Leadership optimize

IT career: What's hot (cloud computing) and what's not (tech certs)

For 2010, which IT areas of concentration and which technical certifications look the most promising?

The outlook on IT jobs for 2010 is dire or slightly positive, depending on which advisory group you listen to.

The Hackett Group is advising companies to not hire back U.S. and European IT workers who have been laid off; instead they recommend filling any needs overseas. (The IT positions they are referring to are those that such as support and systems administration.)

On the good news side, a Goldman Sachs study predicts a 4 percent rise in IT spending in larger companies, which indicates some positive momentum. Surveys by IDC and Gartner also predict slight upticks in IT spending in 2010.

So the question is where is the spending going to concentrate in terms of hiring? Experts at tech placement firms are saying the demand for cloud-oriented tech experts is way up. And they are projecting a strong demand for network administrators, security managers, and systems engineers. Other promising areas are:

  • Software architects
  • Java and .NET/C++ developers
  • Quality assurance pros
  • Agile-capable developers
  • SAP consultants

And as I've mentioned many times, companies are going to be looking for people who are good (not just technical) thinkers, those who understand how IT can be integrated into business.

The outlook on certifications

The vast majority of tech certification categories show a decline in value (Web development certifications, in particular, plummeted last year), with the exception of two types:

Security certs which usually are required for work in banking, financial services, and other regulated industries. Specific security skills in demand include security auditing, e-discovery, vulnerability assessment, Cisco-CCNP,  and Cisco Certified VoIP Professional certifications, given VoIP's growing adoption in the midmarket.

The certifications that show the biggest gains in value are those that involve project and process management, such as certs from credentialed IT-business programs (e.g., IT for financial services, IT for heath care, etc.). Certifications that command some of the highest pay have ties to revenue, like the ITIL v3 Master and PMI certifications.

The top five certifications in terms of pay growth, according to Foote Partners, are:

  • IT Certified Architect (ITCA/OPenGroup)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • InfoSys Security Architecture Professional (ISSAP/CISSP)
  • Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator: Messaging (MCSA)
  • Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)

In the big picture, certs still make a difference in a tough hiring market. If a job comes down to two candidates, only one of whom has the cert, the candidate with the cert will usually get the job. Research shows, however, with the current  economy, companies are less likely to underwrite certification pursuits for their existing IT employees.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

95 comments
jck
jck

I hope my career doesn't turn into having to look for a job being an admin at a cloud computing farm.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

Start with consulting orgs that spend millions to produce generic advice you could get from Dear Abby. Then lets go to CxOs who set their own payscale without actually performing. Then let's outsource some senators and representatives regardless of party affiliations. Just a thought.

dbecker
dbecker

The Hackett Group is just another among the chorus of voices with the gospel that while you can't get something for nothing [business is finally just smart enough to understand that, having moved from Idiot to Imbecille -- some day they'll reach Moron levels], you can get everything you want for 10 cents on the dollar. All you have to do is squeeze the quality triangle of fast, cheap and good and pick all three instead of two by using the imaginary numbering concepts of distorted perception supported by magical wishful fantasy thinking. People want to believe, so any huckster coming along can make big bucks selling hope. Fools only listen to what they want to hear. Where or where is the Gartner Group when you need them. Although I am a persona non Gartner, at least they positioned themselves to give advice which could be taken either way by those who needed support for their hidden agendas. No, dear friends, Corporations -- and now government adopting the worst of the corporate model and implementing it badly -- are forced to look at shrinking budgets and need desperately to find SOME solution to their PROBLEMS! In this desperation they will grasp at straws and anything else they can get to just keep afloat. Quality and customer service can go to heck because we are talking about raw primal survival. So talk about getting the best for support will go on deaf ears. The best we can do as qualified premier professionals is to generate the same kind of Assertive Incompetence hype that the hucksters of hope are generating. You need to become inventive in creating visions of hope in your customer's minds by giving them beautiful empty promises. The trick is that when you get near the delivery point, and just before anyone can find out that you can never deliver on your promises, promise something new and more glowing so the old promises are forgotten. Push out the delivery time far enough that you can repeat the cycle. In the meantime, you can choose to actually do something meaningful and beneficial. While that may set you apart from the scoundrels, it also gets you a paycheck. Now, admittedly, this could be considered somewhat unethical, but, now, admit it: In the current environment, who would even notice, much less care? If you can compartmentalize and salve your conscience some how, your future will be bright and glorious. Just because you may act like a psychopath because you use their methods, doesn't mean you actually have to be one.

