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A little career assistance

This is a discussion on A little career assistance within the Certification & Career forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hello all, I'm currently a CPA who has always had a love computers. In hind sight, I should have pushed


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Old 09-04-2013, 06:36 PM   #1
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Hello all,

I'm currently a CPA who has always had a love computers. In hind sight, I should have pushed an IT career from the beginning, but you go where life takes you.

I currently work in industry, and my job has evolved to include an IT component, which I really enjoy. I do a lot of work in access, custom reporting, queries, etc., and will be doing some additional work in SQL server. Naturally, I use Excel a lot.
I've intentionally directed my position toward the IT side of things, and am considered the resident tech in our accounting department. I like being the liaison between IT and finance.

That being said, I'm almost 38 and looking to define my next career move. I'd like to do more on the data/information side, maybe business intelligence or information assurance. I don't have much interest in traditional side of accounting anymore.

I'm just not sure what direction to head. I've been studying some basic SQL server books, and I've thought about pursuing my CISA and or CISSP. I've also considered going back to grad school for computer science, information technology or information assurance.

So, I've got way too much going in my head right now, and I'm hoping someone here could give some guidance.

Thanks!
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:15 PM   #2
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It is difficult to transition to IT after spending time in another career field... mostly because of the pay drop when moving to an IT position that doesn't require experience. It would be similar if I moved from the IT career field into accounting - even if I held multiple accounting credentials, I would likely have to take a pay cut.

Since you'll be getting some SQL experience, it might be a natural transition for you to eventually become a database administrator. You won't be starting from zero because you will have some relevant workplace experience.

You won't be able to acquire the CISSP without 5 years of workplace experience in IT security: link. Additionally, simply acquiring certifications without also having relevant experience doesn't help in IT much these days. Degrees are fine, but you don't need a degree to succeed in IT, and they're not a substitute for experience; degrees are typically used in IT as a screening mechanism for supervisory and management positions.

My advice is to certify on what you have experience doing. Once you have experience with SQL Server, get certified on it. The combination of certifications plus experience plus your current degree plus your existing business experience will set you ahead of your competition.
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:02 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

I kinda figured I was a little late to the party to start over again. I do hope to leverage what I learn into a more IT type position. Both our IT manager and CIO have accounting backgrounds, so I at least have a path to follow.

I will look into the SQL certs once I learn a bit more. I have books for SQL 2008, so I need to see if they still certify that software, or if I need to certify on 2012. We use 2008 at work right now.
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:08 PM   #4
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No, you're not too late to the party at all. I've known people in their 50s and 60s get started in IT. But they didn't get a free pass because of their previous career - they had to start out at the bottom. This holds true for just about every career field... like I mentioned, I could start over as an accountant, and although my life experience would likely help me to advance faster, I'd still have to start out from square one.
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:14 PM   #5
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Very true and I would actually have no problem starting over at the bottom, doing help desk work, learning whatever I needed to learn.

Of course, to do that, I need to be prepared to take the pay cut, which is still a couple of years off, assuming my wife is still on board with the decision.

For now, I'm going to focus on doing what I can do at my current employer to build a bit of a portfolio (SQL, troubleshooting, database management, etc.) and gain as much knowledge as I can without having to take that big leap.
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:23 PM   #6
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Another route to go is to become a dealer for a business software package where you supply the sales and service. Your accounting knowledge would put you way ahead of the game in Payroll, AR, AP, GL, Inventory etc. Any deep technical assistance would be available to you via the developer. An example would be CYMA.
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