Youth over Age

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Introduction Jim Fogle has worked in the technical sector for more than 30 years. He has held various positions within the same company throughout his career. During this time, he has witnessed the introduction of new technologies while countless others have gone obsolete. Although Fogle possesses several years of proven industry experience, his career path does not reflect his performance or skills. In fact, Fogle’s career has tended to move on a downward slope. Originally a member of the Engineering department, Fogle has found himself serving within progressively “lesser” roles. Twenty years ago, Fogle served as an area support manager and coordinated technical service and support over the Southeast region. Fifteen…show more content…
As employees get older, job performance across various professional and non-professional positions has been proven to hold steady (Judge and Judge, 2007, pg. 49 – 50). Despite evidence to the contrary, stereotypes and biased beliefs continue to permeate the information technology sector. This is partially due to the nature of the industry itself. Information technology companies are geared towards developing innovative technical products and services for businesses and consumers. Technology rapidly evolves and adapts to address society’s needs. For instance, the telephone gave way to the facsimile machine. This soon became virtually obsolete with the introduction of newer technologies such as email and instant messaging (Charness, 2006). Companies within the IT sector seek to maintain a workforce that reflects the youth and vigor of their technology. Sylvia Francis, a researcher of age discrimination, notes, “These industries are looking to match staff with their perceived young image, and once you hit 40 you no longer fit” (Computer Weekly, 2006). Older workers also tend to shun job postings or interviews referring to “young, dynamic” organizations or projects, as these descriptors infer an environment that prefers youth rather than experience (Goodwin, 2006). A 2001 survey illustrates the disparity in both staffing and average salaries for IT professionals. This survey consisted of 3,629 total respondents, of which 40
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