rickerg
rickerg

I wish would stop reprinting the garbage put out by groups like the Hackett, IDC, Gartner, GS and others. They are almost always wrong.

timfle
timfle

I wonder how many of the offshore "certified" personnel have "earned" their certifications from memorizing the answers to the tests? I was told about this from one of the foreign visa holding contractors with whom I worked. He was here with the intention of making the US his home - not merely spending six months as a Tata indentured servant.

ScarF
ScarF

As the Romans said: Who the heck is going to gain from these kinds of recommendations? (as the ones from Hacket Group) The cloud computing. In the present, it is not seen as viable due to two main issues: security and quality of service (due to the Internet connection lack of reliability). Now, which is one company prepared for the cloud computing? Google? And their financing organizations - umbrellas for the likes of CIA, NSA a.s.o. Jeez. How they would like to attract all the business' data into a common bucket and dig in it... Search behavior, DNS look-up, and others alike, are just a piece of cake compared to being able to see others' files. I will continue to recommend to my company to avoid the cloud like hell. And, that is why idiots like the Hacket(s) recommend firing local professionals and hire overseas robots with no responsibility and loyalty whatsoever for the companies that pay them. And, because of the greed - we all know -, proved by the companies with no real product, Hacket Group may receive paychecks from others, also. Like the Asian neo-slave masters. Another point may be the quality of our lives. Hire a dude in India, pay him 100$, and ask the local workforce to accept the same payment should they want to bring the bacon home, anymore. The system has to be changed. The mass media must do its job instead of getting fat with the USA Co.'s money and start a real hunt for corruption and hidden-doors arrangements on our backs.

cebess
cebess

The Open Group architecture certification is ITAC for: Information Technology Architecture Certification

FortBragg_Surfgoddess
FortBragg_Surfgoddess

Two things, First to the hacket Group; ?Sod off you wankers!? Next, this just shows how stupid the business world has become. A college degree is now like a high School diploma, for it does not matter what you have a degree in, just have one. Certifications I think are more valuable, I have a Programming Degree and a Liberal arts degree, and I use my Network + and Security + training more on a daily basis then I do the degrees. I have yet to apply calculus in the 10 years I have worked in IT (that was a requirement for a degree), and philosophy or art history, well you get my point. HR hires these so-called analysts with no IT shop knowledge and then the directors take there word for it on the job postings. ?5 years experience with Windows Vista and 7...? WTF and OMFG???? Also, if you out-source your tech support, then how long will it take to have a tech fly in from where ever and replace a parable or server part?

So what is so hot about cloud computing. I just had to spend a lot of time investigating the real costs of hosting services on the "Cloud". Some were very good values and others should be labeled "Beta" like Google Apps. None of the technologies lived up to 1/4 of the hype and the pricing was to say the least misleading. I would be interested to hear from on the Tech Republic Members regarding the success or lack of regarding moving to web based solutions.

ron
ron

I disagree and here's why... I've seen people come into an interview that posses the CCNP but could not design a basic multi-area OSPF network with MD 5 authentication or even explain how basic VoIP is encapsulated or worse yet, write out a basic configuration for a T1 on paper. My point is this, have the Cert is one thing, being able to log into a router and do what is asked is another. I know engineers that have worked this field for 15 years and all they have is a CCNA (that may even be expired) but they can run circles around someone who just recently obtain a CCNP or Cert. Some people are naturally great test takers, they read a book and take a test and pass it, does that make them an Engineer? I've had consultants who come in with MCSE / CCNP and could not write a basic spread sheet in Excel.. but they can take a test. and yet still demand top dollar. Bottom Line... Hiring Managers need to look pass the Cert and see if the person can do the work being asked. The Cert should get you to the interview (or Exp and work history) the rest should be based on your skills. Lately when I go for a position, I've been given hands on configuration exams. Where the client would put you in the lab and have you (eg) recover a 6509 that is booting in RMON> I think exams like this will yield a better consultant for the position. Lets put an end to paper Engineers.

