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Your twenties are all about career exploration, but by your thirties, you should have a career locked down... right? If you have a nagging feeling that you’d be better off changing careers, you’re not alone. Maybe you’re looking for better pay, better work-life balance, or simply a more interesting challenge. 

Switching to tech via bootcamp is a popular way to change careers without investing in costly and time-consuming degrees. Keep reading to learn strategies for switching careers at 30 —  and real transition stories to inspire you.

Yes, you can start a new career after 30

TripleTen’s Outcomes Report shows that 55% of TripleTen’s bootcamp students are aged 25-34, and 16% are between 35 and 44 years old. 

The majority (80%) of TripleTen students don’t have any tech experience: they’re healthcare workers, school teachers, service industry professionals, lab techs, or admins. Just to name a few roles! 

Bootcamp grads have great prospects, without any need for a STEM college degree: TripleTen’s Employer Report found that 86% of hiring managers are confident or very confident about hiring bootcamp grads. And 87% of all TripleTen grads land jobs within six months of completing their bootcamp.

How to change careers at 30

1. Figure out what you want to do

The hardest part of changing your career is figuring out what you want to do next. But you need a destination to work towards, or you’ll get sidetracked and frustrated. Take the time to think this through before you do anything else. 

This is the first step, so it might seem the most daunting. Start gaining some clarity by asking:

  • What does your ideal career look like?Are there jobs that offer the specific mix of attributes you are looking for in your professional life?
  • If not, which ones check the most boxes?
  • What, without question, would you never do?

2. Clarify your reasons for career switching 

Be sure you know why you want to make a change. “My job isn’t interesting” or “I hate my boss” are not specific enough reasons. If you can be more specific and say, “I want to have more creativity and autonomy in my work” or “I want to work on a team and learn from my peers,” that can help identify the right path forward.

Here are just a few reasons TripleTen students chose to pursue a new tech careerTime to Make a Change: TripleTen Students On What Made Them Rethink Their Careers after 30 to inspire you:

3. Reassess your talents and interests

Finding the common thread between the activities that excite you can help you find your direction. For TripleTen grad MelissaTripleTen Grad Melissa Raje Shares How MS Excel Ignited Her Interest in Data Analytics, a small aspect of her role — learning how to make pivot tables in Excel — sparked her interest in data analytics and inspired her career shift.

In addition, Sharahn McLung, a career coachThe Benefits of Working with TripleTen Career Coaches at TripleTen, encourages self-reflection to consider who you are and what drives you: 

What did you spend the most amount of time doing when you were a child? What do you spend time doing when you’re not working or studying? That's going to speak to what you are passionate about. Those are going to be where your patterns of success and strengths are, because usually, when we follow our passions we actively hone a skill or build our strengths.

How do you choose a new career after 30? Consider:

  • Is there an aspect of your current career path that makes you feel energized? 
  • Is there something you studied or pursued once, but didn’t stick with? 
  • What about your hobbies or side hustles? 

You can also take TripleTen’s self-assessment quiz to see what role in tech might be a fit for you.

4. Conduct info interviews

The best way to find out what a role is like is to talk to someone already doing that work. Try going to networking events, local coder meetups, or connecting to friends of friends. When you meet someone with a job title you’re curious about, invite them to a 30-minute coffee meeting or phone call. 

Then, ask them their day to day, what skills they use most often, and how they landed the role. Informational interviews will give you more clarity about the types of roles you want to do and build your professional network.

Having trouble finding people to talk to? Try:

  • Joining online communities such as r/Learnprogramming, r/CSCareerQuestions, or the Beginner.Codes Discord server
  • Checking out coding YouTube channels and getting active in the comments
  • Following hashtags such as #100DaysOfCode on X, formerly known as Twitter, to find people on a similar coding journey
  • 5. Do your research and set realistic expectations

    It’s a good idea to research your long-term prospects before you start a new career. Search job listings in your area: Do you regularly see listings for the type of work you want to do? The Bureau of Labor Statistics also gives estimates about job growth for various roles.

    Other questions to ask yourself before going all-in on a career change: 

  • What entry level salary can you expect in your new field?
  • What salary range can you expect once you gain experience?Do you have enough savings to sustain yourself while you gain the skills to power the switch?
  • If not, can you find enough free time to study and keep working full-time? 
  • 6. Learn the right skills 

    Once you’ve narrowed down the career you want to pursue, take stock of your skills. Some technical roles may ask for an advanced degree, which would require a significant financial and time investment. On the opposite end of the scale, you can learn many tech skills, like Python or CSS, for free on YouTube.

    Bootcamps fall in the middle of the spectrum. They usually require 6-8 months of part-time study. The right bootcampReview Platforms And Rankings Worth Your Attention When Choosing a Bootcamp can help you home in on the right tools and tech stack, answer your questions in real time, offer peer support, and provide structure and accountability. 

    And take heart: in your thirties, you’ve already honed the soft skillsWhy are soft skills important? that employers value. And your previous years of experience and transferable skills can give you an edge in your current industry while letting you move into a new role.

    When looking into study options, check in to see:

  • If the institution offers a money-back guarantee
  • If the information and skills you’ll gain are up-to-date and employment-focused
  • If you’re comfortable with the time investment the institution asks of you
  • 7. Update your job search materials, and network

    Once you complete your bootcamp or course of study, update your resume and online presence, including your LinkedIn profile5 Ways to Find a Tech Job on LinkedIn. Start talking about yourself as a data scientist or software engineer, and hone your personal story. 

    But don’t just spend all your time cold applying: networkingHow Non-Toxic Networking Helps You Land a Job and making personal connections is a critical way to help you land a role as a career-changer. When she started looking for full-time work, TripleTen grad YuliyaFrom Chemical Engineering to Motherhood to Tech : Yuliya Khilko’s TripleTen Story reflects: “I tried to be present everywhere — I joined Facebook and LinkedIn groups, looked for opportunities, messaged my friends who worked at startups.” 

    To make sure your networking is effective:

    • Cultivate authentic connections — you want to be making friends as opposed to collecting business cards
    • Ask genuine, open-ended questions so that a relationship can more easily blossom
    • Follow-up promptly and share some specific element from the conversation that you found useful/memorable

    A career change at 30 is possible

    Feeling intimidated about starting a new career in your thirties? TripleTen not only teaches you the hard skills to switch careers, but also provides personalized career coaching to help you land the job. Check out more student stories of TripleTen grads to see how they made the switch.

    IT career tips

    Sign up for our newsletter to get future-proof advice from tech industry experts.

    Stay in touch

    We know that transitioning careers can be scary.

    Meet with one of our admissions advisors to talk through all of your questions and find the right program for you.

    Book a call
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