Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tech Republic offers white paper on older v younger IT workers

Subscribers to the Tech Republic newsletters can get a PDF file (free) about the cultural conflicts within information technology between older and younger workers. The paper suggests that spot shortages in legacy skills like COBOL are increasing outside of major cities as older programmers leave the market in the wake of the 2002 crash. The paper also suggests that older workers often are better at "connecting the dots" and seeing unwarranted business or legal risks in certain ways of doing things--"know the damage that you can do."

The paper can be accessed here.

The paper is from Forrester Research and it is titled "CIOs: Avoid War Between IT's Twentysomethings and More Mature Workers.: This is not legally driven or concerned with age discrimination laws; it is more concerned with business productivity. However, in my opinion, discrimination laws may have driven the extreme specificity of job requirements for many contracts, especially with state governments for MMIS and welfare department IT contracts. That is because if the laundry list of a position is detailed and specific, and if you fill the position with the closest match (regardless of any characteristics of the job applicant), the theory goes that you are legally safer from any kind of employment litigation. However, in practice some skills are more likely to be held by applicants within a given age range, and this would make one wonder about possible disparate impact claims.

To view the content you will need a Tech Republic subscription.

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