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Work after forty - good news for older techies

Nearly three quarters (72.4 percent) of IT professionals believe people over forty can progress up the career ladder according to research carried out by online recruitment specialist www.theitjobboard.com

This compares to a positive response from only half (50.3 percent) the participants in the company's 2006 survey.

It is also despite only a small increase in the proportion of people being aware of last year's legislation outlawing ageism in the workplace (68.2 percent in 2007 compared to 62.1 percent in 2006).

Alex Farrell, director at www.theitjobboard.com, comments: "There are varied reports about how effective legislation had been at reducing ageism in the workplace. But our research would suggest the IT sector has taken heed and recognised the benefits that older workers bring to organisations. These include experience that tends to increase people and management skills, but also technical ability such as being better equipped to deal with legacy systems."

The research also points to better career prospects for older people as they have the potential to go some way to helping the sector cope with the skills crisis that still threatens it.

Farrell explains: "The lack of skilled IT professionals is a constant cause for concern in the industry and, whilst the findings of our most recent research are no reason to be complacent, they do offer a part solution to the problem.

As well as ensuring that older workers feel valued, the sector needs to do everything it can to encourage complete diversity throughout the workforce in recognition that anyone with the right skills has a role to play, regardless of their age, race or gender."

Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.