Career guidance for older person


R

Robert

Hello

At 47 years of age, I am interested in becoming an accountant. I was a
computer programmer for 22 years and that appears to be over for good. I'm
afraid if I go back to school and get a degree in accounting I won't be able
to get an entry-level job because of my age which will probably be 49-51 at
that time? I don't want to spend 2 or 3 years in school for nothing. Is
anyone here familiar with the actual practice in corporate America? If
someone who hires entry-level accountants or is at least knowlegable of the
true practice could confirm or deny that older applicants for entry-level
are basically unheard of (and therefore not hired should one happen to turn
up) ?

Robert Crouser
 
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D

Des Perado

Hi Robert!
First, 47 is NOT old. You have a long way to go before you are OLD.
Assuming your computer programming skills are reasonably current, and
you live in a city with a decent size population, a little research
and some targeted marketing would probably turn up some opportunities
for you. Perhaps not a job per se, but some Contract Programming
work.
It may be a tad late to go back to school and get an Accounting
Degree, as when you graduate you would have to work in some junior
positions until you gained a degree of proficiency in the accounting
field. You could always get contract work doing bookkeeping and
payroll functions for some small businesses and build yourself a small
business that way. I know gals who do that who don't have an
accounting degree other than what they got from the 'school of hard
knocks' and they make a reasonable living and enjoy a degree of
freedom that they wouldn't have working as an employee for a company.
The days of long term, steady jobs are rapidly disappearing. I think
it is best if you start aiming towards some type of self-employment.
You gotta get out there and hustle, and you won't be provided with
Health and Pension plans, etc.., but it can be and is an enjoyable and
rewarding way to make a living.
Best wishes! Des
 
R

Ron Todd

Hello

At 47 years of age, I am interested in becoming an accountant. I was a
computer programmer for 22 years and that appears to be over for good. I'm
afraid if I go back to school and get a degree in accounting I won't be able
to get an entry-level job because of my age which will probably be 49-51 at
that time? I don't want to spend 2 or 3 years in school for nothing. Is
anyone here familiar with the actual practice in corporate America? If
someone who hires entry-level accountants or is at least knowlegable of the
true practice could confirm or deny that older applicants for entry-level
are basically unheard of (and therefore not hired should one happen to turn
up) ?

Robert Crouser
Well, I was 31 when I graduated in '77 and I was told flat out I was
too old to be an accountant. The fellow from Arthur Young made quite a
scene about my bad form in even applying for an interview with him. I
also got some rather nasty letters from Arthur Anderson. Since then
we have had the Federal age discrimination in hiring act, but I
haven't noticed any improvement. I don't get told I'm too old
anymore, but it is clearly and issue.

When I was working for the Federal Government I was told similar
stories by several others who had the same experience. At that time
the only positions I could find were with the Federal agencies that
had over 50% travel, as most accountants didn't consider these
desirable jobs.


Best Regards.

*****************************************
Boycott list:

Belgium, France, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, PRC, Iran, Syria,
Hollywood, San Francisco, Massachusetts, New York City, Sierra Club, ACLU,
Movies of the first blacklist, Turner, Madonna, S. Crowe, Dixie Chicks, Cher, U2, rapp,
Trudeau, W.Miller, Disney, ABC news, CBS news, NBC news, CNN, PBS, B&H Photo Video, Heinz
Foods, Ontario & Quebec provinces,

Sometimes the only influence you have is to say, "No, I'm not buying."

For those who are unclear about the situation, California is the Clinton - Davis model for the rest of the United States of America.
 
J

Joe Canuck

Robert said:
Hello

At 47 years of age, I am interested in becoming an accountant. I was a
computer programmer for 22 years and that appears to be over for good. I'm
afraid if I go back to school and get a degree in accounting I won't be able
to get an entry-level job because of my age which will probably be 49-51 at
that time? I don't want to spend 2 or 3 years in school for nothing. Is
anyone here familiar with the actual practice in corporate America? If
someone who hires entry-level accountants or is at least knowlegable of the
true practice could confirm or deny that older applicants for entry-level
are basically unheard of (and therefore not hired should one happen to turn
up) ?

Robert Crouser
You and I are the same age and in the exact same situation... with the
difference you are in the States where I am in Canada.

