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5 Tips for Mature Employees Looking for a Mid-Career Switch

by Deana Zafir

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Looking for a change of career? Worried about the future in your job industry? Or are you looking to pursue something that aligns well with your personality type? Whatever your reason might be, the good news is that it’s never too late to explore a new career path.

Mid-career switches are possible in Singapore. You just have to choose the “right” industry - one that you can work in, or one with a stable future.

Here are the five tips and tricks you’ll need to do in order for a smooth work transition.


1. Identify the industry you want to break into
 

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Before you consider making a stark career change, it’s best to evaluate what you want to do and if the job will make you happy.

Thriving industries to consider making a mid-career change in Singapore include:

A. Tech and Cyber Security

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Tech and Cyber Security remain one of the most stable career fields to switch to. There is a reason that students are flocking over to study tech, info-communications, and even computing. The answer? A serious lack of skills and talents.

Despite being a great field to transition and jump into, the Cyber Security and tech field require a lot of hard skills and certification. However, some positions related to Data Analytics do not require a whole new degree. 

Click here to find out more about the degrees and certification you’ll need to have a career in Cyber Security in Singapore.

Alternatively, visit BGC Singapore's job portal for positions within the IT and tech field (ranging from full-time to temp jobs). 

B. Finance

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According to Moneysmart, the finance sector in Singapore is looking to grow at a rate of 4% per annum, creating thousands of jobs in the industry.

If you’re looking for a stable career in the finance industry, jobs such as compliance positions do not require specialized degrees.

C. Healthcare

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As an aging population, the healthcare industry in Singapore is one that will be on the rise. If you’re looking to give back to the general public, it’s important to note that there are numerous positions for you to apply to in healthcare, that isn’t restricted to roles such as doctor and nurse.

You can consider roles such as physiotherapy or other positions that do not require an additional 5-years of medical training.



2. Talk to people in the industry
 

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Before you quit your job and make the switch, it’s best to talk to people in the industry and find out about the qualifications and experience needed to succeed.

You can do your research by talking to recruiters to find out if the skills you have are transferable or useful for your new career. It’s important to remember as a seasoned employee, that luck (and transferable skills) is on your side.

For instance, if you’ve worked in sales, and want to switch to human resources (HR), your social skills and the ability to handle multiple personalities can be helpful.


3. Upskill yourself


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There’s a lot of learning that needs to be done, in order to have a successful mid-career switch. Before deciding what courses to take, it’s best to examine the requirements you need. For instance, to switch to a career in data analytics, you might need to take up a course in data science, or social media analytics.

Did You Know?

The Singapore government provides a range of scholarships for mid-career and mature employees? We’ve listed them down for you!
 

  • Professional Conversion Grant (NCSS)

    The National Council of Social Services has a scholarship program for budding social service workers. Dubbed the ‘Professional Conversion Grant’, the program allows mid-career professionals to secure part-time courses in Social Work (i.e. Graduate Diploma in Social Work, and Accelerated Bachelor in Social Work).

    Unfortunately, there is a criteria to meet. To be eligible, you must be employed by a partner organization.

    Find out more about NCSS Professional Conversion Grant here.
     

  • SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy

    Mid-career professionals aged 40 and above are eligible for the SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy. Those eligible will receive subsidies of up to 90% for over 8,000 courses.

    The subsidy is applicable to a number of institutions including:

    A) Universities (NUS, NTU, SMU, SUTD, SIT, and SUSS)
    B) Polytechnics
    C) Institute of Technical Education
    D) LASALLE College of the Arts
    E) Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts

    Learn more about the SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy program here.
     

  • Workfare Training Support (WTS)

    The Workfare Training Support (WTS) is eligible for Singaporeans aged 35 years and above. It provides a 95% subsidy on courses approved for WTS funding. Unlike the other subsidy programs above, those eligible may also request for training allowance (S$4.50 per hour).

    Other additional incentives include a S$200 achievement award for those who managed to achieve the following:
     

  1. Two WSQ Statements of Attainment (SOA) attained within a 12-month period
     

  2. One WSQ qualification
     

  3. One academic CET Modular Certificate or Post-Diploma Certificate
     

  4. One academic CET qualification
     

  5. One qualification under Certifiable Courses accredited or supported by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG)


Find out more about WSG’s Workfare Training Support (WTS) program here.

 

4. Ensure that you’re financially stable
 

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Starting out as a newbie in a different career might mean that you’ll have to accept smaller paychecks for the time being. We encourage individuals looking for a mid-career change to first consider the amount of savings they have - before quitting their stable job to make the switch.

It sounds tempting, but we’ve seen our fair share of high-flying professionals going down in the dumps because they don’t have enough money to sustain their career change.

5. Look within your current company


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Dreaming of making a career switch but worried that you’ll be out of work? Or maybe you’re already used to the routine of your current company. If that’s the case, you can try searching for a position within the company.

Think about it, you’ll have nothing to lose! Who knows you better than your current company? Since your managers are aware of your skills, talents, and accomplishments, they might be more willing to take a chance on you and let you test drive your new position.
 

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