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View Full Version : Life Thinking about a career change...serious responses please


Long Duk Dong
07-08-2009, 11:43 AM
So, i've been thinking about making a career change her for sometime now. I have felt something tugging at me to do something different.

I have been in IT for the past 10 years, started right after college. Have had some good experiences and have done very well. Bounced around between specialties; Systems Admin (Windows, Linux and UNIX), Network Admin, DBA and have specialized in IT Security for little over a year now. I have a pretty broad range of skills and experience which has been very beneficial to me. The money is good (but I live in Southern California, so always feel I need to make MORE money just to live.)

I have a wife, son and a mortgage. I know for a fact, that I want to move out of Southern California and this is not where I want to live. Bunch of reasons, but the biggest being cost of living and Southern California is just getting busier and busier.

As far as my education goes, I have a Bachelor in History and some technical training. My current company has a tuition reimbursement plan that I am going to take advantage of to get either another degree or a Masters Degree. I am still deciding on which area to go in.

As far as to what area I am thinking of, I have a interest in Accounting/Finance/Financial Planner. Something along those lines sounds interesting. Also, something that is a "mobile" career, meaning it is job that will allow me to move to a different city and have opportunities available.

With that, I am looking at the MBA course with a emphasis on accounting. Could be a good solution and since my company pays for it, it is essentially free education.

I have a free friends in the Finance/Accounting field and was hoping to bounce some questions off them here and get some feedback.

As to why I want to make a career change. It is just something I feel. I dont feel as excited about my work as I used to be. Almost feels like a drag now.

Lastly, this is not something I am going to do during this economy right now. I am looking down the road, say 1 1/2 - 2 years.

Anyone have some input and suggestions?
Thanks,

Phobia
07-08-2009, 11:45 AM
I don't regret leaving the grind of IT and corporate crap but I sure do miss the money. Sounds like you'll make certain that the money part takes care of itself. You're a leg up on me. Best of luck to you.

Gonzo
07-08-2009, 11:53 AM
So, i've been thinking about making a career change her for sometime now. I have felt something tugging at me to do something different.

I have been in IT for the past 10 years, started right after college. Have had some good experiences and have done very well. Bounced around between specialties; Systems Admin (Windows, Linux and UNIX), Network Admin, DBA and have specialized in IT Security for little over a year now. I have a pretty broad range of skills and experience which has been very beneficial to me. The money is good (but I live in Southern California, so always feel I need to make MORE money just to live.)

I have a wife, son and a mortgage. I know for a fact, that I want to move out of Southern California and this is not where I want to live. Bunch of reasons, but the biggest being cost of living and Southern California is just getting busier and busier.

As far as my education goes, I have a Bachelor in History and some technical training. My current company has a tuition reimbursement plan that I am going to take advantage of to get either another degree or a Masters Degree. I am still deciding on which area to go in.

As far as to what area I am thinking of, I have a interest in Accounting/Finance/Financial Planner. Something along those lines sounds interesting. Also, something that is a "mobile" career, meaning it is job that will allow me to move to a different city and have opportunities available.

With that, I am looking at the MBA course with a emphasis on accounting. Could be a good solution and since my company pays for it, it is essentially free education.

I have a free friends in the Finance/Accounting field and was hoping to bounce some questions off them here and get some feedback.

As to why I want to make a career change. It is just something I feel. I dont feel as excited about my work as I used to be. Almost feels like a drag now.

Lastly, this is not something I am going to do during this economy right now. I am looking down the road, say 1 1/2 - 2 years.

Anyone have some input and suggestions?
Thanks,

IF the economy makes a come back in that time frame, then yeah, do what you gotta do. According to the Mayan Calandar we're screwed anyway.

In all seriousness, your particular career field is damn near recession proof. IT Security will always be necessary, however so are accountants.

you're right, now's not the time for any serious career changes. If you have a good gig and are not miserable stick with it.

Long Duk Dong
07-08-2009, 11:56 AM
IF the economy makes a come back in that time frame, then yeah, do what you gotta do. According to the Mayan Calandar we're screwed anyway.

In all seriousness, your particular career field is damn near recession proof. IT Security will always be necessary, however so are accountants.

you're right, now's not the time for any serious career changes. If you have a good gig and are not miserable stick with it.

