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Re: PhD in Accounting Profile Evaluation. Over 40
I'm not in Accounting, but I was also worried about my age when I applied (I'm 46 now). After I started my PhD, I met a lot students who are over 40, including people in Accounting.
So, I don't think that age by itself is an issue. It's just that your age might raise different questions, about your motivations and skills.
For example, it's just natural that people would wonder why you decided to do a PhD now. Ok, you mentioned love of research, and leaving the comfort zone, and that's great. But that still does not explain why that love of research and desire to leave the comfort zone didn't happen a decade ago. Like, if you love research that much, you probably should have started doing that a long time ago, right?
In my case, it was only after a long career that I started to get jobs where I could really be close to top executives of big companies, and see the challenges they faced. A lot of money being wasted because they didn't know what they were doing (as a consequence, I also didn't know what I was doing). Then I started to think about ways to find answers when nobody seems to know the right answer. This kind of motivation wouldn't make sense if I were younger, as it required some experience close to the top of the company (not something one usually gets fresh out of undergrad).
Also, the last time I had to deal with things like matrices and derivatives in calculus was 20 years ago. So, again I think it's natural that people would wonder if I'm prepared for that kind of thing (that would probably be less of a concern if I were younger).
So, as long as you can convince them about your motivation and skills, I don't think age will be a "major concern" as you put it. Motivation is a major concern, skills and competence are major concerns. Not age itself, although age is expected to influence motivation and skills. And maybe it's good to remember that younger applicants also have their own challenges. Age also has its advantages.