jeff
jeff

That's like saying that knifes are 'in'. Steak knifes, table knifes, throwing knifes, hunting knifes? Just throw your life into the cloud and hope it comes out as something? If you just say 'cloud computing' that makes it sound like a fad.

kpescatello
kpescatello

Edited by poster because he did not read the article thru @ 5:30 AM. I am ashamed of my incorrect response. Thank you Dallas IT Manager. Maybe if it was in binary 11011011....

sshead
sshead

If you had a choice of one of these certs to take first, as a security professional at Director level, which would you take? I would like to take both but budget for training this year isn't that good. Thanks Steve

brad
brad

I'm one course away from my MCSA. I was shooting for the MCSE, but I'm wondering if I should just get my MCSA and then start towards my CCNP?

drgnglss
drgnglss

I always find Toni Bowers blogs useful and informative. The information she provides can help us make wise IT decisions. Toni seems to have a unique understanding of the influences effecting IT jobs and practices. I find it rewarding to read her insightful blogs. Regards Dan

james.whitlock31
james.whitlock31

The Hacket Group does most of it business over seas... Of course their going to recommend to hire positions over seas...

mr_docc
mr_docc

I am not doing ALL of this studying for ALL the jobs to go over seas!!!! Most of everybody spend all they time studying so they can provide a good life for they family. I guess now your resume has to look so good that they can't turn your away. Plus they advertise they want a system administrator just not handle the servers but handle the phones as well, I think we should need to be paid well for the knowledge that we obtained. I know alot of people that came from over seas the first thing they did was enrolled in college get the degree, get the HIGHEST certifications, (example Cisco VOIP) or something like, then they just do it again. But my point is that came to united states and done it. All have to say for everybody is to stay focus and do what they do. Get the degree and get cert, and then do it again.

unixwolf.edu
unixwolf.edu

I would love to find out how companies like the Hackett Group expect people of the US who spent years studying and working within IT to make a living in the US; "Want fries with that"

jck
jck

Managers and Directors have felt safe from the outsourcing thing. Only consolidation has really impacted them. Well, just imagine the people in India or China who have come here and gotten business degrees in management going back home to work for...McDonalds...Wal-Mart...and a plethora of Chinese-based manufacturing firms. Someone will, eventually, get smart and realize the management pool that is working there for 1/3 the payscale and for no performance bonuses. Then guess what? All the sudden, your project management team is over there too deciding the most cost effective solution for your datacenter migration and choosing the cheapest contractor that will come in and do it for you. There are no bounds to the indignities occur in the race for American business to pursue its one, ubiquitous goal of money. I think first, we should outsource Congress. We could save $100,000 a year per person in salary alone. Plus no benefits and offices and staffs and supplies and paying for their car in their district. Personally, I think Capital Hill would make a great addition to the Smithsonian Museum complex :)

jkameleon
jkameleon

I'd reccomend Heller's Catch 22 and The Good Soldier Svejk from Jaroslav Hasek. I'd say Svejk is even better. Human relations in IT went FUBAR during the dotcom boom in the 1990s, and now the whole thing is pretty much in the same condition as Austro Hungarian Empire just before WWI.

timfle
timfle

You have perfectly described the role of the MBA (Moron in Business Adminsitration)

ScarF
ScarF

No one should ever, EVER, forget the 2000 year and the blow of the IT bubble. That bubble was built in a unbelievable short time by this kind of business "experts". We are lucky enough to have an IT industry after what that bullsh*t did to it. There are already three strikes for these analysts: - the IT bubble - the Real Estate bubble - the incapacity to predict (or accept, at least) the present recession, even a couple of weeks before the banking crash in 2008 - when all the signs could be seen by any idiot. Following these 3 strikes, they are out for me. I will never listen to what they have to say. They are either throwing false information on the public market - so that some rich guys will become even richer cropping the results of this disinformation -, or they are plain and simple stupid. So? Which do they choose?

