4 ways non-millennials can flourish in IT jobs

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Though it may be difficult for older workers to find positions in the tech realm, CIO.com writer Sharon Florentine argues that anyone — regardless of gender, ethnicity, background and age — can find a job in IT.

Here are four ways non-millennials can boost their chances of thriving in the IT world.

1. Find continuing education opportunities. Through coding boot camps, community college courses, internships and job sharing programs, there are a myriad of ways to keep learning. Certifications from various platforms or organizations can also help boost a resume. "You should never stop learning," said James Stanger, senior director of product development at CompTIA. "And there are so many ways to do that now, that it's almost impossible not to find opportunities."

2. Network. Talking to and meeting with professionals in the industry is one way to get your foot in the door. Even a friend or colleague could help you meet professionals in the industry. One way to meet new people is to volunteer. "If you can, volunteer with organizations that let you work with colleagues, friends [and] acquaintances who have a different background [or] are of a different ethnicity, age, sex or gender, because it can really open your worldview as well as provide professional opportunities," said Tarsha McCormick, head of diversity and inclusion at ThoughtWorks, a technology consulting company.

3. Analyze a company's culture. While searching for an IT job, carefully assess how the organization approaches diversity. Check out its culture and take note of any programs or groups that specifically address diversity. For example, ThoughtWorks has "a women's networking group, an African-American networking group...these can provide great outlets and support structures for our employees at all ages, and helps to create safe spaces where concerns can be shared and issues brought up and addressed," said Ms. McCormick.

4. Become a thought leader. "It's really about connecting to the community of others," said Mr. Stanger. "Almost anyone, at any age, in IT can have the facts, but the benefits of age and experience are all about your perspective on the facts and being able to assert your opinion and your wisdom because you've been there, done that." Look for freelancing, blogging and speaking opportunities that can connect you to the wider IT world.

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