I’m the same age as jesus (33!) and have decided to go back to school to re-skill in something that i love doing. I’ll complete my Product Design degree in 2 years time.
Do you think I am going to have any age discrimination concerns when i hit the big wide design world? I’ve have things like project management skills from my pre-design life, but not sure how i will fare up against gaggles of 20 somethings when it comes to finding employment.
any experiences of age discrimination you know of or have experienced? or do you reckon i’ll be okay?
anyway, if you are sharp and alert type, 40 is no problem. If you are the irresponsible and uncreative, then 20 is already a problem.
My impression is that in western countries, age seems much less of a problem. With an aging population, I would think the older worker would not be that much of a problem unless one chooses to be a problem.
Your opinion is not based on evidence, ageism is real in the US and EU, to the point where it is against the law to discrimate against it. This is done all the time however just the rational would be more on a money basis. Its this simple, you get 4 cheap newbies for the price of 1 warhorse, simple econ. You keep talking about “problem people” any adult, any “pro” does their job to the limits of their abiites in a proffessional manner, if you don’t the street awaits.
Zippy, your points are valid and yes they are what most people would see for people over 40. But if we start to think that over 40 is the doomsday mark for a career, then such negative thinking will definitely affect our lives in the future.
In Asia, over 30 can even be a problem when it comes to work. There is an oversupply of young grads who are willing to work harder for less. But I believe that a good worker has skills to offer. Being positive in itself will attract opportunities. Youth is an asset but I realise that these days more younger people of today have potential problems of being more impulsive and even egoistical and arrogant. There are many ways to continue one’s career. The skies the limit.
As one who has hired and interviewed designers of all ages and experiences, i think the issue is not the age per-say, but what comes along with it.
Age discrimination is only discrimination if there are two equal candidates and the younger is picked solely based on age.
In most circumstances, this is not the case. The older designer may have more experience, may want more $$, may have less flexibility due to family commitments, etc. These are all real concerns to an employer. This is not discrimination.
For designers of any age, you should always understand what your strengths and weaknesses are. Look at yourself from the perspective of an employer. Know your competition.
Age alone does not matter. The challenges an older designer faces (esp. without the experience) are however unique and you should be prepared to anticipate an employer’s concerns.
If you do expect more $ than a recent, younger grad, what do you have to offer in return? How can you make your age /experience a positive?