Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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If you’re over 50 and looking for a tech job, you’ve no doubt run into the brick wall of age discrimination. These days, HR managers and recruiters will couch it under terms like you’re overqualified or you lack the up-to-date computer skills.


Employment ads will try to screen you out with words like “high energy” and “fast paced.” You’ve tried in vain to get around these tactics by omitting early jobs from your resume and leaving off college graduation dates. You begin to ask yourself if there are there any employers left out there who value your experience, maturity and business savvy.


Take heart. The AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 program thinks you have what it takes. Cosponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the program awards businesses and organizations that develop progressive policies and practices for today’s over-50 job seekers. 


Companies Cover a Wide Spectrum

This year, the National Institutes of Health ranked number one in the 2013 winners at the SHRM national conference in Chicago. The list of 50 winners covers health care, universities, financial services, construction, aerospace, and federal and county government. The companies include such major players as Scripps Health, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, S&T Bank and Michelin North America. In a statement accompanying the list, AARP noted, that boomers "will be increasingly crucial to the success of the U.S. economy over the coming decade."


Program’s Pledge Hopes to Go Viral

A key AARP program goal seeks to share the best practices of these forward thinking employers with the general business community and to enhance employment opportunities for boomers. Many employers on the list have taken AARP’s Work Reimagined Pledge, which says they will recruit from the full spectrum of age groups and consider all applicants on an equal basis. The program’s selection criteria includes:


  • Recruiting practices
  • Opportunities for training, education and career development
  • Workplace accommodations
  • Flexible scheduling, job-sharing and phased retirement
  • Employee health and pension benefits
  • Benefits for retirees


MIT Makes the List

If you thought tech employers are only fixated on the young, consider this: MIT has just received AARP’s "Best Employer for Workers Over 50" award—for the seventh time. Alison Alden, HR VP at MIT, applauds the award. “Our objective at MIT is to promote a workplace of inclusion that welcomes and supports people of varying backgrounds, different viewpoints, experience, talents and ideas—a multi-generational workforce is critical to achieve that outcome," said Alden.


U.S. Needs a Boomer Workforce

By 2016, one-third of the total U.S. workforce will be 50 or older, a 28 percent jump from 2007. The percentage of workers in their early 20s is projected to decline, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Attracting and retaining mature, experienced employees is becoming a major factor for employers looking to fill critical skill shortages and keep their competitive edge in today’s marketplace.


Tired of getting rejected for your age? Check out AARP’s Best Employers for Workers Over 50.


