|I'm looking for advice, commiseration, and perspective, if you have it.|
I'm in my early 30s and an aspiring data scientist. I minored in CS in college, and was able to pick up a lot at jobs in my early 20s, including Python, R, and Oracle. I'm back in grad school now for a masters in statistics, and am hoping to transition away from Oracle programming (my last job) to data science.
I'm feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of technologies out there that I "should" learn: Python and R (and their libraries), Spark, Hadoop, TensorFlow, and pytorch. You also need to know how to productionalize things: Docker, AWS, distributed databases, the latest web stuff (sockets?), etc. I could spend all the time in the world learning the new tech, and by the time I'm done, it'll be outdated by the new stuff. It's exhausting, and I don't know if I have the drive (or mental health) to commit to a career where I could be replaced when I'm 50 by a young lion fresh out of college who knows the latest stuff and is willing to work for pennies on the dollar.
When I was 21 I felt confident in my abilities; 10 years later, I don't at all. I feel like an idiot for how short a distance I've gone in my career. At this point in my career, I've never made over $75k and I'm jealous of my peers who are making close to $200k, and of kids out of college making over $100k. I think I know less than the undergrads at my university, and I think I give up on things more quickly now than I used to. At my first job, when my peers started to move on to grad school or higher roles other companies, I admired what they were doing, but I was afraid of the unknown at the time, in a toxic relationship, and had some decision paralysis about whether this was the right career fro me. Now I feel light years behind them. They're all in "senior this" and "senior that" roles, getting very highly paid, and I'm nowhere.
I'm not sure where to go from here. 30s are old in tech, and I don't think I can catch up.