My point here is that you should have better chance in higher education. This is especially so if you have years of senior leadership experience in your field, had at least a Master's degree, and want to help the next generation by teaching what you know, and sharing your experiences. My secondary point is that ageism is real. I've experienced it first-hand. In one instance, sitting in a final face-to-face interview for a government agency, I was told a couple times that, and I quote, "You are over experienced for this position." The fact that I drove 10 hours to attend the interview, was interested in the position, and had all of the skills required to do the job, meant nothing.
In another instance, after another 10 hour drive to the final face-to-face interview, the exact words, which I heard three times from the hiring manager, were, "This is a developmental position." Once again, I was fully qualified, interested, and could have been a perfect candidate for the role. But that hiring manager, and the previous one, clearly wanted someone younger in their positions. Neither of these were teaching positions.
Age is less of an issue for adjunct instructors in higher education. In some cases, the experience you have had will help you get the position. Adjuncts are underpaid, but if you aren't in it for the money, the satisfaction of helping a new generation of professionals develop more than offsets the low pay. It is possible that an adjunct role could lead you to a full-time position. What you might find difficult, as I have, and where ageism may come into play, is when or if you apply for tenure track positions. While I haven't had the blatant comments like the ones above, I perceive the difficulty in getting hired into a tenure-track position due to my age as real, and I've basically stopped trying.
I like and enjoy my contract teaching roles. They have taken me to China, Singapore, Vietnam. I've taught for three schools in Buffalo, NY. Currently, I'm halfway through a one-year contract with the University of North Carolina in Asheville, a beautiful - and quirky - mountain city. If your professional career is over - if you aren't ready to settle too much - and if you like helping younger people develop -consider teaching in higher education. Here is a website with tips for older people who want to teach. It addresses the ageism issue directly in its recommendations.
From the Higher Education Recruitment Consortion: