How Older Engineers Fare

The notion that older engineers are at a disadvantage when it comes to employability may not necessarily be the case...


The notion that older engineers are at a disadvantage when it comes to employability may not necessarily be the case, concludes a recent study by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Washington, D.C. Of the three skills that engineering supervisors view as being most important-problem-solving, communications and teamwork-engineers aged 45 and older were ranked as being stronger than their younger colleagues in the first two skill areas, according to IEEE's survey.

While human-resources personnel consider technical knowledge, problem-solving and teamwork to be the most important engineering skills, they rate older engineers as better problem-solvers and equal to younger engineers in technical knowledge.

The only areas where older engineers came up a little short, as compared to engineers in their 20s, 30s and early 40s, was in their adaptability and ability to keep up with new developments, says the survey.

Only 10 percent of surveyed older engineers indicated that they had experienced age discrimination on the job.

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