Question about the Age

What do you think about the age?
I am 27 now i want to launch my carrier in current year as junior graphic designer/intership
Its worthy mention that i enrolled myself into university BA.
But…am i too old?
What do recruiters think about people who did not go to college after high school and did it now?

There’s a definite age bias in this field, but it doesn’t really kick in until, perhaps, people’s 40s. From that standpoint, 27 is still young. Where you might have problems is playing catchup. You’ll be competing for beginning jobs (and beginners’ wages) with those a few years younger. If you’re OK with this, I don’t see a big problem.

On the positive side, you’re old enough to have gained some life experience, which is to your advantage when competing against recent graduates who have never really entered the full-time job market up until that point.

As for recruiters, recent graduates aren’t typically recruited. Instead, it’s a matter of them searching and finding jobs. Keep in mind that there’s a huge oversupply of recent design graduates. The field is oversaturated, and I don’t see this changing within the next few years.


I am completely aware of that fact Sir, however what is worthy to mention is that many junior job position requires to work stationary in small village near to capital city or at least big city ( i live in poland ), is because i have been working in netherlands ( country MUCH richer than the poland is) i have quite a lot in my pocket hence i am willing to work for any money and in every location is this is possible. I think this is my advantage

Thanks Just-B you are always helpful

I’ve seen lots of very good design that’s come out of Poland. I don’t know what the job situation is, but there are apparently designers (and clients) who appreciate good work. It sounds like you have a good plan. Good luck!

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Of Course, please let me explain it all to You. As far as my working experience is concerned, I was primarily involved in working as a chef and gained a lot of work experience in that domain of industry. However, my goals became bigger after a certain period of time, thus I decided to move to The Netherlands and to save a lot of money, make proper investment and push my life forward. Finally, I feel I am ready to follow my true self and look for a work in the domain that I’ve been primarily interested all this time. Thus, I’ve been spending some decent free time reading and studying for it all these years. I find myself a reliable, friendly, motivated, passionate and creative person.

that was my plan to move, earn money, make investment, pay 3 years in advance for BA degree

Just one more thing before I’m done. All my comments to you about the relative value of degrees, experience, portfolios, and age were made from my experience in the United States and from what I know about Western Europe. If your plan is to return to Poland to work, you certainly have a much better understanding of the employment expectations there than I do.

There’s an age bias? In what way? Would you mind elaborating? I’m 39 (for a few more months); design has been a hobby of mine for many years (as well as a bit of freelancing here and there), but I finally decided to take a few classes at my local community college this past year… I’m not exactly sure why other than my desire to get past “amateur” level. I have a solid career in the medical field, but illustration and design are the things that make me excited about the future.

Hopefully I’m not too old to dip my toes in the water!

IMO, there is certainly an age bias. Many employers (once again IMO) seem to be more hesitant to hiring an older designer because they perceive them to be less current, less technologically up to date, less able to work within current “trends” and they generally are more expensive to hire due to their age/experience. Especially with it being a saturated market, there are hundreds or thousands of applicants for positions which gives hiring managers more options to hire someone who is less expensive and someone who they don’t perceive as being potentially “out of date” or out of touch.

None of those biases are generally true of course.

I will say it is not necessarily an insurmountable obstacle, but it is good to be aware of. Once again, that is just my 2 cents.

On a side note, getting hired right out of school is also challenging because most employers want people with enough experience so that they can be confident in that person’s ability to properly create final deliverables in order to avoid costly mistakes or deliverables that don’t work properly (especially with apps, web technologies, digital experiences, etc. but also with print deliverables not being properly created to spec.)

Once gain, not trying to discourage. If you truly want to pursue design as a career it will take a lot of work in an oversaturated field to potentially succeed.

You mentioned illustration though as well, which IMO has less of an age bias.

@CraigB’s explanation matches up with my own. Here’s an article going into more detail, but a Google search on ageism in advertising and design turns up much more.

As CraigB suggested, illustrators don’t seem to run into this unwarranted bias, but if there’s one field more saturated than design, it is illustration.

My wife was a very talented and successful illustrator for over 20 years at a large metro newspaper. When the newspaper began laying off its staff due to the overall decline of newspapers, she could not find work. Not only could she not find a job, but she also couldn’t find any companies even hiring illustrators other than for one-off freelance projects. She finally ended up going back to school to get her Master’s in social work.

Interesting. Thanks, both of you, for the heads up. This is the first I’d heard of anything like this. I’ll definitely do more research and make decisions accordingly.

I never expected to take a few classes at a community college and end up in a Disney studio next week, of course, but I guess a small part of me hoped I could eventually run a profitable side gig.

I suppose this isn’t as much of a problem for freelance folks. I’ve been down that road, though, and it certainly isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In my experience, it’s way more about business than design. Otherwise you end up with few or no clients who actually respect the value of designers’ work… or many clients who don’t (that is, aren’t willing to pay what your services are worth).

Kind of went off track there, but again, thanks for the heads up. It’s good to be armored with information before you get burned.

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