As a mature entrant to academe (an Open University degree at 31; PhD at 37), I too have experienced ageism (Letters, November 24).
When job hunting several years ago I was told by a head of department that I was unlikely to get a post because I had only latterly decided to become an academic. How could he be sure I would not change my mind once more and thus require the position to be filled again?
Seemingly, he wanted only those who had been indoctrinated into the academy from their teens. Luckily, I didn't get that job and have continued my late developer's career elsewhere.
Head of the department of politics and international relations.