Leadership

Your IT role and title may change and here's why

Expect some overhauls in IT roles and titles to emphasize business more than technology.

What do these job titles have in common?

  • Product Architect
  • Chief Delivery Officer
  • Chief Process Officer

If you answered, "they're all vague," you'd be half right. Actually, those job titles are examples of the kinds you'll see cropping up in IT in the not-too-distant future.

According to Computerworld, IT job titles will likely be "scrubbed of any hint of computers, databases, software development languages or data networks."

Why? It's a direct result of IT becoming integrated into the business. It's a way of conveying involvement in providing a service or product rather than an alignment with a specific technology.

Xcel Energy, a $10 billion electric power and natural gas utility in Minneapolis, is changing the way it looks at IT. The company expects its data managers to be able to look at data and figure out answers to questions, such as where money is being lost. In other words, the company wants someone to put data in a business context.

Of course, this movement shouldn't be news to anyone, what with the media having bludgeoned us with the term IT/business alignment for the past few years. But it looks like it's becoming more of a concern to IT pros at the middle level and not just the CIO-level folks.

Anthony Hill, CIO at Golden Gate University, says that his organization has outsourced virtually all of its technology operations. He sums up things this way, "IT is being driven out of the business of managing technology. Traditional IT has been about data centers, servers, software development, software implementation, and the maintenance and management of all of that." But that's not the case any more. He adds:

"IT will focus more on analysis and be more involved in the early life-cycle tasks [of developing products and services] and less on technology delivery. IT will focus more on simulation, content and information architecture." Hill says the bottom line is: "Moving away from technology management doesn't take IT out of the picture. It changes what IT does."

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.

77 comments
makkh
makkh

I guess IT need new terms for common role, because currently the same job title exist in company A might have different job scope(s) at company B......This might cause confusion exspecially when job hunting

avgoustinosc
avgoustinosc

From my point of view, IT managers and the management of every company will look mostly on Business Intelligence techniques in order to minimize costs and maximize profits. As all of us know, profit is the most important thing for an organization and since IT is a cost-center (for the time being), we need to find ways of maximizing ROI for our companies. However, i believe that our titles will change because we are on the right track of converting IT to a profit center. Avgoustinos Constantinides IT Manager Andreas Neocleous & Co LLC http://www.neocleous.com

jcurtiss
jcurtiss

At my job, IT means anything that plugs into the wall and uses electricity!

Gregory.Ware
Gregory.Ware

I have been called a "Operations Analyst" for over 10 years with the same very large government agency. The title has not changed but the job duties have changed several times. I started out in one department as a small form database creator (Access), then after two years I went to teaching basic computer skills to therapist, Doctors and Social Workers for four years. The agency then wanted to outsource my job but found that I worked for salary and outside wanted 2 mil.. Then I worked as helpdesk for 1 1/2 years. Same title. Now for almost two years I have worked in a department that had been responible for over 12% of the helpdesk calls (700+ calls a month from only 120 people). Helpdesk calls are expensive averaging over $70 per call for us.This group they also tried to outsource. It got worse. Then they send me in as some one looking over the shoulders of the workers. What I saw could not be seen over the phone by calls to India. Bad work habits, faulty computer usage, no ergonomic furniture, spoty program knowledge, and a adittude of general laxness with computer work, frustration associated with all this and the situation is explosive. I observed for six months trying different things. Then by "Pronouncements From On High" ordered them to do the correct things. Calls to the Helpdesk dropped by 69%in the first 7 months and now it stands at about 1% of all the heldesk calls. This could not have been done from the outside. it stopped the push for outsourcing all work to having at least one "IT" type person in each area. My job title may change when I retire but the job will not remain the same.

