Technology, the economy and the job market are certain to be highly impacted when a complete generation or workers move into another decade and eventually move out of the workforce. The foundation of high tech is often identifiable by millions of “baby boomers” — the generation of people that were born just after World War II, between the years 1946 and 1964. More babies were born during this period than any other time in history. These people are today between the ages of 56 and 74, many of whom are already retiring or are set to retire over the next few decades. As organizations prepare for the impact of these departures, the numbers are important.
Baby Boomers in 2020
It is interesting to note that many high-tech solutions were developed that changed the way people live and work worldwide as a result of baby boomers in their prime years. Many were instrumental in the global transition to personal computers, improved operating systems, and the Internet. In a review of baby boomer facts and figures by Pew Research as well as the US Census Bureau, some enlightening realizations are revealed that will play out in many ways over the coming years. Did you know:
- Baby boomers today account for approximately 73 million people (or over 21% of the population)
- Over 1/3 of the workforce (about 41 million workers) are from the baby boom generation
- Nearly 10,000-12,000 boomer era people will retire daily over the next 10 years, with all baby boomers reaching retirement age by 2031
- More and more older-aged Americans are working longer than in any previous decade
- Baby boomers are regularly impacting labor markets by remaining in the workforce in jobs that might potentially be filled by the next generation
- Baby boomers hold large amounts of the wealth in North America
- As baby boomers age and gravitate toward retirement, they are shown to have shaped the focus of many companies and amazing breakthroughs in new technology
- People in the ages of the baby boomer generation are shown to now live longer than any generation before theirs
The nation and the world’s 56-74 year olds have made a significant contribution to society over the past 30 years. The high-tech contributions that evolved during the dot-com bubble in the 1990s in which the Internet was adopted is a fine example. Even today, many of these savvy retirees have boosted the economy in terms of anti-aging products, upscale senior living options, health care investments, and advancing technologies in the health industry.
New Generations or Workers
Generation Xers were born between 1965 and 1980 (after baby boomers but before the millennials) and make up about 53 million US workers. There are currently over 35% Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) that make up the largest generation in the US labor force (Pew Research). Generation Z was born 1997 to the present, of which 61 million are in the workforce. Generation Alpha includes those born after 2010. The numbers in the workforce for of these generations will certainly grow as more and more baby boomer era workers actually retire. While expectations are high for new generations of workers, it is difficult to predict all of the impacts. Studies show a number of expectations.
The Impact or Retiring Boomers
As college graduates migrate into the tech space to work with boomers and ultimately replace them in the workforce, there is much to consider as to the impact of this significant shift. Some studies already show a drop in business productivity when baby boomers retire based on a loss of in-house intelligence. In other cases, it is expected that social, economical and workforce systems will all be impacted. Below are some thoughts on the impact to high-tech organizations as a result of the transition of millions of baby boomers over the next decade.
- Lost talent and experience inside IT organizations
- Existing deficit in college graduates for IT roles such as data analytics experts, coders and security experts
- Lost productivity as new hires are trained to replace the long-standing staff members
- Difficulty in finding strong mathematical minds with studies showing US students have difficulties passing math
- Battle between the generations as they work together to find the ultimate solutions to meet new technology demands
According to an article on the Monster.com career platform, “The tech talent gap is even larger than you thought. Over 1,500 chief information officers agree there’s a deficit, which means massive demand for those with the right skills.” While some technology challenges increase as baby boomers retire, it is also an era of advancing technologies that will demand a different method of thinking and processing. It is an exciting time for technology, and the future is certain to be fascinating.
Whether you are a retiring baby boomer or a budding Gen X or Gen Y, it’s a great time to ensure current technology for your environment. Managed services are today more popular than ever before, and RackCo can help you make certain you are ready for the future, whatever it holds.