WordPress Ads

A reader informs me that when he read my last blog post, an ad appeared. Ironically, the content of the ad, at least in his case, was that older workers can get grants to go back to school and improve their careers.

Needless to say, I do NOT approve these ads, and indeed this is the first time I had ever heard of one. I was of course aware that there may be such ads, which is fine with me, but I do want to explicitly state here that I have nothing to do with the ads, and of course derive no revenue from them.

If you’ve paid close attention to my writings over the years, you will know that in most cases I do NOT recommend that older techies go back to school in the hope of improving their job prospects. “Never say never,” and yes, there are some special circumstances in which it may help, but in general, an older techie who takes some new coursework comes of the process as still being an older techie — still expensive, like before, and thus unattractive to employers who have access to young H-1Bs, OPTs, L-1s etc.

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19 thoughts on “WordPress Ads

  1. If you have a free version of WordPress you will probably have that issue. It’s a tradeoff. I have WordPress on my own server, and of course don’t have third party ads. Never tried the free stuff, but know I don’t have this issue.

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  2. I’m an older (46) techie with a STEM degree (B.S.) in Computer Engineering, worked in telecom and software for many years, I had to train my H1B replacement shortly after the recession hit, Im currently severely underemployed. I was going to go back to school for M.S. and maybe PhD in Computer Science, but you say here that you don’t recommend that? but then what *do* you recommend? what other option would you suggest?

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    • No, I definitely do not recommend going back to school for an MS or PhD for anyone in the computer field past 35. As I said, you are viewed as expensive now, and would still be viewed as expensive after getting more degrees.
      One exception would be if you had excellent professional networks, with people who know your abilities and are in a position to hire you. But sadly, you don’t seem to be in such a position now.
      One alternative would be to move to a sparsely-populated part of the country where employers are not in the habit of hiring H-1Bs. Another possibility would be try for civil service jobs, though again it may be easier in nonurban areas.

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      • I’m in a sparsely populated area (about 95 miles from austin and 75 miles from san antonio) and I’ve also been hired by civil service after five years of applying.

        I do not have the degree as I went into the navy rather than college.

        I’m now fixing to be 58 in a few more months and I have not seen full time work since 2003 and no work since 2010.

        And I’ve even attended the re-training that the government offered via their VRAP program for high demand skills like computer science.

        Bottom line, I’ve tried everything that can be tried including contacting your so called political representatives and I’m still unemployed.

        I hate to say this, but:
        1. If you can’t get hired by private industry, or
        2. if you can’t get hired by civil service, or
        3. If you can’t raise the money to go into business for yourself, then.
        4. There are not any more options other than fight, or give up.

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    • There are scads of companies who are incapable of taking advantage of the computing software they already have. You need to get some subject-matter expertise (real estate, health care, security, art world, building construction etc) and then learn to use the newest technologies in those domains It will require time and money, but less of both than another degree. If you can go into a company and show them how to understand their marketing analytics for their fancy webpage, or how to cherry-pick the best listings from HUD auctions – you get the idea – you will be worth gold, no matter what your age.

      After one or two jobs, you will be in a position to go freelance if you have hit a wage ceiling. Most companies don’t need or want to pay for a change agent when they are trying to get a new routine going. To maximize your earnings, you will probably want to go freelance, leveraging the connections you made attending conferences in your previous jobs and volunteer work.

      There is a plethora of unmet need out there. I would suggest starting out as a volunteer in an organization you love, to add depth to your resume. That’s what I did when I first started out. No one who hired me ever asked me what I had been making, only what I could do. I’m 66 and still working!

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  3. he might have clicked on one of my links or somebody elses.

    I have ads because I need money since nobody will hire me, and like you say, I do not have control over what ads are placed.

    but I can tell you this.

    There are no ads on your site

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  4. what about academic research or teaching/professor, wouldn’t a PhD lead to that possibility? isn’t that what you do yourself? or was your answer restricted to assuming only techie options?

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  5. Professor, what would your advice be to a current 26 yr old to survive in my 50s? I think this fight against H1-B is not going to work. Programming is going to be pretty much an entry level job (it already is in most aspects). I think the flood-gates will be opened further and the profession in general will be a blue-collar job in the next 20-25yrs. Most people fighting against this will probably not even be alive then. I see two options to survive this onslaught:
    – Get an MBA. Move into management. However, to me as an engineer, I hate it more than life itself. Particularly the kind of people it attracts.
    – Found your own company.
    – Build deep expertise on an indispensable product and one of the big cos (like join the google search team, oracle db team, windows team etc).
    – Get a PhD and work towards tenure.

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    • If you want to have a long career as an engineer, build up the best network that you can, and constantly feed it. Move around a lot, and always watch out for coming calamities, e.g. layoffs. Don’t ever let an empty spot in your re’sume’ go beyond a couple of months.

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  6. and don’t ever become a contractor.
    Most of us seem to have been contractors rather than employees (the ones that have been hit the hardest)

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