chas_2
chas_2

This is not necessarily a good development. The average American corporation is good with "knitters" - folks that focus on their own little piece of the business without having a bigger picture. This is exemplified by the phrase, "That's not my job." We as a nation have not done a good job of encouraging analytical skills, even in I-T. What we tend to encourage instead is just following orders. I would say in a majority of I-T positions if you demonstrate initiative and make a decision on your own, based on analysis, you're not likely to be praised for it - unless it saves the company zillions of dollars. This raises another point - egos. If analyzing a business is becoming more important, then there will certainly be conflicting perceptions of where a business currently is, and in what direction it should move next. That, after all, is part of analysis - finding the right "context" for data, as you say. What happens if an I-T worker bee discovers a trend in data that suggest one of his upper-level managers is deficient - professionally or personally? Is that analysis going to get outside a cubicle, or is an ego going to hush it up? As before, it's going to come down to management to implement such business changes properly. Sure, more I-T workers may be asked to get in on the interpretative nature of running the business, but will the upper brass be able to listen - really listen - to what they hear? Or will their egos rage back?

ibsteve2u
ibsteve2u

"The company expects its data managers to be able to look at data and figure out answers to questions, such as where money is being lost." Strange...once the easily-controlled "glass house" paradigm broke down under the influx of PCs, many companies were motivated to outsource/offshore because they weren't comfortable with in-house IT people being able to combine the numbers that they could access along with their personal experience with day-to-day operations and then compare (errr, "analyze") that data to the often different numbers that were used in public/with the public/with the workforce. Outsourcing/offshoring provided a significant layer of insulation between data input and reality. And now the ability to analyze the data is suddenly a plus? lollll...I guess "free trade" and the economy in general is finally squeezing the fat out at the top, too.

Paul W. Homer
Paul W. Homer

It's a pendulum, which keeps swinging from side to side. For a while, the 'business' side of software is viewed as the more important one, the it switches back to the 'technical' side. The thing is, all of these 'worry about the business, the technology will take care of itself' movements have crashed early. They don't work any better than focusing on the technology and ignoring what it does. Paul. http://theprogrammersparadox.blogspot.com

larrie_jr
larrie_jr

One of the problems I have as a job hunter, and employers have in hiring, is the lack of "standardized" titles already!!! I can't tell you how many times I have been on an interview, or have applied to a job, whose title may have been 'systems administrator' only to find out that they really need a network admin (or the other way 'round) Title changes as you are suggesting, will only make it much more difficult to find qualified personell for the business needs of the company; from both sides of the fence. A fireman is a fireman, a doctor is a doctor, but what exactly is a "Chief delivery officer"??? Is that anything like a 'custodial engineer'???

dcolbert
dcolbert

Has it right. This doesn't change MY role, it changes where I do it and who I answer directly to. My role isn't going to become this new role - this is some sort of new position that is being created. This whole "business alignment" concept of "...expects its data managers to be able to look at data and figure out answers to questions, such as where money is being lost. In other words, the company wants someone to put data in a business context." Seems to think that you can make a Data Analyst a good IT worker, or a good IT worker a Data Analyst. Perhaps we should give some CEOs brooms, because they might be better utilized converging their skills with janitorial services. Fact is, outsourced, off-shored, in-house, you need guys that have expert level understanding of the systems, platforms and applications that generate, store and retreive the business process data you want to analyze to make the place more efficient. I've seen the result of shops where they make too small of a staff of IT professionals wear too many hats - and that is ultimately what this goal is. To try to consolidate roles that are seen as in the realm of IT services. I think ulitmately, it illustrates a growing pool of individuals involved on the periphery of IT who think they know more about IT than they do, and also tend to think of it as one big interchangable "cost-center". "You're the IT guy, fix my smart-phone and then get busy rebuilding the indexes on that DB server, after which our DNS needs some tuning, and can you develop an integration plan for mining our data to determine how we can be more productive in our manufacturing and purchasing process?" Hey, bring in your kid's PC and I'll get the spyware off of it, too. This move to "Jack of All Trades, Master of None" is going to come back to haunt us.

