Ageism Still a ‘Major’ Problem in Tech: Dice Survey

Discrimination and bias are still major problems in tech, according to a new study from Dice. In addition, ageism is alive and well.

As the Dice Diversity and Inclusion Survey points out, Baby Boomers and Generation X-ers are the most at-risk groups for age discrimination. (Nearly 4,000 tech pros responded to the survey across the United States and United Kingdom.)

Some 68 percent of Baby Boomers say they’re discouraged from applying for jobs due to age. Around 40 percent of those who belong to Generation X feel ageism is affecting their ability to earn a living. And 29 percent of all respondents say they’ve “experienced or witnessed” ageism in their current workplace or most recent employer.

Ageism Diversity Report ERC Image

Distilling the results further, the survey found those in their late 40s (ages 46 through 49, specifically) were particularly affected. Of this group, a staggering 80 percent say they’re concerned their age (and ageism attitudes) will affect their careers.

But why do tech pros feel such discrimination? Self-reported data often doesn’t answer ‘why’ someone responds a certain way, but there’s ample evidence of ageism in tech. In an interview with Dice, Dan Lyons, a former journalist and writer for HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” said that older tech pros may feel like time has passed them by. “On the one hand, I kind of feel like I’m better at what I do now than I was when I was 35, but I also get that I’m probably not as opted-in,’ he said.

“I think it starts with those guys—the investors, what they want and what they push for,” Lyons added. “I think they’ve all decided that the optimal return is young kids: Burn them out, get rid of them, replace them.”

Even job ads are potentially discriminatory. A recent lawsuit filed by the Communications Workers of America claims that Facebook, one of the largest digital ads marketplaces on Earth, is filtering job ads to a younger crowd, violating fair employment laws in the process.

We don’t think all hope is lost for the older crowd. A better outlook and some preparation can help, but these clearly aren’t total solutions; the overall landscape in tech suggests ageism is real, palpable, and is having a negative effect.

Download Dice’s Diversity and Inclusion Report Now!

73 Responses to “Ageism Still a ‘Major’ Problem in Tech: Dice Survey”

  1. Mark Druckmiller

    It’s just flat out money. A position I applied for asked for a “3-5 year experienced systems programmer” on a particular platform, I called and told them I had over 20 years experience on it. The person I spoke to LITERALLY SAID, “We can only afford a 3 year experience guy”. I told them I could easily make up the different just in system and performance improvements that I would know more about than a 3 year guy.

    • Priscilla Berry

      I am afraid that this is far more than just a money issue. Even if more experienced workers agree to take the same rate as a jr. worker, they are still turned down or overlooked.
      The question is why?
      I find it truly ironic that companies will happily hire three H1 workers who together can sometimes do the work of one seasoned worker. I have literally gone into companies and successfully done the work of 3-4 people previously assigned the same tasks and goals – and I was coasting.
      Ultimately, it costs the company in productivity, far more than wages, when hiring less experienced workers. But somehow, companies still buy into the notion that cheap rates equal greater profits.
      I think one issue is we are still stigmatized with the idea that only “young people” get tech. This is nonsense, but the image prevails.

  2. Well, yet another fu——g we’re taking from companies.

    Pure age discrimination PLUS hiring offshores = reduction in payroll or contract $.

    Just like it has been stated over & over & over again & again… US companies are getting away with whatever they want. Our complaints are simply falling on deaf ears. No matter how justified they are.

    But apparently, our patience hasn’t worn thin enough. Because we’re still allowing it to happen!

    Corporations run this country. Look at at will employment. Yet another one they can hold over employees.

    • Christopher

      Yes, off shoring is the loophole companies use to do wage and age discrimination. Its discussed fairly openly in management circles as a “tool in the toolbox” to lower Technology spend. And, they can offshore without worrying about H1B issues.

      • I agree, but it would’ve been even more helpful to see tips for hiring managers to avoid ageism. Most discrimination in hiring has to do with a lack of awareness. When new managers interview people, the default behavior is just go with your gut. It’s a natural instinct. You have to be trained to ask the right questions.

        So, Nate, a follow up article targeted at hiring managers would be great!

