Changing Jobs in the IT Industry in Your 40s│Trends and Measures? Is it possible to change jobs with no experience?

2024.01.22

  • Career Advice
40代のIT業界転職事情│傾向や対策は?未経験からの転職は可能?

In recent years, the IT industry, along with rapid technological innovation, has been increasingly seeking personnel of diverse ages. Under such circumstances, an increasing number of IT engineers are considering changing careers in their 40s.

However, there used to be a theory that IT engineers retire at the age of 35, and many people may hesitate, wondering whether they will be able to play an active role in a new environment.

In this article, we will explain in detail the situation of IT engineers in their 40s, including the trends of IT engineers in their 40s, the key points for a successful career change, and an example of a career plan for those in their 40s.

Demand for IT engineers in their 40s is on the rise


The demand for IT engineers in their 40s has been on the rise for the past several years, and there has been significant movement in the job market. In the past, it was whispered that the age limit for changing jobs as an IT engineer was 35, but due to the rapid development of digital technology and the chronic shortage of human resources in the IT industry, more and more people are changing jobs in their 40s these days.

According to the "Survey on the Latest Trends and Future Estimates of IT Human Resources" published by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, it is predicted that the shortage of IT engineers will reach up to 790,000 by 2030.

In order to overcome this serious shortage of IT personnel, companies are increasingly seeking experienced engineers in their 40s and older as well as younger workers, who are ready to step up to the plate.

 

Quoted from: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, "Survey Results on the Latest Trends and Future Estimates of IT Human Resources".

In fact, according to the "Job Change Trend Survey of IT Engineers over 40" conducted by paiza Corporation, the percentage of IT engineers over 40 years old that companies decided to hire was 0.0% in 2013. However, it shows that the percentage is increasing every year, to 6.8% in 2017 and 16.4% in 2021.

 

Quoted from paiza "Survey on Trends of IT Engineers over 40 Changing Jobs".

Trends in IT engineers changing jobs in their 40s


40代のITエンジニア転職の傾向

Even though the IT industry as a whole is facing a serious shortage of human resources, it is not that easy to realize a career change from no experience to IT engineering even if you are in your 40s.

The following four trends are explained for those in their 40s who are considering changing careers to become IT engineers.
 

  • Fewer jobs available for 40s, but not high multipliers.
  • It is easy to prolong your job search.
  • It is difficult to change jobs in a field in which you have no experience or low skills.
  • Management skills are expected.

Let's check them out one by one.

Fewer jobs for 40s, but not high multipliers.

When you enter your 40s, you are just at the final turning point in your career. Some people want to continue working in a stable job at their current place of employment, while others may want to utilize their experience and skills to advance their careers in a new environment.

Although the number of IT engineering jobs targeting people in their 40s is smaller than those for people in their 20s and 30s, the ratio is not as high. This is because the number of people considering a career change after the age of 40 is small to begin with.

In other words, for IT engineers in their 40s with the right skills and experience, the competition is less fierce and they may have an easier time finding the right position.

Job search tends to be prolonged

The job search for IT engineers in their 40s tends to be a protracted process. As mentioned above, the number of job openings targeting people in their 40s is limited. Even if the competition is not high, you still have to find the right job and pass the company's rigorous hiring tests.

Even if a company is exactly what you are looking for, if you don't match the type of person the company is looking for, you will be rejected at the application screening stage.

According to a survey conducted by En Japan Co., Ltd. on the duration of job-hunting activities by middle-aged people, about 31% of respondents in their 40s answered that their job-hunting activities took about six months.

 

ミドルに聞く「転職活動期間」実態調査

Quoted from: en Japan K.K., "Survey on the Duration of Job Hunting among Middle-aged People".

In addition, while jobs for younger workers in their 20s and early 30s are consistently advertised throughout the year, jobs for the so-called "middle generation" of 35-54 year olds are often advertised suddenly. Therefore, it is important to always collect information and be prepared to take action as soon as a job becomes available.

Don't be in a hurry to find a new job, but be prepared for the fact that your job search will be a long-term process, and be sure to conduct your job search in a systematic manner.

Difficult to move into inexperienced or low-skilled fields

Although it is not impossible for people in their 40s to make a career change from inexperienced to IT engineer or to a lower-skilled field, the hurdles are higher.

This is because, to begin with, what companies are looking for in personnel in their 40s is "the ability to contribute to the company by utilizing the advanced skills and technologies they have developed through their past experience.

