Baby Boomers Breaking into the Technology Sector

By Guest blogger – Jess Walter, Freelance Writer

Age discrimination is hopefully becoming a thing of the past. As 10, 000 Baby Boomers every day cross the 60 years old threshold, more and more of these older workers are finding technology offers them another career… and with good reason. Jobs are in high demand, and salaries are often competitive.

But breaking into the technology sector as an older adult can be challenging too. Fortunately the misconception that seniors and technology don’t mix is finally starting to fade.  Whether you’re an aging Baby Boomer or Generation X struggling in your career, there are plenty of ways you can help yourself to stand out from the competition. Here are a few steps you can take to get your foot in the tech sector door.

baby-boomer-laptop Learn HTML

In just about every tech field that you might encounter, you’ll be expected to know how to code HTML. There’s no shortage of free online courses that can teach you HTML coding, allowing you to learn at your leisure. You can also find affordable tech courses taught by professionals at your local library or community college.

Learn to Program

HTML is not enough. Learning a programming language is essential if you want to forge your own career in the technology sector. You can find free online courses that teach the basics of various coding languages, or you can head down to your library and check out a computer programming book. Many startups use Ruby, but you may want to learn a language such as JavaScript instead, as it will give you a better understanding of web applications.

Build a Portfolio

A solid portfolio is particularly important for self-taught programmers who are seeking a job within an established company, no matter what their age. You need to prove to your potential employer that you’re the tech-savvy employee that they’ve been seeking.

You can create a website, develop your own app, or volunteer to help local nonprofits or religious organizations with your tech expertise. You can also collaborate with others by heading down to your nearest hackerspace or by contributing to an open source project over the web.

Be Flexible

When looking to start a career in the tech industry, you need to remember to keep your expectations realistic. You may need to fill a role that is below your skill or experience level, particularly if you’re just transitioning into the technology sector.

Older workers looking to begin a career in the tech field often land jobs that require a limited level of technical proficiency, such as helpdesk and IT support roles, before climbing to more complex positions. There’s plenty of room for growth within tech-based businesses, and the best way to move up within a company is to show the boss that you’re able to learn, listen, and adapt to new situations.


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