IT Employment

Infographic: How long do you stay with a company?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 12 percent of Americans 16 years and older have been with their current employer for more than ten years. See how your career compares.

How long have you worked for your company? If you've reached the five-year mark, then you have already been with your employer longer than the average American stays with the same company. In this tough economy, tenure can be hard to reach. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 12 percent of Americans 16 years and older have been with their current employer for more than ten years. See how your professional career compares in the infographic provided by Rasmussen College below.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

34 comments
captainanalog
captainanalog

I confess, I stay with companies for too long. Unfortunately I stay with companies until they are no longer viable. I grew up with my parents' idea of one employer for life, you work hard, get promoted, give your life to the company, and the company provides for your retirement. What happened? You work, and the company provides for some stock-holder's lavish retirement. Loyalty, it does no good once your marketable skills have gone to Asia, and the geniuses in charge can't figure out another line of business. Maybe you go back to school, maybe you just find another job, either way you start at the bottom again. It does no good when some punk, fresh out of college will do your job for nothing. Never mind that it takes him twice as long for half the quality, working all those extra hours is seen as 'desire.' "You gotta want it!" Sadly the new norm is to change companies in order to advance. I hate looking for work!

mjd420nova
mjd420nova

The job you enjoy may have many overlooked drawbacks but are outweighed by benefits. I started on the ground floor and after twenty years, it was no longer fun. I took a generous retirement (before the days of 401K) that paid out immediately. I took the experience and formed a partnership that brought loads of clients and my own schedule. It still remains fun today another twenty five years later because I get to pick my clients. I have loaded a 401K to the max for me and my wife during that time. When you can save more than you spend, its hard to be discontent at your job but there are limits, some physical and some mental. Both capacities become less easy as the years pass but you have to know when to get out, pull the chute or whatever.

Barc777
Barc777

I'd really hate to be the 16-year-olds who'd been slaving away since they were 6....

velvetz11
velvetz11

An individuals choice with so many variables. You have to enjoy whatever it is you do in life. Including and especially your choice of employment. If you are unhappy in the work you do it will only shorten this life. Do what makes you happy, live long, and survive with the least amount of stress.

hhelle000
hhelle000

I'd like to know what the stats are on how many of these people leave to find another job/position elsewhere, over how many have been downsized or just laid off.

TBoneTerwilliger
TBoneTerwilliger

Toni, can you please educate yourself before you write these articles? Your summary is wrong. Everything you have written in this article is incorrect, and there isn't much to it.

etittle
etittle

I think it skews the report to count 16-18 year old for sure since they are always changing jobs. They are in high school for the most part. My sons worked 6 months in one then almost a year in another before going off to college. Granted some are not going to college, but as stated before 16-21 year olds are in a transitional state, it's when they are 21, sometimes older, (I am compromising age range for the many that do not progress anywhere from 16) they are for the most part in their job unless something better comes along or they have had enough of it and don't want to be there any longer

C-3PO
C-3PO

Where does IT fall in the longest and shortest list? What is the tenure for IT Technicians? What about CTO's and managers?

sdemaestri
sdemaestri

The Woman White is the best employeer of the world??? jajaja really "ETHNICITIES IN THE WORKPLACE" is a bad idea, maybe somepeople no think the same. then Black + Asian + Hispanic move the world!!! is a good news

doug
doug

They're changing jobs because it's the only way to get a significant raise. On top of that, IT people risk committing career suicide if they don't change jobs every 5 years or so. It's the only way to keep up with changing technology. Companies don't do training anymore, and when they start moving to a new technology or language they want some young fresh faced kid that they imagine is going to be better at it. IT people who work for the same company too long end up getting fired when the old technology they were experts in gets replaced, and then they're on the job market with hopelessly outdated skills.

Sensor Guy
Sensor Guy

Tenure nowadays is as much about how long an employer wants keep an employee than about how long an employee wants to stay working for an employer. Loyalty and tenure go both ways nowadays. Maybe you should rank average tenure for employers and by company, position and industry. I bet you'll find some surprises.

DilbertPCer
DilbertPCer

A pertinate question would be ....How long Government workers stay on their jobs ?? Or is there no turn-over ?? Then , should we listen to the violins of how they are underpaid ??

