This article is incredibly terse and uninformative. Why are older engineers having such a hard time? Are they keeping up with new technologies to remain competitive? What kind of engineering are we even talking about?
The problem of ageism is pretty well documented in engineering, especially software engineering.
I'm in my 40s, and I've been programming my entire career. I'm trying to get into management so as to extend my career into my 50s and 60s. The realities are that I likely won't be able to compete against kids 1/2 to 1/3 my age in the next 15 years, so I need to use my experience to my advantage.
To be fair, this post is just rehashing the point that the blogger (Lion of the Blogosphere, formerly known as HalfSigma) has been making for 5+ years now.
He's a Manhattan-based lawyer who really doesn't like software developers, and is constantly warning his readers not to let their kids major in computer science. He cites outsourcing, stagnating wages, lack of long-term career development, and perceived low status as reasons why one should stay away from most things in tech, especially anything that could be conflated with "programming" or "IT" by people outside the tech world.
Then again, he doesn't offer any real alternative advice. It's usually some variation of "be rich and work at a non-profit".
Your upper management is playing with fire if the candidates were over forty (at least in the U.S. -- other countries probably vary). That's just as illegal as turning them down because they happened to be female or black.
People never talk about age at work. They talk about "graduation date". If you work in recruiting, you have companies asking that question all the time, "What's his graduation date?"
I wonder if there could be a boom, especially with the online options, in mid-40s programmers getting graduate degrees so as to jam the signals. That's what I'll do if I end up facing age discrimination, so long as I can solve the money problem.
I doubt it's legal across Europe either. Then again, turning down applicants with foreign-sounding names is illegal also, yet statistically you'd have at least 10:1 chance of getting called for interview with "native" name.