I am a 45-year-old risk and insurance manager for an IT-based risk financing and claims management service. My IT experience includes design and development (not programming) of various mainframe AS400 data capture and analysis programs and development of PC programs (Lotus 123, Approach and Excel). I would like to progress my career within the IT industry and I shall be grateful for any advice you can offer.
Seek IT qualifications
It seems probable that your IT skills are largely self-taught on an as-needed basis, related to your current employment. While you are more than capable of fulfilling your current role, your skills and experience are not immediately transferable to the wider IT job market. You are presently in a relatively senior position but this is probably a result of your experience and/or knowledge in your sector.
You mention that you have not been involved in programming as such but have experience in applications development. Is there any possibility of expanding your IT role with your current employer to allow you to make use of your existing skills while gaining wider IT experience? Obtaining formal IT qualifications could make you more attractive to prospective employers.
Consider studying for:
It would be wrong of me to say which is best as each has its own merit which you must consider in terms of the time (and money) you wish to invest and how quickly you would like to achieve a qualification. Supplier-specific qualifications are well recognised in the market but are focused on product knowledge rather than your wider job potential.
NVQs in IT are about job roles and can be achieved by compiling a portfolio of evidence and having it assessed by an approved assessor. The time required is more associated with your level of experience and availability of evidence.
The panel: Apex, MSB International, Best International Group, Computer Futures, Computer People, Elan, E-skills NTO, Monarch Recruitment, Reed Computing, Prince Training