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I am an early middle aged, "obsolete", "unemployable" American programmer

By swampwiz ·
If the H1B visa did not exist, I would be able to get off welfare and become a taxpayer again.

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I can sympathize, not sure if I even have good advice

But have you thought about starting your own consulting business? Other possibilities may exist in some retail channel. From your profile, I notice you reside in Louisiana, so I don't know your particular economic environment. I reside in Oklahoma, no longer in just "tech support" any longer, but I've noticed an upswing in some of the jobs being offered in various energy producing areas, like oil, natural gas. Maybe not as many in the technology side as in the roughneck side, but things are finally opening up a little.
In my opinion, the economy is wanting to "rebound", but something seems to cause a lot of hesitation on getting investors to put the money into building our economy. I'm not just referring to stock market investing either, I mean all types of investments...infrastructure, manufacturing, new housing. Anyhow, sorry I got kind of off track and rambled...good luck. Have you considered learning anything new in regards to your primary knowledge base? Maybe a new programming language? Security? It's not just us middle aged folks having difficulties, as I've seen young college grads hunting for jobs for extended periods of time compared to when I graduated.
Wiz

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You are not alone

by AV . In reply to I am an early middle aged ...

I'm a net admin and not working either. I've been looking for jobs for months and have come up with nothing. I'll be 60 this year as well, and that doesn't help. I'm ready for the scrap heap in terms of the IT world.

The H1B and other visa programs are not needed. There are plenty of unemployed Americans that are qualified to fill any jobs out there. The problem today is that your skills must be an exact match for a company's extensive job descriptions or you will not be considered. Then the company can justify hiring H1bs.

Congress is now set to raise the H1b cap again as part of the Immigration reform bill. The big tech companies love love love the idea.

At this point, I'm going to try consulting or getting out of this field completely. Geez, whoever thought the IT field would come to this?

AV.

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Yes, there's H1B but don't forget about age discrimination too

by dnhubbard In reply to I am an early middle aged ...

I think you may be coming up against age discrimination as well.

I'm 57 and have found that becoming a so called 'permanent' employee is tough. Companies are under the illusion that younger = cheaper or you will have ore skills that your manager and make them feel uncomfortable or you won't fit in with the H1Bs.

Your idea of doing consulting work is right on. If you are a consultant, they just want a job done. If you can convince them you can do it, you're in. Age becomes a much more minor issue.

You may need to update your skills.

Give consulting a try.

Let me know if I can help.

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