Hello, I am a late 20s person from Europe who works part-time at a low-skilled job and is nearing completion of a masters in Financial Mathematics (FM). I also have an undergraduate degree in Economics and a post-graduate degree in Finance.
Previously I’ve worked full-time as an IT consultant, in R&D at an asset management company and in operational risk at an investment bank. I stopped working full-time in early 2018 due to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety disorder and possible Asperger’s. But even before then it was obvious my health was deteriorating and I actually got fired from my second job partially due to these problems. Since then I’ve been slowly working (or at least trying to) on my health, which has improved substantially but not as much as I would like. So in early 2018, with way too much time in my hands, I decided to get the part-time job to partially offset my expenses and also decided to go back to school to study FM.
I went back to school for multiple reasons. I was tired of doing work that was not very technical or quantitative. While working on my health I realized that I don’t do well with work that is subjective, unstructured or involves little interaction (for example doing a lot of reading, specially when I have no clear goal). I did a little programming at previous jobs and more during the masters. So, I can say with some confidence that I enjoyed it. But going back to the FM masters: it is very technical, I was fascinated and curious about it plus it has an excellent track record with regards to employment prospects. I also considered “going back” and doing an undergraduate degree in computer science but decided that it was just too long (minimum 3 years).
So with this “introduction” out of the way let’s get to the heart of this post. I don’t know what to do after I finish my masters. Of course I could just apply for jobs related with what I am studying. However, I think I really want to try working in the technical side of IT. I will admit I don’t know much about the different aspects and careers in IT but I find it interesting. Every time I was doing non-technical work I just wanted to understand and do the work of my technical colleagues. I think it both better suits my personality and aligns well with my long term goals of increased freedom and flexibility (IT generally pays well and you can do a lot of work remotely). I have this idea of maybe becoming a freelancer but I can understand that is not realistic in the short-term. So, working in IT inside a company is probably my best bet at this time. Regardless, another objective of mine is to be able to work less than 40h per week. I think it would be great for me, specially health-wise.
I have to say I got more excited about my ideas when I saw this post here on Tildes: https://tildes.net/~comp/quj/would_any_tilderino_be_interested_in_tutoring_me_in_programming. I am willing to put in the work and it would be awesome to have some tutoring. Another point I took from that post is that IT is a very big field and I honestly don’t know specifically what I want to do inside that space. However, I do know I don’t like dealing with UI or graphical/design aspects.
I guess I will finish by asking direct questions to help people structure their answers around (but if you want to talk about something else I wrote, be free to do so):
- First of all, what technical areas within IT do you think would suit me? If it’s not much of a hassle, please provide a brief description of what people actually do in those areas.
- Is it realistic to start working as a technical IT freelancer and learn as I go? Or are the odds very slim?
- Alternatively, if I decide to take the "safer" and more probable route of nailing a technical IT job, what should I do to put myself in a better position to attain that goal?
Thank you =)