TsarNikky
TsarNikky

When employers treat their employees as commodities and expendable, such as common office copier paper, any wonder there is no loyalty or longevity? Missing from the chart is a category for "IT/software" in the "Shortest" side.

DilbertPCer
DilbertPCer

I was with one company for 14.5 years; but I didn't realize I was actually on the Titanic; as none of the ten ( 10 ) Vice-President's were bringing in any new business. When defence was cut at that time; it sank rapidly and now it is just a section in one company after being sold down the river about 5 times.

DilbertPCer
DilbertPCer

In today's climate of NoJobs; you have to stay with a company as long as possible; even if they are miss-using your talents !!

spitz93147
spitz93147

I am a strong advocate for absolute equality and also advocate healing the rift between the different ethnicities. Your graphic "Ethinicities in the Workplace" does nothing for either and can only continue to drive a wedge between people. I could just as easily ask where are the Native Amercians, Russian, German, etc?

gitmo
gitmo

and loving it.

Mike Guerdon
Mike Guerdon

I agree with dragosb, the 16-26 demographic should be left out of the equation, or at least 16-24. That is just ridiculous to include them in the stats.

thebaldguy
thebaldguy

I went to work for a snack cake manufacturer featuring a cute little red-headed girl as their trademark in 1987, went from electrician to IT geek, and designed intranet aplications that caused our location to surge above the rest of the company's manufacturing sites in terms of profitability and efficiency. Unfortunately, the CIO (degree in accounting) was bamboozled by a few developers with an agenda to go with a 100% VB.net shop, so I was unceremoniously cut loose after 24 years. Now, I've landed on with a smaller growing company doing web development, and should be set until retirement. My previous employer lost a lot of long-term employees due to questionable policy implementations like happened to me. Personally, I think the company has figured out that it's cheaper to dump the most faithful employees in favor of new ones with less vacation buildup, lower age demographics, and lower wages. The whole time I was there (especially after I became salaried) I heard how evil and destructive unions were. Sadly, so is putting incompetent buffoons in positions of making company-wide decisions.

jdubow
jdubow

If civil service, military, teaching, agriculture, and religious jobs are included then the average tenure at a private employer is probably shockingly low and getting lower. Are there any real jobs anymore?

noeldi
noeldi

It does not say: "...only 12 percent of Americans 16 years and older have been with their current employer for more than ten years." It says 12% stay between 10 to 14 years, another 6% for 15 to 19 years and additional 11% stay for more than 19 years. So it sums up to 12 + 6 + 11 = 29% of Americans 16 years and older that have been with their current employer for more than ten years. That's almost thrre times more!

dragosb
dragosb

I am sure that the segment between 16-26 years is 100% with less then 1o years with their current employer. So, what is the reason to count them?

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

A lot of women leave their education and / or career early to have kids and raise them. Thus, when they return to the work force as the youngest enters the school system, they often end up in lesser skilled and lower paid jobs. Because this means they don't have much of a career path and it's a secondary income, they tend to just stay in a job they find acceptable to them - thus a longer time in a lower paid job is common for this demographic. Those facts would go a long way to explain some of the tenure and salary level items shown.

clearmiddle
clearmiddle

For those that stay with a tech compay, 10 years seems to be about the right point at which to be dumped, replaced by younger people that are paid less. After a few of those cycles you are "too old" and are dumped for that reason instead (saves retirement costs).

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Surely you wrote a corrected article to post?

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

But, the Russians and the Germans are white, therefore they are the oppressors, don't you know. We must be constantly reminded of that. That's why they do it. I too, wish it would go away. I've never looked at anyone's ethnicity when dealing with them. I wish the powers that be could do the same. As for the Native Americans, my wife and my son were born in the USA (no pun intended) and are therefore native American. I was not.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Does America do that?

