Skip to comments.Aging Workforce a Concern for US Tech Firms
Posted on 03/04/2006 5:29:59 PM PST by 2Jim_Brown
By 2010, nearly one in three workers in the United States will be older than 50, according to CompTIA. As the number of younger workers declines, attracting and retaining "experienced and reliable workers" will become a core business strategy for all employers.
The aging workforce is becoming a significant concern for technology employers in the U.S., where a third of employees will be aged 50 or older in just four years. Ten years ago, the story was the "graying of Japan," where aging workers were expected to be less productive in their golden years as well. By Gene Koprowski
(Excerpt) Read more at technewsworld.com ...
They don't like older workers? That's not very tolerant of Silicon Valley.
Older workers demand pay raises and more time to spend with their families. They've also "been there, done that" and don't generally allow their employers to take advantage of them.
That's inconvenient nowadays.
I am one of those (not in technology, though I tried once). I plan on working at high pay until they fit me for a blue vest and make me a Wal-Mart greeter. Until then I am working for my grandchildren, for some nice stuff, and for helping others.
it doesn't concern them at all. they will hire offshore workers to replace them, and attempt to lay off as many of the ones they have in their 50s, before their pension obligations increase. I see this every day at work.
42 here and been in the business for 20 years, I learned more in last 2 years than I have in the the last 5 years (technology changes), given that plus my 20 Years experience in what I do best, I am what US companies need and want. I would rather pay for 1 hard working USA person than 12 kids from another country.
That's inconvenient nowadays.
And coming right behind them is the Dot.Bomb generation, who fell for the Founders' Stock Option BS, as they worked 7 fourteen hour-days a week, chasing these VC fantasies, only to find that The Anointed were the ones to walk away with filled pockets when the scams collapsed.
If my generation was cynical, the next one is embittered at their abusive First Job Out Of College.
Considering the tech companies have pooped on their employees for so long, who cares about these companies, the industry is shot as it is.
I'd suggest that it's more than just the companies. The rest of society doesn't appreciate those involved in technology (lawyer rule). The gov't's approach has been downhill since Nixon started cutting back on technological research support at the University level. I wouldn't recommend a career in tech these days.
That's a generalization. With that in mind, older workers are NOT preoccupied with sowing their wild oats. Yes, they have been there and done that and not everything is about "Me...Me...Me." They may not let their employers take advantage of them, but do things willingly. The time they don't spend with personal cellphone calls, IM's, etc., make their higher wages a bargain. Oh, they've learned enough in life that they don't make generalizations. But for you, I've made an exception.
After proudly working 80 hr weeks for 5 years and realizing they haven't got much in return, they may decide it's time to change jobs and set about repeating the process.
By this point, they've found themselves dealing with at least one recession and if they haven't already been layed off, they consider themselves fortunate to have a job. When things get better and they ask for something in return for all their sacrifices, they then begin to realize things aren't going the way they want them to go with their second employer.
At this point, they try and find a third place to work. Perhaps they even decide to give contracting a try and at least be compensated for their massive overtime and sacrifice.
They get their third job out of college and continue giving it their all, sacrificing social life and many other things. By now, they are highly skilled in a narrowly defined area. They hear of new technologies that present major threats to their industry but because their employers provide no training along the way and because they've been working their @asses off ever since graduation, they haven't been able to keep current. By now, it's time for them to experience their second or third recession.
They probably got through their first recession ok since they were young and just the old "deadwood" was being cleaned out of their company. However, they now grow anxious as they realize striking similarities between themselves and those they considered to be "old deadwood" 10 or 15 years earlier. As supervisors now try to say things to them that 10-15 years previously they naively took to mean they were on a career fast track, they now react with indifference or even cynicism. At some point in the not too distant future, the corporate grim reaper will come for them. In the aftermath, they will do some serious soul searching to determine whether at the age of 40, they should continue or exit the profession, start over and find something else to do.
Don't believe it. Wait 'til you hit 50. "They" will be looking for any excuse to "move you out" because you are "too expensive" and "not up on current technology". Then they'll replace you with a new hire straight out of college.
I watched it happen to a vast number of highly qualfied chemists back in the early 1990's when the chemical companies de-emphasized R&D.
"I wouldn't recommend a career in tech these days."
After 20+ years in the biz, I wouldn't, either. I am about to leave the industry because it is all down hill from here; pay, respect, necessity, etc. I am at the top of the game right now and have skills second to none, but less and less are those skills needed by the lousy designs accepted by the industry and its users.