        • Over the hill at 50 IT worker

          “Most discrimination in hiring has to do with a lack of awareness”

          No. Discrimination comes from prejudice. In fact, they are all too aware of what they are doing. Discrimination in tech really hit all the most popular forms of prejudice and discrimination currently in the US: 1) gender: MALE 2) ethnicity: WHITE 3) age: OVER 35.

          Sadly, the problem is only getting worse with no end in sight.

  3. Rick L.

    Yep, one month shy of sixty and out the door with 699 other coworkers after 22 years.
    The three inch stack of pre prepared legal paper showing the stats of all of us let go
    included a carefully blended group of kids with easily replaceable jobs with low pay interspersed with those of us within reach of retirement. Of course the two options are
    to fight the nationally advertised mega Insurance company or take the severance package.

    I myself planned on working for another eight years as I enjoy the challenge of IT.

    I guess somewhere there is a Walmart greeters job with my name on the tag.

    • Yep – same deal my last RIF. They had carefully prepared stats to show they were not discriminating on any basis plus made a severance package contingent on signing a release. A law against those kind of requirements would go a long way as discrimination deterrence

    • 2 weeks after turning 49 I was laid off from my company of 26 years. Part of a company wide 2% layoffs but I was the ONLY one in my department. Tomorrow, after 7-1/2 months of searching, I start a new job … driving a delivery truck for an auto parts warehouse at $12/hr. Severance and unemployment now gone, I had to take something. Just didn’t think it would be literally 1/4 of my former pay.

  4. Kevin Arputharaj

    I find that hard to believe, Entry level positions are requiring at least 5+ years of experience. Like its entry level. I have 4 years under my belt and trying for a project management role with one project already ive done. Still am not given a shot. Seems like you have to be in your mid 30s-40s to be worth anything.

  5. WageSlave

    The eight hundred pound gorilla in the room that no one wants to talk about is health care. Get rid of all the expensive older workers, renegotiate health care premiums with the new demographics, and become a celebrity with the shareholders. There is no easier way for an upper manager to add to shareholder value and get a bonus. Layoffs? Time to cull the heard and collect.

    I wonder how much the taxpayer can save by doing the same to congress?

    • Mary B

      I think your theory is flawed. Companies don’t want to lose money, so they just increase the premium that employees pay for insurance and the quality of insurance they provide, so they are not necessarily taking on the additional burden *if* you were correct about older workers being more expensive when it comes to healthcare. And, If you look at the stats in US, younger folks aren’t really any healthier than many “older” folks. Obesity amongst Kids these days is rampant and they are developing diseases that were only associated with “older” folks. So, if companies really wanted to save money, they’d be culling those that are obese as well as those with any chronic health issues – of course, the latter is illegal. Although, I guess if you look at the stats that might actually result in more women in tech since overall many more men are obese than women:

    • Derek Emrie

      Certainly “bang for the buck” rings true; now after retiring from the military ten years ago I find it tough to get looked at for field service jobs (I had a “management” position that I got fired from (too D*** many meetings for me, I like working, not talking about working); now companies are giving me the look, like why would you want to go back in the field after being set in management? After nearly three months I’m getting looked at for a one year contract, 1099 contractor/consultant role (I told them they could keep the fancy medical plan as it can’t touch my military retiree plan). I learned all about age-ism in all its aspects quickly after “retiring” and quickly ceased using that word in resumes and discussions concerning my military history. Good luck to all the BB’s and X’rs (I’m 53 so not sure what group that puts me in), Rock On!

  6. Michael Ramirez

    Ageism not only is rampant during job applications but also while on the job. I trained my replacements for half a year. Company targeted those who have been with the company five or more years, older, and made more than 80k a year. Replacement salaries are half. Anyone 45 years old and above will have a hard time landing a job. To make matters worst, the government keeps raising the retirement age. Without savings and 401K, it is hard to keep afloat and afford mortgage, car payments, student loans and other necessities.

  7. The real issue is healthcare. People are forced to stay at jobs they hate because America doesn’t offer Medicare for all. Of course, we can’t put the insurance companies out of business. So long as corporations run America, nothing will change for the better here. Yes, age and gender discrimination are alive and well. In terms of age discrimination, it’s not just against older workers but younger workers too. There’s no need to have loyalty to a company since they have no loyalty to you.

