I`m a 33 year old chap whos got an HND in IT and have been working in school providing IT support for the last 10 years.
recently iv been thinking I dont want to work in IT anymore (not sure if its the job im in or something else) anyway id like either to get another qualification and start again or push my IT in more of a specialized area other than support.
My issues are I want to try and keep my standard of living as close to how I am now and also is it a good idea to chuck 10 years of work experience away to start again.
You'd not be chucking away 10 years of experience, you'd be adding to it. No matter you decide to change to, that experience can be adapted and used to enforce the new area of study.
I redirected after 18 years of nursing and am now doing Biomed. While both are medically based areas of studies, they are vastly different in the approach to learning and in the subject matter. I am still able to apply my nursing knowledge to all aspects of the course.
If you are feeling, after 10 years of working, that you are not enjoying the direction of the work then changing likely is a good idea. After all could you honestly see yourself still working in that area for the next 30 years.
As for the living standards, you'll not be able to maintain while studying unless you have a supportive partner who can afford to cover everything. Depending on what the commitments of the course you decide to do, you may be able work part time while studying and then full time during the summer. It's kind of up to you though, do you sacrifice your standard of living for a few years to have work which you feel more happy with, or do you continue in a job you don't enjoy and pass up the chance of study.