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Is IT a sinking ship?

By Lumbergh77 ·
A few years ago, my dad asked me what I would do if suddenly, all computers disappeared, and I had to find a new line of work. I laughed at him and said that'll never happen, there will always be plenty of work in computers. I thought my career was secure and I had nothing to worry about. I figured I'd find that 50-60 K a year job in a few years and someday make 6 figures as a programmer. Now I look back and shake my head at how naive I was.

Back then, there were tons of opportunities and high paying jobs in this field. Most of the high paying jobs are gone. There are few opportunities unless you're a good saleperson and/or have a lot of connections. And even when you do find a job, you have to deal with the same politics that managers and other business people have to deal with. And they're making the same amount of money (or more) without having to know as much!

It's amazing how many disgruntled people are in this field. The negativity on this board is astounding. There are people with degrees, certifications, and experience, and still having trouble finding a job. It's a damn shame that there are a whole lot of people in their 40s and 50s who have worked their asses off this field and can't find work.

Some of you speak of keeping your skills up to date. It's a crapshoot. Unless you have a secure job, how do you know what skills are you supposed to be learning? There are so many things to know that it's impossible to focus on everything. By the time you become an expert in something, it's already passe. Employers don't want to train you. They expect you to have all of the skills that they require.

If there's no money OR job security in this field, and you have to spend many hours a week studying for certifications outside of work just to (hopefully) stay afloat for a few more years, and you have to deal with the same politics as everyone else, what is the point? Not to mention that the schools are pumping out thousands of graduates per year....

If you're a manager, you have politics to deal with but you don't have to spend countless hours outside of work passing certification tests.

If you're an independent HVAC repairman, you have to know your stuff but the technology doesn't change as nearly as much as IT. And you don't have office politics to deal with.

IT people are expected to know everything that there is to know about computers, be excellent communicators, deal with politics, etc.

So what do you do? Continue to devote thousands of hours on your own time learning skills that may or may not help you in the future? Start over and go into a new field? If you learn how to be a bricklayer, you may not make as much money (assuming you're lucky enough to be employed in IT), but at least you don't have to re-certify every 3 years.

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Well said

by Oz_Media In reply to Is IT a sinking ship?

And I have said it myself much to people's horror many times.

There are TRADES and there are certs, certs being called trades is weak.

You can make money as a mechanic or bricklayer because not everyone has a shop at home or a place to build houses out of brick for fun. Computers? Everyone has one and everyone is GETTING savvy with them now. IT will soon just be a high school credit (as it is already becoming) that is no different that learning English or math. Not a specialty trade as many still think it is.

The number of MCSE's running around complaining about the market is going to sound like people saying "Hey I passed grade 12! Why won't anyone give me a job, I PASSED grade 12 for god's sake!"

I am an MCNE not by choice but because an employer paid for it (and it was on the nice Novell training cruiseship program, too cool!).

I am also a licenced mechanic, as IT $$ dwindles, the automotive Journeyman's wage inrceases, unionized and all that.

So while I turned my back on a 'working man's' trade for easier work, I find myself realizing that hard work still pays more and as for the future...well it just technology that keeps changing and getting cheaper every year.

Notice that cars aren't any cheaper though? You pay more at the shop now?

The Discovery channel had a show on the other day that was about Water Theme park designing. They showed how all of this outstanding engineering is done on computers that could never have been done before.

Then they had to build a mock model to prove the software gave them the right information, that consisted bricks and mortar in a warehouse with little **** up boats in it.

They showed how the water jets at another park had been intricately designed by high end CAD software and by skilled Autocad engineers. Then they showed three guys, all grubby and greasy with little welders beanies on, who were actually bulding the mechanical mock-ups.

No matter what it is they can design, it still takes skilled labour, engineers, Tig welders, mechanics, and masons, to actually build the damn thing.

Computers aid in designing these wonderful places, PEOPLE WITH REAL SKILLS build them. Excluding of course the skilled autocad enineers that got jobs...both of them.

SO with the TWO or THREE highly skilled CAD techs that actually designed it, there were literally hundreds if not thousands who actually BUILD it.