I think we both have an advantage in accounting due to our familiarity
with computers and prior work experience... we are not green behind the
ears.

Pretty much everyone starts at the bottom in accounting... at least so
I'm told by some accounting type friends. I have wrestled for sometime
with what to do and where to start. I have lined up some government
assistance (not a student loan) where they will be paying for me to
attend a 15 month program that will lead to an accounting clerk type of
position. The outlook is fairly decent for those types of positions here
in Canada... if it wasn't the government would not provide financial
assistance. I've been browsing the market for sometime and do see for
myself there are quite a number positions available at this level.

My plan is to go through with the program and obtain employment in the
area. After that I may decide to achieve a higher accounting education /
designation on my own dime n' time.

I've set my expectations low and will be taking it one day at a time. I
will be happy to achieve the diploma I will be granted at the end of the
program and gain an entry level position where I can built on my
experience.

The fact is... older workers do have a harder time getting employed. The
longer I spend now preparing for a new career means the older I will be
when time comes to seek that first position in the new career.

However, being older we do have the advantage that our computer career
experience fits in nicely with accounting these days. We both have
another 18 years of service to offer an employer prior to 65.
 
N

NickKnight

First, 47 is NOT old. You have a long way to go before you are OLD.
I wish that were true. As someone who is 49 years old I would have to
agree i'm old.

Too many companies won't hire someone like me becuase they can
hire someone with less experience and pay much for less.

I have lots of experience and work for myself now doing very well
but too many companies won't even consider someon as old
as me when they can hire someone half my age and pay them
alot less.

--------------------------------------------
"Finally a member of the Jackson family finds
another young boy to victimize."
-------------------------Jimmy Fallon on SNL
referring to Justin
Timberlake

To send me e-mail exorcise NO Spam from
my e-mail address.
 
B

Bob

Robert said:
Hello

At 47 years of age, I am interested in becoming an accountant. I was a
computer programmer for 22 years and that appears to be over for good. I'm
afraid if I go back to school and get a degree in accounting I won't be able
to get an entry-level job because of my age which will probably be 49-51 at
that time? I don't want to spend 2 or 3 years in school for nothing. Is
anyone here familiar with the actual practice in corporate America? If
someone who hires entry-level accountants or is at least knowlegable of the
true practice could confirm or deny that older applicants for entry-level
are basically unheard of (and therefore not hired should one happen to turn
up) ?

Robert Crouser
unfortunately the reality is you will encounter age discrimination in entry
level accounting positions. If you think you would like accounting take a
course at a community college before getting into a degree program. there
might be some opportunities there to ask questions and assess your skills.
Your computer experience may help in some areas but it will be a lot more
difficult to start a new career now than another field, for example, nursing
or pharmacist (two supposely hot areas !!)
 
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J

Jan in Florida

unfortunately the reality is you will encounter age discrimination in entry
level accounting positions.
Is the same true of 31 year olds too? I know that with an accounting degree,
job prospects are versatile, but I am planning for a career in forensic
accounting/ auditing. I would hope a company would see more than just my age
as a "credential." Afterall, why would a company hire a 22 year old who
probably still likes to party, and be late for work, and if female, take
time off for maternity leave and possibly never come back to work? I am
beyond all that and ready to start my career (as soon as I graduate).

Jan
 
W

Wayne Brasch

A self-employed person can, in fact, have health benefits and pension plans
by virtue of the tax laws. You need to look into this more closely.

Wayne Brasch, CPA, M. S. Taxation
 
J

Joe Canuck

Bob wrote:

difficult to start a new career now than another field, for example, nursing
or pharmacist (two supposely hot areas !!)
Right. IT was HOT a while back as well and look what happened there.
 
J

Joe Canuck

Jan said:
Is the same true of 31 year olds too? I know that with an accounting degree,
job prospects are versatile, but I am planning for a career in forensic
accounting/ auditing. I would hope a company would see more than just my age
as a "credential." Afterall, why would a company hire a 22 year old who
probably still likes to party, and be late for work, and if female, take
time off for maternity leave and possibly never come back to work? I am
beyond all that and ready to start my career (as soon as I graduate).

Jan
The thing is this... there are no hard and fast rules regarding the age
thing.

Some interviewers take some delight in yanking a candidates chain. It is
an opportunity to have fun with someone they think they will never see
again.
 
