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Making IT hospitable

Bilingual hotel-industry veteran has skills and experience that will make him valuable in IT.

Dear Molly: I am 41 years old with a B.S. in business (marketing/international business) and have been employed in the hospitality industry for more than 26 years. When I took computing in college, we were still using keypunch machines and COBOL. Within the past four years I have grown more fascinated by and proficient with computers. I am bilingual, possess a high amount of energy and like to think of myself as intelligent and well read. Is it too late or am I too old to embark on a career in the computer world?

Molly says: No, you’re not too old, but maybe you’d like to find something that uses all the experience you’ve gained over the years. Even if you’d like to start fresh, look for an IT job that lets you put those bilingual skills and energy level to good use. Maybe a job working with international clients that requires a lot of travel would suit you more than a desk job writing computer programs.

Look at the technology job listings on a few of the hospitality industry sites to see if they pique your interest. One such site is Hospitality Net. Another is Hotel Online.

I saw a few jobs related to customer service and training for companies that specialize in creating software for hotels and resort management. That seems like a natural fit for you–your years of experience in hospitality coupled with the ability to help people and the energy to sustain the effort. All you might need is several introductory courses in how to use the computer, but those are as close as the nearest community college or night school.

Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at [email protected]

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