They make HUGE money building it, it provides WAY more jobs than the design process did, and then thy need even more guys to run out and reweld, retorque and fix these rides as the computer shows it is due for repair.

Computers replace some people but we still rely on skilled tradesmen to make it all a reality.

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Side note

by Oz_Media In reply to Is IT a sinking ship?

After 4 years in an automotive apprenticeship, I had to go back in order to stay current on new electronics used in specific manufacturers cars, Honda and Ford trucks.

As a machinist, you have to relearn new CAD equipment and keep your skills upto date, otherwise new journeymen get the jobs.

My father was a multiple certified tradesman, as a marine engineer it was constantly changing, even as a mason, machinist and engineer he had to constantly stay up to date on new techniques, materials and compounds. There is JUST as much book work, usually MORE time needed IN school to get certified s a journeyman and just as many days with grunt work before you reach your goal, then it is a matter of staying there.

As a sales manager I found the exact same thing, you need to constantly be on top of your game, have the latest competetive information memorized, put up with office politics and long hours, deal with staff in a rut, etc.

So while you are right in that it SEEMS that IT staff have a greater burden they really don't, in fact it is pretty easy as far as WORK is concerned, not too often do you visit the doctor to have a processor removed from your face.

When the boss or CO's go home it doesn't mean they no longer deal with work, in many cases even a trip to the pub will be a long worknight when all is said and done.

The thing I DO agree with though is money, IT does not have the same value it once did, as EVERYONE does it now, high pay and the big rise in the 80's and 90's just saturated the industry, it is now no different than a secretarial, HR or any other administrative position (Not to diminish thier role) but it is just another job that many people hav the common skills to compete for.

Reduce competition and you earn more money, always! Choose your trades wisely and you will alwys be employed and always make the money I guess.

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Agree with Oz...

by Salamander In reply to Side note

...Having a backup skill/trade/profession (or two or three) is almost a requirement, anymore. Right, wrong, or indifferent, the days in which a person could expect to be employed at the same company for 30 years and retire are gone far behind us. The spoils will go to those who are agile enough to adapt as circumstances demand, whether it means keeping feverish pace with their current industry, or seeking out new ones.

As a humorous side note...among my many other backup plans in unrelated areas, I am looking into becoming certified as a hypnotist. Do I expect to work full-time at this if I go through with it? Probably not; it's mostly for my own amusement and edification, as well as a good conversation topic at parties. But it would be just one more egg in another basket, in the event that somebody trips me and breaks the other eggs I'm carrying.

Life is a journey; it doesn't remain static, and neither, it seems, can we.

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.

by dafe2 In reply to Agree with Oz...
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Be careful

by Oz_Media In reply to Agree with Oz...

Don't practice in the mirror unless you have someone around to 'snap' you out of it.

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That would be a great excuse...

by Salamander In reply to Be careful

...for missing work, wouldn't it? :)

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Hypnotism

by TheGooch1 In reply to Agree with Oz...

With a skill like that, you can convince anyone to hire you, and keep you!

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IT is growing

by dafe2 In reply to Is IT a sinking ship?

It is growing.......just not in the sense most are used to it.

However I do agree (and have said it before) IT today is thinning out the 'dead wood'.

Those that think that building PC's & desktop support was 'IT' in the past are gone. Those that think owning a PC or being able to build a PC is 'IT' are history. Those that think understanding just the OS such as Windows or Linux or even Novell is 'IT' are gone. Understanding Networking isn't ennough anymore either.

There's a bigger 'IT' picture out there....those that understand THAT have a future and a job in IT.

To put it another way.....building a cabinet or fixing your car does not make you a carpenter or a mechanic.

You should allways have another skillset to bolster or specialize your IT knowledge.

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You know what they say

by Oz_Media In reply to IT is growing

You bake one loaf of bread, they call you a baker.

You darn one sock, they call you a tailor.

You suck one ****, they call you a....

Couldn't resist

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Turkeys..................again

by dafe2 In reply to You know what they say

True ennough in a twisted kinda of way isn't it?

;-)

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