FloCell
FloCell

I've been in IT for 13 years and have used my skills in Network+ and things from my MCSA more than my degree. I also noticed a few job posting out there that required 5 yrs exp. in Win Vista and 7 plus 5+ yrs exp. in Win Server 2008. I'm not sure where this country is headed at this point?

ljl_geek
ljl_geek

Cloud Computing is just a fancy way of saying "outside hosting on virtual servers". It means that big companies with large compute farms have found another way to 'monetize' their extensive hardware, infrastructure and personnel investment. While this can be good for small companies and firms that need a way to handle a "peaking" load (ie the slashdot effect), it's not a substitute for a sound IT infrastructure. It sure as he!! is not a centerpiece of a serious business plan, IMO.

fkane17
fkane17

I had a coworker who was an insulte for all people with certifications. He never troubleshoot an issue on a PC, laptop or server . He will just replace or re-image. He was good in taking tests. I was asked to interview 2 candidats for a PC and printer support. The guy with no certification was hired because he knew how to troubleshoot. In the test I put printer and asked them to troubleshoot why it is not printing. The guy with the cert start going in the printer properties checking ports, drivers. The guy without test noticed the print was not turned on. He plugged the power cable. Turned on the printer and did a test page that printer with success. He told the printer was not plugged to the power. Certification without experience is not enough. You need that experience to work in any conditions like for example being able to troubleshoot issues using command lines..

ljl_geek
ljl_geek

"Cloud" computing is a fad. Certain aspects of it have been here for a long time (off site hosting), some are more recent (virtual servers), and some are new wrinkles (on-demand provisioning type stuff). But as a whole, it's a fad. New companies come up with a thing that will "leverage cloud computing" and venture firms throw money at them. Notice no product? Dot bomb 2.0, IMO. Really, I can't get excited about another name for colocation, server and/or data hosting, and/or virtualization. Meh.

dallas_dc
dallas_dc

She did not say certs were not good. In fact, she agreed with you specifically on security certs being near the top of the list right now. Take a deep breath and read the whole article before saying something is incorrect. Also, when writing about opinions it is hard to be incorrect. The opinions are what they are. Not too many of the responses agreed with the Hackett Group's opinion that corporations should outsource replacements for support and admin resources that had been laid off. I disagree with the Hackett Group, but that does not mean they are wrong, that means in my opinion, I think they are wrong.

GDoC
GDoC

Steve, Your question is dependent on the size and complexity of your staff and infrastructure. If your environment falls under one or more of the new compiancy standards and/or laws, you may want to have at least one CISSP on staff, but unless the Director level is involved in the detailed aspects of the security solutions on a daily basis the CISM is probably a better certification. The CISM is more focused on the corporate responsibilities and the management of the corporate security profile. The CISSP is more involved in the design, implementation and operations of the security profile. There is much overlap, but the CISSP is more technically in depth, where the CISM is more process, proceedure and corporate communication centric.

mcseinfla
mcseinfla

I think that you should do both. The MCSE gives you a nice headstart on the MCTS and the MCITP. Also, CCNP concentrates on networking Cisco stuff, but the MS certs will add the server placement and function, interoperability between domains, delegation of authority etc. IMHO they make a nice compliment to the Cisco certs.

rgt_007
rgt_007

One of the smartest guys I know works for a major Vendor as a Sales Engineer. He is the "go to guy" for the whole SE team. Guess what, he has no certs and no degree. Everything he and I have learned has been done through hands on work at home with what equipment we can obtain and by doing our due diligence at work. There were times when one of us would come home with an EX8200 switch or a 7500 series router. My point is this nothing can replace hands on experience...NOTHING. And its always good to know someone who will give you access to equipment.

david_e_moore
david_e_moore

I agree, I have done tons of study and practical application of things I have learned from reading large technical books, taking and passing the CCNA and A+ certification exams. And I feel, for anyone who has seriously pursued certifications such as these (not those of you who just read brain-dumps or memorize answers for a quick pass - this comment does no apply for those experienced, just lazy) should be compensated for the time, resources, expense that goes into obtaining these accreditations. However, I am not saying that certifications is the end all, be all. I just want to be compensated for my work. There are those who have the paper, and not the practical knowledge/experience. I don't strive for certifications just to decorate my resume.

