When Is It Too Late for a Science and Technology Course?

Science and Technology surround us wherever we go and whatever we do. From the way we communicate to the way we entertain ourselves, we all interact with it on a daily if not hourly basis. But, if you're not already in the industry and didn't grow up with an iPod or get an HTC for your 10th birthday, is it still possible to take a course in science or technology? Or have you simply missed the hi-tech boat?

Many people start studying at University directly after high school without a real idea of what they want to do with the rest of their lives, alternatively they start working immediately and get caught in the cycle of earning an income to meet expenses very early on in life. Either way, many people reach a point in their late twenties or early thirties, where after ten years of hard work they feel they have achieved what they wanted in their selected field of study or work and start craving a new challenge. And it doesn't get much newer of much more challenging than the ever evolving field of science and technology courses.

To clarify, the field of science and technology is as broad and as all encompassing as the field of 'art'. Except, instead of paintbrushes dueling it out with HDTV, science and technology courses more often go hand in hand. From scripting mobile phone applications to mapping the genome of the common housecat, revolutionary progress in one field inevitably has an indirect field on another and ultimately on the way we live our lives. Taking a course in science and technology therefore spans all aspects of modern living.

If you want to get involved with this constantly developing field, there are some questions you are going to have to ask yourself before setting out. It's no coincidence that you can't step into cyberspace without coming face to face with the work of a hundred good to great web designers, while the work of good to great bio-engineers is a little harder to come by. Before typing out your resignation letter and stapling it to your boss's desk, ask yourself the following:

1. What career do I ultimately want to pursue?
2. How much time does it take to establish a career in this field without prior study/experience?
3. Do I have any cross over skills that I could transfer to a scientific or technological field? (Here's a clue, project management is one of them, icing cakes is not)
4. Do I have the time to invest in skills acquisition part time?
5. Could I afford to invest in re-skilling full time?

Doing a quick budget or a 'life audit', where you break down how you spend your week on average hour by hour, will help you to decide whether you have the monetary or timing capacity to invest in a career change. But investing in a course in science and technology requires serious commitment and capacity and motivation are not one in the same.

Do as much research as you can into the science or technology course that you want to pursue and see if you can find someone in that field who can answer some of your questions. Better yet, ask them to allow you to shadow them for a day. Studies show that it takes at least 10 000 hours to become an expert at anything, so realise that you will need time to become proficient in your new career and above all, remember that it's never too late to learn anything.