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A woman in her 50s shows it’s never too late to change careers and jump into IT

The IT industry is traditionally seen as a place where the young thrive. But this doesn’t mean that if you’re older you have no chance in succeeding.

Gillian Reynolds-Titko is in her 50s but that didn’t stop her from changing her career and jump straight into the IT industry. For 20 years she was a research physicist for DuPont until she was a part of the firms layoff in 2016, BusinessInsider reports. Gillian spent about a year looking for new opportunities in her career. She was a highly paid specialist so she could manage without a job for a while. But nothing in her field caught her eye.

“It was much more important to find something I wanted to do next than to jump into the first something that came along,” she says. She also adds that she’s always been interested in programming. And she has even practiced some coding with YouTube videos and online classes during her pervious career.

So, she decided to risk it and went for it. Gillian enrolled in a local coding boot camp close to her home. It was a 12-week program for Java coding despite her wish to work with Swift. Since Java is more popular and spread though, it was a logical choice.

Of course the boot camp wasn’t enough to make her an expect in Java. But it was enough for her to get the most important tools and to find a new job. Now Reynolds-Titko is an IT business analyst at JPMorgan Chase. She doesn’t code that much, as she mostly spends her time on project management and translating business needs into tasks for coders.

Her new position pays 40% less than her previous career. She says she’s OK with that as it’s an entry level job and she’s working what she likes, plus there’s a lot of room to grow. During all of this, Gillian plans to learn Swift as well and start making apps.

So, if you’ve always dreamt about a job in IT and are willing to work for it, there’s already plenty of trainings that can help you. “See if it’s something you really want to do. If it is, commit to it, because it’s going to take a lot of work to make the change. It’s not going to be easy”, Gillian says, but it’s certainly possible.