When 4 Generations of IT Collide

More than seven in 10 IT workers (73 percent) are under age 45 according to a study conducted by IT staffing firm TEKsystems. This age dynamic is likely to impact the way effective IT leaders manage their teams, especially as 60 percent of IT leaders expect to increase spending on IT projects over the next six months. To meet the demand increases for IT projects and the associated talent requirements of these undertakings, 81percent of IT leaders expect to increase or maintain their percentage of temporary workers in the 2Q 2010.

TEKsystems partners with the Inavero Institute to conduct its quarterly IT and Talent Survey. This quarter’s survey reflects the perspectives of nearly 1,000 CIOs and IT decision makers in the U.S. and Canada.

The survey reveals the four generations working side by side in today’s IT workforce, and the percentage of IT workers theses generations represent:

  • Silent Generation (born 1922 – 1946): 1%
  • Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964): 26%
  • Generation X (born 1964 – 1980): 52%
  • Millennials / Generation Y (born 1980 – 2000): 21%

Rapid changes in the workplace are effecting how these generations interact. “As organizations are downsizing, merging, acquiring and/or consolidating, they are also eliminating many middle management positions and moving toward flatter organizational structures with more limited upward mobility,” says Tania Lavin, TEKsystems Market Research Manager, in a prepared statement. “This trend, coupled with various technological drivers, results in situations where candidates from different generations increasingly compete for the same jobs.”

“When considering the strengths and weaknesses across generations, many IT leaders face a trade off,” adds TEKsystems Director of Technical Professional Programs, Michelle Webb. “In general terms, the more senior workers tend to offer a stronger understanding of the business, the customer and the organization’s political environment. However, given the speed at which IT changes, the younger generations can sometimes offer more technical expertise in the hottest new tools and technologies.”

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