started working as sys admin in a small company.

    4) In 2001 I finally got a job offer, moved to US and also got married. Since then I was working as a sys admin until recession struck and I lost my job in 2009. I moved into public sector but left the position as salary wasn’t going up and there were no opportunities to progress further.

    In my efforts to move up the ladder, I again decided to re-train myself and recently finished my masters in Business IT from a University in US and spent lot of money on this degree. I’ve also passed my project management certification while studying for my degree.

    Now at the age of 40 I am looking forward to secure a job as a business analyst or PM. With no experience and negative age factor on my side, I am finding it extremely difficult to secure any position. I’ve been to lot of placement agencies but once they guess or see my age I don’t get any job offers. I am not very good at office politics and communication skills. I am not sure whether a career change at this age was a right decision for me or not ?
    Pls kindly suggest what further steps I should take in order to fix my career and get a breakthrough in a new profession. I look forward to your response.
    Many thanks for your time.
    Sincere regards.

  14. Pankaj Mishra says:

    Hi Sameer

    I am a MBA graduate in International Business from (IIFT-Delhi) of 35 years old having 15 years of experience in distribution specially in Warehouse industry (Logistics). Currently associated with Manufacturing and Engineering Lab equipments and Instruments company heading to service orders management, having a package of 7.5 lacs. I am an ambitious person. Looking for better opportunities to boost my carrier as well as income, in anywhere of world because the way my career is going it would next to impossible for me to become a CEO or vertical head for any organization. Please suggest me what will work for me & how can I initiate while continuing the job.
    There is may be one of reasons of my frustration I believe, my beloved and closed friend my wife pass away last year and after her I joined ISKCON to get peace in mind, but now again feeling alone and in-confident, because she was my willing strength, eventhough she was suffering by cancer and its chemo aftereffects, but after she was boosting me as long as she could, she always telling me don’t compare to yourself with the others but till I have not improve to myself to this.
    sometime feel I am in wrong occupation, why I am wasting my time even my Mind is not set with the same, but stopping to myself for these thoghts when I see to my daily needs and Famiy responsibilities.
    What to I do, I want to live my life too, I dont believe in suside and other such rubbish.

    Looking forward from you………
    Thanking you, Pankaj

  15. Rajeev says:

    I am a MBA graduate of 33 years old having 10 years of experience in sales &distribution specially in financial industry like insurance, broking & FMCG as well as. Currently associated with insurance company heading a cluster in bacassurance channel having a package of 8.5 lac. M is an ambitious person. Looking for better opportunities in banking or finance in anywhere of world because the way my career is going it would next to impossible for me to become a CEO or vertical head for any organization. Please suggest me what will work for me & how can I initiate while continuing the job- (1) An Executive MBA from good B school through correspondence (2) Start preparing for GMAT (3) short term certification course certified by NSE-NCFM.
    Looking forward from you………
    Thanking you, Rajeev

    • satish says:

      HI Pankaj,

      Myself Satish and am not having gr8 experience like sameer. But as a human and friend i wanted to share with you….Always stay strong and dont leave the current job….Keep the fire on which is inside you….Explore your interests as much as possible….Start practicing Yoga and meditation that calms your mind first…Sorry to hear the news…Just keep moving with positiveness :)

  16. Cisco says:

    Sameer,
    Ha! You have definitely hit a chord, though howeber unrealistic, by penning down this piece. I say unrealistic for few reasons. I have graduated from a top university in India and I am considered the creamy layer ;)

    1. Not everybody has the time and energy to dedicate to carrer after they cross 30. Usually marriage, kids and house loans keep you hooked on.

    2. Switching jobs is not at all easy since the technologh you work in might be obselete. Moreover, companies prefer younger, clean-slate individuals. Imagine this.. Every year there are 15 lakh enginnering professionals graduating in India.. Imagine the amount of pressure it puts on the establisehd corporate heirarchy that was constructed during the yester years of IT boom in India.

