As an older student preparing to enter the workforce, or to re-enter with new credentials, you may have questions or concerns that the Center can assist with.  You may be concerned about discrimination or you may have questions about generational differences among workers.

There is a strong business case to be made for hiring older employees and many leading companies recognize the link between the assets that you bring to the table and a high performing business.  Organizations view older employees as having more experience and knowledge, maturity and professionalism, and the strong work ethic they seek.  Typically, experienced employees have lower turnover and greater reliability.  In addition, you are, on average, more engaged on the job than other age cohorts.  These are qualities organizations know are critical to a competitive edge.

There are tips and pointers that you may want to consider in preparation for your new status and the stereotypes you may want to address.  Some of these may relate to your comfort with technology, willingness to work with younger team members, and your ability to adapt to changes in the work environment.  While these are stereotypes, subtle changes in your resume, cover letter or personal interactions with recruiters may signal to them the positive characteristics you bring to their organizations.  Let us help you to decide whether, when, and how to address your unique fitness for a job!  Login to Careers4Terps to request an appointment and discuss these issues with a career advisor.

Discrimination and Harassment
Age discrimination is against the law.  The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.  It is also unlawful to harass an employee or co-worker with severe or repeated age-related comments or practices that can create a hostile work environment.

Generational Differences
Much has been made of generational differences in the workplace.  While there may well be differences that need to be acknowledged for a company to succeed, there are also generational commonalities that lead to a productive and competitive workforce.  However, most management analysts agree that the key to success in this environment is to be attentive to the values, skills and preferences of the individual members of your work team.  Put aside stereotypes and preconceptions and address the person in front of you.  All generations currently in the workforce respond to this basic imperative of management in today‚Äôs economy.

Online Resources


of college and graduate students aged 25 and older according to a 2009 study by the National Center for Education Statistics