FloCell
FloCell

http://www.thehackettgroup.com/about/ The Hackett Group is basically a firm that is in for the money and not for the people they tread on. The USA is know for outsourcing overseas. This trend started back in 2000 after the elections and rapidly caught like wildfire from there. I've been in IT for 13 yrs and have several certs and a degree...I was laid off a few months ago. I don't see things getting better for those of us in IT. The last thing I want to hear is someone reading a script with a snafu accent and no technical skills "Have you checked the power light" more than 3 times a minute. I am supporting my family with the bare minimum and stressing about our future. WE NEED CHANGE!

mstarks10
mstarks10

The Hatchet Group is just another big business selling bad ideas. Hopefully the current administration will follow through on removing tax credits for companies that ship jobs over seas and giving them to companies that retain or create jobs here. If it's no longer profitable, the jobs will return.

jkameleon
jkameleon

. . . only to be replaced with something even more overhyped. Rest assured, that a serious decloudization of computing will take place in a couple of years time. It's planned obsolesence in hardware and perceived obsolesence in software http://www.storyofstuff.com/ , see chapter "Consumption"

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

That only tested common sense. But you still hired the right guy.

brian
brian

I have to say, that was not much of a diagnostics test. I would remove a pin from the cable (bad cable) and see how long it took to find. Gone are the days of Jet Direct cards with AUI ports, but one crappy Ethernet cable can be hell nonetheless.

kpescatello
kpescatello

You're right I didn't read the whole article. It may have been too early in the AM for me when responding. I will edit the comment if possible. I have to stop responding so early in the AM :)

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

If you possess a CCNP, it goes without saying that you have a very good understanding on network infrastructure and design. This knowledge is applicable to any network infrastructure, not just Cisco. I have a few friends with CCNP's that contract. They design, build and sell small, medium and large scale networks with whatever equipment the customer wants.

stacyl316
stacyl316

For those of us that have no "paid" experience (i.e. job experience) to put on a resume', certs (and a degree) are a place to start. It at least tells an employer that I have certain skills. I know many that have certs and still don't know what they are doing, and then there are those that don't have them and possess more knowledge than those that do.

Petetm
Petetm

I've been saying that for years. Although GWB thought it was a good idea to send jobs to India ........ just not his own or anyone he knows. The problem with off-shoring is the framework surronding the job. Yes, it may be cheaper if you stay within the boudaries of the job BUT, if you need to step outside that, be prepared to open the wallet wide.

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

I would love to see that happen, as well. I would also love the opportunity to b1tch slap CEO's or CIO's that fire homegrown IT personnel with families in favor of sub-par overseas support. I can't help but remain doubtful that cutting those tax breaks is something that congress and crooked, bought-and-paid-for-lobbyists will stand by and let happen.

aandruli
aandruli

Quality is not a factor companies are seeking anymore. The overseas outsource people are mediocre at best, bad mostly -- but companies are going with "good enough for our customers" instead of trying to actually have good IT support. It is up to the consumers to demand quality and dump the companies whose support is "good enough"

ron
ron

always check your physical layer.

ron
ron

You see now thats the crap the military use to do to me. Another great one is place a small piece of tape on a card contact and put it back in it's slot. Did you ever wonder how the military can take someone off the street and train them in a technical job in a few months? Its how they do it, academically and practical in blocks. A block of instruction could be 2 weeks on one item, 1 week class room and second in the field working on the equipment. At the end of the block you are given a written test and a practical and MUST pass both in order to move on to the next block.

brian
brian

Certifications *are* useful, no question. Too many certs, however, make me question the intention. For myself, if I see a resume with a bucketload of certs, I get rid of it. It is proof (to me) they don't have the real world experience to get the job done. I'd hire a University of Phoenix or ITT Tech person over a "paper cert" person any day of the week - they're full commitment, usually working full time, and can put out the extra effort. If you have time for A+ and RHCE certifications, take a bigger step and get a full degree. Go for an internship for 3 months part time, and have real world experience to put on that resume. Ask any business person - Who gets paid more - the person with a 4 year degree, or one with 4 years worth of certs? Me? I have a mix of both, but the degree gets discussed in most interviews, and the certs almost never do unless they're 1 or 2 years old. I did my last cert to keep it current, and it's now 3 years old, same as the current job - and they don't use SuSE.

