Monday, April 25, 2011

Which is better for employment: youth or experience?

Jason Hiner has been writing excellent posts lately. His latest post, Is youth or experience more valuable for working in IT, is very interesting. The article is not very long, but does raise a good question of whether youth or experience reigning supreme in the Information Technology field. Jason makes two points that don't seem to answer the question. 

1. Younger workers are cheaper, willing to work longer hours, and aren't settled specifically in one skill-set.
2. Older workers know how to get things done, been through multiple platform transitions, and can complete projects and "disasters" more efficiently due to experience. 

In point 1 Hiner says that younger workers are sought for those reasons, but then he goes on to say in point 2 that older workers are preferred for said reasons. So which is better? Youth or experience? Hiner left the question open for the reader to vote and give his/her reason for the vote. I voted experience because of the reasons that Hiner gave for older workers being preferred. I think youth will get you in the door for entry-level positions such as Help Desk, support technician, or network technician, but not higher end positions, e.g., network engineer. Lower end positions cater to youth because those positions don't need years of experience. Those positions, to me, seem to be made for training. 

A young man or woman could have the degree for a high-end position, but with no experience, their chances of getting the job are slim to none. If I were a hiring manager I would like to see experience and the degree on the applicant's resume for a high-end job. For a low-end job, a degree would be sufficient because the cost is minimal for a low-end job. 

Read Jason Hiner's article here.

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