N

NickKnight

unfortunately the reality is you will encounter age discrimination in entry
level accounting positions. If you think you would like accounting take a
course at a community college before getting into a degree program. there
might be some opportunities there to ask questions and assess your skills.
Your computer experience may help in some areas but it will be a lot more
difficult to start a new career now than another field, for example, nursing
or pharmacist (two supposely hot areas !!)
You will soon discover though that even though age discrimination is
illegal here and they can't ask you your age legally they can
figure out your age by your answer to other questions.
--------------------------------------------
"Finally a member of the Jackson family finds
another young boy to victimize."
-------------------------Jimmy Fallon on SNL
referring to Justin
Timberlake

To send me e-mail exorcise NO Spam from
my e-mail address.
 
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Advertisements

R

Ron Todd

Hi Robert!
First, 47 is NOT old.
I agree completely with that statement.

However, I have continually run into people who make the placement
decisions and they insist that 30 is over the hill and to old to cut
the mustard.



Best Regards.

*****************************************
Boycott list:

Belgium, France, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, PRC, Iran, Syria,
Hollywood, San Francisco, Massachusetts, New York City, Sierra Club, ACLU,
Movies of the first blacklist, Turner, Madonna, S. Crowe, Dixie Chicks, Cher, U2, rapp,
Trudeau, W.Miller, Disney, ABC news, CBS news, NBC news, CNN, PBS, B&H Photo Video, Heinz
Foods, Ontario & Quebec provinces,

Sometimes the only influence you have is to say, "No, I'm not buying."

For those who are unclear about the situation, California is the Clinton - Davis model for the rest of the United States of America.
 
R

Ron Todd

Is the same true of 31 year olds too? I know that with an accounting degree,
job prospects are versatile, but I am planning for a career in forensic
accounting/ auditing. I would hope a company would see more than just my age
as a "credential." Afterall, why would a company hire a 22 year old who
probably still likes to party, and be late for work, and if female, take
time off for maternity leave and possibly never come back to work? I am
beyond all that and ready to start my career (as soon as I graduate).

Jan
The only suggestion I can make is that people are far from rational.
Accountants are not an exception to this rule. Remember, there is a
reason why there is a Black CPA Association.

AIR, the hard and fast cut off for accountants, for cpa practices, was
twenty seven. The rationales I used to hear for this were rather
nasty. What with age discrimination suits and the PC nazis, I haven't
heard them voiced in many years, but I think the activities are still
going on.



Best Regards.

*****************************************
Boycott list:

Belgium, France, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, PRC, Iran, Syria,
Hollywood, San Francisco, Massachusetts, New York City, Sierra Club, ACLU,
Movies of the first blacklist, Turner, Madonna, S. Crowe, Dixie Chicks, Cher, U2, rapp,
Trudeau, W.Miller, Disney, ABC news, CBS news, NBC news, CNN, PBS, B&H Photo Video, Heinz
Foods, Ontario & Quebec provinces,

Sometimes the only influence you have is to say, "No, I'm not buying."

For those who are unclear about the situation, California is the Clinton - Davis model for the rest of the United States of America.
 
R

Ron Todd

Bob wrote:



Right. IT was HOT a while back as well and look what happened there.

"HOT" is a moving target. The miniute something gets covered as "HOT"
in the press, it has, IMHO, just about peaked. The education folks
are always going like gangbusters to jump on the next "HOT" career and
turn out an over supply of qualified folks. It is just the way the
free market system works.



Best Regards.

*****************************************
Boycott list:

Belgium, France, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, PRC, Iran, Syria,
Hollywood, San Francisco, Massachusetts, New York City, Sierra Club, ACLU,
Movies of the first blacklist, Turner, Madonna, S. Crowe, Dixie Chicks, Cher, U2, rapp,
Trudeau, W.Miller, Disney, ABC news, CBS news, NBC news, CNN, PBS, B&H Photo Video, Heinz
Foods, Ontario & Quebec provinces,

Sometimes the only influence you have is to say, "No, I'm not buying."

For those who are unclear about the situation, California is the Clinton - Davis model for the rest of the United States of America.
 