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

After a few years you need that work experience to go along with it. But even after years of experience, sometimes it is still nice to have that cert to back up your work history when applying for a job.

tyranicalfox
tyranicalfox

Working in IT for close to 30 years now - I've seen the off-shoring models in their infancy and now experience them on a day to day basis as they have matured. I laugh when I hear companies only care about $'s and they are unpatriotic in their employee loyalty. Let's put ourselves in the shoes of the fat cat CEO's and their minions. Their responsibility is first to the stockholder not the employee nor the country in which they reside. So to sit back and think that the "revolution" that the American IT worker is conjuring up will ever be taken seriously is ludicrous. Cut costs, cut costs, oh yeah and cut costs is the banter that takes place in boardrooms today, unless the pressure is political or damaging to a company's reputation these folks will overlook the US IT workers plight. I remember discussions early in the 90's when the off-shoring model started to take shape. I would discuss the issue with senior managers, who were personal friends, and they would say it is so easy (brainless is a better word) to achieve my cost reductions by leveraging this model. I would always say to them "be careful what you wish for" as it's likely to come back and bite you in the buttocks. Sure enough, replacing jobs in the US with India resources eventually has come to fruition and the level 3 jobs have now become level 2 & 1 and now management positions have now been slowly but surely migrating their way over there as well. We have now lost control and the executives who have made those decisions are now retiring with their bonuses made off of our backs. I remember a conversation I had with my economics professor about globalization. He put up a totem pole in the classroom and used it to illustrate the effects of globalization. He pointed to the very top of the pole which had the flag of our country placed at the pinnacle and then pointed to the several 3rd world countries located on the bottom. The lesson went on to discuss the term "equilibrium" and how salaries, skills, infrastructure etc.. all make their way to the middle and in an idealistic world how all these countries end up in the middle. It was a striking example of how the world would look in years to come and we are just now seeing the beginning effects of that lesson. When you're on top there's nowhere to go but down my friends. Okay - enough of the diatribe. I could go on forever addressing the multitude of components that come to mind. Please stay focused and don't give up and have a positive attitude towards life, it's too damn short to sit complacent and complain. God bless - 30yr vet

rgt_007
rgt_007

So you're the one who's been bouncing all the servers instead of fixing the real problem. LOL

rgt_007
rgt_007

Oh you mean foreigners like John Chambers, Larry Ellison, Steven Jobs and Bill Gates...etc. etc. Granted many foreigners are intelligent and driven but that is not the issue here. The same drive and motivation can be observed and obtained through employment from any country, including AMERICA. To say that "The well known and best at technical stuffs are foreigners or at least have some "foreign blood" in them." is naive at best. The issue here is money and profit and to what ends a large conglomerate is willing to go to increase the bottom line. You completely missed GDoc's point and your posting has discredited his words. I will guarantee that the decisions made by such institutions are based on profit and not "the technical stuffs" that you think foreigners have. I have been in this industry since 1990 and I have Consulted as an Intrusion Prevention Specialist in many country's. I engage C-Level personnel on a daily basis. The one thing that I have seen and that I am sure of is that decisions, such as the one in discussion, is always based on money "stuffs". This is a travesty because (and to refute your statement) the knowledge and ability to mitigate a technical challenge is sacrificed by outsourcing to foreign handlers. If you do not believe me just call tech-support for something as simple as your cell phone. If you continue to post irrelevant opinions you might consider sticking to your original plan and not post. And one more final point, the willingness of an individual to put in 80 hours a week to build a sandcastle doesn't make him/her a good Engineer. It takes raw talent and the love of your job and technology to accomplish some of the tasks we are faced with in the IT world. If you give incentive the right team of Engineers/Technicians the job will be completed swiftly and with cost effectiveness no matter what country they are from.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