Ahh..ya, the Mayan Calendar. :)

Ya, i figure it would take me 18-24 months to get my MBA and at that time, *hopefully*, the economy is better. That would be the time I would look to make a change.

My current gig is pretty good. Not on call anymore (thank goodness) with everyone once in a blue moon work on the weekend. Good field to get in, but I just have this strong feeling to get out of IT and into something different.

Hey, I can get a free education as well. :) MBA paid for...sign me up!

Great Expectations
07-08-2009, 11:59 AM
There is a shortage of CPAs.

Long Duk Dong
07-08-2009, 12:01 PM
There is a shortage of CPAs.

interesting...did not know that.

Jilly
07-08-2009, 12:04 PM
I have no suggestions, but I am proud of you for recognizing that your job is sucking the life out of you and being bold enough to do something about it.

38yrsfan
07-08-2009, 12:07 PM
I was going to suggest CPA as well (my sister-in-law is one and makes lots $$$) - there are lots of different areas it can be applied believe it or not. She is an assets liquidation specialist for companies going under.

Other suggestion would be check various certifications for something that seems interesting - I worked IT for over 20+ years (BSCS) and have found the most enjoyment when I strayed to other "fields" - really loved doing controls work for automation but the time away from home was tedious.

Good luck, don't blame you for wanting to leave SC, many others up here are from there.

Fritz88
07-08-2009, 12:17 PM
If you have IT background, beefing that up with an accounting (CPA) or finance degree would make you a good living.

You could also consider doing a degree in computer science. You already have the IT skills, so programming and software engineering would not be new to you.

Best of luck to you.

Long Duk Dong
07-08-2009, 12:30 PM
If you have IT background, beefing that up with an accounting (CPA) or finance degree would make you a good living.

You could also consider doing a degree in computer science. You already have the IT skills, so programming and software engineering would not be new to you.

Best of luck to you.

Thanks man. I was wondering the same thing if becoming a CPA or getting a finance degree, in conjunction with my IT background would make me even more valuable sort a speak.

Appreciate all the responses.

Cheers,

Buehler445
07-08-2009, 01:21 PM
It depends on what you want to do. If you want to go into accounting, CPA is the way to go. On most major accounting positions, CPA is recommended. It would probably also be beneficial to work for a public firm. Companies love to see that on a resume.

If you want to be a personal financial planner, go out and do it. Most of the companies will train you in their services/processes. Be weary though, in most companies the first 5 years is building a client base and the money is ass.

TrebMaxx
07-08-2009, 01:27 PM
I have a free friends.....


Those free friends are the best. I hate having to pay for them.

Long Duk Dong
07-08-2009, 01:28 PM
Those free friends are the best. I hate having to pay for them.

Ahah...lol

Good catch. :)

Iowanian
07-08-2009, 01:53 PM
Do you still like working with computers and want an "inside" type job?

Have you considered IT Consulting for small businesses and local govt?

chiefzilla1501
07-08-2009, 01:57 PM
Few things:
-I'm not sure if MBA programs offer Accounting degrees? I know my program offered a Masters in Accounting, which was a 1-year program
-Keep in mind that the CPA is a really, really difficult test. The pass rate is about 50%, which I think is much lower than the bar exam.
-I wouldn't recommend going into Finance. The job market just got leveled and I don't see it recovering anytime soon. So by the time you graduate, you'll not only compete with your peers, you'll also competing with this year's and next year's graduates who don't have jobs. And besides, what I've seen is that a lot of MBAs come in with a lot of really good finance experience, so you might have to play some catch-up.
-Moving from IT to Accounting/Finance seems pretty radical to me. Unless I'm wrong, I don't see a whole lot of overlap. Is that something you feel comfortable with? I'm not overly familiar with IT, but I wonder if Logistics or Project Management would be a less drastic switch? From the logistics side, businesses are always looking to do things cheaper and more efficiently, so you'll always be in demand. Strategy's also another good MBA major to consider--I bet your background would make you particularly good at strategic planning for a technology firm. Or maybe even just get better at the tech side--I think U of Maryland has an online masters in tech systems.

Again, I'm not overly familiar with the IT side. Just some advice from what I think I know.

