Downturn hits older tech workers hardest

IT pros who are over 55, especially women, face long-term joblessness. Cloud and healthcare expertise are pluses these days.

By Patrick Thibodeau and Sharon Machlis, Computerworld |  Career, age discrimination, IT career

Al Williams, a director of IT at Pennsylvania State University and vice president of independent IBM user group Share, said workers over 50 may concern corporate hiring managers because they might resist change and generally command higher salaries than younger people. "I think the biggest risk in IT is we tend to define ourselves with the technology we like, rather than aligning ourselves with the strategies the business needs ," said Williams.

Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of the Computing Technology Industry Association, said that older workers with specific skills, mostly in cloud computing and electronic health systems, are still in demand.

The age issue is likely to gain importance because of the sheer size of the baby boom generation -- people born between 1946 and 1964, who make up more than 25% of the U.S. population. A 2010 federal government study found that 60% of the IT workforce in 2008 was made up of people between 45 and 63 years of age.

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

Read more about management and careers in Computerworld's Management and Careers Topic Center.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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