"Over fifty need not apply" - Reality check

HardDiskHardDisk Posts: 62Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Reality check. Is there any chance that someone over fifty years old would be hired into an IT entry level job?

I need a reality check. I do not want to be wasting my time chasing job listings if the fact is that no one is going to hire someone who is over fifty and has no direct IT job experience.

I know that finding that 1st IT job is always an uphill battle and I am OK with that. If companies just do not hire old guys then I am OK with that too. Such is life. If the unspoken fact is that, "over fifty need not apply" is true then I am ready to move on. To effectively launch my IT career I can not afford to waste my time chasing an unachievable goal.

My thinking is that rather than waste my time (as described above) I should just bite the bullet and launch my own IT consulting business.

Your thoughts please.
HardDisk
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Comments

  • HeeroHeero Posts: 486Member
    Keep in mind discrimination based on your age when it comes to hiring and promotions is illegal in the US.
  • gosh1976gosh1976 Posts: 441Member
    Some employees would probably prefer to hire someone with the life experience and maturity that someone over 50 possesses.
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Posts: 4,212Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Heero wrote: »
    Keep in mind discrimination based on your age when it comes to hiring and promotions is illegal in the US.

    It is also hard to prove, so employers can get away with doing it.

    I don't think it is, it might just narrow down where your options are. Lots of older people (and when I say old I mean 60,70+) are getting online these days. Obviously they are going to have troubles and need to contact help desks. Do you think they would feel more comfortable talking with a young whipper-snapper like myself, or someone who is more matured?

    Where I work I have spoke with people who are in their 90's, and I have to walk them through how to get on our website. (I know their 90 because they love to tell me how they are 90 years old and have never had to use a computer in their life, but now they need to get online and they aren't a fan of it.) Who do you think they feel comfortable talking to... me or a coworker who is 60 and will use that to let them know that she understands?
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  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaPosts: 5,163Mod Mod
    We live in strange times, indeed. Recently, I've seen cases of companies putting out just that, "over 50 need not apply", along with "unemployed candidates will not be considered". Obviously, said companies have gotten in some pretty hot water for including these things in their job listings, but the fact that they made it into the descriptions at all means that there are companies out there actually "filtering" based on some pretty messed up criteria.

    Still, I wouldn't let it get to you. Even if there are unspoken biases out there, you're bound to find an opportunity to prove yourself and chances are that, given your age, you'll be assumed to have general work experience and may even find yourself moving up the ladder faster than others (read "young'ns") once you have your foot in the door. (Sometimes that bias can work both ways.) Don't give up on your job-hunt.

    I should mention, though, that looking into establishing your own business certainly isn't a bad idea if it's something that interests you more than working for someone else.

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  • brad-brad- Posts: 1,218Member
    depends on the company's needs.

    look to proprietary software companies (im thinking medical feild). call centers turn over people left and right, so you have a chance if you can find the right company. So, even though its technical work, its not really IT work.

    *however given your certs I dont think you would even have a problem anyway.
  • HeeroHeero Posts: 486Member
    I'm not saying that age discrimination doesn't exist. There is a reason they passed a law to try and stop it. Being older certainly won't help, but hopefully it shouldn't hurt your chances with most decent companies.
  • tpatt100tpatt100 Posts: 2,989Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Its illegal to discriminate but hard to prove from an outsiders perspective. I know its also illegal to discriminate against people serving in the National Guard or Reserves but I lost count the number of interviews where people ask me "any chance of you deploying soon?".
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    I know the company I use to work for wouldn't consider you if you were unemployed.

    I don't agree with that, and I wasn't a manager, but it was their SOP. One peep you wern't employed goodbye!
  • themagiconethemagicone Posts: 674Member
    I've been unemployed for about 2.5 years now. I had a good run up till then, getting a job when I needed at the pay I wanted. Now, most places are getting massive amount of resumes. And they are only going to pick out the few who meet every single requirement exactly and that will do it for half of what it would of cost 2 years ago.