    • Topcat13

      Healthcare is just one facet of ageism. I am old enough to qualify for and I am subscribed to a Medicare Advantage Plan. I don’t take the employer Group Health Plan. I still face vigorous age bias. What I have noticed is 1) money -the perception is that entry-level employees can eventually do the job perhaps taking a bit longer but also at a much cheaper wage. 2. Duration – Younger people will be with the company for a much longer time than elderly workers and therefore have a better ROI. 3. Culture – High tech companies try to foster a youthful “fun” culture. The fear is that older workers are set in their ways and have difficulties fitting in such an environment.

      • Priscilla

        > 2. Duration – Younger people will be with the company for a much longer time than elderly workers and therefore have a better ROI.

        This fallacy cracks me up. The same companies prioritize hiring someone who has only spent 5 years or less at another company because any longer will make their skills stale. The ideal candidate has worked at a minimum of 2 of the companies competitors.

  8. I started hearing that I was “overqualified” for jobs when I was 41. I’d get calls from 4-5 different recruiters for the same position. Go to the interviews but once the panel realized I wasn’t in my late 20’s, they’d lose interest.

    The crazy thing is that it was a contract job. The contracting company carries all the risk and is paying for the health care. Still the company wants someone in their 20s because managers were intimidated by managing someone older than they were.

  9. It’s not just alive and well, it’s rampant. Corporatism and globalism is killing the American middle class. There’s no short-term solution even with the likes of a President Trump trying to improve the situation. But I’ll make sure my college-age children don’t go into IT or Tech fields. It looked great in the 70s and 80s. Not anymore.

  10. Pissed off

    We all know this happens and there is not a damn thing that will ever happen about it. Ageism has been around for ever and it will be here when I am gone.

  11. I too am in this demographic (50’s). From my experience with a Large PRIVATE company, the ageism problem was on two Fronts 1) Money (Healthcare probably included) 2) Lack of knowledge with newer technologies.

    Younger in tech are like we were, eager to learn all the latest tech we can. But as you get older, life happens – kids, pets, spouses, vacations, etc. All these things take away time to keep up to date on the latest. Companies don’t want spend your time on their clock training you. The younger singles seem to have more free time outside of work and many I’ve known spend it learning the newer tech. It’s just the way it is! And, of course, the younger emps become cheaper resources.

    This in no way means the older gen can’t stay relavent. But it does take personal time and then there is that work/life balance!!

    Coming honey!!!!

    • Well, as long as there is access to the cheap young asian labor market this trend will be continued and this is still not stopped by promises that we heard from the new administration.

      • Over the hill 50 year old IT worker

        “Well, as long as there is access to the cheap young asian labor market this trend will be continued and this is still not stopped by promises that we heard from the new administration.”

        That’s it. Not only is Drumpf not going to follow through on his campaign promise, there are plans to INCREASE the numbers by 100,000s.

    • TheEdge

      The interview process of a certain search-engine/tech leader company includes having the candidate do a demo on their product. For that, they reference online courses on the product, documentation, etc. In other words, get trained on their product and learn all about it “before” you get in, on your own dime.

  12. This is upsetting and very true. I hear people all the time saying, “I’m going to work until I’m 70” or “I’m going to work until I’m dead”. My response, “No, you’re going to work as long as someone will employee you.” Pray it is long enough to be able to support yourself in retirement. The best we can do is go to work every day and be productive. Don’t take sick leave and always be eager to contribute. I find it hard to believe that the 20 somethings are so coveted. They stay in their offices with the doors closed and don’t want to interact with anyone. They are 8-5ers that don’t want work to interfere with their lives.

    • Offices? Who has offices any more? No… the 20-somethings sit at their commuter desk with headphones and act annoyed whenever they have to stop listening to their tunes if someone needs to talk to them about a work-related topic. (I hate to generalize but it’s what I see in the office.)

  13. As someone who is now 60 I see 2 factors of discrimination. There is an assumption that we are not as up to speed on new technology. While in some cases that may be true, hiring managers forget how similar technologies are and as experienced professionals we can often help teams avoid the mistakes of the past. On the promotion and the hiring front I also see the “why bother hiring them, they will retire soon.”

