It should come as no surprise that millennials are taking over the workforce. After all, they had to grow up sometime.
However, there’s one industry in particular that this generation seems to be dominating and that’s the tech space.
According to a survey done by Indeed, millennials are currently making up 46% of employees working in the tech world. –Source
One of the reasons that the IT field is hiring younger may be that this generation has an exclusive set of skills and values that fit seamlessly with the needs and culture of the growing sector.
Because they’ve grown up with technology entrenched in their everyday lives, this younger generation has gained the moniker “digital natives.”
Between 1997 and 2007 the internet grew faster than could have been predicted. This growth led to a rapid integration of computer education in public schools, which in turn increased the average “basic” technology skill set in children and teens.
As this generation reached adulthood, they were uniquely equipped with a previously unprecedented “standard” knowledge with technology.
The ability to expand on their strong tech foundation and adapt to rapid developments in technology puts younger folks at a considerable advantage to excel in the IT field.
Another reason for the abundance of considerable young hiring ages in the IT world is the “millennial mindset.”
One of the characteristics of Gen Y is the importance of work with a purpose. This puts a great deal of value on taking pride not only of the work they do but the companies they do it for.
The trends in tech today such as artificial intelligence, advanced transportation services, and quantum processors are ones that are seen as our future.
Working for companies striving to advance these fields is a choice young people stand behind.Â Seeing themselves as part of the evolving world brings both purpose and pride to their work.
Filling the Need
Another reason the IT field is hiring younger employees is that there’s a clear need for innovation and new ways of thinking.
In a study done by Statista, the median age of employees at Google and Facebook are 30 or under. – Source
These tech giants are seeking innovation and fresh ideas they believe recent graduates can bring to the table. It seems it seems to be working too. They have not only quickly made themselves a household name but continue to be on the cutting edge of technology.
However, the same survey also shows that older tech companies such as Dell, IBM, and HP have a median employee age that skews older. Much to the dismay of older tech workers, this appears to be a trend they are actively trying to change.
It seems both longstanding and newer companies alike are trying to acquire young talent through tactics such as employer branding, a strategy that endeavors to recruit a target demographic.
Let’s dive into just a few reasons why young hires are the “belle of the ball” in the IT industry.
New Cultures, New Concerns
According to Patty McCord, a renowned startup consultant, the reason for younger hires in the IT field is simple. The emerging work culture trends have bred new concerns.
“Young companies often find themselves faced with brand new problems that require a great deal of trial and error to solve. Older ones focus on complex problems of scale that require experience.”- Source
This thought proposes that younger employees offer an approach to problem-solving that is more aligned with the way startups and other tech companies are running today. Approaches like these make young people an attractive hire over older candidates who may offer more experienced-based solutions.
Startups very much align themselves with the “new kid on the block” persona and often are comprised of fresh, young talent. Staying on the cutting edge with contemporary staff and ideas is how many startups become big-name companies.
However, despite big money floating around Silicon Valley, many tech startups simply don’t have the funds to accommodate salaries commensurate with veterans in the field.
These companies tend to attract younger hires with “non-traditional” benefits such as ownership equity shares or perks like flexible work schedules.
The Bottom Line
As technology continues to be a cornerstone of nearly every industry, having a strong understanding of IT surely gives one a leg up in our workforce.
While there are opportunities for people of all ages to contribute to our technology-based lifestyle, it does appear the tech field is becoming a young persons’ game.