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Why Changing Careers After 30 Is The New Normal

28th March 24

Remember the pressure to pick a "forever career" at 18? Thankfully, those days are becoming a thing of the past. Today's working world embraces growth and exploration, and that includes the freedom to change careers later in life. In fact, it might be the smartest move you ever make.

Why The Career Change Stigma?

The stigma surrounding career changes, particularly for people over 30, is deeply ingrained. Many fear being labelled as indecisive or unstable, we worry companies won't hire us, or that starting over throws away valuable experience. The truth is that employers in the UK are increasingly seeking well-rounded individuals with transferable skills, not just a linear career path.

Why we need to normalise people changing careers later in life

Top 10 Career Choices For The Over-30 Crowd

There are common reasons why people look to change careers later in life. Our needs shift as we get older and our priorities change. If our current career doesn’t cater for this phase of our lives, sticking with it becomes a struggle.

We’ve listed some of the most popular career shifts for those over 30 below, highlighting the key factors driving these choices:

  1. Teaching: Offering stability, good benefits, and the chance to make a difference in the lives of the next generation. The average age for new teachers in England is 31 according to the Department for Education.
  2. Project Management: This career provides excellent earning potential and strong progression opportunities in various industries, hence why it’s a popular choice for career changers.
  3. Digital Marketing: Digital marketing is an ever-evolving field and professionals are constantly in high demand, with flexible work options. Often offering remote opportunities, it’s also a great option for those looking for careers that work around children.
  4. Healthcare: A vast and growing field with purpose and stability. Many people move into healthcare careers later in life, often after their own experience with the healthcare system. According to NHS Careers, the average age of nurse practitioners is 40, and healthcare assistants have a wide age range, to name a few examples.
  5. Human Resources: Leverages transferable skills from previous roles and offers good earning potential. HR professionals also play a crucial role in shaping organisational culture and fostering employee development, making it a rewarding career choice.
  6. Accounting & Finance: Provides security and strong earning potential, with many accountants entering the field after 30.
  7. Social Services: Social work and community development attract individuals passionate about social justice and making a positive impact on society. According to, the average age of adult social care workers is around 44.8 years old.
  8. Cybersecurity: Another booming field with exceptional earning potential and flexibility.
  9. Data Analytics: Combines problem-solving skills with strong earning potential.
  10. Entrepreneurship: Be your own boss! Age is an asset here, as you’ll be bringing experience and resilience with you into this career path.

This list just scratches the surface of popular career changes people make to align their work with their priorities in later life. The key is to identify yours before leaping into a new venture.

Do you crave stability and benefits? Perhaps you’d be suited to teaching or healthcare. If flexibility and purpose are a must for you, maybe digital marketing or entrepreneurship would be a better fit. Take some time to think about what you want your new career to give you, then narrow down the options based on those needs.

Over 30? It might be time to change your career

Embrace The Change, Reap The Rewards

Remember, changing careers in your 30s, 40s, or 50s brings a wealth of experience and self-awareness to the table. You've honed transferable skills like communication, problem-solving, and time management – all of which are highly valuable in any field.

According to research by the UK's Office for National Statistics, the employment rate among individuals aged 50 to 64 has also been steadily rising, debunking the myth that older workers are less desirable to employers. So, be sure to showcase these assets in your application and don't let age hold you back!

The Future Of Work: Continuous Learning

Ultimately, career changes beyond 30 are not just about financial stability or professional advancement; they're about personal fulfilment and growth. By embracing change, individuals can discover new passions, challenge themselves, and lead more fulfilling lives.

However, the modern workplace is dynamic, and the skills you learn today might need refreshing or expanding in a few years. This is why anyone of any age needs to embrace lifelong learning as it positions you for continued success, regardless of your career path.

With learndirect, we provide the tools, the knowledge, and the resources for you to change your path in any direction, at any point. Your future really is in your hands when you decide to study online on your own terms.

So, if you’ve been wondering how to change careers and you’d like support in your transition, contact our team today to discuss your next steps. We’re already helping thousands of learners like you to pursue their true calling, regardless of their stage in life. Now it’s your turn!

Check out our vast range of courses on our website, our download our free career guide below.

Download learndirect's FREE career guide!

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