  14. Wanna eliminate ageism? Wanna raise wages by 25 percent? Eliminate the H-1 visa. That’s not going to happen. Too much graft going into politician’s pockets for that to happen.

  15. One of the typical dirty tricks used by companies that practice ageism is demanding that you tell them what year you graduated high school on any and all job application forms, especially those accessible by internet (you can’t complete the form without giving them this number). It is simply a cheap trick to get your age since most people are 17 (a few 18) when they graduate high school. Keep in mind, this is for positions demanding at least a Bachelor’s degree.

    A simple hack for this question is to simply say “no” to high school graduation. In my case, this is true; I “stopped out” (as opposed to “dropped out”) in my sophomore year to run the family business when my father passed. I then went to community college at night for two years, took my SATs (score in the low 1500s), and got admitted to a 4 year college one year earlier than my peers (this particular college judged my performance at community college to be a sufficient indicator of academic prowess). I got my BS in three years and then got my Master’s in two years.

    It is possible to beat this behavior, especially if you are young -looking, which I am. A good knowledge of social engineering is also helpful [most firms that discriminate are heavily into social(ist) engineering; you will encounter it].

  16. John Pavlick

    Oh it’s for real alright. Like many of you I am just over 50 with about 15 years of experience in embedded systems engineering. I am completely self-taught so I’m obviously at an extreme disadvantage when compared to Millennials who went to college. Experience used to mean everything in my field – now, not so much.

    In fact I am back in the “self-employed” category (I do consulting work) after being laid off from a startup company. I helped that company get off the ground and even receive a few patents but I guess that wasn’t enough. What they want is a “fresh outlook” and people who understand “new technology”. OK. How about the people who understand how that new technology ACTUALLY works? I guess that’s not important anymore.

    Since I no longer have to waste my time driving an hour to the main office or sitting in meetings, I now have some extra time available every day. I started taking online classes so that I can finally receive my B.S. in Computer Science and I’m doing some home improvement projects. Whether or not having a degree will help me get a “better job” is debatable but to be honest I don’t really want a job anymore. Loyalty works both ways. No more nights and weekends for free. I get paid by the hour now, and I’m happy to say that it’s nearly as much as the guy who fixed my well last month gets…

  17. Marcus Griffin

    What’s sad is that these older white people weren’t complaining about racial discrimination in late 90s and early 2000s and now there complaining about being discriminated due to ageism. I myself was told by a director of software development( in the 90s) that I should stay in my role as help desk technical support, dispite knowing more about the software product and having earned a BS in Computer Science than any of the new Entry level white programmers they were hiring. It’s sad that all types of descrimination colors IT.

    • Having been in the IT workforce for about 25 years at both very large and very small companies, I have actually found the opposite to be true. Lately I have been concerned at how much less diversity seems to be in the workforce, particularly the % of African-Americans. Back in the 90s it was very likely that a large company would go through at least one EEOC audit, but now most of the government regulations driving those are either gone or not heavily enforced. With smaller firms that don’t necessarily target the hiring market further than dice or linkedin, there won’t be an opportunity for recruiting at diverse associations and colleges either. I imagine the result is what you and I both see.

  18. what many of these companies fail to see (most likely ignore), are the nice swank buildings they have. How did they get them? Maybe it was because of us old people, who put in many 40-50hr+ weeks to attain their goals. How many times did we work more than 40-50hrs a week? I lost count years ago. But that’s the thanks you get from them. I sound bitter, but i’m not. I’m just disappointed.

    • Priscilla

      >40-50hrs a week
      40-50hrs a week? – the norm was always over 60 hrs/week. We always joked about how other workers outside of tech could actually work 9-5 with paid lunch and still be considered fulltime – if we did that, it was our vacation.

