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Mariane Maffeo

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How can we help companies hire more people over the age of 50?

Age discrimination, while illegal, is very much practiced in the United States. Companies appear to believe that younger workers are more productive because they use technology more effectively. I believe that a person's age does not determine whether or not they are technologically literate. Among all age groups, there are early adopters of technology and there are people who are averse to technology. We need to help corporations harness the experience of older workers while still encouraging all workers to become more technologically literate.

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    Nov 20 2012: John: I'm not sure that it is an "either/or" proposition. If companies only hire people under the age of 40, they are missing a key component to success: diversity. Also, I don't believe that it is "a fact that older employees are less likely to be proficient at IT than younger employees." Where do you get your information for that assertion? In my experience, age has no effect whatsoever as to whether people are tech-savvy or not. For instance, my college-age daughter constantly asks me for help with her computer, software, network configurations, etc. In the workplace, I have met many young people who do not know how to use technology effectively, especially advanced software like Visio, Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc.
    • Nov 20 2012: "John: I'm not sure that it is an "either/or" proposition."

      Why not? Two people can't have the same job and with the way automation is charging ahead no amount of economic growth is going to create lots and lots of jobs (in fact it will probably lead to more automation), unless we basically cut a few hours off the workweek which would be wonderful for everybody, except that the whole world has to join in to prevent a massive wave of outsourcing.

      "In my experience, age has no effect whatsoever as to whether people are tech-savvy or not. For instance,"

      And I had a grandpa who smoked his whole life and lived to be 95 (well, not really, but I hope you see where I'm going with this).

      "If companies only hire people under the age of 40, they are missing a key component to success: diversity."

      Which is why they still hire people over 40, they just hire less of them than they do people under 40.

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