June 05, 2012, 8:46 PM —
I have five years of IT experience as a Business Analyst at a manufacturing company. The company just closed and I’m looking for a new job. Healthcare is big in this area where I live. How do I change industries from manufacturing to healthcare without starting over at the bottom?
This is a great question; thank you for asking. I love getting reader questions. After all, at the end of the day, this blog is about you not me.
There are questions to ask yourself when trying to change industries. They are:
1. What skills, knowledge, and experience do you currently have that is transferable to the new industry?
2. What skills, knowledge, and experience is needed in that industry?
3. What gaps do I have in my skills, knowledge, and experience (the difference between Question #1 and Question #2)?
4. What can I realistically do to fill in the gaps as defined by Question #3?
Now let’s discuss each question in a general way.
My thoughts on Question #1:
• Your business analysis skills are very transferable. At the end of the day, strong business analysis skills are of value in all industries.
• Like manufacturing, the healthcare industry is very strong on process. Therefore, any work you have done related to process analysis may be directly transferable.
• Knowledge and/or experience you have in accounting, HR, marketing, inventory, or other general business functions may also be transferable.
• If your previous employer was manufacturing anything related to healthcare, this could be a big plus for you.
My thoughts on Question #2:
• You need to know the industry lingo, acronyms, government regulations, and hot trends within the healthcare industry.
• You need to know about the vendors and technologies used within the healthcare industry.
• Experience within the healthcare industry would of course be great. I’ll touch on this again in Question #3.
My thoughts on Question #3:
1. When looking at the gap analysis in Question #3, my thought, not knowing the specifics of your career experiences, are in two main areas; knowledge of the healthcare industry and professional experience related to healthcare. Question #4 below provides some suggestions in filling these gaps.