Career Prep 

Lydia Moody: Starting Over in a Tech Career

Lydia Moody didn’t let age hold her back when she decided to change careers. She went back to school at the age of 48 to learn how to code. Today she’s using her newfound knowledge in a job at one of the nation’s leading technology companies.

Career Path: Moody, who grew up in the town of Brazil, Indiana, had always intended to become a preschool teacher. She attended Indiana State University in Terre Haute, where she majored in education. When she was offered a preschool teaching position after her first two years of college, she started work instead of completing her degree. Then, while she and her husband raised three children, she taught dance and gymnastics classes and worked part-time in her husband’s chiropractic office.

When their oldest daughter started college, she decided to increase her work hours to help support their children’s education expenses. In 2017, Moody found remote part-time work at an Indianapolis business. One year later, she lost that job when her division was eliminated. Then she learned about Eleven Fifty Academy, a Fishers-based non-profit coding school, from a Facebook post about the Academy’s Coding Bootcamps. “I really love learning,” says Moody, and when she learned that scholarships could cover the cost, she thought, “What a great opportunity to try something new.” In December 2018, she enrolled in Eleven Fifty’s JavaScript Bootcamp, a full-time, 12-week program. Her costs were completely covered by an Indiana Workforce Development grant, one of several scholarship programs available at the Academy.

After graduating from Bootcamp, Moody was accepted into the three-month Pathfinder program, an Academy partnership with Salesforce that trains students for careers in software development. Just one month after completing Pathfinder, she was offered the position of Salesforce business analyst at Appirio.

Challenges: “I had actually never even seen code before I walked in the door at orientation,” Moody says. She was one of three students in her class who had never taken computer classes. “All three of us graduated. If you’re passionate about it and you try, my opinion is that you will succeed.” She adds, “I’m pretty introverted. Going to Eleven Fifty Academy really pulled me out of that. I’m too old to sit back and not ask questions.”

Moody says the program support offered by Indy Women in Tech, a non-profit that provides financial support, mentoring and training to women pursuing tech and STEM careers, was extremely helpful. And today, she’s paying it forward. “Now I’m able to speak up and help other women,” she says.

She adds that it was a challenge to return to school while raising three children, but it was manageable. “It just caused us to be more organized and thoughtful to make that happen.”

Advice: “There’s so much help out there, and a lot of people don’t know it,” says Moody. “Go for it…. This is hard, but you can do it.”

Related posts