At the time of writing, I’m a 52 year-old working in the fields of mathematics and data science. In mathematics, that makes me well-seasoned (and probably well-tenured, if I had chosen to continue in academia). In data science, some would consider me a dinosaur. In fact, many older people considering a career in data science might be put off by the thought that data science is tough to break into at a later age. But is that statement true? Should the over 50 crowd put down their textbooks and pick up their gardening tools?
Is Math a Young Person’s Game? Maybe
As far as the mathematics portion of my career, I didn’t become a mathematician until I was in my mid-thirties. Before that I dabbled with whatever venture brought in a few bob to feed the kids: computer operator, Ebay entrepreneur, aviation electrician. I was 36 when I decided to go back to school to get my master’s. If Alfred Adler is to be believed, my “mathematical life” had already long passed by the time I graduated.
Work rarely improves after the age of twenty-five or thirty. If little has been accomplished by then, little will ever be accomplished.
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