I think that a lot of “boomers” would, in fact, think that agism is as bad as racism and sexism. I certainly do.
What characterizes job discrimination? Job discrimination takes place when someone will not hire you for reasons that have nothing to do with the job. Regardless of your skill or background, they will not hire you because of characteristics like race, gender or age.
Unemployment rises dramatically for engineers who are over 40. The unemployment numbers are so dramatic that the statistic would be difficult to ascribe to “older engineers don’t keep up” since many do work to keep current.
Ageism in silicon valley is notorious. Where people sometimes try to hide their gender bias (e.g., “girls can’t code”), age discrimination is often naked. Regardless of what skills and background an older engineer has, they are discriminated against in hiring.
My belief is that if you’re near 60 it will be extremely difficult to get a job, regardless of what you can do and how cutting edge your skills are.
I am sure that the age discrimination that is being referred to here is bias against hiring younger people. At least in Silicon Valley, where hoodie wearing young men who “look like Mark Zuckerberg” are worshiped like gods, age bias does not seem strong, although gender bias is.
One of the reasons that young people with less experience have a harder time getting jobs is that many of these jobs have disappeared. The entry level jobs that people historically took at the start of their professional careers in order to start getting professional experience have been hit hard by offshoring and, to a lesser degree automation.
Instead of hiring a young person to do the entry level work and learn their profession, the work has moved overseas. This means that getting a professional start can be difficult because the job went to India or China.
The entry level jobs that are left go to those who are unusually talented or dedicated (e.g., they spend all their free time hacking software, for example).
Jobs are disappearing as automation and offshoring eat more and more jobs. This is a force that affects people across age groups. Automation will impact jobs more and more with each passing year.
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