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I have started my own companies in the past, and now I help people start and grow the

My name is Ross McKelvie, Entrepreneurial Engineer

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  • Does age matter when getting employment in a field for computer science?

    I'm currently 32 years old and plan on getting a degree in computer science, but by the time I"m done I'll be closer to my early 40s and I was wondering if age is ever a consideration when it comes to getting a career in computer science.

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    Disclosure: I'm still in my 20s, but have been in the industry for over 10 years and worked on teams of all shapes, sizes, and ages.

    It really depends on your career goals. Some, like startups, may prefer younger because that typically means that person can be more committed to building the business as there's less of a family/SO commitment.

    Aside from that, I have not found age to be an issue. CS is the field where your skills and experience can speak for you. If you watched the show Silicon Valley, they had an episode where a 13 year old kid was working for the company. People unable to get jobs in other fields are doing just fine as programmers.

    As you're on the "other side" of the field as the 13 year old, my guess is that you'll have less to worry about. You've experienced a lot more of life in general than a 16 year old programmer has, and that is valuable to any team.

    Of course, you may run into employers that do take age as a consideration, but those aren't the people you want to work for anyway. Some may see age/family as a reason to pick another candidate, as in "oh we're going to have to pay this guy more than a 20-year-old so that he can keep his standard of living," but if you have the same skillset or better, that shouldn't be an issue at any reputable employer.

    I've worked with some of the first programmers at Microsoft (great-grandparents now!) and worked with people who are fresh out of high school, and everyone in between. It didn't matter as long as they got the job done and were self motivated!

    TL;DR: If you're good at what you do, age isn't really a factor at most jobs.