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

I don't work there. It just shows that they are a place where working is defiantly no in your interests. I haven't been in a union since my Uni Days when I was working as a Shop Assistant to get through the Undergrad Uni and Union Membership was compulsory. They had the Personal Manager [b]Management[/b] as the Shop Steward and that place found that acceptable. Sure they where not much better with Management deep inside the union but when you look at some of the current places after J Howard's Work Choices which are yet to be completely removed they where brilliant. Personally I don't know how they can treat their staff the way that they do and stay in business but somehow they manage. Col

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

with"child labor" in and of itself. I was 15 when I had my first job (at a convenience store). When we were stationed in Germany (father was US Army), we lived on a farm. I helped out with some of the farm chores voluntarily. It was good experience. I was 9-10 years old. Now, forcing 6-year-olds to slave away in a sweatshop, now that's wrong. As a rule, we in America don't do that as we have laws against it. Every once in awhile, someone is caught doing it and they are prosecuted. We all have to start somewhere and the fast food industry (that Deadly mentioned) and convenience stores and supermarkets are often a good first step. Besides, 16 isn't "child labor." At that age, kids should be thinking about jobs and careers. They can gain valuable experience (good and bad) at the places I mentioned. Now back to the topic: I was with my last employer for 12 years. I only quit so we could move out of California.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

I was a member but only because they took the money and it was sort of necessary if you wanted the Under Grad Degree. I wasn't involved with the student unions at all though I just ignored them though I did find it laughable how the Legal Students got so involved, not to mention the Political Parties at Uni best just avoid them all together. One place that I was conned into working is a big furniture place here where Unions are frowned upon. I watched as one guy picked up some cardboard to throw over some oil in the back of his ute and was created by the Police for stealing the contents of the Cardboard Box. Didn't matter that he was on Camera picking the box out of the rubbish he stole the contents and there was nothing that could be said that would be acceptable as far as the business was concerned he done it and they wanted him prosecuted. Another worker there had someone in management steal something from them and they where told to leave the premises. When they got into the Industrial Relations Court the Company a guy who wasn't on Site insisted that the person in question had quit and he couldn't understand why this action was being undertaken. Didn't matter that the Company Representative who was their witness didn't work at that site he knew it all. I'm just glad that I escaped that place all together it was a really Toxic Environment. Then there was the Super Store selling Non Microsoft Computers which went broke owing thousands to their contractors/workers. Sure that was Bad Management more than anything else but they drove a extremely bad bargain even if they paid you, it just was much worse when they didn't. I see professional organizations in the same light as Unions which they effectively are and there are good and bad in everything. As Mentioned above the Shop Assistances Union was a disaster where Management could do no wrong and the greedy workers where always wrong. I've seen way too many instances where the companies have screwed the workers over and I just firmly believe if they refuse to have Unions in the place then it's not a place I want to work or have my staff exposed to. Some may be great but I've yet to see any of them. ;) Col

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

was by the union in a closed shop. The AWU wanted me sacked in one job because I worked more efficiently than their union rep, and later in another industry where the union decided who got hired or not the pay rates were so bad I left a job I needed a special certificate for to work as a machinist in a factory for 25% more money. The union fees were compulsory and high, and what you get after that wasn't much at all, but they were virtually the management of the business and the union leadership got a cut if the profits as the union had shares in the business. Once I went to the union while a member in the APS and got told to get stuffed as I wasn't also a member of the ALP, so I quit the union. Either they support members or they don't, if they don't then I don't support them. I've had the bad luck to be in industries where the unions were fairly militant and so left wing they made Karl Marx seem conservative. The union management were more interested in pushing their communist / socialist agenda than what the members wanted or was good for them. The professional associations I've belonged to at time have been useful and good, and the one very small union I was in supported the members, but none of the big ones every did. And I'll leave all the crap the compulsory student unions did for another time. They were NOTHING like the voluntary ones that used to be around.

thebaldguy
thebaldguy

First off, all facilities are in right-to-work states (of course). Unions are allowed, just strongly discouraged. They sent me to a session with the slimiest lawyer you've ever seen in order to learn how to legally derail talk (I had no reports, not applicable to me). Anyhoo, this one granite-head was over the truck drivers. They had long been content, but he was such an a$$hole that they actually got a union up for a vote. It was only massive concessions from the top that defeated it. Granite-head was removed. Guess what? He was PROMOTED. Still there, just no longer in a position to be a jerk to hourlies. Now, he's just a jerk to salarieds. I was mad when they laid me off, but now I'm ***SO*** glad to be away from that cesspool.