The expertise sunset

Dec. 23, 2020

For the third consecutive year we’re gathering compensation information from professionals in the information and communications technology (ICT). We call it our “salary” survey, but we collect information about compensation in all forms—salary, hourly wage, bonuses and other forms of compensation. The survey is ongoing now, and in early 2021 we’ll have results to report to you.

More than half the professionals who completed our survey last year are over the age of 50. As a person who falls into that age demographic, I can chuckle about the AARP membership applications showing up in the mail. It’s called AARP because it used to stand for American Association of Retired People. But it no longer brands itself as such, instead describing itself as an interest group for those 50 years of age or older. And in reality, many of us in our early 50s don’t see retirement in the short or medium term. It’s a much longer way off. Looking again at our survey results, about 20% of respondents are 60 or older. Depending on whether twists of fate worked out for better or for worse over these professionals’ careers, many may be looking forward to retirement soon. These hard-working, experienced professionals certainly deserve an enjoyable retirement, and I hope that’s what they’re all able to experience.

What I don’t want, though, is for their expertise to retire with them. I’ve written in this space about the importance of recruiting a new generation of professionals to our trade. Pandemic notwithstanding, many construction trades face the same challenge—convincing young professionals that this profession provides a promising career path, and recruiting them into it.

Thankfully, efforts are underway on many fronts, from many individuals, to do just this. By naming just a few I know I’ll miss many, but I want to take this opportunity to give kudos to people like Randal Reusser of Gateway Technical College, David Cranmer of Ventoux Learning Network, and Dave Sanders of BEI Construction, each of whom does praiseworthy work for the entire industry by educating a new generation of ICT professional.

As a 50-something, I often hear the Elton John song “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” on the oldies station I listen to. It always reminds me to be grateful for the efforts of Randal, David, Dave, and many others who aren’t letting the sun set on the trade that we call our own.

Editor’s note: Many of you receive our magazine not as a printed periodical, but as a digital file delivered to your email in-box. For many of you, that means you see it on your phone. To the many of you who read us in this way, I hope and trust you’ll enjoy the format we’ve rolled out with this issue. Our new responsive design doesn’t require you to flip pages in order to read an entire article. Rather, you can use the familiar scroll to see our articles in their entirety. We’ve implemented this design to make it easier for you to access our magazine and its articles. Again, I hope you enjoy it. Please let me know that you think.        

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