Boomers in IT: Will the Talent Shortage Affect Techies?

Between 2010 and 2025, an estimated 77 million baby boomers will exit the U.S. workforce, as those Americans born between the years 1946 and 1965 will begin to retire in droves.

“There is a fear, widespread amongst IT management, that there will not be enough skilled workers available to replace the boomers,” said Edward Gordon, author of 2010 Meltdown: Solving the Impending Jobs Crisis.

What is behind this fear? The fact is that the mass numbers of retiring IT professionals represent only half of the supply problem. Recent data suggests there is simply not enough young skilled IT talent available to fill the gap. According to Cisco, the number of students seeking computer science or IT degrees has dropped by roughly 40 percent during the past three years.

Gordon estimates this combination of massive numbers of IT workers leaving and fewer young people trained to enter the field will result in between 500,000 and 1 million IT jobs becoming vacant between 2010 and 2020.

Why are young people not considering careers in technology as much as they did before the dot-com bust in 2001? Because, according to Gordon, “their parents are telling them, ‘Don’t get into this.’ They are telling their kids to seek more professional degrees like law and medicine.”

Parents are steering their kids clear of technical education because of the outdated notion that IT jobs are all being sent overseas, despite the most recent data suggesting otherwise: According to a September 2006 study by the Society for…


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