Switching careers is an exciting yet somewhat unnerving journey, especially for people who’ve got decades of experience under their belts. For individuals in their 60s and up, the prospect of learning a profession from scratch and searching for a job in the ever-evolving tech industry may seem overwhelming.
Doubts may linger about whether it's too late to embark on a path typically associated with the younger generation. But age is really just a number when it comes to a successful start in tech. Tech is open to all ages, and specialists in their sixties can bring a lot to the table. Years of experience, a variety of transferable skills, and a capacity for adaptation gives them an advantage.
Yes, people over 60 can successfully switch to a career in tech because the skills they already have can help them thrive in this dynamic field. And no, you won’t be an outlier working in tech.
What the figures say
Despite the common assumption that tech is mostly for the young, there are actually hundreds of thousands of positions occupied by older workers. The stats back this up.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 1,120,000 Americans aged 55 or older had a computer or math-related job in 2022. Out of these, 277,000 worked as software developers. Another 119,000 were employed as computer programmers, outnumbering similar specialists aged 25 to 34.
Why you can do it
Even being a newbie in tech, you’ve got a lot to offer as a veteran worker. Your wealth of experience can give you a competitive edge. But what exactly are the trump cards you can play? Let’s check them out.
Transferable soft skills
As a newbie, the experience you bring with you may not be tech-related, but it is work-related nonetheless. Simply put, you know how to make yourself useful in the workplace. And your soft skills have been honed for literal decades.
Chances are, you have worked with dozens of colleagues over the course of your career. So communication with new ones shouldn’t be a problem. This is great since teamwork is a fundamental part of any tech project.
Also, problem-solving, critical thinking, and attention to detail are extremely useful in tech. Incidentally, this trio of skills is important in many other walks of life, too. For instance, educators, social and healthcare workers, and technicians excel here.
Other skills you might need – and most probably have – include time management and adaptability. Deadlines and continuous learning should be familiar challenges and won’t discourage anyone who has set their sights on a career in tech.
A lot of flexibility and sound loyalty
Being over 60, you most probably have already reached other life goals. So a new career start won’t be your first attempt at realizing a dream. You know the value of effort and dedication – and employers will appreciate that.
Plus, compared to younger colleagues who are still soul-searching, you are more likely to know what you want from life. So, once you have a job, you will probably stick to it and only look at other companies if they approach you with very serious offers.
And if your dedication to your job is complemented by a strong work ethic, it will make you a great candidate — and a go-to colleague once you are welcomed onboard.
Cognitive diversity and inclusion
Hiring individuals from various age groups is something any forward-looking company should do. Having people with different skill sets and ways of thinking is beneficial for teams and overall performance.
That’s because inclusive workplace cultures foster a wider range of approaches and ideas. This approach, in turn, leads to better decision-making and can result in more creativity and innovation.
A mix of ages and diversity of thought ensures that decisions are not influenced by one generation's perspective or biases. And mature workers might bring more life (and work) experience to discussions when compared to their younger colleagues.
How you can do it
There is more than one way to get into tech. To acquire the necessary skills, you may enter a university and earn a bachelor’s degree. This is the longest and most expensive option and probably the least suitable for people in their 60s and up.
At the other end of the spectrum lies self-education. It could be the cheapest way to learn, but quality is not guaranteed, and the results could be unpredictable.
An online coding bootcamp is truly the sweet spot. It’s much cheaper and faster than getting a school degree, and has plenty of guidance and support.
As for studying online, a survey conducted by AARP, formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, says that increasingly, people over 50 are starting to take online courses or are willing to do so soon, with computer and technology training being among the top choices.
What TripleTen offers
TripleTen is one of the best online coding academies in the US that teaches in-demand skills, with most of our bootcamps available to absolute beginners. We offer a hands-on education that helps anyone break into tech regardless of their background or age.
We have a whole team of people working to support you while you’re learning. From tutors and code reviewers to career coaches who get you ready for a successful job hunt. As many as 87% of our graduates land a job in tech within six months of graduation, and more than half of those get hired while still studying.
With TripleTen, it’s never too late to start a career in tech. Visit our website to learn more and start your journey into tech today!