by Meridith Levinson

Youth Comes Cheap

Jun 29, 20062 mins

The Baltimore Sun published an article yesterday about the prevalence of young workers moving into management positions a lot sooner than previous generations of workers.  The author, Hanah Cho, points to several Baltimore-based senior- and executive managers in their 20s (yes, in their 20s!)—including the 24-year-old CIO of Lightning Golf & Promotions—who are moving up the corporate ladder much faster than Buster Keaton in Cops.

The article attributes this trend to layoffs and buyouts pushing workers in their 20s and 30s into management positions, and to the fact that younger workers are better able to parlay their tech-savvy into positions of greater authority.  Personally, I think the author is missing the point on the true drivers of this trend.  Younger workers may be moving into management positions faster because of all the layoffs that have taken place across corporate America over the past four years, but that’s because the older (read: higher-paid) workers are the ones who are losing their jobs.  Managers are getting younger because youth comes cheap, and that’s the bottom line.

Although—here’s one other thought—I wonder if corporate America is beginning to get nervous about all the baby-boomers who are starting to retire in droves and is trying to fill that pipeline by promoting younger workers in order to give the youngsters the experiences they’ll need to fill the shoes of their parents and grandparents?  Whaddya think?

I promise, I’ll have regular announcements about CIO job changes tomorrow.