Ageism in Tech: Why Older Designers Are Better Than Younger Designers(medium.com)

almost 2 years ago from Christina Wu, Product Designer

  • Ken Em, almost 2 years ago

    Except that companies don't want to pay older designers what they are worth. They want young kids out of school who will work for nothing.

    7 points
    • Dragos Gavrila, almost 2 years ago

      This is the main problem, BUT sure, you can be a 1 year-startup working with all the cool kids and fail, or you can hire some more experienced ppl, learn from them, even let them guide you and become a success. But the thing is, there aren't overnight success stories - most startups that hit it big and you see them on techcrunch today, they have a 10 year story behind, that nobody sees at first.

      Most startups unicorn-level today, they are at least 10 years old in the market. And come to think about it, most young ppl still don't even know that Instagram and Whatsapp are both owned by Facebook...but they want to emulate their success stories without putting in the work first.

      -2 points
      • Ken Em, almost 2 years ago

        Understood, but I'm not even talking startups. Many established companies shun older workers.

        Last year I interviewed with a long-running monthly publication run by a veteran newspaper man. In fact, most of the staff are older than me. My background is in the media industry, so we hit it off wonderfully and I was all but assured I would be getting the position. The publisher even inquired about what I was looking for pay-wise, and I told him. He responded that would work. But in the end, they went with a young person who they wouldn't have to pay as much.

        This is what plagues the design industry as a whole. Be it a client or an employer, they both want the work to be done, but neither are willing to pay what it is worth.

        4 points
        • Dragos Gavrila, almost 2 years ago

          Then my man, you'll have to re-invent yourself, start thinking more about educating others and less doing actual 9-5 work at a full-time job.

          Start a blog, write some ebooks/online courses, start doing workshops, stuff like that - you will be more successful as an educator than as a full-time worker in your older years. Start showing all that experience you must have in many fields!

          But also good luck with finding a full-time job too if that's still needed! Keep applying, there are still lots of companies that value experience more. You just gotta find a good one.

          -3 points
        • Max PotvinMax Potvin, almost 2 years ago

          "But in the end, they went with a young person who they wouldn't have to pay as much." Is it what they told you?

          0 points
    • A. DeWittA. DeWitt, almost 2 years ago

      Sadly, I don't think many companies can even make the case that they're picking younger people to save money. Designers in tech make great money, even right out of school.

      I suspect it has more to do with the perceived lack of "seriousness" in design work. Unless you manage to wrap your labor offering in technical prestige language, you'll quickly find yourself interviewing with people who fundamentally see design as expensive art and wonder why someone in their thirties/forties/fifties/sixties hasn't grown out of playing with crayons.

      Consequently, "serious" design work (enterprise, healthcare, finance, etc) tends to pay well and hire older while "childish" design work (marketing, entertainment, social media) tends to pay poorly and hire younger.

      It's a totally artificial arrangement, but the economics make it self-fulfilling.

      0 points