Currently, I am applying for PhD positions at United States and Canadian Universities. I will be 35 when I start my PhD in Computer Science/Machine Learning, and probably I will finish it around the age of 40.

Will I be banished from academic positions considering a possible PostDoc time and what about industry positions ? Should I plan my study towards industry or academia from the research perspective ?

  • 3
    Here's an example of a very successful researcher who started her PhD at 38: informatik.uni-trier.de/~ley/pers/hd/s/Sagot:Marie=France.html Jun 2, 2013 at 8:07
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    A colleague of mine who recently retired earned her Ph.D. at 50 and went on to an academic career, so the answer is "you are not too old". However, this is a duplicate of the question @earthling linked.
    – Ben Norris
    Jun 2, 2013 at 17:25
  • @BenNorris In which field is your colleague if I may ask?
    – sequence
    Apr 25, 2017 at 18:28
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    @sequence - chemistry
    – Ben Norris
    Apr 25, 2017 at 18:41

2 Answers 2



Age discrimination is illegal in the US and (I assume) Canada. If you're worried, just don't put your date of birth on your CV. Most people don't.

Hiring committees just don't care how old you are. All that matters is the quality and impact of your research.


I doubt you'll get banished, then again, I am in the same boat - though I'll be finishing my PhD by the time I am 37. Though, I think it will be a bit harder for us, but not terribly so.

Look at it this way, I presume you have alot more practical workplace experience, that will be to your benefit.

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