    I was making $70,000 with OT when I was fired, but at best now I've been offered was $16/hour. Or around half of what I was making. Will I take it? I would if I get that far. I had an interview last week, went well and they sounded like they were going to bring me back for a 2nd interview. Well a week later and no response, can't get a hold of him by phone or email. Someone must of came in with better credentials and offered to work cheaper than my $42,000 request.
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  • Paul BozPaul Boz Posts: 2,621Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    When I worked in technical support there were several guys over 50. Often these types of people are the most stable because they want long-term employment and or have a family to take care of. They're also generally more people-friendly and have more real-world experience in so far as working with end-users and being professional.
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  • cablegodcablegod Posts: 294Member
    I just hired a SysAdmin that I think is over 50. Age played no part in my decision. He had the skills and desire for the job.
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  • chmorinchmorin Posts: 1,446Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    My old work place hired a late 50's individual for desktop support entry-level IT. He knew his stuff big time. No regrets either, he is one of the hardest working of the team.

    I think age only plays a factor if you let it.
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  • eansdadeansdad Posts: 775Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    brad- wrote: »

    *however given your certs I don't think you would even have a problem anyway.

    I'd have to agree with Brad - Given your certs you shouldn't be passed over for a helpdesk/desktop support type job.
  • HardDiskHardDisk Posts: 62Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the feed back. It is always good to hear from you young whipper-snappers.

    I had not given much consideration to the No employment / no hire rule.

    That makes three strikes for me. "No experience", "unemployed", and "over fifty".

    As of today I am now employed since I just hired myself. My first task is to name my new IT services company. More on that later.
  • BradleyHUBradleyHU Posts: 918Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    wait....you're 50, and trying to break into IT??? yeah, thats gonna be kinda hard to do. if you've been in IT for a while, and were laid off, and lookin for a job, and decided to take an entry-level gig, then it would be easier than if you're tryin to break into IT at this age, but even still, its kinda hard, cuz alot of companies will think you'll peace out as soon as the job market gets better and positions open more closer to your experience level.
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  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,170Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    I think your age will be a factor, but no more so than someone that is "too young". And some companies are going to be smart and realize that life experience can be valuable too.

    You might have to start at the very bottom rung, much like everyone else, for your first job... but I think once you get in the door, you be able to move on and do fine.
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  • brad-brad- Posts: 1,218Member
    Paul Boz wrote: »
    When I worked in technical support there were several guys over 50. Often these types of people are the most stable because they want long-term employment and or have a family to take care of. They're also generally more people-friendly and have more real-world experience in so far as working with end-users and being professional.

    that's a good point. It seems like IT people are always chomping at the bit to move on to the next big thing for their career. An older employee would probably be less likely to jump from job to job. Instead of a 30 something guy working for 2 years (or 6 months) and leaving for greener pastures, a company can get more years out of an older person without the cost of turnover.
  • fogsparkfogspark Posts: 9Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    You are not working in IT yet and are already "CCNA, A+, Net+, Security+, MCP, MCTS"?

    I am impressed. That shows way more motivation than most the people I have worked with.
  • BradleyHUBradleyHU Posts: 918Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    fogspark wrote: »
    You are not working in IT yet and are already "CCNA, A+, Net+, Security+, MCP, MCTS"?

    I am impressed. That shows way more motivation than most the people I have worked with.

    might not be about motivation...might just be he has time on his hands, and others dont. but what good is having a ton of certs, but you have ZERO experience?
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  • darkerosxxdarkerosxx Posts: 1,343Banned
    Slowhand wrote: »
    Obviously, said companies have gotten in some pretty hot water for including these things in their job listings, but the fact that they made it into the descriptions at all means that there are companies out there actually "filtering" based on some pretty messed up criteria.

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  • NinjaBoyNinjaBoy Posts: 968Member
    cablegod wrote: »
    ...Age played no part in my decision. He had the skills and desire for the job.

    That's the things :) Our place advertises jobs every so often (including IT) and to be honest we/I don't care how old or young a person is as long as they have the skills, the desire and the capability to do the job.

    -Ken
  • pixelperson1pixelperson1 Posts: 22Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Well, I am over 50 - not only that but I returned to college (Barry University, Miami Shores, FL) when I was 54, earned a B.Sc. IT Degree (Specialization in Software Engineering). Graduated in 2009 Cum Laude, 40 years after I graduated highschool. I was working full-time during school, by the way.

    I am A+ Certified & Network + Certified... I will be taking Security + on Nov. 8th.

    Reality - We are all, at one time or the other victims of pre-judging. Deal with it.

    I am also a Vietnam Vet - talk about pre-judging! After returning from my second tour I was confronted with tons of civilian-related issues.

    Employers all find ways to eliminate groups who they don't want. Age, race, religion, etc. you name it. The federal/state laws only drive the issue underground.