    3. Companies are forced to take hard decisions because of the stagnation in the market and the excess supply of talent. The hikes for seniors have been pathetic for the past two years across various conpanies. Some companies like Cisco are infact firing people! Yes! Firing was rare in India, but efficient companies have started it and others will soon follow the same!

    4. It is clearly not true that all fields pay equally. But a career change usually requires you to unlearn. To make a switch of career with the same amount of pay, when infact one might be just be a fresher in the new field, is impractical.

    As the first commentcomment(Oracle) says, this madness must first stop. Greed.. Both individuals’ as well as corporate greed must be tamed. After all, the corporate higher management is made of people like us. Most of transitions you see in the markets is not because the consumers as for it, but because of the element of greed leaking from the individual personas.. to chase that impractical hikes, lifestyles and power which are unsustainable economically and evironmentally.

    I too think excellence in a field that you love and trained for should be a priority and comfortable life will follow. Note comfortable.. Not lavish!

    Sorry for the spelling mistajes.. I am typing from a mobile. You should try out a mobile layout for the website. There you go, I gave you an activity for excellence! ;)

  17. RABI KANT SINGH says:

    Hi Sameer,
    I am a 33 year old Mechanical Engineer passed out in 2005 and having 9 years of Experience in Indian Steel industry (Tata Steel Ltd,SMS Siemag-German MNC) in Commercial and Supply Chain division.Since last 2 years i am preparing for GMAT. In Mock Gmat prep i got 700 and planning to appear GMAT in 1st week of Oct to get any how 700 mark. My 10th -73%, 12th- 62% and BE-59.7%. having goof extra curricular.I am aimimg for Insead Sept’14. Please give your valuable suggestions how to go ahead with 2 months remaining for 2nd round of application.

  18. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Rajeev: More than an academic qualification, what would really help is for you to diversify your skills beyond Sales and Distribution.

    @Cisco: Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and the suggestions.

    @Rabi: It’s unusual to see anyone preparing for the GMAT since 2 years. And even more surprising to see that you are giving yourself only 2 months for the rest of the application.

    All I can suggest is to ensure that you don’t end up putting shoddy applications just to meet the deadlines.

  19. vijay says:

    Hi Sameer,
    Iam vijay ,iam a graduate with pgdca degree .Iam working in a private company as a a/c assistan.
    .my age is 34 years.
    I need following help from you
    1.can i take preparation of mba.
    2.Can I take mba with my running job in indore M.P.
    3.can i take mba entrance after age of 34.

  20. RK says:

    Hello, i , 36 years old, did service in pvt. ltd for the last 8 years managing administrative matters , but i am having master of commerce degree and dong CA final.
    I am afraid what i did for the last 8 years is not what am qualified for.

    I am fully confident i amd going to get CA in May 14.
    Will some one tell me whether getting a CA i will be able to change my carrier in positive direction that will offer me a good life and money.

  21. Tathagat says:

    Dear Sameer,

    Am a simple gradute (B.Com). Had my set of luck and rose to the position of BM at age 34 with one reputed pvt bank. Due to an compliance issue lost job at age 38. Kindly guide as other banks are not open as because of the compliance issue.
    Any options. Started my career with IT education co., than some years spent in Insurance and then shifted to bank.

  22. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Tathagat: Can’t comment without knowing what the ‘compliance issue’ was. If you lost your job because of it, sounds pretty serious. So I can only imagine why other banks won’t recruit you. Starting your own business might be an option.