  19. James B McGarvey

    I just turned 59, been a desktop/network/software support professional for 20 years.
    60 resumes sent out, 1 call back. Most entry level “Help Desk” positions demand a BS and would prefer a masters. Most university comp science courses only deal with programming. The tech schools take care of hardware and networking. Today 20 years experience only means OLD

  20. Mark RH

    Like many here, I’m in my mid 50s. I’ve been laid off 4 times since I transitioned into the IT field back in 2000 after spending 18 years as a chemical analyst working the night shift. Left my first entry level job after two years and then my position was eliminated from four other companies, one of which I spent almost ten years at. By this time, I was in my early 50s and really experienced age discrimination. Took me eight months to find a job after seeing blatant ageism. The last layoff occurred after two years when the company closed their Atlanta office. Knew it was coming and started interviewing and encountered more ageism, but found a company that didn’t care about my age. All they wanted was my experience and ability to do the job. I admit these types of companies are hard to find, but they do exist. So, I want to encourage everyone to keep on looking and even consider moving if need be.

    To address Marcus above, I understand where you are coming from and I’ve fought racial discrimination my entire life, but as a mostly Caucasian looking person, there is no way for me to fully identify with your experience. Things are better now, but by no means 100% to where they need to be. I have a good friend that is a recruiter and he has to provide what his clients ask for and this includes age, race, height, weight and even hair color. Depending on which company he’s recruiting for will determine these things. Some only want young black men or women, some only white, while others actually ask for older men or women regardless of race. I said all of this say that there will always be some kind of discrimination in play and we have to have the determination to keep on going to find a place that wants us, because frankly, I don’t want to work for companies that discriminate.

  21. Harry Los

    I have experienced the same, very little response to many resumes that were sent out. I finally found work, thankfully. It’s not the best situation, but at least it’s full-time with benefits.

    I am very healthy and run circles around people half my age. So many companies have no idea on what they are missing. Fortunately, I have proven myself again and my current employers know that they have found a great employee and are very happy with me.

  22. john doe

    Couple of months ago, I was laid off by a major bank. They provided me with list of of employees ages. Everyone but one (a sacrificial lamb?) was over 58. They claim they were reducing overhead. Nothing to do with laying off older people of course.

    Ok. In the meantime they hired younger people from overseas and asking me to teach them my work. When I asked why, they said not to read much into it. Haha, ya, right. This includes multiple H1Bs mostly Indian. They are everywhere. All the banks hire them in droves like ants they bring them here. They are not scientists. They are just workers with not very good skills but much lower pay, much less benefits.

    I sent out resumes. I get calls. As soon as they see me or look me up on LinkedIn, I don’t hear from them again. Even at much lower rates that I offer. Maybe I should delete my account. Weird even the recruiters are Indian. How can I compete when I am age and racially profiled?

    Thank you Trump and GOP for keeping your promise (NOT) and increasing H1Bs to 350,000 just this year. And thanks Trump and GOP for the great tax break you gave the major banks (I got some f.u. pizza money from the bank). America is the land of opportunity but it is hell for older Americans.

    My advise to younger Americans, is keep away from any careers that are sent overseas or replaced by H1B guys. Do not major in any Computer or IT programs. You will get replaced within few years and be on the streets competing with ants imported from overseas.

    • Mark RH

      Forgot to mention this in my post, but the large telecom company that laid me off after almost ten years paid for everyone that lost their jobs to go to an outplacement company. The first class i went to was in a large room and there must have been 75-80 people there and every one of them was over 45 and most were in their 50s. They came from many different companies. I knew I was seeing ageism at that time, but that was an eye opening experience. The people there came from mostly IT related fields, with several being in other fields such as HR and management. Of course, everyone of these people also got that three inch thick document folder showing the breakdown of the age of everyone that was laid off and they were forced to sign it in order to get their severance, which I found reprehensible. No way companies should be allowed to do that. Perhaps there would be far fewer “fossil flashings” if they knew folks could take them to court. This happened to my wife as well and she had had enough of the corporate BS, mergers and political games, so she started a business and is now thriving and very happy.

      • John Doe

        Yep, I had to sign the same stuff to get my severance pay. You cannot disparage them (telling the truth is very disparaging to them) and you cannot sue them. Or they will sue you for defamation using some of their millions in tax cuts they got from Trump and GOP. America is the land of opportunity. Just don’t get old dude.