Companies generally consider it more advantageous to hire people in their 20s, who are quick learners and have room to grow, rather than people in their 40s, if they are hiring inexperienced or inexperienced personnel.

In addition, taking on a new challenge with no experience naturally requires energy, stamina, and concentration. However, when you are in your 40s, your physical strength and concentration will be less than when you were in your 20s and 30s.

Those who want to take on the challenge of becoming an IT engineer with no experience, or those who are considering changing jobs in a low-skill field, need to understand these aspects and be prepared for them.

Management skills are expected

When evaluating candidates in their 40s for IT engineering jobs, companies consider not only technical skills but also management skills as important criteria. Therefore, it is important to actively promote your past management experience and the efforts you have made to develop your management skills.

However, some companies have various job titles, such as technical manager, project manager, and section manager. Therefore, it would be more effective to give specific details of the scale of the project and the management duties rather than just the job title during the interview.

It is also possible to change jobs even if you do not have experience in a management position. If you have experience in leadership or similar work experience, you can show it to the hiring manager and increase the likelihood that he or she will evaluate you.

Is it impossible to change jobs in my 40s with no experience in the IT industry?


40代でIT業界未経験からの転職は無理?

For those in their 40s who are considering a career change, the challenge of entering the IT industry with no experience can be a difficult path, but it is not impossible. In particular, if you have experience as an engineer in other industries (e.g., automotive engineer, infrastructure engineer, etc.), it is possible to use those skills to change jobs in the IT industry.

However, as mentioned above, if you are in your 40s and have no experience in the IT industry and are aiming to become an engineer, your job search will be difficult because you will be at a disadvantage in potential employment compared to younger workers in their 20s and 30s.

On the other hand, even if you have no experience as an IT engineer, it is possible to change jobs in other fields. For example, in the IT industry, sales and customer support positions often emphasize communication skills, so if you are confident in these abilities, you will be highly valued.

What can IT engineers in their 40s do for a successful career change?


40代で転職を目指すITエンジニアが転職成功のためにできることとは?

What is the best approach for IT engineers in their 40s to successfully change jobs? Here are seven things that IT engineers in their 40s should do to ensure a successful career change.
 

  • Obtain higher qualifications
  • Be proactive in your work
  • Be sensitive to trends
  • Understand your market value
  • Review your career history
  • Define your career plan
  • Research your new job carefully

Let's check them one by one.

Obtain a higher level IT certification.

Obtaining advanced IT certifications can be a weapon in a career change in your 40s. For example, higher certifications such as AWS Certified Solution Architect and PMP (Project Management Professional) certify not only technical knowledge but also project management skills.

Possession of these certifications will support your career to date and help you demonstrate to potential employers that you are "ready to go to work. In addition, it is a good opportunity to update your skills by staying up-to-date with the latest technological trends during the learning process.

If you have been too busy to study for certifications, it is not too late, even if you are in your 40s, to take up the challenge.

Actively engage in the work

In order for IT engineers in their 40s to successfully change jobs, they should first reflect on how active they are in their current job. As we get older, many of us may unconsciously become more passive.

From the perspective of the company, hiring people in their 40s, who tend to be hard-headed and lack flexibility, initiative, and proactivity, can be judged as risky. Conversely, if you are flexible to change and proactive in your approach to work, you are more likely to be highly valued regardless of your age.

That is why it is important to reflect on your current approach to work and improve it if it is conservative. By honing the skills and experience you have built up over the years and demonstrating your positivity and drive, you will be successful in your new job.

Become trend-sensitive

The IT industry is constantly evolving. Therefore, staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies is very important when changing careers. For example, cloud technology, AI, and big data are in particularly high demand, and knowledge and experience in these areas can be a big advantage.

Being in your 40s may give the impression that you are not up-to-date with the latest technologies, so it is important to always be professional and keep an eye on the latest trends in the industry.

In addition to frequently checking industry news, attend relevant seminars and workshops to keep up with the latest information and increase your own market value.

Understand your own market value

In order to successfully change jobs, it is important to understand your market value. Market value refers to how much your skills and experience are worth in the job market. By having a clear understanding of this, it is easier to find a job where you can make the most of your abilities and avoid mismatches after changing jobs.

However, it is difficult to measure your own market value by yourself. Subjectivity can cause you to underestimate or overestimate your own value. In addition, market value fluctuates with the times and social conditions, so even if you possess the same skills and experience, your evaluation will differ depending on the timing.