The performance of those who were fired was not a consideration, only their compensation. The HR bimbos wielding the axe were too stupid. It was just easier to reach their target by firing 20 people making $100,000 than 60 people making $30,000
Get the prima-donna disconnected CEO's out at the top and the useless HR bimbos out at the bottom and maybe I will be a little more optimistic.
no problem, my daughter will be out of her ($9000 yr) high school which see starts next year and well college thats what a second mortage if for, once she gets her education the rest doesnt matter. You see, an education they cant take away ever, no matter how fudged up this country gets, once you have an education its up to you to survive on it. As far as me, I can live off of macoroni and cheese and rice. I could live in a tent if I had to, my goal is above.
My husband isn't at the senior manager level, but he works in the tech industry.
Last year, he *finally* got hired into his company after working 2.5 years as a contractor. We also have a friend who got laid off from his job and is struggling to find another position in the industry. He's going from contract job to contract job because employers aren't interested in hiring someone in if they can get someone else to pay for the benefits. And they don't want to be locked into a person if it turns out that they aren't the right fit for the company.
I think that the idea of retaining employees is becoming a thing of the past. It's all about how to save a dollar.
You've got MAIL!
My "kids" are all over 18 now. I don't have the same distractions as younger people with school age or younger kids. Thirty years of experience allows me to solve problems very rapidly. I make a point of recruiting new members of the staff to learn those special skills so they will be able to take on that part of the workload in the future. The average college grad arrives with a little book learning and little practical experience. It takes time to develop that potential into a reliable core member of the organization.
Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.
Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.
It maybe a rare exception, but where I work it's almost the exact opposite. The older guys are always on the phone, or getting coffee, or smoking, or just yakking with each other. They won't do anything unless it will get them OT. Also, most of them seem very pre-occupied with the going pay rates at other jobs.
Like I said it might be an exception to the rule.
55 & I'm outta there...
Amazing how management suddenly bemoans the lack of workers AFTER it's outsourced they're jobs.
Hi-tech's real problem with older workers is not that there is too many of them, and that their retirement threatens the job pool: it's that they cost too damned much to keep employed. Especially when they get to be 40 or so and those pension payments start adding up.
Expect yet another H-1B bill to bring in younger Indians, Chinese and Russians, at poverty-rate salaries.
...Total of 25 years in Hi-Tech
Find that in a college grad.
That's if they can last the 5 years it can take to become vested in a company for matching 401k benefits and those extra earned vacation days which become a liability to the company when they have to lay people off.
No, they'd rather periodically dump and rehire employees rather than permitting them to establish a compensated history at the company.
Its a damn shame you can't fit that on a t-shirt.
The CEO of EchoStar waspublicly quoted as saying that he wanted turnover to prevent seniority and the pay that comes with it.
It's just like the NFL when they release veteran players to save money against the salary cap.
This is laughable. The high-tech firms spend the last 5 years offshoring our jobs, then they lament the shortage of high-tech workers????? If I were one of the lucky few in demand, I would extort these treasonous bastards until they screamed in pain. Then I'd take the money and open a B&B in Napa and tell them all to go to hell.
I can personally testify that EchoStar sucks ass.
Guess again. When your pension liability and ins. costs get too high, you'll be out of work.
Prepare to be a contractor. In about 5 years, that will be your only option.
We wouldn't have had this problem if the selfish baby boomers hadn't killed off most of mine and the following generations through abortion.
Translation: Wahhh. Give us more H1B visas. Or wages may have to go up.
Contracting does give people some options though. You can pack up and leave when you feel like it and you are less likely to have to play corporate political games. Need you to come in on the weekend? That will cost extra? Need me you to stay into the night? Well, they pay for that too. No more free overtime.
Agree with all your points. The organization I support has all chiefs and no indians and is totally dependent on contractors to produce anything resembling actual work products. Oh, and contractors also serve as convenient scape goats that provide management with an "escape hatch" should anything go wrong. I demand good pay for my servitude.
It depends on what kind of contracting you do. If you have a long term contract with one co., you are essentially an employee with no benefits and very little to say about work conditions (except what you explicitly wrote in the contract). You can't just leave. If you take short term contracts, you spend a lot of (unpaid) time selling yourself for the next job.
The games you have to play to keep the contracts coming are just as messy as the ones you have to play as an employee.
Young fat slobs wearing parachute pants that are unable to communicate in any spoken or written language should straighten up. And the ho's too.
Just between us (laugh), I know of a few guys that retired and run around as consultants once in a while between fishing, camping or whatever trips. These guys just want to pass on knowledge to someone else. And they WILL NOT go to a college to teach a course.
Sounds union. Very rare in high tech for there to be OT.
Why? By 2010, what work that remains that isn't being done by H1-Bs locally will be directly offshored to India.
I'm a design engineer in the aerospace industry.