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Changing career to Data Analytics at 50

  • 18-01-2023 1:15pm
    Registered Users Posts: 4,050 ✭✭✭

    Could anybody tell me what the average age of somebody who move into the Data Analytics field would be? Is 50 too late for me to be even considering studying for it? I have been offered a place via Springboard for a Higher Diploma in Data Analytics but I would be 52 before I would complete it. Is that too old to be looking for a job in that field? 

    I have always had a interest in numbers, data, stats, etc so part of me is considering doing it for that enjoyment aspect but then again the other part of me is wondering why should I study it if I cant get career advancement from it.





  • Moderators, Regional Midwest Moderators Posts: 11,019 Mod ✭✭✭✭MarkR

    Can't speak to the change, but you could be 52 and still wondering what you are going to do. If you have the opportunity to upskill, I would go for it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,176 ✭✭✭Cluedo Monopoly

    There is certainly ageism in IT, especially in large MNCs. However all bets were off in 2022 when there were huge skills shortages. Many IT workers above 50 were on the move and there was significant wage inflation. Obviously that will not last but data analytics is a newish area so you could land a nice role for 10-15 years. Public sector could also be an option.

    What are they doing in the Hyacinth House?

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,689 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    Is there any opportunity to use your new skills within your current organisation? This might give you the chance to get some real experience on top of the qualification.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,951 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    Problem is you'll be competing with grads in their mid 20's for roles. I've interviewed for 2 entry level data analyst roles in the last 6 months (interviewer not interviewee) and that was the candidate profile we got.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,072 ✭✭✭✭Calahonda52

    Go for it if you can make it work, shows vision and ambition, could lead to other opportunities

    “I can’t pay my staff or mortgage with instagram likes”.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,050 ✭✭✭gazzer

    Thanks everybody who replied to my post. Really appreciate it.

    My situation is that I am a ‘lifer’ Civil Servant but since lockdown I have been looking for a change. I enjoy my job but have come to realise more and more that there is other opportunities out there that I might be able to go for. I had considered taking early retirement last year and doing something else but to be honest I wasn’t sure what it was I wanted to do and didn’t want to leave the ‘security’ of a full time job to leave on a whim.

    Over the last year I have become more and more interested in Data Analysis. Unfortunately it is not something that I could use in my current role. I suppose there is always the chance that a specific role may become available down the line that I might be able to go for within the Civil Service but I don’t want to bank on that.

    I am not afraid to leave the Civil Service. I am lucky in that respect in that I have the buffer of a small pension and lump sum that I would get if I took early retirement and took the plunge into the private sector. Even if I could get a part time job in Data Analysis it would be great as a start. I am conscious though of my age and if it means I am going to be competing with a lot of younger people is it worth taking the risk. Anyway a lot to ponder. Thanks again for the posts.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,501 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    I think you will struggle to get a job: employers will see your lifetime role and assume you won't do anything.

    Any chance you can use a career break to study, and look.for a job at your leisure after that?

  • Registered Users Posts: 33 Data Analyst

    Data analytics is for all ages . Go for it

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,802 ✭✭✭daheff

    i'd suggest go and do the course. whether you change job on the back of it is a different story. you might find in your existing job that something might come up to make use of the skills you gain.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 27,689 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    If he moves to local authority, he'll be signing a new contract, new probation period and all of that. If OP can find opportunities to use his new skills within his own organisation, or by moving on mobility, OP will be in a much better position. Most organisations are crying out for these skills.

    OP should be looking to find teams who are trying to do more analytics within own organisation for a start.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,546 ✭✭✭quokula

    There is a huge amount of demand for these skills and while the age profile certainly does skew much younger typically, I know in my place of employment there's strong emphasis and training to try and make sure we avoid any biases based on age, gender etc. when hiring and I think that's a trend in the industry also.

  • Registered Users Posts: 88 ✭✭Physeter

    I have to say the diversity in age I've experienced working in tech has been quite positive, even for entry level roles.

    Put together a webpage portfolio of projects you complete in your upskilling and you'll quell any inhibitions about a lack of energy.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,306 ✭✭✭CalamariFritti

    Obviously there will be guys at your age with 25+ years of experience and being junior at 52 is certainly going to be somewhat unusual. But IT has been a growth industry forever and there seems no end to it. Also the remote working thing opened up a lot more possibilities.

    You obviously seem to be someone not afraid of learning new things and if you have a head for numbers and stats then why not.

    Data analytics usually means databases and reporting. Are you coming with any IT experience at all or even something related or will you be coming in cold altogether?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,050 ✭✭✭gazzer

    Thanks again everybody for the replies. I have spent 30 years in the Civil Service and I have been very lucky with the experience I have gained.

    I have 6 years experience working on an IT Help Desk, a further 3 as a junior systems analyst but with the two promotions I have gotten in the last 9 years my role has changed to legislation, procurement, Strategic Comms and Project Management. I also have experience in Web design and training of staff. I have worked on 2 big public/private projects also. I have a lot of experience but the nature of the Civil service is that HR can decide to move you to a totally different division and if you are successful at an external PAS competition you could end up working in any area really.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,928 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    It's your intention to leave the CS. If not you have no way of knowing if any future role in the CS will use allow you to use Data Analysis. No?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,050 ✭✭✭gazzer

    Yes that is my intention. If it is possible for me to get a job in this area. It won't be until next year as I need to successfully complete the H dip I am starting next month.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,928 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    I assume then you have your time served years and this this then is a second career and adventure. Why not so.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,050 ✭✭✭gazzer

    Well I have 30 years served so I have the option of taking actuarily reduced pension. It wouldn't be enough to live on but combined with another job it would be fine

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,689 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    It's entirely your choice of course, but the Mobility schemes at HEO and especially at AP level were a game changer in terms of roles. They allow the employee to pick and choose the specific roles they are interested in, which might give you some control over your future.

    You'll probably make more money in private sector, though it will be challenging to secure your first position outside of CS at your age (no disrespect, I'm of similar vintage).

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,928 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    A career break might also be an option. Which this is in effect.

    I agree with AR I think it will be a bit harder than people are suggesting, due to ageism. Though on paper it's an in demand skillset. Contracting might get your foot in the door easier. So that's another possibility.

    I'd definitely try to do even a short course on things like tableau, R etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,050 ✭✭✭gazzer

    Well I am starting a Hdip next month in Data Analytics for Business. Its for the full year rather then just the academic year. A career break could be an option also. Doing the course gives me a year to make it work financially if I go the career break route next year.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,689 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    Take the time to find out what's happening with data analytics in your own organisation, could be a great opportunity to get one or two projects under your belt there, and then see what options arise.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,928 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    Sounds like you're all sorted. Best of luck with it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 949 ✭✭✭Neames

    I think Sleepy and AndrewJRenko have given really good feedback. I'm in complete agreement with them.

    50 is young, particularly in the public service. I think you will be snapped up even in your own organisation. Let IT and HR know that you are on the course, you could get a move into a data analytics role while you're on the course

  • Registered Users Posts: 7 ConorMal

    Hi OP, I recently made a similar mid career change, from accountancy to data scientist after completing a masters part time. If you're going to do it i'd advise you to build up a portfolio of project work either within your work (collect data/clean up existing data & deliver insights), from the course, or as part of a club or hobby as the qualification alone won't get you a job: you'll need to show you can use it.