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Are you better off now than you were 5 years ago?

By Lumbergh77 ·
I hear a lot of talk on how far the IT has fallen over the past 5 years. It seems that salaries are down, jobs are down, and thousands of new graduates are being thrown into an already oversaturated field.

Five year ago, I was working for a large corporation as a web programmer/help desk support (hired with ONLY 4 months experience and was 3 months from an Associate's degree in CIS) but was laid off last year. I am now working for a small company in a similar position. While I have obtained a Bachelor's degree in that time, I am making about the same amount of money as I was 5 years ago (in the mid 30 K range), and less benefits.

Seems to me that a B.S. degree now is worth as much as an A.S. five years ago and I'm thinking that certifications are necessary in order to get ahead. Or maybe it would be better to get training in something else to go along with my generalized IT skills (jack of all trades).

What about the rest of you? I'd like to see some personal examples on how you're faring now vs. 5 years ago. Do you regret your career choice? If you had to do it all over again, what would you have done?

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BS only is BS

by Glastron In reply to Hardly, things getting wo ...

I certainly agree that a BS is not a bad thing but AS degree has great value. I know people who have a BS in IT and can barly turn on their PC. A BS and masters are a great tool for management advancment but to say AS degrees are useless is plain wrong. I would take someone with a 2 year degree that actually worked on real systems instead of 4 year "theory" degree. By the way I have 2 AS degrees and am working towards my BS. Merry Christmas everyone.

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worth of AAB degree

by bg6638 In reply to BS only is BS

I read Glastron's post, and my immediate thought was when I went to a Robert Half agency to speak with one of their recruiters. I thought that 30+ years in IT with an AAB degree would be worth something! According to them, an AAB degree in Accting or Computer Science "is not worth the paper that it is printed on"! In fact, they told me that employers are now regarding a BS as a secondary degree, and that a Master's will be required by more employers within the next several years.

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We are not worthy!

by Glastron In reply to worth of AAB degree

Hello, What type of job were you looking for? As I said in my post any kind of management postion would almost always require a BS. The market is tight now but for hands on jobs I still think 2 year degree has value. It is a buyers market right now so employers are tighting up the qualifcations. 5 years ago you didn't need any degree. If you where breathing and could spell PC you had a job. I agree the higher the degree the better but to say you need a masters to run cable and setup users is just not true. Head hunters tend to look at just catch phrases such as certs and degrees. I would take your 30 years of relevant real world experience and "worthless" degree over someone who has a masters and never worked in the field. Sorry you had that experience but I don't know if that is the thought everywhere. Happy New Year!

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BS is Beloved BS

by TheDanC In reply to BS only is BS

A lot of IT jobs nowadays use scanners and parsers to sift through the huge piles of resumes. These sifters are getting better, but most will toss away any resume without the letters BS. I was working as an engineer with three AS degrees but could not be given the engineering title or salary until I finished my BS degree. Ironically I had been working the engineering job for two years, had been with the company for 7 years, and only had three courses left in my BS degree: Art&Music Apprec, World History, Colorado History. Technologically speaking my BS degree was done, but I couldn't even leave the company and get a new job until I had the BS diploma in hand! I ripped through these last three classes in one semester, while working full time, got my salary promotion and then a job with a real company!

Someone mentioned MS ... has anyone found a program that is technically relevant? So many certs these days are just so more relevant than MS degrees from stale universities.

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Come on everyone! Let's get real!

by mdigiuseppe In reply to Are you better off now th ...

I can't believe some of the comments! The dilemma of lackluster employment and insufficient rewards in the IT industry aren't the results of partisan politics; it has to do with our captains of industry courting our National leadership in order to significantly lower the cost of skilled labor!

If it were merely market demand, everyone with an IT need would be outsourcing to American professionals because we're the ones who have spent tens of thousands of dollars on our own education and training and we're the ones who launched these ridiculous certification programs which have now gotten completely out of hand. I mean, look guys, a CCIE Cert can run upwards of $22,000 by the time you complete the required labs.

Many of the outsourced service and support providers that run their business overseas don't even have certified employees in their shops! I know, I've asked when I've been blown off to a help desk in India or Pakistan by a manufacturer and have had to indulge the poor man or woman struggling to communicate with me in English!

To compensate for the poor performance of the outsourced labor, American industry has spent millions of dollars in advertising and marketing to drive down the expectations of consumers who continue to struggle with information technology in their day-to-day routine.

We're not going to resolve our employment issues at the ballot box voting individually because it won't matter who we elect on an individual basis.

We'll only resolve our dilemma when the entire labor component of the IT industry realizes that we need to take back control by organizing our political will around sound, well-thought-out action! One of the first things we'd need to do is accelerate the current trend among our elected representatives to close immigration and fortify our boarders. You can't believe how much that would affect our prosperity. Another thing that we could do is organize around a National initiative to promote telecommuting--getting industry to accept the notion that it's just getting too damn costly to drive a $22,000 automobile to work at $2.50 per gallon of gas. We could all work for a little less if we didn't have to underwrite Detroit's speculation all of the time.

Our focus should be on organizing and networking to produce effective political, economic, and social change. We won't get anywhere making this serious change in the paradigm of our careers a fault of any political party. We have to hammer the political sector every bit as hard as any other special interest group.

But, I know that all of you will just sit back and say that I'm crazy. You let this gigantic sleeping dog lie there undisturbed and continue the petulant grousing until the next major layoff.

Eventually, we'll all be stocking shelves for WalMart on W-2 Contract earning $6.75 an hour and trying to determine how we'll pay for our utility bill or agonizing over the fact that we can't provide our families with adequate health care. And while we suffer, we'll hear our politicians continue to say: "Overseas outsourcing, guest worker programs, and unrestricted trade is good for America.

Come on people! Which America are these Yahoos talking about?

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IT Union?

by TheChas In reply to Come on everyone! Let's ...

So, you want to have unionized IT workers?

It is hard to get enough money into trade organizations to fund effective political action.

In order for IT to gain the type of clout that you are looking for, the majority of IT workers would need to join a common union.

While I don't see unions as the problem that some members do. I don't think it is practicle to expect IT workers to join together anytime soon.

Chas

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Not an IT Union but an IT Movement!

by mdigiuseppe In reply to IT Union?

I should have been more specific: No, Chas, I was talking about a Professional Association expressed as a movement. Sort of like the IEEE.

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same boat here

by spbonus In reply to Are you better off now th ...

5 years ago i was a software developer with 1 year of experience and a BS in computer science. i was with a small start up and it was a 60k salary job.

2 laid off in between

now i am still a software developer for a larger company with still getting in the low 60k.

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same boat here

by spbonus In reply to Are you better off now th ...

5 years ago i was a software developer with 1 year of experience and a BS in computer science. i was with a small start up and it was a 60k salary job.

2 laid off in between

now i am still a software developer for a larger company with still getting in the low 60k.

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OF course I am

by Oz_Media In reply to Are you better off now th ...

I would never stay put if I wasn't constantly moving forward in pay, duties, responsibilities and mroe than anything, interests.

Pigeon-holing myself into a career corner has never been my cup of tea (speaking of which, time to put the kettle on). If the bottom falls out of IT, I fall out of IT.

When I got tired of my last gig, I bailed out and did something different, I couldn't see IT as a future that was growing fast enough anymore. Wages crawled up the scale and work was a complete snooze. So I found something else to do (I always keep irons in the fire) that pays more, is more exciting and has a much better future, for now anyway.

Why pick a career, spend your life in school trying to earn more at that career and then realize it isn't what you 'want' to do anymore? No thanks.

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