R

Robert

Ron Todd said:
Well, I was 31 when I graduated in '77 and I was told flat out I was
too old to be an accountant. The fellow from Arthur Young made quite a
scene about my bad form in even applying for an interview with him. I
also got some rather nasty letters from Arthur Anderson. Since then
we have had the Federal age discrimination in hiring act, but I
haven't noticed any improvement. I don't get told I'm too old
anymore, but it is clearly and issue.

When I was working for the Federal Government I was told similar
stories by several others who had the same experience. At that time
the only positions I could find were with the Federal agencies that
had over 50% travel, as most accountants didn't consider these
desirable jobs.


Best Regards.

*****************************************
Boycott list:

Belgium, France, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, PRC, Iran, Syria,
Hollywood, San Francisco, Massachusetts, New York City, Sierra Club, ACLU,
Movies of the first blacklist, Turner, Madonna, S. Crowe, Dixie Chicks, Cher, U2, rapp,
Trudeau, W.Miller, Disney, ABC news, CBS news, NBC news, CNN, PBS, B&H Photo Video, Heinz
Foods, Ontario & Quebec provinces,

Sometimes the only influence you have is to say, "No, I'm not buying."

For those who are unclear about the situation, California is the Clinton -
Davis model for the rest of the United States of America.

That's indredible. And senseless. Why did they think you went to college,
anyway? It sounds like you did okay, though.

Were you expecting that? Do you feel that all the propaganda we are fed
about how wonderful a college education is and which is usually not
qualified with but-don't-bother-if-you're-over-25 led you down the garden
path?

Robert
 
R

Robert

It is generally a bad idea to have your career too closely linked to a piece
of software. That's because they go out of fashion and you can be left with
worthless experience. This is true for anyone. Programmers fall into that
category as well as others. That's why I came up with this idea of the
accounting degree. But like you said it is probably too late. If I'm going
to have to get highly creative to get a job anyway, it probably wouldn't be
worth it.

Thanks for posting.
 
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R

Robert

If you are able to be picky about your salary, then you're doing okay.

Robert
 
R

Robert

Yes, you can purchase health insurance and open a Keogh (I.R.A. ?) plan.

Robert
 
R

Robert

Joe Canuck said:
You and I are the same age and in the exact same situation... with the
difference you are in the States where I am in Canada.

I think we both have an advantage in accounting due to our familiarity
with computers and prior work experience... we are not green behind the
ears.

Pretty much everyone starts at the bottom in accounting... at least so
I'm told by some accounting type friends. I have wrestled for sometime
with what to do and where to start. I have lined up some government
assistance (not a student loan) where they will be paying for me to
attend a 15 month program that will lead to an accounting clerk type of
position. The outlook is fairly decent for those types of positions here
in Canada... if it wasn't the government would not provide financial
assistance. I've been browsing the market for sometime and do see for
myself there are quite a number positions available at this level.

My plan is to go through with the program and obtain employment in the
area. After that I may decide to achieve a higher accounting education /
designation on my own dime n' time.

I've set my expectations low and will be taking it one day at a time. I
will be happy to achieve the diploma I will be granted at the end of the
program and gain an entry level position where I can built on my
experience.

The fact is... older workers do have a harder time getting employed. The
longer I spend now preparing for a new career means the older I will be
when time comes to seek that first position in the new career.

However, being older we do have the advantage that our computer career
experience fits in nicely with accounting these days. We both have
another 18 years of service to offer an employer prior to 65.
Actually, I have thought of moving to Canada (for reasons unrelated to my
career.) You've given me an idea. I could take bookkeeping which would
involve less of a commitment / less risk. Not sure if that's what you're
doing.

As you know, when I started taking programming courses in school many years
ago it was promoted as a key to employment security. I guess you know how
untrue that turned out to be.

Good luck.

Robert
 
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R

Robert

Bob said:
unfortunately the reality is you will encounter age discrimination in entry
level accounting positions. If you think you would like accounting take a
course at a community college before getting into a degree program. there
might be some opportunities there to ask questions and assess your skills.
Your computer experience may help in some areas but it will be a lot more
difficult to start a new career now than another field, for example, nursing
or pharmacist (two supposely hot areas !!)
Thanks, Bob. I have 1 year of accounting and completing the program
wouldn't be a problem. But I shouldn't bother if there's no job waiting at
the other end.

Robert
 

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