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Seeking career advice.. Is it never too late..

Last response: in Work & Education
April 12, 2011 2:56:04 PM


Lately I have been extremely dissatisfied with my job as a dentist for the last ten years and thinking about making a career change. Problem is I have almost no idea how to accomplish career happiness in possibly technology and computers where it has been my life long hobby. The other thing is I dont have any degrees in computer science but am self taught. For example I have dabbled in system building, and programming in everything from web design to objective C. If there was anyway to get into a biotech carreer path I would but not sure how. If anyone could offer advice I would greatly appreciate it,

Thank you.
April 12, 2011 6:42:40 PM

Well you are in a very good position doing something related to Dental Tech. Lookup some of the companies that make all your equipment, see if they are hiring.

what are some technological shortfalls related to dentistry you think could be changed? Diving into a hobby field sounds like fun but remember you are up against the new motivated work force.
April 15, 2011 11:31:02 PM

Without a degree in Computer Science you'd do well start a programming career. Sure you might find somewhere that will take you on but you'll find moving on from that job to something similar will be difficult.

As wanamingo said, your best chances probably involve using your dentistry knowledge. Maybe think about what you enjoy about dentistry and try and mix it with your other technical interests.

Best of luck!

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April 20, 2011 8:26:05 PM

I agree with Wanamingo. Use your contacts! They are valuable.
As far as a lack of degrees. Many respectful companies will consider your knowledge to be equal weight. But you could always start by getting your certifications. Thats a good way to benchmark your knowledge.

Go in for some interviews and try your best. If they are asking questions above your head, you may want to study up on the specifics. If they hire you, great!

April 20, 2011 10:01:21 PM

You know, this website was started by Dr. Thomas Pabst as a hobby some 15 years ago. If tech journalism is what you're into then perhaps you try it out with your own site. Objective C is big right now because of the whole iOS thing. App developers can get a good 90k a year. The rest of us non Apple people prefer good ol C++ kthx. Of course, Android Apps depend on their Java derivative.

As for Biotech I'm sure if you came up with a useful Biotech app it would be a big hit. You're in a unique position to see what is useful after all. As others have said though, use your contacts. You never know, they might need an App developer. To them, an App developer with the knowledge of a dentist might be golden.
April 21, 2011 8:30:39 AM

You're best bet is to get a degree if you can. Especially if you have the money to do so. If not I would concentrate on what you like doing the most. Repair, design, programming? If programming is your thing I would start learning how to code android and iphone apps. There is a huge market of smaller business's paying people to create a specific app for their cause.
April 21, 2011 1:16:00 PM

First thing I noticed as a graduate software engineer, is that the majority of people in IT don't necessarily have a degree in Computer Science, or even have a degree! If you can demonstrate your ability, you should have no trouble getting a job in IT, but I would have thought the salary would be a big drop compared to a dentist? I would recommend C# (WPF, WCF, Silverlight, ASP.NET) as technologies to aim at.
April 21, 2011 6:56:40 PM

as wanamigo said, look at some biotech companies that make the devices you use in your dentistry practice. These companies are always looking for new ways to implement their solutions or improve the existing ones. If after using their stuff for a while you come to them with some good ideas and you have tech knowledge to boot that could help them implement your ideas better/faster, I don't see why they wouldn't be interested to hire you. Maybe not as a R&D engineer but at least as an MD consultant.