I stayed at home after I got married, but at 25 years old I decided to study History. Now I've finished my BA, MA, PhD and postdoc. I've got several publications and I can say I have a very accomplished career, but I'm wondering if my age (now 40 years old) will affect me eventually. I'm Mexican and my husband is American-Belgian, and he asked me to decide where we should live, right now I'm looking for a job/postdoc and I do not know what is the best option. What do you think?

  • 4
    possible duplicate of Are old (>35) faculty candidates discriminated against all over the world?
    – Nobody
    Commented Jul 5, 2014 at 5:02
  • 4
    Shouting at people who you would like to give you a job would certainly matter. Please don't do it to us either. Commented Jul 5, 2014 at 5:12
  • Maybe you should narrow the scope of your question. A job in industry is not the same as a job in academia, and not the same as a post-doc. For example, a post-doc is usually a short-term contract so age should not matter. But in industry, all other things being equal, a company may prefer a younger candidate, since he may be more able to construct a career plan inside the company.
    – Taladris
    Commented Jul 5, 2014 at 5:58
  • FYI @dmckee refers to the use of ALL CAPS being interpreted as shouting. Commented Jul 5, 2014 at 10:38
  • History is a crowded field that will affect your competition globally, and to me that says you need more than what you've got, you probably need a few popular publications to get offers. This thought is not well-researched and doesn't directly address the question, however, so I'll refrain from making it an answer.
    – Aaron Hall
    Commented Jul 5, 2014 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


In principle, age discrimination is illegal in the US and various other countries in the world.

In practice, there are a lot of apparently legal ways to get around age discrimination (e.g. discriminating based on experience, work history) and I have heard of first-hand accounts of supposedly illegal discrimination at various institutions throughout the world. There are a number of employment lawyers who go around arguing these kinds of cases.

However, at least in the US, being good and well-known is an inoculation against much of this discrimination. Ultimately, if you are successful and active, at any age, you will be hirable.

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