      • Gustavo

        I think at some point being an employee gets old and you can graduate to being a service provider. It’s ok to consider being your own business and making the transition. I’ve met some people that do this and I was inspired and now I see it as a real possibility.

  23. Martin

    Received “Golden Handshake” from major global corporation just shy of age 61. Landed a contract within 6 weeks, paid well, treated well, got extended twice, lasted over a year. For some strange reason couldn’t get any traction on any of the (mostly) contractor roles I applied for during my last few months of working. Over half a year now, keep applying, landing some interviews, both phone and face to face, all seem to go great, all go completely silent and dark after the final. Looking back, it’s amazing how quickly I got that last gig! Right place, right time, right circumstances, right people, the stars align, and I now realize this is what it will take to land another contract. Time to retire for good!!!!!!!

  24. Michelle Gallagher

    If this is such an issue Dice, why is it being allowed to happen, and how can we band together and fight it. With the average lifespan and the cost of living going up, it seems like no matter how much you plan, there will never be enough in the retirement fund to support 20+ years of extra life. And I think I speak for everyone over 40 when I say, WE HAVE A LOT TO OFFER! Short of alzheimer’s or a severe disabolity that prevents a person from working, we should be allowed to work as long as we choose. This must be addressed. So Dice, what’s your thought here?

  25. I am going through this now, and it is is pretty frustrating. Recently, I had the unfortunate experience of being eliminated from the candidate pool by an interviewer after I was asked about my education and graduation date. I guess at that point my age set in. The interviewer then asked me if I had experience in software packages not required for the job or listed on the job description. I knew then where that interview was headed…nowhere fast. This has happened more than once while applying for jobs in the field of IT and accounting. It’s ridiculous.

    • That is actually an illegal interview question. Next time you can politely decline to answer or ask why it’s a relevant. Meanwhile, if there’s anything in writing you might have a case

    • dj nana

      Txkat is right. Asking for your grad year is illegal. I’d just finesse it. “Yes I have a degree in whatever and the program requires yada yada…”. Unless you are so turned off by the question you have lost interest. Then you can tell the truth, what they are doing is illegal and discriminatory. I’ve scrubbed grad years from anything with my name on it. Obviously with many years of experience they know I’m a ‘certain age’ but no specifics.

  26. Ageism is prevalent. Been in various jobs & places of IT where you could tell the older employees were soon to be cut due to expenses perceived or real. The higher the level the sooner the cuts would occur when decisions made. No longer in IT due to age & job loss where not easy to find new job.

  27. Gustavo

    Sorry but we asked for this. We let market forces be the determining factor for pretty much everything. If you want market forces to tell you how you should supply your labor for your business, it dictates that you must lower the cost of labor. How would you do that? Hire people who are not married, perform faster, have more time, more dedication, and less desire to enjoy life so they stay longer at work. Add all that up and your ideal workforce should be all recent college graduates. The saving grace are companies that don’t let themselves be ruled by market forces but are more aware of the interconnectedness of the community and its resources. These companies will hire based on a somewhat fair assessment and make long-term bets. As a 40+ job seeker, you need to play the numbers game. You applied for 60+ jobs and got 1 response? Then apply for 240 jobs. It’s a little facetious but that’s the point, the companies are there. Also it’s OK to make yourself appear younger by any means until you have a chance to interview. At interview time you can bring up the 600 pound gorilla to the table and say you’re not what you appear.

