Finance/MBA to Tech or Hybrid Role Help!

Hello - I’m looking at a career change in the US. I am 40 and self learning a programming language and need to decide between front-end / back-end / or data-science.

Educationally, I majored in both Finance and Marketing, plus also got my MBA with an emphasis in Investments.

Professionally, I worked at three large financial institutions over my career. At my first job, I worked for 4 years in a back-office environment for a mutual fund department. I transitioned to another institution for 6 years working in wealth management alongside Financial Advisors. I took a sabbatical and taught in Asia at a University for a year. Then came back to the US and worked at another large financial institution for 5 years working as a private banker then in a financial advisor role. I quit in mid 2020, took another sabbatical and traveled for 6 months. But now I am self-learning some tech skills.

In a perfect world, I’d become a data analyst/scientist, but I am not sure my credentials line up as these job postings typically want degrees in CS/Physics/Mathematics. I haven’t had an analyst type position previously to supplement.

My second choice, in terms of interest, would be the back-end. But I am worried about how difficult it would be to break into this role without any prior programming jobs. Are hybrid roles, like businesses analyst or project manager, available with my background and lite back-end skills? I would like working as a back-end programmer for a few years to really develop some skills, but I am unsure about realistically finding this type of role with my background.

Lastly, the front-end seems to make the most sense for me in terms of my career’s story. But I don’t want to make front end web pages. I believe I could find a hybrid position as a business analyst or project manager having a business background, practical work experience in the financial services sector, and teaching experience.

Would greatly appreciate any thought or perspectives!

Thank you!

As someone in DA & DS, I can say that you don’t need a PhD for most of those jobs (unless they specifically say so. But, most employers are looking for a unicorn candidate anyway). However, you do need to know programming languages like Python, SQL and possibly R (more for DS).
Peruse LinkedIn or any other job board and you will see many Fintech data science jobs–insurance, health care, banks, investment companies, mortgage companies, etc. You’ll also see many DA & DS jobs in marketing at pretty much any company both for profit and nonprofit.

People transition to different careers all the time. Age is just a number. What matters is one’s willingness to learn new technologies and apply them (as well as a curiosity) . When you get more confident and have a online portfolio of your projects (and a GitHub repository) you can write your resume in such a way that highlights your transferrable skills from your previous positions. There are tons of articles & websites that provide guidance on how to do that or you can have a professional re-write your resume too.

I say start with Python and then maybe take one of the DA courses or start on the DS path. Go with what interests you. Ask yourself if there’s a problem that you want to solve or delve into & go from there. That’s my .02. :slight_smile: :woman_technologist:t2:

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