  23. Jai Dadwal says:

    Hi Sameer

    I am a Senior Software Engineer for a leading IT Consultancy and Service Provider company CMMI Level 5 [4.5 yr experience , 6.58 CGPA in Btech C.Sc.] ( presumably a cliched and a saturated profession for the world). Though I am aware of the risks, but I would like to shift my profession towards Finance) . Now I can understand this cannot be done in one night. During my preparation for CAT exams ( gave it thrice got a dismal 92 in the last attempt) , I use to keep myself abreast with the latest updates in the world of finance and economy but have not done any professional courses in it .
    1) Now do you think is it realistic to go for such a career switch . My long term goal is to become qualified for discharging the responsibilities of a CFO , preferably in an IT firm.
    2)And do you think a course in Financial Engineering would be key to enter in the field of finance.I would like to know before I plunge myself deeply into the pre-requisites for courses in financial engineering or MFin in different universities abroad, preparing/brushing myself for mathematics, computer skills etc. or obtain any finance certifications in it .
    3) I am looking for degree courses in the US. I belong to a middle class family and would be taking a loan. Do you think the job market for somebody in IT cum finance is good in the US ( dont want to be a victim of something like 2008 financial job sector collapse in US ).

  24. Priyanka says:

    Hi,

    I am 33 and preparing for Gmat, which I will write this year. I want to do MBA in marketing. Can anyone please advise which b-school I should head for in India?

    I don’t want to feel awkward in the class of students who are younger to me :(

    I have a 8+ year experience in travel trade and want a career change and growth.

    Can anyone give me some guidance please.

    Thanks.
    Priyanka.

  25. Abid says:

    Hi,

    I am a B.com graduate have 10+ yes experience in finance & accounts, want to shift my career towards analytics, am I eligible to do analytics certification.

    Will a commerce graduate get enough opportunities after completing the certification.

  26. diya says:

    did a homeopathic physician 32 yrs , mother of 2 boys ,,, totally away from dreams , switching to finance sounds insane ?

  27. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Jai: Radical career transitions, like the one you are planning for, are always tough. A specialised degree in finance will make it difficult for you to switch tracks – if you realise it’s not your cup of tea, or the market isn’t receptive by the time you graduate.

    @Priyanka: Check out the 1 year MBA programs offered by IIMs in India. European MBA colleges also get more mature students.

    @Abid: I don’t know which analytics course you have in mind and what it’s market value might be.

    @Diya: Yes, I’m afraid, if you present your case that way.

  28. Remya says:

    Hi I am Remya age-29. I have completed Bcom degree in the year 2008 and has diploma in finance degree from wellingkar college. I got recurited in TCS through Campus recruitment in an travel department which is exactly opposite than what i did. This is my first job till date .i have 7 year expereince Now i am handling a team of 15 and my current package id 450000. The team i am handling do not need much of IATA knoweldge, but if i want stay i will have to do IATA which i am not at all interested in doing. Is there any course in SAP or sometning wherein I can change my domain.Actually due to family financial issue i have till date not taken any risk of changing my job. But i am not satisfied working in this Domain .Kindly suggest some course which will help me to change my domain .

  29. Mrinal says:

    Hi Sameer,

    1. Is Mumbai based Kazian Global school of Business Management a genuine & fruitful institute to go for an online EMBA course?.
    2. Also I am planning to enroll for US based IMA’s (Institute of Management Accountants) CMA (Certified Management Accountant) course. Is it
    worth?

  30. Neha Mehta says:

    Hi Sameer,

    I am 29 year old and has 15 months old daughter. I have 4 + years of work exp in private banks.due to child care i thought of career change as have to spend at least 11 – 12 hours in he office so persued Masters in Library Science. I got opportunity as well to work as a trainee in top institute. Now I feel there is no growth and pay is very less, further timings are also 9 hrs. Dont know what to do?? I thought of joining pre school so less working hours are there…but growth and salary is concern.

    Please suggest what to do

    Thanks & Regards
    Neha

  31. nishant patil says:

    Hi Sameer,
    I am nearing 37 years and have been working with one of the leading telecom firm in wireless domain.I have been in operations and worked on MPLS/CISCO/LINUX/ and other core technologies used in wireless domain and supporting backhaul resources.
    From long time i wanted to start company of my own and was looking after various options.Finally i zeroed on big data .Since then i have been reading and acquiring skills and soon would be taking certification exams.I was inclined to it as i have interest towards programming( though not having any experience) and know languages.
    But since i dont have any practical knowledge how any company works.i would like to get job first and after gaining exp go out to setup my own venture.