Image courtesy of photostock/


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  •  David Maya
    David Maya
    Although I agree with most of the article, I did have experiences even with a full recommendation from a personal friend of the owner of the firm, I was flatly rejected at 37 years as an Architect. You never what goes in a person's mind to reject someone.
  • Teresa K
    Teresa K
    62 and laid off the end of last year.  I do great on phone interviews, but once they see me, I'm done.  One guy's mouth literally dropped when he walked into the room.  Guess I sound young on the phone.
    I am over 50 I find this article to be very encouraging and hopful for job seekers in this age bracket.
  • Maunettia W
    Maunettia W
    I am looking for an Admin Assistant position. As soon as the temp agency looks at me the interview is virtually over. They won't even give me a chance.
  • Keith G
    Keith G
    In October I'll turn 50 so this article really hits home for me!  I'm in excellent health right now and feel strong with plenty of energy to still get up early, work out, work a full day, and go out after work to shop or see a movie or whatever... I just hate sitting still and I'm sure I'll get plenty of rest once I've left this wonderful planet!!!So I said that to say this... I'm currently working in the Information Technology field in Sunny San Diego which is certainly fast paced and challenging but I really like it.  I'm extremely motivated and hardworking always looking for more work during the day and better ways to accomplish the task at hand… I’ll have to give the credit to both of my parents on this one thankfully teaching me proper work etiquette in giving the employer what their paying for... a concept that seems to elude the younger crowd these days!  Bottom line is that today’s baby boomers come pre-loaded with plenty of energy and experience and in many ways can out-perform the younger upcoming workforce giving employer’s dedication, vast experience, and a stable mature employee that respects working hard and the fruits of their labor!
  • Jack J
    Jack J
    I liked the article because I wonder about age discrimination. I'm 64 so I suppose I should retire, but I want to continue to work and I'm working on new skills. I wonder if AARP can do something for me.
  • Gerald K
    Gerald K
    I'm 64 years old.  I agree with the article.  I've am current with most of the IT activity of today and have had some interviews.  You can almost tell when the interviewer sees you and assess your age that you are wasting your time.
  • James Y
    James Y
    I am 63 and lost my job because the Campus Provost was sleeping with a younger female and he took my position and gave it to her. I had all of the College rules on my side but folks remember that they have lawyers paid by your taxes to do nothing but be there to support such unfair treatment. All of my evaluations were in the top 20% and I was listed as the most outstanding employee in 2007/2008. If an organization wants your job they will find a way to take it and you can forget all of the rules they put up like they believe in employee rights.  If you do not have a union to stand up with their lawyers, then you cannot afford to take them to court.  I spent over $5,000 and got nothing from them because my lawyer would not fight them all the way to court and let a Judge decide. No company will hire anyone over 50 and that is a fact. I have been unemployed for more than a year and nothing has come through.  I have a Masters Degree with over 30 years of leadership and IT experience.  Employers only want a young person that will work for $7.00/hr.
  • LeAnn C
    LeAnn C
    I am 62 yr old and lost my job of nearly 14 yrs in 2008. I took unemployment for less than one year when it was offered.  I chose instead to go out and work for a temp agency that had temp to permanent positions.   I have gotten several interviews but still do not have a full time position even though I have 3 degrees, one of which is a Masters.   My last degree I obtained in 2012 in the IT field. I keep myself up to date in my fields. I believe we need to have more acceptance in the work place for mature employees who still have appropriate skill sets.  I would like to see a list of the companies who respect experience and the individual and don't look at at chronological age.  Thank you .
  • Gregg S
    Gregg S
    This article is so correct it is unfortunately for me, employers and others like me. Age is definitely a deterrent for me to find good work. I am 50 been out of work for almost 3 years. I was on the top of the field leading major IT projects my whole career. I have worked in the IT field since 1991. I have always been on the leading edge. I have much experience in most of IT functionality. With this knowledge I was able to break down many walls within the different areas of IT. I have come to the point were I would be willing to start at the bottom again and prove my skill level. Though I can not get past an HR department to do such. I still have much to offer an employer. I was released for my previous employer due to money. I made good money. They got rid of me and could afford 2, 3 more employees. I would have taken a cut I worked there for 14 years. I have also never been on unemployment till this all transpired. It is a crime!
  • Rebecca D
    Rebecca D
    I am a 60 year old woman in excellent health. I retired from the communications industry after 33 years as a technician. I have had 2 years off and I would like to return to the work force. I would be interested in something in the telecommunications field. I need to feel and stay active and engaged in meaningful work. What   would you recommend.
  • steve s
    steve s
    Where do you find this list on AARP;s website?
  •  Michael K
    Michael K
    This is an excellent and right-on article.  I am a 58 year old male that lost my sales job approximately (8) months ago.  I have (30) years of experience and cannot secure a good sales job.  I very much understand that age discrimination is alive and well. I never realized that front line corporate recruiters and company HR personnel knew so much about sales, I'm joking. I am  beginning to believe that I will never land a good paying job again.   
  • Carolynn Jean W
    Carolynn Jean W
    I am 76 years old, healthy, don't look my age, not wrinkled or overweight, dress appropriately, well groomed (grey hair never shows) don't need health benefits just need to work.  I am a widow, no dependants, have one married child and two grandchildren, live independently and have reliable transportation.  I am bored out of mind! Legal Secretary, solid work history, continually supported three to four attorneys at major firm, good references.  ANY ADVICE?
  • Kathleen S
    Kathleen S
    The job market is tough even for everyone right now. People tell what your not retired yet?  No I am not I am perfectly healthy and have 12 years left before I can draw a check.  Government wants us to work till we drop dead but employer's think we should retire.
  • Ron R.
    Ron R.
    I am 65, degreed, male and have specialized in manufacturing IT.  After 15 years with a company, my position was "eliminated".  Within  a week, a woman, 10 years younger, was doing my job.  My IT skills are current, but after two years of seeking work I've not had a single interview.  Age discrimination is rampant in the US, and illegal.  A couple of high profile, landmark case losses might wake up American business to their stupidity.
  • Candace L
    Candace L
    I think this is great for people of age. It's extremely hard for people of age to get a job now and it's not fair. I'm 47 and having a very hard time to find a job. I'm on the computer faithfully night and day putting in resumes no luck yet and it's going on 7 months now so this is great.
  • Paul Arthur H
    Paul Arthur H
    I am 61 years old with a MBA and plenty of IT experience and the IT recruiters are crap - they treat you like s@%$.  I hope I can get back to work soon due to my Senior Level experience and not classified as a technician.I hope to believe what you say is true on these so called great companies to work for because Banks like Citi, JP Morgan and Bank of America discriminate on the age thing.
  • Jon L R
    Jon L R
    Been looking for perm IT work since 08. Found only temp jobs. Funny how my work is praised by the employer yet no one wants you full time. For those looking for the list, click on the blue 2013 Winners in the article.
  • Gerald E
    Gerald E
    I am sixty five. I have over thirty five years of experience, yet the "HR types" just look at you (if you CAN get an interview) and come up with bogus excuses. Five times in the last three years I talked previously to the supervisor or manager I would have worked for, but the HR dept overruled them.
  • George B
    George B
    I think this is a great program.  Is there some sort of listing of employers that participate in this program that would be a guide for job seekers over 50 to look into.Thanks
    Thank you. Its nice to know someone cares about the over 50 as much as we do.
  •  Dwyane J
    Dwyane J
    I agree with this articular, it seems they value a degree over hands on experience! This explains why America is losing ground on everything! Our children all want to be actors, basketball players, ect. There is no respect for those who do real work! Remember Wall Street if computer tech's, electricians, garbagemen, construction workers do not build and create you would not have a job!! Workers make the world move not rich people!!
  • Sheila W
    Sheila W
    Very interesting but one would need training for some of those jobs if not already
  • Rodolfo R
    Rodolfo R
    A lot of companies lay off older workers when they reach a certain age and a certain wage; why, there is so much that the employee has done and can still do for the company and the rest of the people working there; support  ,teach/train, instruct, why because that laid off worker HAS THE EXPERIENCE; COMPANIES SEEM TO FORGET THAT these people can lead and support.

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