Thursday, September 5, 2013

An Engineering Career: Only a Young Person’s Game?

Via IEEE Spectrum

If you are an engineer (or a computer professional, for that matter), the danger of becoming technologically obsolete is an ever-growing risk. To be an engineer is to accept the fact that at some future time—always sooner than one expects—most of the technical knowledge you once worked hard to master will be obsolete.
Mark Zukerberg, CEO of Facebook, ... reflects the prevailing attitude when he stated both that, “Our policy is literally to hire as many talented engineers as we can find. The whole limit in the system is that there aren't enough people who are trained and have these skills today,” and “I want to stress the importance of being young and technical. Young people are just smarter. Young people just have simpler lives. We may not own a car. We may not have family. Simplicity in life allows you to focus on what's important.”

So, what to do?
Well, you can look at Payscale’s companies’ median ages and try to target those where the median age is older than your age. You could do what someolder engineers and computer professionals are doing in Silicon Valley, and try to hide your age by dressing younger, hide your graying hair, carry all the latest high tech gear in a backpack, and even get eyelid lifts. You could also try to increase your business acumen to try to convince your employer you are creating shareholder value. Or you may also just decide the best option is to spend time  designing an escape plan and either aim for a job in management (assuming there is one) or get into another field altogether.
None of these sounds that appealing to my ears.

Here is another idea.


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