Fregeus
Fregeus

This sound like a a bunch of university grads gen-y trying to make their mark on the world by changing something that doesn't need fixin'. I'm really getting tired of always being the butt of the joke in the business world. We are not ONLY a cost center. We are not out to control the universe (that's MS and Google's job description). Stop picking on IT for cost cutting, outsourcing, insourcing, intrasourcing, extraterrestrialsourcing, gangrapedsourcing, mobhitsourcing. Enough already!!! Can we all just get along? TCB

mparisi
mparisi

This has been the not so subtle changes taking place for some time now not just for IT role but for all levels of corporate business for years now. The world needs to focus on getting things done and less how we are going to do it. Stop the meetings and get back to work!

reisen55
reisen55

I worked with a superb team for 7 years, supporting 1,700 customers. All they had to do was to call us and we came running, and server failures were addressed instantly. I remember days of running up to the 103rd floor LAN closet at 8:15 am because something failed at 8:10 am. Yes, the 103rd floor. That should give you a hint as to where I worked. Then - August, 2004. Computer Sciences Corporation. Procedures, Service level agreements, more procedures. One day the Secaucus data center crashed and with it went the all important ticketing system. No metrics. So we were ORDERED not to LEAVE OUR WORK AREA OR TALK TO USERS BEFORE IT WAS FIXED. For 36 hours. One day CSC had to save money, so they fired 140 of us. Brought in young kids. One day was what it took for us to deliver a new computer to a new employee, or a new email account. Under CSC, 30 days for a new computer and 90 days for a new email account. Procedures. 200 servers were smashed to pieces by a worm last year. and yet............ Management thinks it is a great wonderful thing because it has REDUCED THOSE NASTY EXPENSES and everything IS CHEAPER, FASTER, BETTER. Just make phone call to Bangalore. Sickening.

josephrot
josephrot

What do we mean "sounds like" and "will be..." ?? This has been going on for 25 years or more...everything is outsource-able, and has been. Cutting costs and presumed un-needed jobs and staff expertise has been rampant for many years, as has trying, or forcing, to make one or two persons do the workload and expertise of five or six. Conservation Engineering is one aspect of new job titles, and titles the like of Product Architect Chief Delivery Officer, and Chief Process Officer are seemingly veiled attempts to again make one or two persons do the workload and expertise of five or six, but be paid like one or two persons.

tuomo
tuomo

For old timers - is this news? For new in IT, compare the titles to other professions, do you really see a city architect selected by witch hammer they will use to design a new city block? Do you really see an engineer selected to use a hammer to put a nail into the wood instead to creating a new, better hammer for it? Do you really see an analyst (in business) instead of analyzing the cause and the effect to configuring a Web site? In my mind, IT has totally lost the meaning of titles - as an software engineer I have had to write business policies and rules, as an architect I have had to write the simple code - not that I can't do it but the title is definitely no measure in IT today, unfortunately.

hannesc
hannesc

Surely It has a dual role. On the one side IT is integrating itself with business and hence I agree there should be a high level of strategic business participation and an understanding of IT's role in being an enabler. However, on the other side someone still has to attend to the nuts and bolts of IT and whether these function are onsourced, outsourced or co-sourced, it still remains a core capability of IT staff.

Your Mom 2.0
Your Mom 2.0

I've wondered about this question for awhile... The official title on the job description is "PC Support", but over the years my duties have evolved way beyond just user assistance (helpdesk) issues and repairs. We're a somewhat small company (multi-million annually) with one CIO, two programmers, and myself. Our CIO works on "big-picture" projects that benefit the company in the long-run and handles AIX issues that I'm not familiar with, our programmers maintain their code and write new programs based on the business needs at the time, and I pretty much do everything else. "Everything else" includes email admin, network issues and setup (wired and wireless), remote user support, Windows AD domain admin, any and all Windows-based software support, PC and server maintenance, backups, etc. BTW, I do most of these things for two other sister companies as well, one of which has four storefronts and the other is a hotel with a restaurant POS, hotel guest wireless Internet access, and a 3rd party registration / reservation system. "PC Support" doesn't adequately describe what I do, in my opinion...

basshunter
basshunter

At my job, IT means anything that plugs into the wall and uses electricity! Apparently its a Florida thing.

mwesthoff
mwesthoff

Exactly...as an employer, I look for specific skills after hiring for the person (most of the time). I've found concentrating on the type of person you are hiring is the best way to go. In other words, hire a good person before someone who just has skills...of course, sometimes, we don't have that luxury...and network admin means different things to different people.

chas_2
chas_2

A lot of titles are chosen by people that have never had the position, and who don't understand what the position entails. Add to that the rather limited vocabulary and verbal skills the average worker in America has and you have the recipe for an inaccurate title. (I live in Texas; I see this a lot.) Before one names something, he/she should understand what it requires. That most people are more interested in picking something that sounds "pretty" is nothing but a cover-up for their own lack of knowledge.

