One older and one younger woman working on computers

There’s a common misconception that once you reach a certain age in life you’ve passed that point where a career change is just too far gone, writes Simon Bell, Founder and Director of Careermap.

You’ve got responsibilities, bills to pay, people to look after. That may have been the case twenty years ago, where people often remained in one career for life once they were comfortable. That isn’t the case anymore though, and more people are actively seeking to change their career later in life. In fact, we like to look at careers as zigzags and it’s never too late to make the change!

Careers in tech in particular can be extremely high-paying these days, and you may already have some of the skills required for success. The addition of accessible tech courses and programmes means it’s a great time to consider changing your career.

Read on for our five key reasons why it’s not too late to change your career this year.

1.  Retraining/reskilling has become much easier

There are so many options out there when retraining these days – it isn’t the case that you’ll start off in a new career making tea as the old cliché goes. Many training programmes help you get stuck in from the start.

One of these training options is to undergo an apprenticeship. This involves you undergoing your training while also studying, but you will earn a salary while you’re completing your training. During an apprenticeship, you’ll typically spend 20% of your time doing your off-the-job study, and 80% on-the-job. You will also be paid for your training as well!

It is also worth noting that there are lots of different levels of apprenticeship too, with them going all the way up to degree apprenticeships where the salaries are higher. Therefore, you could continue to learn and increase your knowledge while still continuing to earn and increase your salary.

The range of free courses out there has increased dramatically too! As lots of these courses are remote and involve you learning from home, many of them can be completed in your own time too! If you don’t quite feel like you have the skills needed to start your retraining or just want to boost your confidence, why not give them a go? Most include a certificate of completion too, so you can prove you’ve completed the course when applying for a new role or learning programme!

2.  Salaries have increased for career changers

Office for National Statistics data showed that people who changed industries experienced a bigger increase in earnings than those who only changed their job role in the same sector. If one of your main concerns is the potential drop in earning potential, don’t be put off.

Before you consider changing your career, it is definitely worth creating a budget to see if your financial situation can adjust to a potential drop in earnings, at least in the short term. This is more likely if you are currently in a high-paying role.

It is also worth thinking about your future earning potential though, and how that would affect your future financial forecast. If you feel your potential future earnings would be worth an initial salary drop then it may be worth taking the chance. Ultimately though it is your choice, and you should weigh up the pros and cons before making a decision.

3.  Tech careers are some of the highest paying

If you’re considering a career change particularly to the tech sector, you’d be looking at some of the highest average salaries across the UK jobs market. A 2022 survey by the ONS (Office for National Statistics) showed that the Information and Communication sector had the fourth highest median salary across the UK with £42,071, compared to £33,000 on average across the UK. Therefore, a career in tech could likely provide an increased earning potential for you in the future.

Many tech careers are increasingly in demand too as our world becomes increasingly digitalised. Technical roles with the required expertise are sought after and depending on your specialism, you could could go on to have a highly successful career in one of the below roles:

  • Data analysts
  • Business Analysts
  • .NET developers
  • Cloud/Data Architects
  • Data Engineers
  • Technical Support
  • Database Administrators
  • IT Security

(Get your ticket for One Tech World to see what all these different areas are about!)

You will need to complete your required training, which can include knowledge of coding languages like Java depending on your role. However, some of the above roles offer salaries upwards of £35,000 up to £90,000.

4.  UK government programme support

In recent news, the UK government has also recently announced a ‘returnership’ programme as part of the 2023 budget. The aim of this programme is to help people over 50 either get back into work or change careers. There are a range of different options available to help change careers, including the following:

  • Skills Bootcamps

These are free courses lasting up to 16 weeks in partnership with local companies. They allow you to build your skills in a certain sector – including digital! – and also include a job interview upon completion of the programme.

  • Apprenticeships

As previously mentioned, an apprenticeship involves a combination of work and off-the-job training. You may have previously thought they were only for younger people, but they are available to people of all ages looking to reskill or upskill.

  • Sector-based work academy programmes (SWAPs)

SWAPs offer people with experience of a particular industry, which can include tech. They are currently designed more for current jobseekers, so if you are currently searching for a new role this could be right for you!

There are lots of options out there at the moment, so make sure you take advantage of them if you’re looking to switch your career.

5.  Potential for more flexible working

A new career, particularly in tech, does offer you the opportunity for more flexible working in future if desirable.

The opportunity to build your portfolio as a freelancer is a very real opportunity these days, as people seek to establish their independence from a 9-5 routine in their working lives. This will depend on the role you’re applying for, but flexible working is becoming increasingly popular.

Many businesses also enable employees to have greater control over their working hours so that they can choose to work earlier or later depending on their schedules. Working from home has also facilitated this trend.

We hope in this article we’ve shed some light on why it isn’t too late to change your career, especially if you’re looking in the tech sector!

About the author

Simon Bell is the Founder and Director of, the UK’s #1 career advice and guidance platform packed full with live job opportunities from leading employers and training providers.


If you are thinking of returning to a career in tech after taking a break, join us at our Global Virtual Conference, One Tech World on 27 April. You can hear from incredible speakers such as Beckie Taylor, CEO of Tech Returners who will be speaking about how you can ace your return and thrive in your tech career –  Find out more and grab your tickets here.

Beckie Taylor

How to return to a career in technology

Beckie Taylor, co-founder and CEO of Tech Returners hosts a candid fireside chat with a business leader about both the value and challenges of recruiting diverse, skilled engineers looking to return to technology after a career break. Who better to invite to this conversation than Returners who have been through it? We’ll hear from a Returner that’s been through the process of refreshing her skills, regaining confidence, and integrating into a fast-moving tech firm after a break in their career.

We’ll discuss:

  • The value and diversity that Returners bring

  • Challenges and considerations for tech businesses hiring Returners

  • The impact of investing in the Returner market