Build a career from zero in my 30s. How? Tech or what?

Long story short, I worked as a researcher in academia, but in digital humanities, where simple programming skills were enough to get by in my case. I cannot continue in the field unless going for a phd (which is hard to get admitted to the right program). As money is a problem, I’m trying to go into tech. I reckoned that my skills would translate to data analysis, but apparently recruiters don’t think so, rarely I get a positive response and when I do I get hit with a really complicated SQL problem (not my forte).

I know python and a lot of other tools and programming languages at a basic level (javascript, html, css, unity) I did research projects using these tools but they were very simple, not using any modern frameworks the companies ask. Basically, I can learn anything when required but I never specialized. WHICH is a big no-no for companies, apparently.

So I don’t know what to do. What is the fastest thing to learn that would get me employed and creating some good portfolio in my situation? I know the basics of programming, but not complicated stuff. Should I not go into tech? Seems everyone only hires senior developers.

Should I do other stuff? I can also write and while it’s something I’m passionate about, I cannot see myself writing copy for some things I don’t care about. I tried it between jobs and I hated writing lies about some gardening tools 🙂 Also I got rejected from these jobs as well because they required specific portfolios. Things seem to have gotten very specialized in entry-level positions nowadays.

Are there any other roles I’m not aware of? Something that combines tech and humanities? But doesn’t involve customer support?

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