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How To Make A Career Switch Into AI At 40

Last updated on: 
December 27, 2023
|
by 
Abhinav Rawat
The fast well prepared banner
About The Author!
Abhinav Rawat
Abhinav Rawat
Product Manager at Interview Kickstart. The skilled and experienced mastermind behind several successful product designs for upscaling the ed-tech platforms with an outcome-driven approach for skilled individuals.

The current rise in computer and information technology job opportunities attracts numerous candidates to the field. More promising expectations are seen as BLS estimates more than 3.5 lakh job openings each year on average. In such a promising scenario,  the desire for a career change at the age of 40, driven by aspirations for both professional growth and financial advancement, is far from uncommon. Walking you through the journey while helping you try for the opportunities in FAANG+ companies, here we are with a comprehensive guide. 

Here’s what we’ll cover in this article: 

Why Switch to a New Career Path at 40?

Individuals should ponder the associated factors before considering how to break into AI. Starting with the reasons for switching to a career in machine learning and artificial intelligence, here is the list of positive associations with the career change: 

  • Experience: Individuals have a lot of expertise to bring to the table. With experience in one specific domain or multiple fields, they also tend to bring exciting problem-solving abilities. Witnessing different phases of life and struggles, their communication skills and ability to grasp will be easily exhibited through their contribution to past companies they have worked with, which eases career advancement. 
  • Stability and Passion: Switching careers at 40 is a courageous endeavor. The primary goal extends beyond merely seeking higher pay. Rather, the candidates aim to gain career growth and explore new opportunities. 
  • Value of diverse perspectives: Having interacted with numerous mindsets and gone through multiple situations, a mature individual's unique perspective is important to the company. The Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning projects would welcome such individuals. 
  • Adaptability and Leadership: Experienced individuals are also expected to maintain work-life balance and demonstrate leadership skills. This capability is crucial for ensuring high work efficiency.
  • Impactful work beyond specific fields: People passionate about learning artificial intelligence and willing to participate in cutting-edge technologies in different industries from their area of expertise now have an opportunity. Opportunities are available in various fields, including finance, healthcare, and more. Individuals can also excel in their own field with AI technology. 
  • Physical to intellectual transition: Individuals who have experienced injuries or health issues that limit their physical capabilities can transition to a career in AI. By learning and adapting AI and ML skills, they can work intellectually and achieve stability and growth.

Challenges in Career Change in 40s

Switching to a career in AI, especially within the IT sector, demands acquiring relevant skills, including coding. Regardless of interest in IT sector, the change is accompanied by certain challenges, such as the ones listed below:

  • Being experienced, the salary expectations would be high. However, Candidates are relatively new to the field and may need to make compromises. 
  • Skills gap in case of lack of relevant knowledge
  • Learning to code in your 40s can be complex and time-consuming
  • Candidates may encounter age bias from recruiters. 
  • Family responsibilities, current job and learning new skills require effective time management skills 
  • Keeping up with trends and technologies is crucial. Strategic planning in advance is crucial. 
  • Feelings of self-doubt about failures or abilities are common in beginning a new field. These feelings of self-doubt can be amplified by the age factor.
  • The opportunities might be limited in case recruiters seek core fields from the beginning of education

How to Get Into the AI Industry?

A common question for individuals in their 40s looking for entry into Artificial Intelligence is: How to get into the AI industry? Here is the list of sequential actions to follow to succeed in the Artificial Intelligence career path.  

Career Path to AI at 40

Know Your Calling

AI harbors vast types of roles in the IT and non-IT sectors. Choose the direction you want to pursue and make progress in that area. The IT roles include machine learning, robotics, Natural Language Processing, data science, and others. TNon-IT roles include positions such as AI business analyst, data analyst, AI compliance officer, AI product manager, and user experience (UX) designer. 

Get Familiar With the Choice

Post choice of a specific domain, research the requirements in that field. You should be aware of the relevant skills crucial to excel in this domain. Additionally, you must know about possible options in this field regarding advancement and where you want to focus your efforts. You should also be familiar with companies offering opportunities in this domain and what you want to target. You can begin connecting with experts in the field to gain a better understanding and opportunities as per the availability. 

Relate Yourself With the Choice

The most important question representing you is, What do you offer to the company? You have enough experience in past jobs and industries. How do they contribute to the new role of AI? Display the success rate of your soft skills. Possession of hard or technical skills eases your journey. It also includes your mathematics, statistics, computer or business background. 

Work on Your Shortcomings

Depending on your background and choice of new domain, the requirement of some or the other technical and non-technical skills is a must. The current scenario witnesses numerous options to upskill oneself. Online platforms offering course materials, practice, recruiter-based personalized guidance to crack the interview and much more. Register yourself and gear up for the new journey. 

Face the Real World 

Knowledge without practical application is incomplete. Hence, seeking hands-on experience with real-world industrial and academic projects helps you understand the expectations. Working on tasks, technologies, and overall projects prepares you to understand the recruiter’s requirements and current demand. It also gives a head-on by polishing your skills and capabilities. 

Interview Kickstart and Career Switch at 40

At Interview Kickstart, our job is to prepare you to face top companies' recruiters. With expert guidance from the FAANG+ companies, we help you discover yourself and your abilities through training and mentorship. If you're interested in entering the technology field, a common question is: How can I switch careers to Artificial Intelligence? With our personalized mentoring session, technical brush-up and experts seeking candidates for their teams, we offer a promising future in the field. Join our FREE webinar to begin your journey and learn more. 

FAQs on How to Switch Career to Artificial Intelligence

Q1. Which degree is best to become an AI?

Ans. Computer science is the bedrock for learning programming languages, algorithms, software engineering and data structure. It is the starting point in the AI careers, suiting all needs to become the best degree for AI.

Q2. Which pays more, AI or ML?

Ans. ML and AI are both trending and high-payable jobs. However, ML is more in demand than AI, thus, bags a higher package. 

Q3. Which jobs survive AI?

Ans. Scientists, analysts, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physical trainers like coaches are some of the jobs AI can never replace. It is because their job requires critical thinking based on domain knowledge to acknowledge patterns and come up with new and personalized approaches depending on the case.

Q4. Is it hard to master AI?

Ans. There is a misconception about artificial intelligence being hard to learn. If you know computer science and programming, you can easily grasp the skills to master AI.

Q5. What skills are needed for AI?

Ans. The fundamental skills required for AI are mathematics, statistics and programming languages. These skills aid you in developing efficient algorithms, data analysis, and implementing AI models. 

Q6. What programming languages are used for AI?

Ans. There are several programming languages used in AI. The commonly used ones include Python, Java, Julia, R, and C++, among other languages.

Posted on 
October 6, 2023
AUTHOR

Abhinav Rawat

Product Manager @ Interview Kickstart | Ex-upGrad | BITS Pilani. Working with hiring managers from top companies like Meta, Apple, Google, Amazon etc to build structured interview process BootCamps across domains

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