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Over 50 doesn’t mean computer illiteracy May 1, 2009

Posted by fetzthechemist in Uncategorized.

In my role as a career-development specialist, I have recently talked to several people in their 20s and 30s. These young people are the staff at headhunting companies – staffing agengies or the conduit for temporary-to-hire positions. Their views on older workers, those in their 40s or older are as biased and stereotypical as those of most older hiring managers in their 40s and 50s (which is that younger job seekers are spoiled, unmotivated, fickle, transient, and several other perjorative traits).

These young people look at older workers as out of date, computer illiterate, and stuck in their ways. They were surprised that I use a PC constantly in my work, created my own website, blog (obvious to you), use Powerpoint and Excel somewhat proficiently, and even do personal networking on MySpace and Facebook.

They think as an older scientist that I specialized so much that I cannot adapt to other fields, even if they are similar to ones I already know very well.

This ignorance is scary and I am not actively looking for a job (my current work is sufficient to keep me pretty busy and more than pays the bills). For the older scientists who need a new position, these attitudes are a high hurdle.

Just as generalities about any group are more often specious, these about job skills and age also are.

(This is the hundredth blog here. Thanks to all readers and especially to all commenters.)



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