IT Careers: Retire? How About Never

Bye-bye, nest egg. Late-career IT pros are retooling for an extended stay in the workforce.

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Sharp also feels a responsibility to keep up maintenance on the 75 production applications he supports. "If I left, they'd be hurting a little bit," he says. "It's their problem, but it's also my opportunity."

George Hanrahan, 59, director of information systems for the Spokane Transit Authority in Washington, is also in no hurry to leave his post. The recession has had no significant impact on his retirement plans, and as long as his health holds up, he sees himself spending perhaps another decade at this job, guiding the transit company as it adopts newer technologies like IP security cameras, IP phones, ERP systems and even social media.

"I enjoy the job enough to stay," he explains. "If I could craft what I want, I'd work this into a part-time position and stay until 68 or 69, assuming my health is good."

Recession or no, Hanrahan says he has the same end-of-career goals as most IT professionals -- success, and then closure: "I [hope to] see my vision put in place, hire my replacement and ride off into the sunset."

Stackpole, a frequent contributor to Computerworld, has reported on business and technology for more than 20 years.

This version of this story originally appeared in Computerworld's print edition. It's an edited version of an article that first ran on

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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