IT Industry is probably the only Industry where people find tough to secure jobs at their 45’s and 50’s. Many industries respect experience and handle tough jobs to veterans as their exposure and experience helps to handle the tough jobs.
The harsh reality of IT Industry is that they prefers to hire young, inexperienced engineers over the experienced as the young guys are very cheap to hire and also they don’t mind to stay all night at office and work. Unlike the young, experienced prefer to go home early due to their family constraints.
So for the experience people it’s tough job to keep up with the competition from young engineers, especially who in software development with coding skills. Does this mean that software guys may not have find work opportunities at their 50’s? Not exactly, but they are limited.
Vivek Wadhwa, an entrepreneur and visiting Scholar at the School of Information at UC-Berkeley, have the following tips for software techies whose hair is turning grey
- Move up the ladder into management, architecture, or design; switch to sales or product management; or jump ship and become an entrepreneur (old guys have a huge advantage in the startup world). Build skills that are more valuable to your company, and take positions that can’t be filled by entry-level workers.
- If you’re going to stay in programming, realize that the deck is stacked against you. Even though you may be highly experienced and wise, employers aren’t willing or able to pay an experienced worker twice or thrice what an entry-level worker earns. Save as much as you can when you’re in your 30s and 40s and be prepared to earn less as you gain experience.
- Keep your skills current. This means keeping up-to-date with the latest trends in computing, programming techniques, and languages, and adapting to change. To be writing code for a living when you’re 50, you will need to be a rock-star developer and be able to out-code the new kids on the block.
For interesting analysis of IT industry employment trends and more insights on job security of experience software developers, continue reading Silicon Valley’s Dark Secret: It’s All About Age at Tech Crunch by Vivek Wadhwa.