Cooper says rural outsourcing opens up opportunities for older IT workers to move into new areas of technology. "We talk to quite a few mainframers who say they're looking to work with some of the newer technologies," she says. "For them money's not the most important thing; it's learning about new technology."
Rural outsourcing can also benefit IT professionals at the other end of the age spectrum. Rural Sourcing, a Jonesboro, Ark., service provider, hires mostly recent college graduates.
One Rural Sourcing employee, Granville Raper, who joined the firm in July as a senior programmer/analyst, says working for the outsourcing company has allowed him to venture into something new that he didn't see coming his way for some time.
"I feel very lucky that new hiring opportunities have started to become available despite where the economy is going," Raper says. "I see a lot of opportunities that I can go after since I'm now part of a bigger company that also works with larger companies."
Another Rural Sourcing employee, Ben Tracy, joined the company after graduating from Arkansas Statue University and working a few entry-level programming jobs. Tracy, who works as a senior programmer/analyst, says IT opportunities in the area are slim, so the job at Rural Sourcing allowed him to launch an IT career while staying close to home. "My family would have moved years ago if [Rural Sourcing] had not been successful," he says.