Buehler445
07-08-2009, 02:07 PM
Few things:
-I'm not sure if MBA programs offer Accounting degrees? I know my program offered a Masters in Accounting, which was a 1-year program
-Keep in mind that the CPA is a really, really difficult test. The pass rate is about 50%, which I think is much lower than the bar exam.
.
-Moving from IT to Accounting/Finance seems pretty radical to me. Unless I'm wrong, I don't see a whole lot of overlap. Is that something you feel comfortable with? I'm not overly familiar with IT, but I wonder if Logistics or Project Management would be a less drastic switch? From the logistics side, businesses are always looking to do things cheaper and more efficiently, so you'll always be in demand. Strategy's also another good MBA major to consider--I bet your background would make you particularly good at strategic planning for a technology firm. Or maybe even just get better at the tech side--I think U of Maryland has an online masters in tech systems.

Again, I'm not overly familiar with the IT side. Just some advice from what I think I know.

My MBA shop offered an emphasis in accounting. Basically all your electives are accounting classes to prep you for the CPA. Plus you have to have several additional hours to get licensed in KS.
CPA is tough, but not impossible. Also, take it where you want to work. Different states have different requirements.

IT to accounting isn't that tremendous of a jump. A fuckton of MIS resources are dedicated to supporting accounting/systems.
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Deberg_1990
07-08-2009, 02:24 PM
I have no advice on your career choice but wish you and Molly Ringwald the best of luck.

Great Expectations
07-08-2009, 02:27 PM
The CPA test became much easier a few years ago. It is set up into sections now where if you pass one section you don't have to take it again, where as before you had to take all sessions at each setting and pass each one at the same time.

Long Duk Dong
07-08-2009, 03:51 PM
Few things:
-I'm not sure if MBA programs offer Accounting degrees? I know my program offered a Masters in Accounting, which was a 1-year program
-Keep in mind that the CPA is a really, really difficult test. The pass rate is about 50%, which I think is much lower than the bar exam.
-I wouldn't recommend going into Finance. The job market just got leveled and I don't see it recovering anytime soon. So by the time you graduate, you'll not only compete with your peers, you'll also competing with this year's and next year's graduates who don't have jobs. And besides, what I've seen is that a lot of MBAs come in with a lot of really good finance experience, so you might have to play some catch-up.
-Moving from IT to Accounting/Finance seems pretty radical to me. Unless I'm wrong, I don't see a whole lot of overlap. Is that something you feel comfortable with? I'm not overly familiar with IT, but I wonder if Logistics or Project Management would be a less drastic switch? From the logistics side, businesses are always looking to do things cheaper and more efficiently, so you'll always be in demand. Strategy's also another good MBA major to consider--I bet your background would make you particularly good at strategic planning for a technology firm. Or maybe even just get better at the tech side--I think U of Maryland has an online masters in tech systems.

Again, I'm not overly familiar with the IT side. Just some advice from what I think I know.

There are a couple programs I am looking at geared towards either a BS in accounting or MBA with emphasis on accounting. Between 12-24 months, depending on the route I go.

Definitely would take the CPA exam. Probably a tough test, but thats ok. Weeds out the wannabes. :)

I think using my IT background could really be beneficial for a company.
Im still asking some questions, trying to get a better gauge on things, but I feel like this could be a very good move for me.

The icing on the cake would be getting my MBA paid for. :)

1moreTRich
07-08-2009, 03:55 PM
I'm in the public accounting sector and I just passed the last section of the CPA exam. I think IT actually might have quite an easy cross over into the public accounting world as well. I do a lot of audits and it seems like every year we get more and more standards about testing IT in companies. Having someone in your firm that has that much background in that field could be quite an asset.

Long Duk Dong
07-08-2009, 04:35 PM
I'm in the public accounting sector and I just passed the last section of the CPA exam. I think IT actually might have quite an easy cross over into the public accounting world as well. I do a lot of audits and it seems like every year we get more and more standards about testing IT in companies. Having someone in your firm that has that much background in that field could be quite an asset.

Thanks for the info. That is very good information to know.
If I might ask, how long did you prepare to take the CPA exam?
Any suggestions?

I have always been pretty good with numbers (and in IT, numbers are like our primary language sometimes :) ) so might be helpful.

