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Ageism in Tech: Are You Too Old for a Career in UX

It's no secret tech has an ageism problem. IBM executives have made disparaging statements about their older workers for years. 

The executives called old workers dinobabies and viewed them as a dated maternal workforce. Some older people in tech get discouraged by incidents like these. Ageism in tech discourages seniors from pursuing a tech career or asking for help.

It's common for people in their forties or above to ask if they're too old for a UX career. Despite what IBM executives and others may indicate, age is just a number.

It's possible to break into the UX scene at an older age. We'll show you how it's possible.

Companies Care About Output

Above everything else, companies care about the value you can provide. Executives want to hire people who allow the company to grow. 

Companies like Apple have hired for growth regardless of age. Apple hired a 14-year-old because of his skill set. 

Most people would see a 14-year-old as too young for a job at Apple. However, if you can produce what the company wants, you have a better chance of landing the job and staying put.

Change Your Internal Script

Stories like these have caused young people to wonder if it's too late for them. It's easy to feel far behind when looking at someone who's trained longer than you.

We have varying reasons to beat ourselves up. We can come up with excuses for not pursuing a tech career. Your internal script dictates how you feel about your tech career.

Some people say to themselves, "I am too old for a tech career."

This toxic thought trims down your chances before you even start. Instead of a demotivating script, pick another line. 

Tell yourself that you can get a tech career. Say to yourself, "I am experienced and know I can help a company with their tech needs."

Saying something in your mind doesn't guarantee it will come true. However, positive affirmations move you in the right direction. You'll feel more confident with submitting job applications and going on interviews.

You can serve as an example for older people wanting to enter the tech industry. Changing your internal script guides you along the right path.

Accept Fair Criticism From Younger People

Since young stars populate the tech industry, you will likely work under someone in their 20s. These people will criticize your work as they do for anyone.

You will have to get comfortable with receiving criticism from younger higher-ups. This criticism can help you grow and learn new insights about the tech industry. You can learn from your mistakes and provide more value to the company.

Not every young tech manager makes disparaging remarks about their older workers. We hear about IBM executives, but we don't hear about companies doing it right. 

Accept fair criticism and go into your work with a fresh mind. Accepting it doesn't mean remaining silent.

You can ask questions or offer suggestions. You can speak up if you feel ageism is in the workplace or find other work. Many companies are actively looking for workers.

Gain Experience In Tech

How does a 14-year-old land a job at Apple? That worker certainly didn't have 20 years of experience.

Gaining any experience in tech helps you expand your career. You may start at a humble position and work your way up the corporate ladder.

Entry positions get you inside the industry. As you demonstrate your value, management may decide to move you up the ladder.

You can also get certificates demonstrating your knowledge of coding languages, graphic design, and other skills. Online certifications can demonstrate your experience and mastery of vital skills.

Consume content that gives you a tech education. Follow graphic designers, listen to podcasts, and watch video tutorials. Employers come to recognize and reward talent.

Focus On What You Can Control

You can't control your age or how people will think of you. Ageism in tech exists, but not every executive holds those views. 

Focusing on what you can control puts power back into your hands. You gain more control over your fate and how you respond to obstacles. 

You can't control someone's decision. However, you can position yourself as a more attractive candidate. 

Check the job requirements and see how many of them you fulfill. If you don't fulfill each one, consider how you can in the future.

Some require entry-level experience, while a certificate may suffice for other applications. Companies are increasing salaries and opening the door to more workers to accommodate the Great Resignation.

Connect With Your Younger Co-Workers

Most of your co-workers will be younger than you. The age gap is apparent to both sides. Older people feel out of touch with young people's trends, while young people feel intimidated to talk with older people.

You shouldn't act awkward in front of each other and avoid conversation. If a young person won't start the conversation, break the ice.

Offer a greeting, kind remark, or question. These gestures prompt a response and break down the age barrier. 

Beat Ageism In Tech

Ageism in tech is a serious problem. However, you shouldn't let other people's perceptions stop you from pursuing your tech career.

You can defy the odds, establish yourself in the industry, and make friends along the way.

An education in tech will go a long way, and we can give you one in 16 weeks. Our students have gone on to work for Apple, Amazon, Google, and other tech companies.

Apply now for our 16-week UX Design Fundamentals Bootcamp to get started. 


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