Trav62
Trav62

Our IT shop consists of appx 30 people. I am one of three "Network Analysts" so everyone assumes our three jobs are identical. Problem is, one of us is responsible for the network backbone, the wireless network, and email; another one for server setup and maintenance, vpn, backups, scripting, Active Directory, Citrix, SSO, and storage; while I'm responsible for security aspects (virus, spyware, url-filtering, firewalls, IDS, NAC, and drive encryption), plus getting ready to dive into VMware. So it is really annoying to have someone come up to me and assume I know why they can't get an expected email, or why an app isn't working in Citrix. IMO, life would be much easier for all involved if titles were to get more specific rather than vaguer.

JCode
JCode

The influx of overly 'educated' IT managers has created the situation where management has no real idea what a 'developer' actually does, or what skills are needed. Any one body is as good as another, so titles are pretty meaningless. If IT development is to be treated as a manufacturing process, outsourcing makes perfect sense - but who has the skills to actually manage that??

Slvrknght
Slvrknght

Productivity meetings on what is causing a lack of productivity... Heheh. I'm really very glad that the company I work for is small enough that it makes more sense to have IT on staff doing exactly what IT does. Granted, the one problem with working for a non-profit Health Center (3 of us for roughly ~200 users) is that we're all doing tech support at one point or another. Oh well. Once I pass my MCSE someone else gets to be the IT Support Specialist as I move to Infrastructure Administrator. WooHoo! More titles!

Diarmid
Diarmid

I see the problem (okay, saw the problem.) Consider: is emigration a silly option? If you want to remain on any technological cusp and your present environment is toxic to your ambitions - change environments! I did.

MidwestITLady
MidwestITLady

I agree with hannesc...someone still has to manage the core IT functions, and these are often not outsourced in small to medium companies. So for companies like us, we play a dual role, and I don't see that changing real soon.

charles.wong
charles.wong

I think Business-IT alignment is not one-way, the business also needs to start developing their technical awareness. The IT organisation I work in is dominated by PMs and BAs that has a lot of business knowledge but little technical awareness, and this proved problematic when they start proposing solutions to business problems, in that those solutions are in many cases technically infeasible, unworkable, unmaintainable or unsupportable.

imlucanio
imlucanio

I'm a student that?s busy finishing my studies in digital engineering. It frustrates me when people say I?m doing IT, cause I didn't study that I specialize in hardware and software design. The role of IT must be of such that this kind of misperception doesn't happen. IT is not engineering. Well I hope the role of IT and the new changes should show that these fields are different.

ajohansson
ajohansson

to rewrite your job description and ask for a raise. I did that at one place and got the $15k raise I asked for. Backed it up with Payscale.com type of research. Good Luck!

Flashtube105
Flashtube105

Since we were all hired to do PC Support, or as in my original job title "Troubleshooter", which has now morphed into, "Just about everything a client can think of that we should do". My company gave me a new title that I can now print on a business card, Systems Administrator,but If I were to think of a new business oriented name or title it would be Janitor. Sounds good! Nothing to do with I.T. and the company management can relate to. I am a Janitor. I do all that is I.T. and then some.

