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Top three careers for the ethically challenged IT pro

While current employment stats for IT pros fluctuate, there's always a niche for those who are not burdened by a sense of ethics or decency.

[Full disclosure: The following is not a serious piece and will not enhance your life in any way. If you want only meaty content, don't bother reading this or posting a comment that we wasted your time. Hey, it's Friday and we needed a break.]

1. Facebook spammer and scammer

There is no end to the career potential here. Except maybe prison. But really, for the ethically challenged IT pro, Facebook is like a playground with its spammers, scammers, and wildly insecure, crack-like social network games. For example, likejacking (asking a victim to click something while a different action is taken behind the scenes) can open up a whole new world to you by giving you the ability to obtain someone else's account information. Even if your dreams lean toward the non-profit (that is, just infecting PCs with malware makes your heart go all aflutter), this is the field for you.

2. Political Email Interceptor

Apparently on any given day, there are about 14 billion emails sent from the denizens of the U.S. House and Senate that really shouldn't have been sent. Can you imagine the amount of money a sexually promiscuous, adulterous pol who may or may not be gay, would shell out to retrieve and destroy an email that went out to the wrong person, or just went out period? And the power you could wield! The information you could glean could make you as omnipotent as if you held in your hands Heidi Fleiss's client list.

3. Bay Area Barfly

With Apple, Inc. currently averaging one lost iPhone prototype per year, this could become a very lucrative venture. You may develop a bit of a drinking problem along the way, but think about it: If you find just one lost prototype per year, you could sell it on the black market or ransom it back to Apple for a huge amount of money. Plus, all the Happy Hour hors d'oeuvres you can eat!

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.

20 comments
mehmoore
mehmoore

.......forgive my whispering, but this was a riot...but snorting at 2:55 am is "just soooo ridiculous, I mean, forget it, MOM you don't understand. OMG PLEASE shut the door..snrrl...grumble....spit." Despite this , all other are she'll be my 3rd perfect child (despite me, not because of me.) Anyway, seeking input on a dilemma/ problem/question that's in direct, and unequivocal opposition to "Careers for the Ethically Challenged IT Pros." May 2011 my first graduates Rutgers College, 2 majors - Anthropology and Psych. Yet 5 weeks later, his inner techie and geek skills, and know-how mean he lands an entry-level job at the #1 SEO firm in the US, and allegedly internationally, depending on stats.Promoted once already. (Told 'ya they were perfect) But in contrast to this well-written article, he's totally demoralized, barely tolerates himself, co-workers, superiors, procedures, policies and processes, and claims; he "creates Spam," Everything/person or product related to this firm is, he feels, inherently UNethical. Now, obviously he's not wired to write add copy , regardless of media or decade. Unfortunately my arguments that this situation is not representative of the "tech" world, nor my fervent belief that many humans must, must, must taught to be savvy consumers of data in any form, instantly transmorgrifies me into Charlie Brown's teacher, and the words come out, "wahwahwahwahwahwahwah." Hence the end of him listening, which signals no chance of him gleaning hope that integrity lives somewhere in our industry.I fear this job will murder his curiosity. I fear he'll abandon the field, which would be a waste. I see the danger looming that he'll form erroneous impressions, even conclude, that "tech" industry firms have repulsive missions, so "tech" workers much achieve them using unethically methods. Another danger is he'll fail to stick for a year, and bolt before he learns anything, makes contacts, or gets that important resume line. I'm flumoxed because my first tech job in 1987 was fabulous, so I'm desperate to promise technically exciting, engaging, creative, and challenging but learning work environments still exist, but I hesitate to lie, plus to understate how morally compromising, dull, stressful, boring, disappointing and discouraging this work environment is, day-after-day, is simply not possible. Life utside the office is cool...but...See the conflict? So, is there room for ethical IT people? in all firms, or only some?....how can you tell? anything? anything at all..... articles on Ethical techie stuff? Suggestions, tips.... theory?...practices you've implemented, or used...Positive Advice? no, any Advice please....Comments? Questions? Thanks!

brocksamson2011
brocksamson2011

PINKY: So Brain, what we gonna to today? BRAIN: Same thing we do every day Pinky, try and take over the world!!!

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

In this day and age it's called "ethically adventurous" or "ethically curious" :) "Ethically challenged" is reserved for politicians who'd like to take bribes and commit electoral fraud, but don't know how ;)

kynth
kynth

With the ability to manipulate all news feeds to and from MSNBC, CNN, FOX, et al, I could rule the world with mis-information and non factual scientific data, opps that job has already been taken by the Tea Party, Rush Limb, Glenn Beck and others, Da!! IT>

jevans4949
jevans4949

Working for an online casino. Working for a porn provider. On the most popular radio soap in the UK, a small farmer was considering employing a search engine optimiser to bury the bad news about an e.coli outbreak.

seanferd
seanferd

I needed that bit of amusement just then, thank you.

Professor8
Professor8

Oh, the wide horizons open to the ethically challenged STEM worker. You could become a top executive at FB, LinkedIn, match, Oracle, Yahoo!, Google, MSFT, grouply, any of the credit rating agencies, at Siemens and GE with their idiot-meter and medical records projects, at Ill-Begotten Monstrosities and the car companies with their RFID, stupid transportation and similar dirty schemes. You could become the top dog in charge of administrative systems at just about any university in the world. You could highly placed at numerous local, state and federal government departments, agencies, and offices (which perversely declare personal private data they coerce from private citizens to be "public data" but information about governments' and their operatives' latest corrupt schemes to be "privileged"). Why, you could work with DHS to hatch their next gross privacy violation scheme at US airports (while pointedly turning a blind eye to illegal aliens, including those are just entering, those who are over-staying visas, and those who have committed other "minor" crimes). You could help P&G and WM with their next RFID schemes, coupled with surveillance cameras. You could help the Red Chinese thugs block and track down those who engage in forbidden political and religious speech. Oh brave new world!

Computer Dave
Computer Dave

Who else would sell Office 2010 Pro to a college kid for $10 while selling the same thing to a business for $800?

jdayman
jdayman

Great article Toni! You made coffee come out my nose, but that's ok. I needed a laugh today!

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

or are you just glad to see a funnier blog?

kybelboy
kybelboy

Have you always been a moron or was it a recent occurrence?

bornbyforce
bornbyforce

What is the name of the show? I will need to reference it!

DesertJim
DesertJim

It's exactly the same business model! Just as reprehensible as well.

michaelstn
michaelstn

An Apple CEO? Just sell it by subscription...

bobp
bobp

And the applications that Microsoft reverse engineered when it was finding apps for the (then) new Windows OS. Microsoft would then drive the original developing company out of business by endless legal tactics before going to court so the company would run out of money before it could even defend itself. Bill Gates destroyed the lives of a lot of smart innovative people. Of course, the reverse engineered application wouldn't run anywhere nearly as well and bug-free as the original which was now gone. So users suffered too.