IT admins: Stressed, sick and looking for a new career?

A survey paints a depressing view of life as an IT administrator.

Two-thirds of IT administrators have considered switching careers due to job stress, with their managers and end users the cause of most of the pain.

According to a survey, two out of three IT admins find their job stressful - and many are overworked, with one in three claiming they put in 10 hours or more of overtime during an average week,

IT admins listed the top three sources of stress as management, users and tight deadlines.

Incompetent users and having to field their bizarre helpdesk calls have put additional strain on IT workers, according to the survey - for example, calls from users who did not realise their computers needed a power source to work, and users who had knowingly downloaded the same piece of malware on several occasions.

Workers at smaller companies seem to suffer less stress: just over half of IT admins at companies with between 10 and 49 employees said their jobs are stressful, compared with 84 per cent of IT workers at companies of between 50 and 99 employees

Four out of five said working in IT has affected their personal lives, such as forcing them to miss social functions.

But more worryingly, nearly a third said they have experienced stress-related health issues such as high blood pressure.

According to the survey of 201 IT admins in the UK by GFI Software, managers in London-based offices cause the most stress for IT admins, while users in Scotland are the most stressful to deal with. Meanwhile, IT admins in Yorkshire are apparently the most stressed in the country.

By Steve Ranger

Steve Ranger is the UK editor-in-chief of ZDNet and TechRepublic. An award-winning journalist, Steve writes about the intersection of technology, business and culture, and regularly appears on TV and radio discussing tech issues. Previously he was th...