There's always someone cheaper, your own success will make you more expensive. So even if you were correct about ability and desire, and you aren't, you are still going to get outsourced, because the reasoning behind it, is was and will be reduced labour costs. Quality is not a factor. How could it be, the pople who are doing it, have no way of judging it. They always get promoted before the wheels come off.

nguyenj
nguyenj

"I will do what it takes to get the job done versus trying to find an explanation to the problem. In a nutshell, it comes done to problem solving and not brainstorming. A lot of cert. pros look first for a reason to the problem while most foreigners look for the solution first." Finding the reason to the problem allows you to prevent the problem from occurring again. If you just band-aid the problem with a quick solution, than the problem will happen again, and again. Sometimes...doing what it takes to get the job done IS finding an explanation to the problem. How can you explain to your boss that the same problem has happened X number of times, when you don't know why the problem is happening? And this is clearly not a difference between "American" and "Foreign".

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

[i]The well known and best at technical stuffs are foreigners or at least have some "foreign blood" in them. Ask yourselves why? The answers are right there around you in dedicated foreigners ready to do what it takes to get the job done.[/i] This is one of the most idiotic things I've read in the past few years. Whoever wrote this is no different in my mind from any American "get the furriners out" wacko.

ljl_geek
ljl_geek

"The well known and best at technical stuffs are foreigners or at least have some "foreign blood" in them." This is horse puckey. All Americans (except for Native Americans) have "foreign blood" in them. Furthermore, it is so bigoted that it makes me want to puke. It's also nonsense. Do you know why we have that nice 40 hour work week, yet we still work longer hours (especially in IT) than Europeans? It's because we have fair labor laws, so we aren't slaves, but we don't have quite the cushy protections that Europe does. Do you know why our labor rates are higher? Because the cost of living is higher, by an order of magnitude, and we have things like indoor plumbing and electricity in 99% of our country. I've done long days, even overnighters, as have most of us. But we prefer to work smart, not just long. That doesn't mean we are not as dedicated as a high tech carpetbagger from elsewhere. But the people who listen to the Hackett Group only see that bottom line, not realizing that in the long run, it will cost them in terms of overall productivity (after all, IT is 'only' a cost center) and customer satisfaction. The irony? Even now, the tech companies will whine that the H1(b) program needs to be extended because there aren't enough 'qualified' (read "cheap") technical professionals.

DuarTech
DuarTech

I was not going to reply but upon reading the post... I just had to. I too am not american by origin but have lived here all my life except for the High School years. I did those grades in my country of birth. First, I will say I do not own a cert but have worked in the field for years. Working around " American" tech pro the only dif I see is just that... I will do what it takes to get the job done versus trying to find an explanation to the problem. In a nutshell, it comes done to problem solving and not brainstorming. A lot of cert. pros look first for a reason to the problem while most foreigners look for the solution first.

Olamitunde
Olamitunde

I normally don't post replies just read but I just had to for this intelligent post. Finally an intelligent American that sees that the world doesn't start and end in USA. Agreed most Americans have no course to travel or leave the country but at least read (literally read about the world as it relates to you) so your thinking will not be myopic. As you can see from my name am not American (not close). GDoc already mentioned the education, commitment to work and determination to get the job done by foreigners so I will leave that alone. And yet Americans wonder why their jobs are outsourced. (Yes I know some naive fellow will comment on poverty and the likes plagiarizing the foreign nations). The well known and best at technical stuffs are foreigners or at least have some "foreign blood" in them. Ask yourselves why? The answers are right there around you in dedicated foreigners ready to do what it takes to get the job done. In the words of GDOC "Think about it"

jck0roses
jck0roses

In 15 years of working in IT, I have never worked on any project that didn't involve overtime, working weekends, and occasionally even an overnighter. I don't know anyone who has had a different experience. For those of us working as direct employees, there were no bonuses or additional wages of any kind; we did what we did to make things work for our companies, for the cost of our base salary. Consultants (and yes, I've been one) working for an hourly rate are a different animal. Many are great people who want to do a good job. However, the managers and salespeople who negotiate the contracts make unrealistic promises and underbid the time in order to get the contract, with the expectation of billing much more later. This is a sales issue, not an IT issue, and offshore firms are not much better. They tend to take a slightly different approach; they are willing to take a loss on the first project or two in order to get additional projects. They will promise things they don't know how to do, expecting to obtain personnel later, or contract to people such as yourself. Often, the project takes longer, is nearly as expensive as it would have been using employees, and is of lower quality. I question the commitment of the sales arms of these organizations, not the people doing the work.

