You have some background in the tech fields, and that's going to help some, but if you go the traditional route, there's always going to be the "why should we go with this guy when there's someone else who is younger/has more experience/has worked in the private sector". Getting a recommendation sidesteps a lot of that.
Start talking to people who are working in the area you want to get into. Use your contacts you already have to develop the sort of contacts you want. See if they know of any opportunities
Yes, you've probably heard advice like this before -- but the thing about it is, it does work.