In regard to age, I think that a 50-ish person can easily keep up with the 20-ers. However, unlike most 20-ers they tend to have more outside influences THAT COUNT...that is family, a home, etc. Which creates prioritization and stress...and eventually burn out.
Again in regard to age, I think the author is correct but for the wrong reason, IF you are fortunate enought to be in you 50's and still have a job....especially with a good company like HP or Lockheed....things are great. Now, say you were let go....at 50...with all that experience....and perceived price tag....well things aren't so rosey. Regardless of all the glowing things that people write about 'experience' and 'what it brings'....the bean counters are the ones that make the final decision.
I am sure if say two 20 year olds come in nice and fresh at say 30,000 each....and you have a senior experienced candidate coming in at 60,000....although from an experince, technical and trouble shooting aspect s/he could blow the doors of both the 20ers....bean counters will go for the 2 at 30000. Oh and did I mention that the benefits (given to either) would be more expensive for the 50er? More bean counting.
You see, from a tech viewpoint....odds are pretty good that the 50er is the one to pick for the position. Bean counter are not tech....much like management....they just see the bottom line.
So to summarize....if you are blessed to be in your 50's in the field and with a decent company...count you blessings....if you are one of the many 50ers cut a drift by the bean counters...well....you may end up teaching....or working at 1/3 at what you made at one time (likely with no benefits)....and many that are in that situation consider themselves....'lucky'
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