    • wageSlave

      I’ve been studying labor market dynamics for 30 years. This labor market is broken. Not just technology. The whole labor market. It has been that way for a couple of decades. How do you know? Two decades of flat wages in face of moderate inflation. The market in not adjusting for inflation any more. Why is that? Well, a free market is free of entry and exit costs. At least as little as possible. Shifts in these costs move the market rates around and should never be manipulated. The head hunter business model combined with the resume mill business model and in the process injected inflated mandatory commissions into the transaction. Adding twenty thousand dollars plus to each transaction. A mandatory commission that the worker has no choice but to pay with a lower wage. Even if the employer is one actually righting the check a twenty thousand dollar commission reduces the worker’s wage by twenty thousand dollars which is what the employer is willing to pay for those services. In the old days the employer had entry and exit costs. Now the only cost is a phone call to a head hunting firm and the commission that is paid only if they find someone. The commission is subtracted from the workers wage and applying downward pressure on wages. Then there is the health insurance. It is very difficult to ascertain which is doing the most damage; the new business models or health insurance costs. It really doesn’t matter because both are killing the free market. The H1Bs are another symptom of the illness. Downward pressure creates shortages. The best government that money can buy is the real culprit. Decision paralysis caused by the special interest money is pushing a market correction back decades. This topic is only looking at results of the health care causation. I can get worldwide health insurance for about two thousand dollars a year that works everywhere in the world except the United States. In the US it costs eighteen thousand or more for the same coverage. When the market forces put an end to this condition it will be more catastrophic then the so called great recession was. The great recession was devastating to older workers. You might say the so called recovery was on their backs. Non-farm payroll didn’t expand to reabsorb the 20 million unemployed and balance the equation. Forced early retirements did. The baby boom bubble took the hit. Next time with the bubble almost thru the U.S. economy is not going to be so lucky. I wonder what the Republicans will do when faced with lowering the retirement age for social security. The day is coming.

  28. Michael Murray

    I am 62 and will probably never work in either of my career fields again: offshore drilling 30 years; software development and design 12 years – most recently as Salesforce deveoper. My degree is a BBA with a major in CIS (I finished my degree in 3 yrs with a 3.98 GPA). I was in the wrong place at the wrong time when oil & gas went bust. Since then, I have submitted over 2000 resumes, about an equal mix of energy sector and IT. I have had a handful of phone interviews but by and large, no real interest. There are several contributing factors: the influx of Indians, Philipinos, and South Americas; a penchant for Gen %’ers by HR and hiring managers; and perhaps most telling, a requisite relationship between shared values and ethics seen as desirable to be competitive across most industries. Is importing H1-Bs and equating social media presence with success necessarily a negative? I have an opinion which I won’t give but time will tell, will it not?

  29. Banks like a Wells Fargo who are large investors in high tech now look at the average age of a company’s workforce. They favor investing in companies where the average age is under 45 years old. There are a number of reasons behind why that age. I won’t go into them here

    Another reason is group health insurance. It typically works that your company pays half and you, the employee pay half.
    Group Health insurance rates are set by average age categories. The number of categories increased and with it rates since Obamacare increased. By law, a company that offers group health insurance, must make the same plans available to everyone in the company (but you don’t have to take it) . The insurance company will look at the average age of the workforce to determine the rate category the company pay.. which in turn effects the copay of the insured…the more older workers the higher cost to the company and a higher copay for all its workers. Is part of the role of 3rd party recruiter of STEM professionals is to be an age filter? Of course it is!
    As for the H1-B workers, the US contracting companies that bring in these labor pools take advantage of tax loopholes which amount to subsidized housing and transportation for the imported worker. In turn the hiring company gets a lower paid highly skilled worker to take the place of a highly skilled higher paid US worker. And his living expenses are subsidized by the US Tax Payer!
    Eliminate those kind of loopholes and H1-B visa program evaporates overnight.
    If a STEM company needs to deal with a 3rd party labor pool company to import talent from another country, that’s OK as long as the tax payer isn’t paying for any of it in any form.

    • John Doe

      I agree with you except the part that the imported workers are highly skilled. They are not. They are average and are trained by the American company. The lower labor and tax breaks make it worth it for them. Again, this year 350,000 new H1B approved visas. That is how many mostly IT American workers are being displaced.

    • Mugambo

      H1B visa fraud is one visible corner, many Indian companies are cheating the system, using H4, F1 visa and L1 and B1 visas to bring rejects and garbage and dump here in US. H1B visa holder spouse is dependent visa, they don’t go through same scrutiny as H1B, why the hell are they allowed to compete the labor market with fake degrees (there is small percentage of well educated and talented people, but majority are crap). And then there is off-shore scam, even govt projects are shipped!