    So, how do you find work?

    (Don't laugh - this stuff works)

    1. Dress/look young. Got Grey hair? Dye it a natural color. Get professional advise on this. A specialist will assist your with hair style & dress options. Don't get crazy on this; avoid the funky toupee, although some pros might suggest some minor plastic surgery if you look really weather-beaten it might be an option.

    2. A little over weight? Get in shape. Again, seek professional advise. Ask a pro-Trainer, join a gym, jog, ride a bike, walk the dog. Get out and MOVE!

    3. Avoid any statement or dates in resume that indicate age. Never answer questions about WHEN you graduated highschool or college. Get a NEW certification in ANYTHING!

    4. During an interview. Avoid mentioning how long you have been married. Avoid mentioning grand children, married children, work that you did more than 10 years in the past. Hint: Make ABSOLUTELY certain that you delete any references that are older than 10-12 years from your resume. DON'T start your cover letter with something like, "With over 20 years in the industry....." Focus on accomplishments, money that you have saved a previous employer and be ready to quantify what you state in the resume.

    5. Prior to an interview. Research the company; learn what they have done recently that may have put them in the news - get a firm handle on their strategy/direction regarding their customers & products.

    Finally - Attitude. Pre-judging a job candidate on appearance/age/race and so on is as old as the human race. Don't let the [email protected]@ holes in the world wear you down. If the hiring manager dismisses you based on age, you will know it. Good news. You don't need a job that discriminates! So move on.

    Best of Luck!

    P.S. I am currently employed as a Network tech in a large university. Check your local colleges to see what is available.
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  • HardDiskHardDisk Posts: 62Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Well five years has flown by since I first started this thread.
    I am still over fifty but no longer lacking in experience.
    I've completed three years working in Tier I & II support roles.
    As a contractor I've been placed with MagaPath, Cbeyond and Levl3.
    To answer my own question. Yes, If you think you can do a good job then apply!
  • danny069danny069 Posts: 1,025Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congratulations and hats off to you! Your age should never hold you back from doing what you want to do.
    I am a Jack of all trades, Master of None
  • colemiccolemic Posts: 1,568Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    That is awesome! Way to stick with it.
    Working on: CCSP, definitely, maybe. On the twitters: @mcole1008
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youPosts: 2,710Mod Mod
    HardDisk wrote: »
    Reality check. Is there any chance that someone over fifty years old would be hired into an IT entry level job?

    I need a reality check. I do not want to be wasting my time chasing job listings if the fact is that no one is going to hire someone who is over fifty and has no direct IT job experience.

    I know that finding that 1st IT job is always an uphill battle and I am OK with that. If companies just do not hire old guys then I am OK with that too. Such is life. If the unspoken fact is that, "over fifty need not apply" is true then I am ready to move on. To effectively launch my IT career I can not afford to waste my time chasing an unachievable goal.

    My thinking is that rather than waste my time (as described above) I should just bite the bullet and launch my own IT consulting business.

    Your thoughts please.
    HardDisk
    I didn't realize this thread was started in 2010. Congrats to you. I am 56 and still going strong. icon_cheers.gif
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • SGITSGIT Posts: 52Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I am 51, just got my CCNA, starting WGU next month. I have 7 years in Telecom but that was 1999 to 2006. At that point I went to do something totally different. I checked into getting back into the field after about 3.5 years and that is when I started to hear how my experience needed to be recent. Anyway, can't speak too soon but it looks like I might be stepping back in right where I left off, experience wise, with a slight increase in pay, probably not equal to inflation. Point is, like mentioned in this thread, many things are possible, stay positive and take action towards your goal. I hope to know in about two weeks if I have the job.
  • pinkydapimppinkydapimp Posts: 732Member
    HardDisk wrote: »
    Well five years has flown by since I first started this thread.
    I am still over fifty but no longer lacking in experience.
    I've completed three years working in Tier I & II support roles.
    As a contractor I've been placed with MagaPath, Cbeyond and Levl3.
    To answer my own question. Yes, If you think you can do a good job then apply!

    Thanks for following up. I think folks need to see this.
  • Gallager00Gallager00 Posts: 29Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    x2

    "If a certain goal is important, you will do whatever it takes to reach and excel at it"
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  • cmitchell_00cmitchell_00 Too many to name Posts: 242Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congratulations and thanks for the update. I'm glad to see you didn't give up and good job on the certs .
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