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Why most 24-year-old developers want to leave their jobs

74% of technologists are actively looking for new work or open to new opportunities, a new Stack Overflow survey has found. 

Interestingly, the largest age group of those looking for work is 20-to-24-year-olds, making up 27% of jobseekers. So why are young technologists so ready to leave their jobs?

They’ve done it before

Holding onto your first job is becoming increasingly rare in tech. Just 7% of respondents aged 20-24 have started work and are still in their first job compared to a massive 51% that are already in their second.

A quite staggering statistic is that 6% of respondents in that age bracket have already had more than 10 jobs. That’s twice the amount of people in the age bracket above… a bracket twice the size (25-34).

Assuming technologists start their careers at age 18, that’s an average of 1.4 jobs per year. It's hard to build a sense of loyalty to your company when movement is so rampant.

Sluggish decision makers prove frustrating

53% of respondents agree that “waiting on answers to questions often causes interruptions and disrupts my workflow.” Within that majority, 16% of total respondents strongly agree. Likewise 40% of respondents experience knowledge siloes and 46% will find themselves repeating answers they’ve already given.

In banking, this is especially true, as evidenced by engineering reviews on Glassdoor. A java developer at Citi warns of “bureaucracy” while a Goldman Sachs software engineer says there’s “a lot of red tape as expected with any large institution.”

One JPMorgan engineer says the bank is “full of smart people with not enough to do.” With the survey claiming that a need to work with new technology is the second largest motivator to leave behind salary, a lack of excitement at the banks could be pushing developers away.

Banks falter over flexibility

The number one motivator for respondents to stay in a current position is flexibility, which 58% of respondents noted.

This is particularly true in the UK and Europe, where flexibility is a motivator for 68% of those surveyed not to leave.

Finance is an industry where such an attitude is taking longer to implement. At banks and hedge funds, work from home is at best judged and at worst rejected by decision makers.

Though the bumper salaries of the industry are sure to bring in new talent, their approach to culture might make it hard to keep them.

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Photo by Emma Frances Logan on Unsplash

AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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