People aged 50 and above (50+) accounted for 31% of the working age population in 2020 (those aged 16-64), 30% of those in work and 21% of the unemployed.
Of the 1.62m IT specialists based in the UK in 2020, just 22% (362,000) were aged 50 or above. If representation in IT were equal to the workforce 'norm', there would have been an additional 119,000 IT specialists in the UK aged 50 or above (or 480,000 in total).
Across the UK, representation of older people in IT positions was lowest in London, where just 16% were aged 50 and above during 2020.
Only around one in ten (10%) of web designers / developers were found to be aged 50 and above (over the 2016-20 period) whilst amongst IT Directors, more than one third (35%) were of in this age band (2020).
In 2020, there were estimated to be around 13,000 unemployed IT specialists in the UK aged 50 and over, equating to an unemployment rate of 3.4% - well above the rate for IT specialists aged 16-49 (2.2%).
Older IT specialist were more likely to be working on a self-employed basis than their younger counterparts (13% versus 9%) and were also more likely to be working part-time (9% versus 4%).
IT specialists aged 50+ were also much more likely than others to be working in micro business sites (22% compared with 12% of those in younger age groups during 2020).
The median hourly earnings for older IT specialists in 2019 was £24 per hour - 15% more than that for IT specialists as a whole.
Older IT specialists are notably more likely to hold ‘responsible positions’ - with almost half (47%) having managerial/supervisory status in their job (compared with 38% of younger IT specialists).
Older IT specialists are less likely to have an HE qualification and in 2020, only 66% of those aged 50 and had a qualification at this level compared with 72% of those aged 16-49.
Younger IT specialists are also much more likely to hold an IT degree than those aged 50 and above (8% versus 14% during 2020).
Older IT specialists are notably more likely to obtain employment through recruitment agencies and much less likely to do so via direct applications than their younger counterparts.