GDoC
GDoC

Let me preface my remarks by saying that I've been involved in IT from the ground up since about 1981, and it was a hobbie before then. I have just now picked up my first corporate hire position in the USA since the Bank I worked for back in 2002 closed it's doors. I worked from June of 2002 until December of 2009 as a independent consultant. Here's the kicker, I couldn't get hired in the US, either directly or as a consultant working for a group. All of my consulting was done overseas.... I was the one being outsourced to! One of the reasons that US companies outsource is that US Consultancy firms over promise, over charge, and under deliver almost all the time. One major US firm, lets call them HAL, would bid a project. The project would require a couple of technicians, an engineer and some sort of project management. They would quote US based manpower pricing, but would then actually send (most of the time) the project manager from the US, then hire locally for the actual work done, usually from the lowest cost vendor. If this didn't work out, they would offer to bring in an expert, at additional cost of course! Another is that it is difficult for the CFO to grasp the difference between project work and infrastructure support. From the perspective of project work, outsourcing CAN make a great deal of sense. The support roll is then in the same caldron from their perspective. During my years as an Expatriated worker from the US, I delt with experts from all over the world, and one of the things I noticed is that in other countries, most of the companies and professionals are so happy to be providing services, that they'd work double and even triple shifts to get the job done, even if it had to be done on the original 5x8 rate. That's RARE here in the US. To my fellow technical services workers in the US, it doesn't matter if we do have the best education system (we don't), or that most of our technical workers have degrees (most of the Indian, Canadian, English and Caribbean workers also had US technical degrees), the drive to accomplish a goal at a reasonable price is where we are out stripped. I worked for those seven years at a "daily" rate, that could be anything from 6 hours to 24, thats what kept me employed until I found a US company to pick me up. Think about it.

rich.taber
rich.taber

Hey Fred, I just returned from a job fair in Cupertino and ArcSight is hiring Engineers like crazy. They are not just hiring for Silicon Valley, I believe its national. They are a SIM technology and from what I hear a great company to work for. Check 'em out if your interested www.arcsight.com...

rich.taber
rich.taber

Hey Fred, I just returned from a job fair in Cupertino and ArcSight is hiring Engineers like crazy. They are not just hiring for Silicon Valley, I believe its national. They are a SIM technology and from what I hear a great company to work for. Check 'em out if your interested www.arcsight.com... Cheers Rich

fred.seger+techrepublic
fred.seger+techrepublic

I was affected by the overseas support movement and haven't found anything yet. I (well the entire US division) was cut from the support workforce about 12 months ago and haven't been able to land anything here. Speaking with ex-coworkers it now takes a user 2 hours to get help with an issue w/thier PC and they're lucky if the "support" speaks decent English. That's efficient? Seems to me Iron Mountain doesn't put customers or employees first.

teeeceee
teeeceee

As I ponder this after listening to the State of the Union Address last night, I have to wonder is the Hackett Group an American company? They must not be, given their anti-American recommendation. It is time to put American IT professionals back to work, innovating, and creating applications that actually work, and support that can be understood, and useful, instead of crappy and frustrating. As an IT professional, I endure the "offshore experience" daily in less than usable Cisco frontend management apps, unintelligible HP support (from India) and other management related indignities that are the result of off-shoring by traitorous American corporations, bent on making shareholders happy and stuffing executives' offshore bank accounts. It is time for a change, and we, the American workforce must demand it. Now, off the soap box, I see virtualization skillsets as important too. So much value and ROI can be gained for our organizations by leveraging those technologies, which will in turn enhance the cloud initiatives that we need to implement.