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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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by piratetoolz In reply to Definately Better

I also am doing way better than I was 5 years ago, and I'm also not making as much as I thought I would be. Given the circumstances, however, I'm thankful to be making anything at all. You're absolutely right, letting your skill set stagnate is certain death.

Here's the question, though: If the company you work for doesn't grow technologically, does that mean that we (as IT professionals) have no choice but to hop from job to job, in order to keep up with the times?

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Just my opiniomn

by jdmercha In reply to Absolutely

If your company does not grow technologically, then your company will proably not survive.

However, reading a lot of trade journals will help keep you up on things.

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by piratetoolz In reply to Just my opiniomn

I agree. Too bad the folks that run the business units don't feel the same way. As for trade journals, they certianly help, but there is no substitute for actually working with the technology.

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Re: absolutely

by vltiii In reply to Absolutely

Job hopping is one option, but the more technologically savvy you are, the better equipped you are to sell the company you work for on technology. Historically, companies that resist advances in technology end up playing catchup which can be costly if not terminal.

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by DAYDO In reply to things seems to be able t ...

I got my A.A.S degree a little over a year ago and started of as helpdesl/infrastrucre support now I pretty much am doing the same thing (A little more SysAdmin and responsibilites, different comanpany) but I am making about 40% percent more than a year ago. I see my self acheiving another increase like that in the next 2 years. I can see good things in 5 years. I just think you should work harder at climning the ladder, There is no reason you can't accomplish the same. Leave to another company if needed. Dont give up on IT, there is growth and a lot of money there.

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Definitely much worse than 5 years ago

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

Personally, I have had the same job as an IT manager at a small company, but wages were frozen for 2 years - until this year. The raises were small.

I'm also affected by the downturn because my husband is an IT analyst. He worked for a large corporation and lost his job 2 years ago. Since then, work has been unsteady, just consulting assignments. They all paid less than his previous salary. Because of this, we are just getting by.

My brother, a programmer with a large corporation, is losing his job to offshore outsourcing the week before Christmas (now there's a company with a heart!).

Certainly, any certifications or degrees you have will benefit you, but only if you are an exact match for the job. There are so many candidates for one job, companies have become extremely picky in their search for perfection.

After going through what I have experienced over the past 5 years, I have become very nervous and fearful about future prospects in strictly IT. Because my husband and I are both IT people and older, our future employment prospects are slimmer than most. Never in a million years did I ever think a career in IT would end up this way.

Do I regret going into IT? Never. If I had to do it all over again and I was younger, I would. Call me a fool, I just love IT! In today's world though, I would concentrate more on soft skills and business skills. I would also certainly have a plan B because competition is fierce as well as global.

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have you heard of anyone who benefited from certs?

by secure_lockdown In reply to Definitely much worse tha ...

i have not.

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Sure - some have benefitted from certs

by Tellangon In reply to have you heard of anyone ...

Project Management Institute...
Lazy hiring managers...
Those that got their certs early & raised the bar behind them...

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Can't do warreny work without

by jdclyde In reply to Sure - some have benefitt ...

Your shop can't do jobs fixing warrenty work if you aren't certified for that hardware.

It means a lot on a shop sign to say they have Certified Technicians.

Means a lot more to non-techs to know you had some formal acknowledgement of your abilities as well.

Yes, I know people that benefit greatly from Certs.

I also got a big increase in my last raise because of getting Certs.

I am also working on my next Cert.

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by mr_dobby In reply to have you heard of anyone ...

I obtained my first (and current) job due to a college course with an mcse/ccna qualification at the end of it. Since then I have passed my cna, mcsa, security+ and my second mcse, I have (do)benefitted from all of them. And yes, I know of many others who have benefitted from certs also. Certs are not as important as experience but they can get your foot in the door, and this is what you need to start gaining experience (no one was born an IT expert).

I live in Europe, perhaps the situation is a lot different here from the US (?) with regard to IT jobs. It is important to have other, non-it skills however. I speak 3 languages which has also helped my situation a great deal.


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