    My question is will certification on big data can help me in achivieng what i dream.

  32. Ayush says:

    Hi Sameer, firstly would like to congratulate you for being the founder of such an amazing site. Mine is a similar situation. I did not choose my first job and took whatever came my way during campus recruitment. I am a btech in mechanical engg from a reputed college but working with an IT firm since I did my college 4 yrs ago. I am 27.
    I have good comm skills and have also worked for an year in the UK on a project (almost a non technical role) being deputed by my company. Can you suggest some interesting career option for me please, would be extremely grateful. My friends say I should try modelling because of my good looks ;-)

  33. kannan says:

    Hi Sameer,

    I am 37 years old MCA Passout year is 2004.Now days m working in an big MNC as an network engineer with 3 years of exp. At this stage can i switch over my carrier to Hdoop/informatica?Suggest for any certification with respect to these courses.

  34. Nibedita says:

    Hi Sameer,

    I am working with retail industry (Front end) as an Asst OPeration Manager. I am in retail for more than 5 years. I really want to change my job from retail industry (front end) to back end. But not able to get any of one. I need your advice and suggession regarding how can I change my career from retail operation.

    My qualification is MBA in marketing

    • Asha says:

      @Kannan,

      You can try moving to Hadoop, But you need to put a lot of effort. At the same time you may need to see if your current company is having opportunities for you. If we go to another company or even in some other department and say ” I have learned this” they wont consider ,they will ask for the years of experience in that. Before start learning you should see if you will get a chance in that or not. I have seen in my company people from Mainframe back ground moves to this technology even though they need to put lot of effort. You should have perseverance to learn the things.

      • Kannan says:

        @ Asha,

        Thanks for the update.May i know how did your company people get the change to change their carrier from mainframe to hadoop?

  35. gaurav says:

    Hi Sameer,

    I am working in big IT company and having 3-4 experience in IT Networks but I strongly want to go in Core Telecom field. What should I do and my all friends said you are mad and there is no future in Telecom 3g, 4g.
    but I have strong feeling to go not because of money but due to my passion in telecom.
    Welcome123
    I passed 4 years in confusion To go or not to go and listening others people words.
    I am pass out of 2010 btech and mtech 2013 electronics and communication.

    • Arindam says:

      @ gaurav,me Arindam lost my Job from a big Japanese MNC as there is no project and thinking of IT option.I am working in an reselling firm in pre-sales.as i find telecom industry saturated and no body leaving their jobs.Do you still think?

  36. SARU says:

    Hello Sameerji,
    After completing 12th I have completed BCA in correspondence . and meanwhile I was working in some jobs like office administration, print media and some designing skills. at present I m 28 yr old and want to do post graduation. or a pg course in IT. many of my friends and some people says it don’t make sense to return IT now.
    but still I believe there is one door always open at any stage of life. would you like to give your precious advice?

    • Srinivas CV says:

      I have been sailing in the same boat in which Saru is… I have been working as a Print media designer and Visual Mechandiser over a decade and a half with only +2 education. Always my interest was with IT Hardware & Networking… Please do suggest me, what if I change my career stream from Print Media to IT Hardware & Networking with few courses and certification…??

  37. Sachin says:

    Sameer bhai, seems like you wrote that article and people started thinking you as “Agony Aunt sorry Agony Uncle” ;-). Sorry for such a bad joke…but I am also 39 and per say typical engineering graduate followed traditional job philosophy and now searching for “that soul peace” moment and landed here and found all such souls are here ;-)
    anyways. I wish everyone will get their dream career and strength for pursuing it.

    Thanks for article!
    cheers I mean really cheers ;-)!
    Sachin

  38. Pooja says:

    This post has all the things that i am currently experiencing especially point no. 6, being too comfortable in the current job and not been able to take a risk.
    I have spent almost 6 years in IT with no passion at all for coding and now my situation is that i constantly feel negative and i regret about my decisions for all these years. I always wonder why i didn’t change my career way before.

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