Appreciate the info.

bulldogg
07-08-2009, 06:39 PM
Peppperdine has a executive mba program that is great( I am a little biased) so does USC, but that ones about 120k and you have to have a pretty high GMAT score. Chapman in OC has a good program also, as does Loyola which has the accounting MBA. If you are looking for the bargain route Azusa Pacific(if you can deal with the fundamental Christian stuff) and Long Beach State offer them, at a cheaper cost, and both have accounting emphasis.

I went through the same life exam you did a few years ago; I decided to focus at being the best at what I currently do rather than start over. if you do decide to do it, good for you to have the stones to follow through.

Hog Farmer
07-08-2009, 06:45 PM
There's good money in livestock masturbation. Plus you can land a job on about any hog farm as even the wetbacks seem to shy away from this expertise.

chiefzilla1501
07-08-2009, 07:35 PM
There's good money in livestock masturbation. Plus you can land a job on about any hog farm as even the wetbacks seem to shy away from this expertise.

I'm confused. Why is it called livestock masturbation? Isn't that more of a hand job?

acesn8s
07-08-2009, 07:45 PM
I'm confused. Why is it called livestock masturbation? Isn't that more of a hand job?Definitely hands on.

MahiMike
07-08-2009, 08:48 PM
Interesting thread. I'm in the same boat. IT ain't what it used to be. You didn't say how old you were. I'm 49. I also thought of finance (CFP). I love to mess around with the stock market. But like someone else said, competition and the fact that you will have to build client base. So many jobs are really hidden sales jobs (mortgage broker, realtor, insurance, finance, etc.).

I've been looking into insurance claims adjuster. I live in FL and w/all the hurricanes, they need tons of them. You can make 6 figures if you hump it. Plus it's an outside job.

Also, I read today that security is the stable job in IT. Not sure which one to study though.

If you wanna stay in IT, you gotta think there will be tons of jobs for the new healthcare initiative. Would probably require moving to D.C. though. yuck.

Otter
07-08-2009, 09:03 PM
interesting...did not know that.

A career change from IT to accounting huh? That would involve you having to pack up your desk and move to a different section of the building. Your stapler might get lost...think about this carefully.

:p

Buehler445
07-08-2009, 09:15 PM
Thanks for the info. That is very good information to know.
If I might ask, how long did you prepare to take the CPA exam?
Any suggestions?

I have always been pretty good with numbers (and in IT, numbers are like our primary language sometimes :) ) so might be helpful.

Appreciate the info.

Kaplain (sp?) has a study program. That's what everybody I know does to study. I'd allow yourself at least 6 months to work through everything after your coursework. (I haven't taken it, but I've had lots of friends do it)

FWIW, if you get on at a public firm, most of them pay for the program.

RippedmyFlesh
07-08-2009, 09:38 PM
You're not on call?
That is a pretty sweet gig you have.
I've been in it for 25 years.Took less $$$ to work a 9-5 gig instead of normal IT crazy hour type stuff.
I was able to spend time with my kids which I wouldn't have if I had kept the better paying job I had.I used to go to my son's pop warner practices let alone games.
When ever I felt a job getting stale I would change enviroments within IT
New SW and HW and a different enviroment was enough to recharge the spark for me.
Good Luck
I am sure a smart ambitious young man like you appear to be will fare well.

Long Duk Dong
07-09-2009, 10:22 AM
Interesting thread. I'm in the same boat. IT ain't what it used to be. You didn't say how old you were. I'm 49. I also thought of finance (CFP). I love to mess around with the stock market. But like someone else said, competition and the fact that you will have to build client base. So many jobs are really hidden sales jobs (mortgage broker, realtor, insurance, finance, etc.).

I've been looking into insurance claims adjuster. I live in FL and w/all the hurricanes, they need tons of them. You can make 6 figures if you hump it. Plus it's an outside job.

Also, I read today that security is the stable job in IT. Not sure which one to study though.

If you wanna stay in IT, you gotta think there will be tons of jobs for the new healthcare initiative. Would probably require moving to D.C. though. yuck.

I am 33, 34 coming up. :)
Security is very stable in IT. Good path to be in. I just feel its time for me to make a change. Its hard to explain, just something I feel. Had a nice talk with my wife last night about it and she fully understands and supports me. Now its just a matter of doing it.

