Unlocking Tech Careers: Transferable Skills for Older Workers 

May 2, 2024

For older workers, non-technical skills gained through work and life can transfer to tech-based roles.

The National Skills Coalition reports that workers with at least one digital skill can earn 23% more than those without, and transitioning to a role requiring at least three digital skills can increase pay by 45%.

Finding your way in a youth-dominated industry as an older worker without tech experience can be intimidating, but many of the skills acquired over a lifetime are highly transferable and valuable in the tech sector.

Let’s explore the transferable skills that older workers bring to the technical field and some examples of entry-level, high-demand roles to look into.

1 / Adaptability and lifelong learning

The constantly changing nature of technology requires continuous learning. But older workers face the persistent myth that they are unwilling and unable to learn new skills.

Show yourself as a strong candidate by citing examples of your adaptability and eagerness to learn—whether it’s transitioning to civilian life after military service, navigating multiple career changes or learning specialized caretaking skills.

Communication, problem-solving, adaptability and leadership skills are in high demand in tech.

2/ Communication and interpersonal skills

Technical roles communicate complex information across departments, clients and customers. Your ability to convey ideas clearly and build relationships is highly transferable.

Focus on “soft skills” such as collaboration, leadership and teamwork, all of which are critical in tech. Older adults may have developed these interpersonal skills through military service, volunteer work or community involvement.

3 / Problem-solving and critical thinking

Whether it’s troubleshooting equipment, managing household finances on a tight budget or navigating complex social dynamics, non-technical life experience requires thinking on your feet. These problem-solving skills take time and experience to develop and are directly applicable to a fast-paced, innovative tech environment.

4/ Leadership

The tech world needs leaders who can inspire people and organize projects. You don’t have to have managerial or executive experience to have leadership skills. Volunteer work, collaborating in clubs, organizing events and advocating for people in your care all require leadership abilities.

Entry-level, high-demand jobs in tech

While it’s true that you will need additional training to succeed in a tech role, it’s a myth that you need complex coding skills or an engineering degree.

Some examples of tech roles for older workers transitioning to the industry:

Helpdesk/technical support

These roles help users troubleshoot issues with software, hardware or other technical systems. While some technical knowledge is necessary, many companies provide training.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts computer support specialist employment will grow 5% from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations.

Data entry

If you’re detail-oriented and have basic computer literacy, data entry jobs serve as an accessible pathway to enter tech. Data entry roles span across industries as well, from finance and medical to local government and retail.

As noted by the BLS, despite declining employment, about 154,100 openings for information clerks are projected each year over the decade.

Customer service

Even in the age of bots and AI, customer service is always in demand and doesn’t require an advanced degree or years of experience to succeed. With some work-from-home options and on-the-job training, customer service roles can be attractive to older workers.

Through 2032, 373,400 openings for customer service representatives are expected to be created each year.


If you’re an older adult changing careers or re-entering the workforce, the tech sector offers a plethora of benefits such as better pay, mobility and flexibility. Older workers may not always have technical experience, but their life experience is in high demand. By focusing on transferable skills such as adaptability, leadership and communication, older workers can unlock new careers in the thriving tech industry.