Age Discrimination in IT. Cautioning the young.

When I talk with my son about an IT career, I sometimes wonder whether I should steer him clear of the industry.  If I had a daughter, the caution would be doubled by the problem of sexism.  Should young people invest 20 years of their lives  only to discover that Silicon Valley considers them obsolete while in their prime (ie 40’s).

“42% of age 50+ workers in the high tech industry consider age to be a liability in their career – more than double the rate of other industries” – Source: EEOC Official Blasts Age Discrimination in High Tech Industry

I can count on both hands the number of older IT workers (around late 30’s) who’ve either burned out by endless coding crisis/deadlines or decided that their opportunities are drying up.  A number have become electricians!

Combine this problem with the H-1b visa abuse (in Canada, its called the Temporary Foreign Worker Program), and perhaps recommending IT to any young person could be bad advice.  One could invest a decade or two only to find themselves forced to train some cheaper replacement worker.

Don’t get me wrong, I love geekdom and IT work, however unless the industry and governments wise up, they will find old IT workers recommending to the younger generation that they become electricians, linemen (there is a huge shortage and the pay is great), and carpenters.

 

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