I was doing some random job searches for a few companies last night, focusing on the finance/accounting side. I came across a number of jobs that were IT account auditing related and wanted a strong IT background. Just showed me that its very possible to do.

Long Duk Dong
07-09-2009, 10:27 AM
You're not on call?
That is a pretty sweet gig you have.
I've been in it for 25 years.Took less $$$ to work a 9-5 gig instead of normal IT crazy hour type stuff.
I was able to spend time with my kids which I wouldn't have if I had kept the better paying job I had.I used to go to my son's pop warner practices let alone games.
When ever I felt a job getting stale I would change enviroments within IT
New SW and HW and a different enviroment was enough to recharge the spark for me.
Good Luck
I am sure a smart ambitious young man like you appear to be will fare well.

Ya, I asked before I joined, no 24/7. Some once in awhile maintenance on the weekends for the most part. I get in at 7am and leave by 4pm.

I think i was getting burned out being a DBA for awhile. That really made me think about what I wanted to do and is why I am thinking about this today.

Its just one of those things tugging at me that its time to make a change.

1moreTRich
07-09-2009, 10:34 AM
Thanks for the info. That is very good information to know.
If I might ask, how long did you prepare to take the CPA exam?
Any suggestions?

I have always been pretty good with numbers (and in IT, numbers are like our primary language sometimes :) ) so might be helpful.

Appreciate the info.

No problem. It was about a 10 month process altogether, some of which was just waiting for results. My routine was basically studying around 40hours a week for about 5 weeks before each test (4 tests) and then a three day, all day, final review before each test. It sucked, but now that it's over was well worth it. I passed each section on my first try, which I highly recommend :D. Becker CPA Review course was my best friend throughout the process, and now that you can buy a lot of those materials on ebay, is not near as expensive as it used to be.

Good luck on your transition

Long Duk Dong
07-09-2009, 10:47 AM
No problem. It was about a 10 month process altogether, some of which was just waiting for results. My routine was basically studying around 40hours a week for about 5 weeks before each test (4 tests) and then a three day, all day, final review before each test. It sucked, but now that it's over was well worth it. I passed each section on my first try, which I highly recommend :D. Becker CPA Review course was my best friend throughout the process, and now that you can buy a lot of those materials on ebay, is not near as expensive as it used to be.

Good luck on your transition

Thanks. I will look into that.
The other thing I have been considering is, should I get another Bachelors in say Accounting or finance, or should I go for a MBA? I could get another bachelors in about 18 months in either accounting or finance, that would get the ball rolling. The MBA would take 2-4 years (i only get a certain amount for tuition reimbursement). Could be that I get get a bachelors, pass the CPA, get into the public sector and then go for my MBA.

Thanks for the website. Looks very helpful.

How tough was the test, on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most difficult.

Cheers.

1moreTRich
07-09-2009, 12:29 PM
I think the getting your Bachelors and your CPA first would probably be the way to go. Get your foot in the door somewhere and then go on and get your Masters if you want to.

There are four sections (Financial, Regulation, Audit, and Business Enviornment and Concepts) and in my opinion the hardest were Regulation and Financial, mostly because they are the biggest sections. Audit was fairly easy for me because that's mainly what I do. BEC was a lot of formulas and all multiple choice, so I thought that one wasn't too bad either. The other three sections have what are called simulations where you basically have a word problem and have to do several steps and then do a mock letter or memo to the client about some concept.

If I had to give them a score, and this was taking my study regiment into consideration, it would probably be along the lines of:

Financial - 8
Regualtion - 9
Audit - 6
BEC - 6

I was above 80% on all my tests and you need at least a 75% to pass. If you don't study enough you are going to make it a lot harder, and actually learn it and don't just cram. I was a serious crammer in college and that just won't work for these tests, there is just too much info to know. I tell people basically study until you feel like you are going to go on a rampage, and then study a little more.

Long Duk Dong
07-09-2009, 03:56 PM
I think the getting your Bachelors and your CPA first would probably be the way to go. Get your foot in the door somewhere and then go on and get your Masters if you want to.