In order to measure your market value more accurately and efficiently, it is effective to consult with a recruitment agent or communicate with the human resources staff of a company through recruitment events. This will give you a chance to understand the gap between your market value and what you think you are worth.

Reflect on your career with a resume.

The preparation of your professional resume is an ideal time for self-assessment. Look back over your career and organize each important project, accomplishment, and skill you have learned.

By making a detailed list of your experiences as an IT engineer and looking at your career objectively, you may discover something new. You will also be able to clarify "what you want to achieve" and "what kind of career you want to build" based on your past experiences.

Your resume is an important document that can be considered the "face" of your job search. It is important to carefully prepare it based on the above points so that you can effectively showcase your strengths and expertise. You may also ask a career change agent for advice on how to write your resume.

Clarify your career plan after changing jobs

Once you have completed your self-analysis by looking back on your career to date, the next step is to clarify your career plan (future vision) after changing jobs.

It is no exaggeration to say that a career change for engineers in their 40s is their last chance to make a career decision. You need to think about your career not only from the perspective of finding a new job, but also from a long-term perspective.

Make a concrete career plan, such as "How do I want to make the most of my experience and how do I want to be active? It is also important to be prepared to communicate this plan to the company in words.

Carefully research your new job.

As with any age group, careful research of the company you are changing jobs with is essential for a successful career change.

It is important to understand the company from various aspects such as culture, climate, working environment, growth potential, and employee age. In particular, it is not uncommon for venture companies and start-ups to have a majority of young engineers in their 20s and 30s.

Therefore, it is necessary to carefully assess "how many engineers in the same age group as yourself" and "whether or not it is an environment where you can work for a long period of time.

In addition to job information, it is also a good idea to refer to employee reviews and industry reputation when researching companies.

Examples of career plans for IT engineers in their 40s


40代からのITエンジニアのキャリアプランの例

There are many different career plans for IT engineers in their 40s. Which career plan is right for you depends on your interests, skills, and experience.

Here are three examples of career plans for engineers in their 40s.
 

  • Become a Manager
  • Become a Specialist
  • Become a generalist

Let's check them one by one.

Aiming for management positions

Let's start with an example of a career plan for a management position. A managerial position is one in which you act as a team leader or manager, train engineering members, manage projects, and negotiate with customers.

Suitable candidates for this position are engineers who can draw on their own technical skills as well as those of their subordinates and junior staff. In addition, communication, leadership, and business skills are also required for managerial positions.

Many companies recruiting IT engineers in their 40s for management positions. Therefore, if you are confident in your management skills in addition to your technical skills, a management position that allows you to contribute to the company in areas other than development is recommended.

Become a Specialist

Next is an example of a career plan to become a specialist. Specialists are engineers who are experts in a particular field of skills and knowledge. For example, there are specialists in programming, networking, security, databases, and many other areas.

To build a career as a specialist, it is important to have in-depth knowledge and expertise in a particular technical area or tool. In addition, the IT industry is a career for those who are willing to keep learning, as new technologies and trends are constantly emerging.

United World Inc. has a number of job openings for specialist-oriented professionals, so if you are interested in this career, please check out our job openings here.

Become a generalist

The last is an example of a career plan to become a generalist. A generalist is an engineer who does not specialize in a particular field, but has a broad range of knowledge, skills, and accomplishments that can be applied to a variety of projects and tasks.

Because of their versatility, generalists tend to be adaptable to a wide variety of industries and occupations. In particular, generalists are in high demand for projects that cover a wide range of technical areas, startups that require a variety of skills, and small and medium-sized companies.

Those who wish to utilize the knowledge, skills, and experience they have accumulated and work on a wide variety of projects should aim for a career as a generalist.

Summary: Define your career plan and make a successful transition to the IT industry in your 40s.


キャリアプランを明確にし、40代でのIT業界への転職を成功させよう

In this article, we have explained the current IT career change situation for IT engineers in their 40s, including trends and key points for a successful career change.

Compared to those in their 20s and 30s, changing jobs for IT engineers in their 40s is inevitably more difficult. However, due to the chronic shortage of human resources in the IT industry, there have been many cases in which engineers have been able to find a new job smoothly because they met the requirements of the company.

Changing jobs in your 40s is a turning point that will greatly affect your life, so it is important to clarify your career plan and act cautiously and without haste.

At United World Inc., our dedicated career advisors work closely with each and every one of our clients to support their job search. After carefully listening to your detailed requirements and career plans, we will introduce you to the best job opportunities that suit you best, so please feel free to contact us if you want to change jobs efficiently.

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