Age is definitely working against any professions except for those areas where who you know is way more import than who you are, e.g. lobbyist.
Engineering, Sciences and Arts are professions of who you are. Because our EE elites invented this big data networks which enabled the light speed information exchange, we dug a big hole for ourselves. There is less and less secrete and tribe information in engineerings; experiences are not that important if you willing to learn and can spend time to google, wiki, and trial-error. From this perspective, an aged R&D person has lower-hands if she cannot work 60hr/week efficiently.
Engineering will still exist as a profession where the glory will fade away. As an engineer worked on a couple dozens of successful/failed projects in several areas, and experienced several up/downturns, my age and my possibility of winning are probably negatively correlated.
I guess age discrimination comes in picture if you are in late 30s and still in engineering side. As it works in India, people in that age group move to management side. And everyone knows in management more you have grey hairs they feel you are more mature, experienced and settled. but yes in western countries people have choice to reamin in engineering side and yes there is lots of discrination from age perspective.
Age discrimination is illegal - and rampant. The "well rounded" thing must have happened while I was employed - and not looking! Today your skills must be focused to a laser's pinpoint focus - in fact LOTS of laser pinpoints!
I have found that younger less experience workers do not do as complete a job as the older. They may have the "latest tool skills" but do not have the benefit of experience or the big picture. Case in point: one young engineer designed a power amplifier (portable) that used mosfets, he did not even know the dropout voltage for the driver chip he was using. This was after the design was committed to a PCB and 20 were assembled. There was no provision for heat transfer and as a result the amps would slowly heat up and burn out OR not work when the battery voltage dropped.
Technology will be the ONLY way to dig USA out a hole. Historically it was the housing market that got us out of the "depression" (don't want a depression ... well just change the definition says flutesnoot. Uhhhh the housing market is BUST as organized crime is alive and well focusing on the american people. Oh engineers ...save our a** ... . We love you says congress as they make a deal with tata in the backroom (and china with their most recent trip).
Exactly... I enjoy reading tech mans, but y'know cannot spend whole lifetime learning everything expected that changed in the past 6 months. The expectations are wayyyyy too high.
Stop and smell the rose as they say.
Spot on ... abuse our bodies... for what ?
I new this day would come.
We are now 'disposable commodities". Just like MDs we are being portrayed as trash, and politicians are calling themselves
messiers. Now they want "small business" start up but they fail to say that working 80+ hours a week with moderate success of product you will still be losing money. Need way more incentives from Big G.
Luckily angel investors have itchy fingers to play the game again... lets go boys !
Gullible ...Yeah ! got that right as the song says.
Have a family and kids and no longer the fool working x+ hours a week , getting the shaft in the end. Lets all make startups and tell these companies to shove it. Go build your business with skippy and tweedledum.
I do believe that the current economy is working against older engineers. Current high unemployment means employers can be pickier about who they hire since there is typically no shortage of candidates. And if two engineers have similar backgrounds and skills they can simply hire the younger one. Also, if the stock and bond markets were healthier and home prices were not so depressed many older engineers might feel like they could afford to retire. I'm betting there are many aging boomer engineers that would like to leave the work force but don't believe that they can afford to in this uncertain economy.
I remember the "well rounded" craze. Funny how that crowd couldn't solve the difficult bugs like the (aging) geeks could.
On the other hand, my wife and children (I have 3) still make fun of me for reading technical books for pleasure ;-)