Age in the Industry

awiseguyawiseguy Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
Ok, so I realise that I am not that old in an industry that is always growing. In fact I am only 23 (though 24 in march). I also know that there are a lot of people out there that have certifications that are younger than me and many that are older. Don't worry I am not poking fun at anyone.

I have just been thinking alot about my age and certifications and where I can go and how long I have really. Ok, so another tech at the company I work for is 36 and he has a CCNA and had an MCSE. He just recertified for his CCNA about 4 months ago. Anyways, he was talking about how bigger companies are hiring younger people that are just as qualified. I am not sure how the corprate world works because I live in a town of 15,000 people and Almost everyone here knows me as "The Computer Tech". What I wonder though is, I only have a Net+ cert right now and hopefully getting my Sec+ cert by the end of the year. At that point I will be 24 with 2 certs in Networking/Security. I have worked on computer for about 5 years and Networking for about 1. I want to go farther from there like to CEH or CHFI from the EC-Council. Though i guess my problem is...When I am qualified to get the certs, and after the experience of having them and administering networks...Will I be too old in an Industry that is looking to hire youth?

I realise I may be jumping the gun here but of course I have a family to care for and career path that I want to take. And like everyone, I would like to retire young (45-50), but will I need to start busting out more certs to prove qualification and what about being Overqualified (obviously not right now, but someday). If this makes any sense please respond and help me out.

Thank you,
A Wise Guy
Everyone runs faster with a knife!


  • WebmasterWebmaster Admin Posts: 10,292 Admin
    I can't speak for the US, but on this side if the pond, you usually have to make sure you get pretty close to where you want to be before you are 30. At 35+ changing jobs, or having to find a new one if you lose it, is tough. However, that's in general, and not IT-specific. Although corporations always try to get younger/cheaper people, it doesn't measure up to the value of the experience you can have at 30+. And the shortage* in IT pros makes it harder for companies to demand 'young' people.

    Anyway, the last thing I'd worry about at 23 is age, whatever your plans are, you got plenty of time. Although... if you want to retire at 45-50, you will have to work hard. I realize I'm pointing out the obvious here, and being a workaholic I probably should take this advice myself, but imho, you may want to worry more about how you spend your days and years now, rather than focussing on retiring at 45-50, you may actually 'want' to continue working by then.

    *Shortage?? Yes, check out the January 2006 CertTimes that will be published in a couple of days here:
  • jim_staszjim_stasz Member Posts: 123
    I agree and disagree. I worked for the same company for 23 years and got outsources. Within a month I had 3 offers (at the age of 40). Now I am not a CIO, VP, or director, or Sr level analyst so I don't make the big $. I might have been lucky and I hope I don't find myself outsourced again. As for changing jobs.... I am now a SAN System Admin and I've never worked with this technology until this position, so you can teach an old dog new tricks.

    I have been in the IT world for 15 years. I work at a Health Care Software company and I see the movement towards younger IT professional. When I started with my present company (2004) there was 53 of us getting hired. Only 3 had previous work experience. 50 were fresh college grads and 1/3 of them had masters degrees. What us older geeks offer is experience and maturity. EVERYTHING I do EVERYDAY touches all our tier 1 application. I mess something up and bad things happen. My manager (younger than I am) told me after hiring me part of the reason he did hire me was because of the experience and maturity. He didn't want some hot dog causing issues or someone who panicked when the defecation hit the rotating oscillator.
  • strauchrstrauchr Member Posts: 528
    I was nearly denied my current position because I was too young at 26. This was a technical lead role on an important DR site project. So when it comes to the big jobs experience still pays off over youth. I started in IT when I was 18 so I do have 8 years experience so I know enough fo when to and not to touch things. Still immature though icon_lol.gif
  • awiseguyawiseguy Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    LOL. Yeah I can be more immature than I am mature. However with age and experience I think it will get better. I still think back to the days when I started with computer and thought I knew everything. Now I realize that I know very little (in general of course). Though with studying and getting the certs. I think that I can get to the point of knowing a lot.
    Everyone runs faster with a knife!
  • strauchrstrauchr Member Posts: 528
    Hahahaha. Yeah they were the days. When we thought we knew it all. I think every IT person goes through that stage when they first start. And then the more you learn the more you realise you don't know.

    But thats the crux of IT - to be always learning new things.
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