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Need some career advice/help

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hey guys. So I am going to be laid off from the company I've worked at for the last 5 years at the end of the year. I work in the tech field doing testing and have a degree in computer engineering. Now I feel like I'm at a crossroads, I'm 30 and I'm trying to decide what to do with the rest of my life.

I don't want to continue doing testing as I feel the job is not secure. For some of my co-workers this is their 2nd or 3rd layoff. This is my 1st. They can outsource what I do to India, China, etc. I also feel like I don't have any skills either as we do not do any automation testing. I also haven't programmed in years.

So I was thinking about career choices and this is what I was thinking:

1) Go into sales engineering. I like working/interacting with people and customers and this would be a logical choice. The problem is I don't have any experience in sales engineering. I've previously worked at a small company 6 years ago as tech support and I did this kind of work but it was only for a year. I've applied for sales engineering jobs and haven't gotten any interviews.

2) Go into finance. I've had a good friend submit my resume to his company and am waiting to see if anything becomes of it. I think I would like to work as an analyst in some capacity. How hard is it to get into finance without a degree in it in somewhere like the San Francisco Bay Area? I've heard it's possible in New York, but I'm not sure about the SF area. My friend said his work has a few people with philosophy and psychology degrees but most of the people there have at least some sort of business degree, most of them finance degrees.

3) Get an MBA and go into product management. I don't plan on doing this. I have a friend who was a product manager previously who got laid off almost a year ago and still hasn't found a job. I know other people who have MBAs who aren't doing anything with it. A couple people gave me the advice that if I can't get into a top 20 program then I shouldn't even bother.

4) Stay in testing and develop a specialty

Any help/advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
post #2 of 6
Well, what are you truly interested in? Are you primarily concerned with job security or you want to try something else? Answering those questions will be a big help in deciding next steps. W/r/t Sales Engineering, review the minimum and preferred qualifications listed in job announcements and see what you can do to attain them. An MBA/advanced degree is never a bad idea if you have a plan on what to do with it. An MBA could help you in switching to Finance or Product Management. You may want to take the time now to begin to reach out to your contacts (professional or alumnae) to pick their brains on career transitions.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi Joffrey. Thanks for the reply. I think my dream job would be one that has me interact with people, working with customers, (not tech support) and maybe do a little traveling. The job I applied for at my friend's company does that.

A lot of the sales engineering jobs require experience in the field (that I lack) so I don't meet that requirement but I meet most of the technical ones. Still I've been applying for them but haven't been getting any hits. It doesn't help that I don't have any contacts here either.

I'm still a little hesitant on getting an MBA. It could maybe help me get my foot in the door but I don't know if I want to take on any debt as I have a mortgage and I'm living paycheck to paycheck to pay for it. (stupid I know) I'm also not sure if I can get into a good MBA school as my undergrad GPA was below 3.0. Maybe they might have more allowance since my degree was in engineering?

Most of my contacts are in testing and programming so I don't have anyone that I can ask for advice except for a couple friends. So I decided to ask here as there seems to be a lot of people working in finance.
post #4 of 6
Yeah graduate school is expensive as hell especially if going full time. What about contacts where you got your undergrad degree? Reach out to the alumni network and former professors.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
I've tried asking my professors before but they didn't really have many contacts and all the ones they had were in engineering. The school I went to has a good business program but I don't know any of the professors so I think it would be hard to try to ask them for help.
post #6 of 6
Contact alumni from your school. There should be an alumni services office give them a call and ask them how alumni can tap into the network. When they fill you in, contact alumni in the fields you're interested in and ask them questions about making a transition to their respective industries.
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