SD ITman
SD ITman

When I started in my position, Computer Systems Coordinator, we had one server and my primary job in our 24,00 sq ft manufacturing facility in SD was making sure that the green lite stayed on the server and connecting label printers to the WAN with our corporate office in a different state running through and old HP Marathon Bridge. I would also keep our barcode scanners in our shipping area functioning. Now, I run cabling,fully support the LAN, WAN, Shipping Manifest System, (Remotely support Shipping Manifest, barcode scanners, label printers and laserjet printers in a facility in TN). I administer our network and all that attaches to it for our 34,000 sq ft main facility as well as two 10,000 sq ft facilities that are 1 1/2 miles away connected via a 8 pair multi-mode fiber that we put in several years ago. I also support out main PBX and it's circuitry. We have just gone with IP phones for our two 10,000 sq ft facilities so I support it and all it's connecting hardware. I support all of our software from outlook to Solid Works. I've seen my company go from a 45 Million dollar company to a Billion dollar company. I am the only IT person in my three locations. What should my title be?

nerdy_gurl
nerdy_gurl

Now my subject line does not mean all vague titles in IT might equal that, but when one does multiple IT roles like some of the posters and myself, it means we have to learn and apply well many IT disciplines that used to have their own specific personnel. I, too, work for a small (VERY small) company, we use a fair amount of enterprise-like tech, and I have to know and keep up to date on all of that to do my job well. Recently I saw on the Microsoft site a classification called 'IT generalist'. That was really helpful for me. However, I would't want 'generalist' to become to mean 'having shallow knowledge'. :) Like 'your mom' I do most of those duties like his and all our website stuff too, so I definitely understand being in his 'shoes'. I feel folks like us should be paid MORE since we have to know so much more (but that's just a dream, right?) :D

Russ@lcf
Russ@lcf

I used to be an "IT Technician" now I'm a "Support Analyst" - no I don't work for a bra manufacturer - I'm still doing the same IT job!

uberg33k50
uberg33k50

I have to laugh when I see these articles. They must apply to those really large companies that I really don't want to work for anyway. We are fairly small company too. I have great benefits, very good pay, a friendly environment from people above me and I plan to leave here when they carry me out feet first. I also do not see any of these changes that these "reporters" are always going on about. I don't know of anyone working for a small to medium size company in this area eve discussing such things.

Bob Oso
Bob Oso

Mom you are so right

reisen55
reisen55

Computers themselves are not understood by most Americans at all, and management has nothing to do there. Management does not understand how important these systems have become to the day to day operation of their business. Crucial, totally so. Can we return to the IBM Typewriter today? Pull everything? Don't think so. Reality check: System admins should have a 1 day strick, a sit down, shutdown strike. For one day all servers go down. I bet would we have an impact then.

dcolbert
dcolbert

I suppose this is similar to someone asking a criminal lawyer for advice on a civil lawsuit, or asking an OBGYN for advice on high blood pressure. I think the difference is, that while these things generally happen "BELOW" their level to professionals of this nature, these kind of requests often come from ABOVE our level for IT professionals. I keep trying to explain around here that just because I can run an Exchange server doesn't mean I know anything about setting up useful filters in Outlook, and I can't seem to get the distinction to sink in. So, the trend may BE this way, but ultimately, the quality of service is going to suffer if it continues to move in this direction.

mparisi
mparisi

I don't know the answer. But that is my point. For years now I've been in so many meetings about how we are going to tackle a problem.challenge and ultimately somebody would turn it it to a project. Thats when the meetings would start. And the meetings never end and they never really get anywhere and then when the project gets forgotten about at the end of the day it was always people like me who had to clean up the mess.

reisen55
reisen55

I envy you for living in New Zeland is it? That would be wonderful. And I am now an independent consultant, as many are on this board, controlling my own neworks and in a sense am OUTSOURCING for my clients, only I outsource ME and consider it to be "outsourcing AMERICAN style." Would you like an email survey?

mparisi
mparisi

you are so right- the BA's in the development side never have a complete understanding of the day to day work involved. And the PM's are usually never experienced enough to find this out until its too late. Thats a big part of why so many projects get either restarted or dumped or go over budget.

imlucanio
imlucanio

A lot of people don't understand the role of IT exactly, "information technology" hmm that can mean so much, and creative minds can think out a lot of stuff. Example food, if someone ask if i want food i won't just say yes, i want a choice. I can't even put my exact job role in my profile...

