You’ve heard the phrase, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Can the same be said for “new dogs?” Insurers are finding that in the context of IT staff, those “new dogs” coming out of academia want less to do with the old tricks of programming legacy systems—yet the holes they are trying to fill as these “legacy workers” retire require just that.

Like most vertical markets, the insurance industry’s IT attrition issues are commonplace. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, one million IT jobs will be unfilled by 2012, chiefly because there is not enough qualified, trained human capital to fill them. In the United States, enrollment in undergraduate computer programming disciplines has declined 70% in the last five years, says Robert Horton, coordinator of the management computer systems program for the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater.

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