Why IT Workers Leave Their Jobs

Why IT Workers Leave Their Jobs
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According to research conducted by recruitment agency Greythorn, almost half of Australian tech workers are actively seeking for new jobs while another 40% are prepared to consider a change for the right offer. And they’re saying lack of training and career development are major drivers. This is unsurprising when you consider that more and more roles are now contracted rather than permanent so employers can offload the need to deliver career advancement and skill development to individuals rather than doing it themselves.

Its important to note that Greythorn’s research is likely to come from people they deal with – and that means they are focussed on job-seekers. So, their sample of respondents is probably not all that random. But there are some insights worth considering.

For example, only a quarter of IT workers report being ‘very engaged’ in their current role while lack of development and poor culture are the two primary reasons workers give for leaving their employer. Half said there was either no opportunity for career development in their current role and almost 25% report never having participated in employer supported training with almost a third receiving no training over the last year.

With IT skills in high demand, the best way to deal with recruitment is to avoid it. Spending a couple of thousand dollars on staff development is far less expensive than using a recruitment agency to fill a vacancy.

Are you looking at a new role? What are the drivers for leaving your current employer? Does Greythorn’s research ring true to you?


  • Having the whole company rely on your skills, the business stops functioning when the email, phones, internet or networking/servers fail for more than 60 seconds. Yet a “social media person” gets paid more than me. A execs assistant or B.S “tele” type jobs or administration people gets more than me.

    Long hours, I’m in 30min-1hr before everyone else, 30min-1hr-2hr after everyone leaves.

    Work over Christmas holidays.

    On call over weekends.

    No training, ever. Yet expected to already know ever IT system ever.

    High stress with nothing to help deal/live with it.

    Exploitative job agencies (like Chandler, Hayes, etc)

    Thats just the start. At most I last a few years before moving on. average 6 months.

  • Worked in many IT jobs over the years. In the last 1-2 years of my last role I was reduced to simply a password resetter. Any other IT work required prior approval, via email, from an IT manager, which rarely happened within a 24 hour period. Way too much red tape. The work was then given to overpaid IT contractors because it was outside the 24 hour time period (crazy I know.) I was paid very well to sit there and reset the 1-2 passwords a day. This was all approved by the upper management. I kept their systems running flawlessly for over twelve years. After a few months of social media, I knew my career would never improve and I’d lose my IT skills. Bye bye to good money, and onto more interesting work.

  • Been in IT a while. Here’s a few. Loyalty isn’t a thing anymore; if I can get a better deal elsewhere, why wouldn’t I leave?

    In regards to training; most companies have a variation of the following which they tout.
    70% on the job
    20% in house training / training tools
    10% external courses

    It generally ends up being:
    70% “oh fuck, they’ve implemented this and now the I’m getting support tickets” It’s not like you actually get time to learn about these things.
    20% OHS training, IT security basics (don’t plug in random thumb drives!) and corporate compliance. Things which don’t help me improve.
    10% is me leaving 30 minutes early to attend a vendor or technology meetup.

    Executives get bonuses the size of their annual salary, and the workers don’t even get an increase to keep in line with inflation. So we’re actually earning less than we got last year.

    Recognition programs which celebrate that someone has been here for 10 years. No recognition that I spent 36 hours straight working on an incident, or the guy in the cubicle next to me hasn’t had a weekend to himself for the last couple of months because he’s working on a huge project as well as having to do his day to day work.

    No actual workforce planning so that the managers are forced to push many people in the same division to take leave at the same time.. which means those ‘lucky’ few who stay get to deal with all the deadlines.

    Salespeople who promise the world to customers, get a great commission and then dump a project we can’t hope to deliver in our laps.. with no recourse and heaps of pressure because “we’ve signed a contract”.

    IT being seen as a cost centre and thus getting no resourcing.

    Being forced to use technology that isn’t suited to our environment because someone’s cousin/wife/brother-in-law/whatever is on the board of directors of that company.. or someone had a boozy golf day.

  • In my last position, when I inquired about “the need to deliver career advancement and skill development“, the response was :- “If we don’t get a free ticket, we’ll pay your entrance fee at the next Computer Show.”
    The worrying thing was that the person concerned said it with a totally straight face and thought he was giving me a good deal.

  • Given that most organisations treat IT staff as interchangeable modules, it does not surprise me that IT staff are likely to job hop more than most other areas. The only way to get a pay rise is to change companies, as most organisations will only give token pay rises, if any. Any company that demands loyalty is going to have to be paying above the average and offer more of the intangibles like training. The common LinkedIn meme is “If we train our people, they might leave, but if we don’t train them they might stay” which from an employee point of view indicates that if you want people to perform you need to train them, however from an employer point of view sounds like the only way to retain people is to not train them.

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