With all the threads floating around here about the lousy employment situation in IT, I'd like to hear some stories from people who successfully transitioned OUT of the IT industry and into other jobs that pay a decent living. Right now I'm faced with a decision of whether to spend a lot of time/money training on a new technical specialization in IT, or spend that time/money getting into a new growing field where there will be opportunities. Based on what I have seen, the latter looks more promising. I must do things right this time. Working full-time and going to school full-time in the evenings nearly destroyed my health in the past. And for that I got a career that lasted less than 10 years before the industry fell apart. I don't think my body can take the stress of years and years more of 60-hour weeks (between school & work). So either I need to find a way to go to school on a full-ride scholarship, or retrain in something that will take less than 1-2 years of evening coursework. Though I've worked in IT (network administration) for almost the last nine years, I think it's time to move on. If the place where I am working falls apart, the best-case scenario would be: unemployed for over a year, followed by a job paying less than half of what I make today. With IT jobs being shipped overseas by the boatload, IT will join manufacturing as something that just isn't done in the USA anymore. That's NOT what I consider to be a promising future... Due to my introverted personality type, I am definitely more of an analytical/ideas/problem-solving person than a sales/schmoozing type person. So I need to stay away from sales/customer-service jobs and find jobs that rely on thinking/brain power. My bachelor's degree was in economics, and my master's degree was in information systems management. All my work experience has been in the IT industry, so I am not expert in some "business process" or particular industry. So what next? I need to get into a field that will offer a decent living and opportunities in the future. So what are careers I should consider, given my background and the future economic landscape? Here are a few I have thought about, along with pros/cons... Actuary: Pro - very good money, fits my personality well Con - I didn't take a strong math specialization in college, so it may take a long time to retrain sufficiently to attempt the actuarial exams. (Is there some other job that one can take in order to work up to an actuary job?) Pharmacist: Pro - very good money, excellent future opportunities in the health-care industry, less patient/customer contact than other health-care jobs Con - I would need to go back to school for 6 years full-time to achieve the Pharm.D. degree. The current pharmacist shortage may have been "fixed" by the time I finish schooling. I have no clue how I can go back to school for 6 years and live independently. Don't say "student loans." Graduating with $100K+ in debt is a sure path to bankruptcy... Computer/information security: Pro - builds upon my past experience in the IT industry Con - shaky future job prospects, may require a security clearance and doing conscience-violating work for military/government organizations to be employed at all MBA/management: Pro - My M.S. in MIS included about 75% of the MBA core, so this is familiar material that builds upon what I already know. Con - Too many MBAs floating around, and I may have the wrong personality for general business/management jobs. X-ray technician: Pro - plenty of job openings, strong future prospects in health care Con - Low pay, high degree of customer contact, not really a professional-level/brain-powered job. I know a guy who does this job, and his employer egregiously abuses the on-call/overtime policy. Architectural drafting: This is a job I hadn't really considered much, but one of my friends thought of this as a possible new career for me. Pro - Compatible with my personality. My past IT background would be valuable since this type of work is now heavily computerized. Con - Pay is on the low side. It would take years of going back to school while working to move up into an architect's job. The drafting jobs seem to be insecure and low-level "2-year tech school" positions rather than true professional-level jobs. Insurance: Pro - My business/economics background may help me break into this field (though I don't know much about tests/licensing required to do this kind of work). Cons - Not really interested in the sales aspect so much as the behind-the-scenes part. The behind-the-scenes jobs in insurance/financial may also get shipped overseas; if so, this would not be a good choice. Any other careers I should consider that I would find reasonably enjoyable and stand a chance of getting into???