September 13, 2021

Mid-life career change?

Hello everyone. I apologize if this gets long winded, but I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now and just need some good feedback from those in the field.

I just turned the big 5-0 this past January. I have a BBA in Finance, a BS in Economics, and an MBA in Finance with a concentration in E-Commerce. I’ve been in the financial services industry for just over 25 years now and I’ve done everything from loan officer up to where I am now which is the CFO and CTO. The Loan Department and eServices Departments report directly to me. I manage a $100 million+ fixed-income securities portfolio as well as perform ALM (Asset-Liability Management).

My first exposure to the Internet was back around 1992 when I was placed in a computer lab for a work study program. All the terminals were SUN SPARCstations running x-window with the mosaic text browser, and the primary usage was for student emails (mostly guys exchanging nude images of women!), IRC, mudding, and the occasional research using Veronica and Gopher. I went through Y2K and started our online banking program with mobile apps, etc. I’ve been through conversions and was also in charge when we implemented our internal network for our small/medium sized institution. Basically we have a few DNS servers, a roaming profile server, and network shares. We have a VPN for a handful of employees to use and we use a company for remote infrastructure management and security with our Meraki firewalls and access points to manage it all. They also provide a 24/7 ‘help desk’ for employees to call or email for general assistance with password resets, profile issues, etc. I have a little experience with Microsoft server, Crowdstrike and utilizing remote access but I am by no means otherwise formally educated in IT or networks. I’ve also been responsible for contracting our external vulnerability and penetration testing and presenting results to our Board of Directors on an annual basis. Like many other smaller sized business in various industries, IT sort of gets thrown to the CFO (or sometimes COO) and for the most part I’ve been the only person in the department. This happened to me when I started because they knew I had some PC skills, built my own computers (still do), and had very good knowledge of the most commonly used applications, so it just grew from there because they needed someone and didn’t want to pay another person. I’m sure many of you have similar stories.

I’ve been contemplating a ‘second chapter career’ and I’ve always had an interest in white collar fraud, privacy, and cybersecurity which has brought me to researching if it might be something I could pursue at this point in my career. I’m someone who does take classes from time to time and likes to learn in various topics from WWII history to business/finance to computer topics. I’m currently at the very beginning of taking a class on Udemy for an introduction to Python. I’m not afraid of learning new things or taking on new challenges.

So I suppose my question is, what position(s) would be fitting for me to build off from with my background if I wanted to get involved in the field? I’d really appreciate any advice and experiences anyone has to offer with guidance on paths to take including specific areas, positions, and also any certifications to pursue.

I’ve already been told I’m crazy for wanting to leave my current position and career, but I still consider myself young enough that I can do a change, and I’m not sure I want to continue in my current situation for another 10, 15, or more years.

Thank you so much in advance for any provided insights, it is appreciated.



dude no offense but if you are C-Level exec you are stuck at the level

Get your CISSP and then look at CISO roles


What would you hire you to do?

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