Mr L
Mr L

By your post you mean that you intend to go to work for a software or hardware company and design new products? If so, I agree with you to some extent. If you plan on going to work at a business whose core competencies are not software/hardware creation, then you are you are going to be in IT. IT=Information Technology, which can easily umbrella any position meant to support an organizations needs as regards data acquisition/disemination/analysis, business process automation, and operational technologies (keeping the wheels turning) outside of the facilitites management sphere.

simia
simia

Why is it then that membership and accreditation to some IT professional bodies allows you to be designated as a Chartered Engineer?

CkITout
CkITout

Hmmm ? The heck with the title, I would ask for a huge raise and a couple of assistants. Additionally, I would ask the owners of this ?small? company for a couple of body guards and a healthy insurance policy; what would happen *to them* if you got hit by a truck or won a couple of million dollars in the Lottery. Either way, your title would be ?GONE? and they would be looking for the paddle. BTW, The fools and stone cutters working on the pyramids probably thought that, since there was ?absolutely no background?, the Master Builder was an idiot too. The modern IT industry is less than 50 years old; compared to civilization?s other disciplines like fishing, civil, or even electrical engineering, we are still suckling infants. We are not born with A Priori IT knowledge. Some will take the traditional, rounded education, route and go to college or take some form of structured learning. Others will take an apprenticeship and still others will take the bootstrap-to-knowledge route. Does it matter? Please don?t knock a lack of background totally. It is through doing and leaning from our successes and failures we advance in our careers and add to the sum of knowledge and it is doubly true working with new technologies like gas lights, building of horseless carriages and IT infrastructure.

reisen55
reisen55

Your title will not matter. You will be terminated. You are part, in management's view, of an overpaid, lazy sector of American IT workers who do not do anything all day long because, obviously, everything is working fine. Why pay you a ton of money when Indian Techs in Bangalore can do your job at 1/4 salary with no health care benefits and do it cheaper, faster, better??? American IT workers are indeed fools. We have no corporate career left, it is all in danger of outsourcing. Protect yourself as BEST as you can. You are never the indispensable employee.

dlogan
dlogan

Unfortunately - based on the description of your job duties- but this also applies to anyone planning a career in IT - Either FOOL or SUCKER seems appropriate... The idiots are in charge and people with absolutley no background in IT are making the key decisions.

MargaretI
MargaretI

How about IT GURU? Sounds appropriate for many of you.

dnelsonwc
dnelsonwc

Isn't that what "network admin" is supposed to mean? Responsible for everything? If not, I've been using the wrong title for years.

jtaylor1369
jtaylor1369

My title is a Business and Technology Applications Technician - recently changed from Applications Programmer. I find myself doing a lot of generalist stuff in the 10 years of being in this position anyway even though I am supposed to be a ?programmer?. That's where the frustration comes in. Don't get me wrong, I like having the knowledge of desktop support, but I would also like to have more experience in the programming area, but unfortunately, I don't get many opportunities in that area. Therefore my knowledge base is "shallow" since all I know is little bit of this and a little bit of that. Needless to say, the IT generalist role fits into my new title.

dhaslak
dhaslak

you're still doing the same job?

HypnoToad
HypnoToad

I see them trying, currently in the form of "Web-based applications"... No wonder Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo. They built their domain, no pun intended, on PCs. Why can't Microsoft continue to keep PCs relevant - something they've managed to do with eloquence for 20-some years...?

imlucanio
imlucanio

Computers of today is not just your desktop pc, i have the potential to build 7 computer based designs on my desk right now. They are not desktop pc's but they fit the name personal computer pretty well. Even the word CPU is misunderstood eg: i have about 12 CPU's on my desk.(btw I don't work at a pc shop)

imlucanio
imlucanio

Computers of today is not just your desktop pc, i have the potential to build 7 computer based designs on my desk right now. they are not desktop pc's but they fit the name personal computer pretty well. Even the word CPU is misunderstood eg: i have about 12 CPU's on my desk.

reisen55
reisen55

I discovered it is enormously helpful to have an outside business at the same time as your daily job so you can slip into an income stream. It is when you make the formal jump that the OHMYGAWD period begins. So also look for networking partnerships, both evenings out in business card swap and other associations for formal support. Business cards can be done easily at www.vistaprint.com. Great resource. Advertise, seminars and teach too.

