I am 30 years old. I have spent 4 yrs in undergrad, 2 in masters and 5 in PhD with half a year of work experience in between. I have just finished my PhD and will start with a postdoc position early next year. Considering I spend 2-3 years in a postdoc. By the time I apply for TT positions, I will be 33yo. I have heard that hiring committees prefer younger candidates (<30) than older ones. Considering I have a good application, should I be worried about the fact that I will be too old for applying for tenure track positions by the time I complete postdoc?

I would be applying for TT positions in India, Canada and US.

  • 1
    Your time spent seems fairly representative of those in my field. There is not a large pool of people with similar experience as yours who will be under 30.
    – Jon Custer
    Nov 1, 2019 at 14:01
  • That is when I thought people applied for TT positions. Nov 1, 2019 at 18:07
  • I wonder if the answer holds true if you add 10 years Nov 1, 2019 at 18:21
  • Most of my colleagues in Europe finished their PhDs in their late 20s, early 30s. Many are in their mid/late 30s and still don't have TT. If you feel too old for North America or India, try Europe.
    – user108403
    Nov 8, 2019 at 20:03

2 Answers 2


Hiring committees do care about how many years it’s been since you got your PhD, but they more-or-less don’t care at all about what happened before you received your PhD. I think you’ve misunderstood what people meant by “younger.” I took 7 years in grad school and it caused no issues whatsoever.


I think that most places would ignore your age. In some places age discrimination is frowned upon, and can be illegal, though usually for much older applicants. But frowned upon in any case.

The few places that might are acting foolishly since it is your accomplishments and likelihood of success that should be the determining factor.

If you are in a place where this is endemic, think about finding a better place, though that is disruptive, of course. My former spouse didn't finish her doctorate until she was about 40 and went on to a great career in the US.

  • 1
    +1, and I will add: at least in the US, your age will almost certainly not appear on the job application. Hiring departments won't ask, and they won't know.
    – academic
    Nov 1, 2019 at 14:24
  • @academic Unless you put it on your resume, anyway.
    – nick012000
    Nov 2, 2019 at 20:25

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