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Career alternatives for the IT-minded

By crawk ·
Most of us gravitated to IT partly because of our 'wiring.' Without getting into male/female or left-brain/right-brain or emotional/logical debates, many of us are just plain different from the rest of the world. Logically, then, there are non-IT careers out there to which we may be constitutionally better suited than others.

Consulting, for one's own business or another's, is a perennial alternative to the daily IT-shop grind. But lots of other things have also popped up in many TR discussions. My goal for this thread is to gather into one place some ideas for those who have found, or who are seeking, or who are just curious about, career alternatives.

What else have you found or do you know of or do you think may be well-suited to the IT-minded? Why and how?

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Good topic

by Creative-ET In reply to Career alternatives for t ...

As a recent graduate, I cannot afford to grab any job available because experiences gained from it would determine my next job. I have thought long and hard and my conclusion is that all of us still have to start as a programmer before we can get to the level of intermediate/senior programmer, analyst, architect, team leader, project manager, program manager, etc.

See how easy we can get lost in this maze? One can easily be stuck as a developer (not that it is a bad thing).

Ultimately we all have to know our strengths and weaknesses first before we decide to walk down a particular career path. Some people are simply good communicators but somehow they cannot get along with teams. They can easily be independent consultant if they have valuable knowledge and experience to share.

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Knowing strengths

by PhoneAdmin In reply to Good topic

Congratulations if you as a recent graduate know your strengths and weaknesses so soon! I'm 10+ years after graduation and have gone from Accounting to IT and am now hoping to move on to telecom.

But then again, maybe its just me :)

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Had no choice...

by Creative-ET In reply to Knowing strengths

IT graduates these days are faced with the "no training" barrier. Some employers want "senior" and only resort to juniors when they can't find any more seniors.

With zero loyalty from employers, the Gen-Y will require more career management skills. We have to be sure where we want to go, how to get there and what is our back-up plan. We will demand for promotion and raise when the time comes and if there is none we will look for another job.

If we know our strengths well enough to negotiate with the boss/manager, we will always find a suitable job because we are good at what we do.

A bit philosophical but that is just what I have in mind. :-D

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Project Management

by luv2sail2 In reply to Career alternatives for t ...

(This feels like "IT Careers Anonymous") I too got into IT in the 90's as a Desktop technician, and then CAD software admin. At the end of the 90's I got involved in a data warehouse client/server installation that put me in the role of Project Manager. I found that I loved the logical thinking, process control, and resource admin, all things that us IT people like about computers.

I quit my job and got into a consulting firm to a non-IT company. It was a good fit. I found I adapted well to the new information because I was focused on the project, not necessarily what it was about.

Move ahead, I took a job with a non-profit group and just completed 3 1/2 years of project mgmt work overseas.

Problem: Now I'm coming back to the US and I've been utilizing the Internet for a job, submitting my resume everywhere, and I'm finding very few jobs related to project management where my now limited skills are desireable! My resume reads like hop-scotch. Apparently critical thinking and administrative abilities aren't actual skills.

If the reader can stay focused in a specific field within Project Management, and really get to know it, I think it could be a great job to a new career and a fullfilling job.

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Good one

by crawk In reply to Project Management

Lots of detail and administrative work in Project Management. For those who understand creative people and have some interest in understanding how to keep team members from killing each other, it's a good fit.

Google "PMP" and check out, the Project Management Institute. You have to join in order to take the Project Management Professional exam for PMP cert. Preparation for the exam includes some classroom, and also experience in the field already. But it's amazing to see how much actual experience we already have in the project process just in the course living and working.

The PMP is very different from the endless hamster-wheel of tech certs, and opens the door to project management in any field, not just IT.

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start your own firm

by Canadian_Nerd In reply to Project Management

There is always the option of starting your own consulting firm. If you have worked long enough for others then I am sure you are more than cabable of going solo.

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by doug m. In reply to Project Management

I find quite the opposite, Project Managers are in demand, but that may be because I am looking at telecom companies and not IT companies. Try looking at some telco related firms. They seem to always need good project managers. With all of the downsizing in that industry (I am a victim of that) they now run smaller, short-term projects with consultants rather than keep their own stable of employees.

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Get your PMP

by Webwoman In reply to Project Management

Get a PMP and look in the right geographic market, and you'll have not problem finding a PM job for a good salary. A friend of mine got this PMP to move up and out from his old employer. It was shocking how much in demand he was after getting that PMP.

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by crawk In reply to Career alternatives for t ...

Interesting occupation for the detail-minded: creating the indexes for non-fiction books. Can be done anywhere and emailed back to the publisher. Google "Indexers."

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by goal120 In reply to Career alternatives for t ...

When I was searching for a new career, I finally narrowed things down to retail pharmacist or computer desktop/network support. I was looking for a job where at least some things got completed every single day and nothing took longer than a year (in my old career, all projects lasted for years and years). I wanted to be able to do something for a specific person, and educate people one-on-one. I wanted to do more than write long documents and sit in meetings. I wanted to do something more hands-on.

Since I had already knew computer hardware pretty well and some programming, and had never taken zoology etc (would have needed to take at least six prerequisite classes before I could even have *applied* to pharmacy school), I headed into computer support.

And six years later, I still love it! But I think Pharmacist would have been similar and possibly more lucrative and long-lasting into old age. Like computer support, I could still be helping "users" (hee-hee, probably can't officially call them that) every day and adjusting my level of support to each person's level of knowledge; acting as liason between the users and doctors/insurance; doing inventory management; perhaps repair of hardware such as pill-counting machines (?); dealing with software and printing issues; dealing with security issues; waiting for approvals from nameless faceless people in a another location; geeking out reading trade magazines about the lastest studies; regular continuing education...

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