  30. Priscilla Berry

    Agism as an acceptable discrimination is rampant even beyond the tech industry (where we feel it most).
    Currently, in Florida, the state Governor, Rick Scott, is running for the Senate. He wants to take the seat of Senator Bill Nelson. He is extensively running commercials that Bill Nelson needs to be defeated for reelection because he has to much experience – he is too old for the job.
    Regardless of which party one favors, I find the grounds for the ad offensive.

  31. Frank Serkland

    I am 50 years old. I was recently contacted by a recruiter for a job opening. She asked when I graduated college, and when I told her she responded, “Wait, how old are you?” My response to that was, “Why do you want to know how old I am?” She said, “We’re looking for people who are about 35 years of age.” I never told her my age, but I decided not to go any further with that recruiter. You’d think that companies would realize that older workers bring experience and maturity that younger workers haven’t gained yet, no matter how talented they may be.

    • You should report that to the EEOC and chamber of commerce, and go to sites that rate employers too. Sometimes Facebook and Twitter are appropriate. It won’t help you get that particular job but it will help fight ageism overall.

  32. Tamara

    My husband will be turning 60 in July. He has worked as a computer programmer forever and understands all about age discrimination. He removed 20 years of experience from his resume so he has a better chance of getting an interview because they may not guess how old he is prior to the interview. He has worked so hard to keep up his skills in order to be relevant and top notch. He worked for one company for 20 years and was laid off. Since then, it’s been repeated lay offs due to company restructuring and pure biased against older workers in IT. My 21 year old son decided to become a paramedic instead of working in IT after knowing what his dad has been through. It is a tough world for older workers and the funny thing is, it seems to be an acceptable form of discrimination. Like other people making comments, we also need to keep working for as long as possible but realize it may not be under our control.

    • John Doe

      Ok I don’t see any old paramedics either. Only because it is back breaking work. IT is still good (a lot more money?) if you are aware of the downside as you get older and take steps to not fall into it. Maybe move into management, save some money or start your own business hire people.

      Also removing 20 years on resume is not enough. You need die your hair a little, lose some belly weight and wear some cool clothing. But ya, H1B competition and getting older sucks. Good luck to us all.

  33. My company hires experienced and vry experienced developers only. We average 18.5 years experience with the top being 25.5 years – me! I beat the next guy by 6 months. They do that because experience = knowledge. I have no idea how I ended up as VP of R&D for a tech company, then CTO for another back in my 20s, but I do know I wasn’t ready. So much I didn’t know back then.

  34. Isaac Osei

    I have been very surprised how ageism is so, so true! I was kind of a star in my my profession in the 1980’s, 1990’s and easily progressed to General Management level post Y2K! I actually thought that I could get a suitable job based on my experience come what may. How very wrong I have been. Sadly, it has been almost impossible to land another suitable job in the last 5 years or so after an unfair dismissal. I get lots of great leads from Linkedin and other job boards based on my profile, however once I submit my application, the best I get is either “we have had a large number of applicants and unfortunately your application has not been successful on this occasion” or I’ll get asked how old I am at the end of the first/initial interview, then I get no further feedback. Nearing the 60 mark, I have almost given up to even take any low skill job in order to make ends meet until I can get my pension in about 6 years time. What a waste!

  35. Anthony

    I’ve seen it ageism enough that I don’t show my 2000-2007 experience anymore on my CV, nor do I list my year of graduation from UofT. A lot of the issue is you have hiring managers/directors in their early 30s at tech companies who don’t want to look at people older than them.

    We need an organisation which fights to stop this!

  36. Mid 50s and have had my own 1 person computer repair business for 15 years…decided id try for some local Help Desk jobs as i was wanting a bit more steady income and maybe some company provided insurance…..i chopped out most of my schooling and only listed my computer tech background on the resume. Was willing to take typical 1st tier tech support pay, 70 resumes sent out, received 1 call so far and didn’t make the cut as they’re going in a different direction (younger). No one would ever admit it, but there is age discrimination going on in the tech sector.

  37. I am in my mid 50s, which is a curse. My company laid hundreds off. I would have a better chance for an interview with a HS degree than with two degrees in the another century. There is no way a 20 year old has 8 years experience like the ad said. Tech sector sucks it discriminates against age, promotes foreign education over US education and exports jobs to foreign nations. Don’t call tech support ask the greeter at the supermarket.