Study on the Money for IT Freelancers: Age Discrimination in the Fees?


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The fees for IT freelancers seem to rise a little each year, depending not only on the economy, but also on the age of the specialist. An exciting topic because the development is an important indicator for other sectors and professional groups.

Study on the Money for IT Freelancers: Age Discrimination in the Fees? apply-from-45


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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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Criticism of the analysis

Vorneweg: The survey values ​​do not necessarily reflect what the freelancers get. The basis for the analysis is the hourly rate requirements, the IT / engineering self-employed persons entered into the GULP profiled database via 85.000 in your profile.

It is evaluated as what people would like to have - not what they actually get afterwards. It may be assumed that in reality this value is about lower - everyone is more beautiful than he is. The annual GULP hourly rate evaluation also includes only those freelancer profiles that have been updated in the last six months. This time 26.300 profiles.

However, since GULP is the most important Internet job exchange for IT freelancers and, in addition, the data collected every year in August, the results of the study can be seen as a guideline for the current development on the market. And in this context the results are also a signal for other industries.

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Fee depends on the age

Because this is about age. GULP has looked at the age distribution in the fees more. And interesting facts: The fees of the IT specialists are not only related to the economy, but also depend on their age.

Although more experience does not necessarily mean more fees, because their highest hourly rates have been achieved by IT / engineering freelancers from the age of 40 to 50 years. They then demand with 78 Euro as much as no other age group.

Five years ago a freelancer, who is 45 years old today, demanded 74 Euro, at the age of 35 years were 71 Euro. The fee for the age group in question therefore rose by EUR 7.

Young talent is demanding more

But the "youngsters" also want to earn more today: In August 2013, IT engineering freelancers at the age of 35 claim 74 euros, which is (only) four euros less than their 45-year-old colleagues.

The 25-years freelancers are separated from the 40-years 15 years and currently 16 Euro (hour requirement with 25 years: 62 Euro, with 40 years: 78 Euro). In these 15 years of life, the hourly rate rises sharply.

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From 50 the fees will be deducted

The 60-year freelancers separate the 45 years from 15 years - but only three euros. The hourly rate decreases slightly with increasing age beyond the 50 years - but by far not as much as it has increased in the years before. Is this already age discrimination?

One can only speculate on the question of why older people demand less again: Obviously, this is also shown by various discussions Best of HR – Berufebilder.de®, they tend to trust them less because they just believe that starting with 50 + you would not be part of the new developments.

The results are age-spreading

Across all age groups, the result looks like this: On average, GULP registered IT / engineering freelancers claim an hourly rate of 2013 Euro per hour in August 75.

This is a new peak that continues the trend of recent years. In the year 2009, the average fees for freelancers had to accept a slight setback as a result of the crisis. They decreased from 71 to 70 Euro. Since this short backward step, it has been steadily increasing year after year.

Update: Yesterday, my multi-faceted contribution to age discrimination on fees showed how important our readers are to this topic. The question is always the question: are older workers in the labor market still in demand or do you have difficulties finding a job?

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No - but with restrictions!

The GULP survey among IT freelancers had shown that these from the 50. A slightly lower fee. Since such studies also represent a trend for other sectors, this could indicate that specialists from 50 are less in demand on the labor market. Is that so?

No - but with some restrictions the answer could be - at least if you follow the members of the Careerexperts.com network. When asked “Is it harder for applicants over 45 to get a job?” of 55 coaches and consultants, 45 (approx. 80%) answered with “no” and only eleven with “yes” or “yes and no”.

Where does the discrepancy come from?

How does this discrepancy come about, which contradicts the results of the GULP study and also the popular opinions of applicants? Looking more closely at the answers reveals that the qualification must correlate with the age of the applicants.

All interviewed experts believe that the profile of the candidate is crucial. Older applicants in particular could hardly compete for jobs that demanded only a minimum of qualifications and experience. An example of this is called network founder and Best of HR – Berufebilder.de®-Author Svenja Hofert: “If an office worker is only supposed to create presentations and simple Excel spreadsheets, the 50-year-old experienced secretary cannot compete with the newly trained office clerk, especially if she has poor computer skills. On the other hand, when it comes to meeting customers at eye level, de-escalating conflicts or managing processes professionally, experience-based knowledge comes into play much more. "

What are the benefits of older workers?

Some of the experts see 45 applicants even clearly in the advantage over younger job seekers - such as career consultant and management consultant Günter Flott: “Matured enough to have developed routine and methodology from which the graduate is still years away and not too old to start with a new one Company to be able to really start again. 45-year-olds are people in their prime years of work. ” He also sets the simple rule: if only a low qualification is required and personal abilities are not important, younger people score - also because of their usually lower expectations of salary. If, on the other hand, experience, industry knowledge and personal strength are required, older people have an advantage.

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Job hunting problems - often homemade?

The problems that job seekers at the appropriate age still find in the job search, are often homemade in the opinion of experts: Often it is because older applicants do not have the qualifications that are now standard, such as the computer and language skills.

They are also not accustomed to undergo further training annually, which is quite normal in the Scandinavian countries. Furthermore, older applicants often chose the wrong vacancies and would then have to compete with younger applicants because little experience was required.

Other focuses in the IT area

Perhaps this is also an explanation for the discrepancy to the GULP survey: Especially in the IT sector it depends on technical know-how and speed like no other. Perhaps, in some cases, keeping pace with progress is no longer thought possible for older workers?

What older applicants can do about it - we will publish some tips in the coming week.

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  1. MAyKay

    Also interesting to read that experience does not pay off. Where the hourly rates m. E. as far as are ok. On average, I demand much less :). But that's another .

    • Simone Janson

      I would not conclude from a general study that experience does not pay off. Rather, it depends on how one uses his experience: If one is not developed, for example, in the IT area, the experiences are quite soon.

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