DelphiniumEve
DelphiniumEve

I was a consultant for just over 5 years. How did I get there? Layoff and the economy started blowing chunks (2002). The transition was out of necessity. Much like now, companies did not want to hire employees. They wanted disposable bodies with no lingering overhead. I have been a firefighter of sorts. I was being brought in for fixed-length assignments with specific deliverables. It did pay well. However, it did come with the downside of a month off here or there and not necessarily when I wanted it. That month or so is spent hustling for your next opportunity and you still have bills to pay. Things that happened because of this: ? I did eventually have to sell my house ? The golden lining was getting an overseas opportunity I would have never taken if I still had my house ? I have seen and accumulated valuable knowledge in a broad range of industries ? I can market myself well and I have few employment fears left ? I have met wonderful people who mentored me through the rough transitional period for whom I will be eternally grateful As of forth quarter 2007, I rejoined a very, very large corporation. I only see this as a short-term job. I am not suited for this environment, but I am once again improving my skill set. If I am here by the end of 2010, this organization will have to undergo a major culture shift which is doubtful. I did take about a 30% reduction in pay when considered on a 40-hour basis. However, the truth is, it was more of a cut as my weeks are not ever 'just' 40 hours. The upside, I have decent benefits and paid vacation. That may just offset the 'unpaid' overtime hours. The bottom line is, just how much risk can you live with? Only you can make that call.

david_scott
david_scott

How did you get started as an independent consultant? Was the transition from employee to consultant rocky (i.e.-a period of time w/o pay?) i've got two youngsters and i always fear a consultant job would not have the stability of a full time employee. But I know it pays a hell of alot more

srhoag
srhoag

I used to have a sign that said, "I'm a technician, not a magician". With some of the requests I've gotten over the many years in IT, you would think they expect us to work magical miracles. That's okay, the impossible just takes a little longer is all.

ajohansson
ajohansson

Some people seem to believe that we are magicians that just like to call ourselves engineers.

imlucanio
imlucanio

If i wanted to be known as doing IT i would have studied that instead i didn't study that, i don't want to be known as doing IT i want to be known for doing what i like which is engineering (specialize on digital side). a=b b=a If engineering was IT then IT is engineering

Jerome.Wright
Jerome.Wright

The question should have been "Is Digital Engineering not IT?" to which the answer is "It Is". But no IT is not necessarily Engineering any more than explaining is Lecturing.

Your Mom 2.0
Your Mom 2.0

This truly is one of the fields where certifications or degrees might get one's foot in the door but only goes so far without pre-existing troubleshooting skills and a logical approach to problem-solving. There has to be innate aptitude for this kind of work. In my opinion -- and this is more true in smaller shops than large corporations -- experience is worth more than certifications. IT in an SMB has more responsibilities and fewer resources than larger companies that can hire specialists for whatever the need might be. In the past we've hired a few useless Cisco and MCSE-certified employees that thought they would be handed a cushy job only because they managed to pass a few certification tests in "boot camp" facilities. In real-world scenarios, though, they just couldn't get the job done. Of course, I'm not necessarily knocking those that pursue cert's or degrees, but I agree that there are several means to an end in IT work, at least until most of these skills become ubiquitous.

R_Carrison
R_Carrison

Simple, BOSS. As an old timer who wades shallow in a wide pond I can empathize. Also as a former small business owner, you really do sound like the boss.. GET A Healthy raise and two able assistants.

Your Mom 2.0
Your Mom 2.0

I know what you're saying. "Network Admin" implies to you that you're the administrator over everything on the network, including the network, but I don't know how close that is to the official job description. The sources I've found through Google indicate a distinction of only "network-centric" activities (meaning, a company can have someone on the payroll for just network admin and also have someone else for desktop and server "systems" support). Small companies don't make the distinction, though. On my business cards I've specified my title as "Systems / Network Administrator" and when I meet people and they ask what I do, I tell them I'm "my company's computer guy" ala Nick Burns from the SNL skits.

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