Rachel Delacour, CEO of We Are Cloud, a French startup producing the SaaS BI application Bime, says, "We need support engineers who not only have the technical chops, but can get a sense of the customer's business and sell the benefits of cloud computing."
Is the tech jobs boom only for the young? Age discrimination in tech is one of those issues that's always out there, but is rarely dealt with openly. Naturally, no company will admit to discriminating against older workers -- it's against the law. And when you don't get hired, it's a rare company that tells you why.
Kratell, that new hire at Kaazing, is 45 years old. "I applied to Facebook, and my friends laughed and says I was told old," he says. Despite a strong résumé and nibbles from employers like Google, Facebook didn't even give him an interview. Ageism? Kratell thinks it may have been, but there's no way to know for sure, and he says he's delighted with his new position.
Other job seekers tell similar stories and worry that complaining will make it even harder to find work. Gayle (she asked we withhold her name to protect her), a former manager in Hewlett-Packard's storage division, put it this way: "There is not much tolerance for age in this business. Older does not mean wiser in tech. It just means older."
Along with the anecdotes, there is some hard evidence that age discrimination really does exist in tech. The Bureau of Labor Statistics looked at the issue in a study released in early 2011 that shows that older IT workers have higher rates of unemployment than both younger IT workers and older workers in other professions.
In the category of computer and mathematical occupations, the overall unemployment rate for people 55 and over jumped from 6% to 8.4% from 2009 to 2010, according to the data. For those 25- to 54-year-olds in that job category, the unemployment rate fell from 5.1% in 2009 to 4.5% in the same period.
Those figures are particularly striking when compared to the overall population, where 55-plus workers had lower unemployment rates (7%) than the 25- to 54-year-olds (8.5%) in 2010. (Learn more in InfoWorld's in-depth look at the tech age discrimination issue.)