Research for "Oldies"

Hi Guys,
As an " older" student in their mid fifties, what would you suggest would lead to the greatest success in a career change at this point in life?
I have 3 degrees, 1 in business from Massey Uni, and 2 from AUT, double major in BSc in Astronomy(1st) and Statistics(2nd).
I live and have a family in NZ.
A hearing impairment has me tending towards scientist/research positions but what do you think?
Ideas from Jamie & Sharndre would be most welcome!

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Hi Maurice!

This is a very exciting question - awesome to hear of the time for a career change!

A shift into academia (working at a university or research lab) will most likely require a PhD or DPhil. This could be something you could pursue part-time to fit around your family or full-time and would let you study and research what you really enjoy without the constraints of a coursework based degree.

Practically speaking a PhD is quite a commitment and if you’re concerned about the return on investment (both monetarily and with time) I think going into academic or research at this stage is a pretty weak proposition.

Since you have a foundation in business and statistics, I recommend transitioning into a field that uses quantitative analytics heavily - these fields are also some of the most lucrative right now:

  1. digital marketing - take some online course in Facebook and Google AdWords advertising, download some material from HubSpot and become familiar with tools like BuzzSumo, InfusionSoft and content marketing. This will be fascinating for you and is highly desirable and being hearing impaired doesn’t really affect this very much.
  2. become a financial advisor/fund manager - read Seth Klarman’s margin of safety, Graham and Dodd’s value investing books and “how to be a stock market genius” (corny name but great book) and see if you like it. If you do, go ahead and keep studying and go through the fairly easy accreditation to be a wealth manager and start your own firm or work for someone. Your strong quantitative background will be interesting here and your curiosity for exploration evident in your question is circular for investing
  3. biostatistics - use your stats background and go into quantitative genomic research or something similar. This combines your interest in research with original degrees and the companies tend to feel quite academic

Give me some more insight into how you’re thinking about this and I can recommend some more options

Hi Maurice

In adding to what Jamie has said I would also suggest the following:

Consider undertaking a DBA - these are offered in NZ by both Otago and Massey. This allows you to build on your existing degrees and be able to do a practical Doctorate while working.

Also in looking at your background you might like to undertake a Masters degree that would lead you into the areas of commercialization of technology or in the areas of IP commercialisation or IP management in corporations. The latter is an area that few people in corporates have experience and an area that many corporates have little understanding of what IP they actually hold. You could do a Maters of Management tat potentially crosses law and business.

Cheers David

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Hi Jamie & David,

Many Thanks for your valuable ideas and suggestions.

There are a number of avenues based on your ideas I will now research, my eyes have been opened!

Cheers Maurice