There are four sections (Financial, Regulation, Audit, and Business Enviornment and Concepts) and in my opinion the hardest were Regulation and Financial, mostly because they are the biggest sections. Audit was fairly easy for me because that's mainly what I do. BEC was a lot of formulas and all multiple choice, so I thought that one wasn't too bad either. The other three sections have what are called simulations where you basically have a word problem and have to do several steps and then do a mock letter or memo to the client about some concept.

If I had to give them a score, and this was taking my study regiment into consideration, it would probably be along the lines of:

Financial - 8
Regualtion - 9
Audit - 6
BEC - 6

I was above 80% on all my tests and you need at least a 75% to pass. If you don't study enough you are going to make it a lot harder, and actually learn it and don't just cram. I was a serious crammer in college and that just won't work for these tests, there is just too much info to know. I tell people basically study until you feel like you are going to go on a rampage, and then study a little more.

Thanks. That is very helpful.
So I have been calling around, looking for some information. Called the usual suspects. Just talked to Devry and found out that they are partnered with Becker CPA. So, if I go for my Bachelors in Accounting, I get hitched into the Becker prep course. From what it sounds like, not only do I earn my degree, but my curriculum will include the Becker stuff, preparing me for the CPA. The goal is to graduate and right after that, be prepared to take the CPA test.

Interesting. Sounds promising.

Long Duk Dong
07-10-2009, 04:08 PM
Just a small update.

So after having a great conversation with my wife the past couple days, she fully supports me in wanting to make a career change. That really made my day just knowing that.

With that in mind, I am gathering information from different colleges on the programs whats included and how to proceed. Couple places have placement programs and guarantee placement within 6 months after finishing my degree.

Definitely sounds like there is a big need for accountants as there is currently a shortage in CPA's.

I am also looking at a few other ideas as well. I really wanna do something that I will love. That is critical for me.

Hoping to get the ball rolling and start school end of August. Should be 18 month program. I just need to hang on for that time at my current job.

Definitely feel that this is the right decision for me, without a doubt.

Buehler445
07-10-2009, 07:41 PM
Just a small update.

So after having a great conversation with my wife the past couple days, she fully supports me in wanting to make a career change. That really made my day just knowing that.

With that in mind, I am gathering information from different colleges on the programs whats included and how to proceed. Couple places have placement programs and guarantee placement within 6 months after finishing my degree.

Definitely sounds like there is a big need for accountants as there is currently a shortage in CPA's.

I am also looking at a few other ideas as well. I really wanna do something that I will love. That is critical for me.

Hoping to get the ball rolling and start school end of August. Should be 18 month program. I just need to hang on for that time at my current job.

Definitely feel that this is the right decision for me, without a doubt.

Check into prereqs. If you didn't get a business degree, you may need to take some undergrad.

As far as the placement, ask about where they are placed. If it is with a public firm, well, there's not a lot of people that LOVE working for a public accounting firm.

Pioli Zombie
07-10-2009, 07:59 PM
I think it would be fun to be a general manager of a baseball team. You know how I'm always coming up with trade ideas. I think I would be good at it.
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Long Duk Dong
08-04-2009, 12:00 PM
Update:

After doing a lot of research and look into things, I have decided to go into teaching. Seems like a good fit for me and something I would very much like to do. Took a few personality tests and teaching was always the one that came out on top as a career choice.

Now, the program is a Masters of Education and a teaching credential, which would allow me to teach high school and junior college.

My employer will pay $6k a year for school so if I jump on it now and again in January, that is $12k. Program is $20k.

So here is my question for everyone here.

I am assuming that when I sign up for tuition reimbursement, they are going to look at the program and perhaps question it. Any suggestions/tips on how to get approval for this? This is the one thing I have been thinking about a lot here.

One angle I was thinking of taking was that I wanted to be a trainer so I could train our employees. Maybe mention that I would like to teach junior college part time for extra money since it is bloody expensive to live in So. Cal.

Any suggestions, without heavy sarcasm? :D

stumppy
08-04-2009, 12:06 PM
I would think if they have any limitations on what type of education they will reimburse tuition on you could find out before you start the ball rolling.

Long Duk Dong
08-04-2009, 12:39 PM
I would think if they have any limitations on what type of education they will reimburse tuition on you could find out before you start the ball rolling.

Ya, thats what im working on right now. Hopefully, all works out.