Main image of article Ageism in Tech: How to Overcome Pay, Bias Issues

The tech industry thrives on innovation and disruption. Yet ageism remains a prime concern, and tech professionals over 50, a demographic brimming with experience and wisdom, often face significant hurdles in their careers. Layoffs, lower pay, and an undercurrent of bias can make it feel like the industry they helped build is pushing them out.

Studies show a clear issue across industries. In 2022, for instance, AARP reported roughly 80 percent of workers between the ages of 40 and 65 as having either witnessed or personally faced age discrimination at work. “This percentage represents the highest recorded by the organization since it began conducting polls on the issue among older adults in 2003,” the BBC helpfully added at the time.

Meanwhile, the tech industry is filled with younger workers, which can leave their older colleagues feeling pressured. According to a recent CompTIA survey, workers over age 55 make up only 17 percent of technology professionals,” Builtin noted in a blog posting last year. “Tech industry companies skew even younger. The median age of workers at the top 18 firms in the industry has dropped to 31 and continues to fall, PayScale recently found.” 

With all this in mind, what can seasoned tech professionals do when faced with ageism? Here are some quick tips:

Sharpen Your Skills, Showcase Your Relevance

  • Continuous Learning: Technology evolves rapidly. Commit to lifelong learning, which means taking online courses, attending workshops, and doing your best to stay updated on the latest trends in your field. Certifications are another great way to demonstrate your expertise and commitment to staying current.
  • Focus on Soft Skills: Experience brings a wealth of soft skills (communication, problem-solving, leadership) that are invaluable in any team, no matter how rapidly technology evolves. Highlight these skills in your resume and during interviews; in the latter case, come prepared with stories about how you used your communication and teamwork abilities to deliver extraordinary results.
  • Build a Strong Online Presence: Maintain active social-media profiles (such as on LinkedIn) that showcase your skills and experience. Regularly share insightful content related to your field. Network online and build connections with industry leaders.

Challenge Ageist Biases

We can only reduce ageism in tech if everyone makes a hard effort to do so. To that end:

  • Resume Revamp: Tailor your resume for each position, focusing on relevant skills and accomplishments. Use keywords from the job description. Consider a skills-based resume that emphasizes your abilities over your entire work history.
  • Confidence is Key: Project confidence during interviews. Age brings a wealth of experience, which you can use to your advantage. Highlight past successes and how you can contribute to the team.
  • Fight Back Against Subtle Bias: If you encounter ageist questions in an interview, address them head-on. Focus on your qualifications and how your experience benefits the company.

Embrace New Opportunities

Working in tech is all about continuous learning and expansion.

  • Network Strategically: Target companies with a strong track record of valuing diversity and experience. Look for organizations with programs or initiatives focused on age inclusion.
  • Consider Contract or Freelance Work: The gig economy offers flexibility for experienced tech professionals. Freelancing allows you to leverage your expertise while potentially earning a higher hourly rate.
  • Become a Mentor: Share your knowledge with the next generation of tech talent. Mentorship allows you to stay connected to the industry, build relationships with younger professionals, and give back to the community.


  • Ageism is Illegal: If you suspect ageism, document the situation and seek legal advice.
  • Experience is an Asset: Don't let age define your value. Your experience brings a unique perspective and problem-solving skills that younger colleagues may not possess.
  • Stay Positive and Proactive: Don't be discouraged by ageism. Focus on the things you can control, including your skills, experience, and attitude.

The tech industry needs experienced professionals with a proven track record. By staying relevant, challenging biases, and exploring new opportunities, tech professionals over 50 can overcome ageism and thrive in a dynamic and ever-evolving field.