Age should never be a factor when it comes to employment. Whether young or old, a large majority (or perhaps all) employers consider themselves “equal opportunity” regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, etc. The key is finding the right industry that best suits you, your lifestyle, and your needs/wants. However, the common misconception is that those 50 and over have a slim chance of being employed. The fact is that there are great jobs well suited for those 50 and over. They are readily available in these top industries hiring.
Job seeking is all about finding your perfect fit and using your experiences and skills attained throughout the years to your advantage. Employers are now viewing the aging population as a gold mine and are taking advantage of more mature workers who want flexible hours and offer a variety of skills. In a recent article from AARP, The Surprising Truth About Older Workers, argued that older workers are more reliable, flexible, experienced, and possess valuable institutional knowledge. All traits that add real value to an organization.
According to Richard Johnson, a principal research associate at the Urban Institute, the Healthcare industry shows that personal and home-care aid jobs will grow 50.7% over the next 10 years, and the demand for nurses will grow 23.4%. The amazing percentage of those 55 and older employed in this field is 96.5%, having only a 3.5% remaining in unemployment. Other top industries hiring include health occupations that are likely to see an increase in demand include medical claims/coders and medical practice managers.
In the Education industry, a slow economy presents the perfect opportunity to pick up a teaching credential. Math, science, and special education teachers are in demand. This is a beneficial time for upgrading skills, interning, and volunteering to make finding that job easier and less stressful. Also, the demand for post-secondary teachers will increase over the next 10 years according to the Urban Institute. Only 2.4% of education workers age 55 and older are unemployed. In addition to an extremely low unemployment rate, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed by President Obama will provide $2 billion to Head Start and Early Head Start programs, creating approximately 15,000 jobs.
The Government industry has federal stimulus funds that are making their way to state and local governments to help ease budget crunches leading to opportunity for employment. Deborah Russell, the Director of Workforce issues at AARP, recommends that workers age 50 and older consider applying for federal jobs at the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Small Business Administrative Office of Disaster Assistance, and Peace Corps, as well as being open to relocating. These agencies on AARP’s National Employer Team include companies interested in hiring experienced, older workers as well.
No matter the age, the opportunity for employment is readily available. The big picture here is improving opportunities for job seekers over 50. Whether through education, government, or the healthcare industry, this is your time. Twenty years ago, less than one third of people age 55 and over were employed or looking for work. Now, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve, the share is 40%. Don’t let age stand in the way of your next great job opportunity with one of the top industries hiring.
For more tips on choosing a career, read, Now What? 7 Ways to Think About Your Second Act.
“There is a fountain of youth: It is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” -Sophia Loren
“Just because a woman is over fifty does not mean she no longer has anything to offer. If anything, we have so much more to offer! We have lived life, we get better with age. I do my best work now in my 60’s. Sure, I could retire; but what would I do? Play Bingo? I think no.” -Dawn Wells