General discussion

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #2188261

    Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

    Locked

    by britontn ·

    I’ve been noting over the years that most IT professionals have been moving to other fields and to an extent throwing away their years of expertise in order to advance up their career ladders. I know of a number of personal contacts who have moved to fields like finance and Humans Resources.
    Is it agreed that no Tech Pro can ever land the post of either CEO, Director, Managing Director or Vice Chancellor or such other posts unless that individual starts his/her own company? Despite the fact that when we train for our field of expertise we learn all apsects of business including Finance and even Business communication.
    And what is the remedy to this if any(i.e besides starting your own company)

All Comments

  • Author
    Replies
    • #3256538

      Depends on the definition of ‘ceiling’

      by black panther ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      What is your ceiling??

      Status?

      **Is it how you are seen by others or how you see yourself**

      Job Satisfaction?

      **Are you willing to something you don’t enjoy**

      Money?

      **Does more money mean you are up the ladder further– I know plumbers who make more money than Managing Directors**

      **Remember the higher you go usually the more stress, responsibility and more working hours are required- the higher up you go the further you have to fall**

      **We spend our health making money then we spend our money to restore our health**

      **Aim high in your career but stay humble in your heart**

      • #3249446

        Hmm

        by britontn ·

        In reply to Depends on the definition of ‘ceiling’

        YOu could be right for the best part of your comment. But hey who doesn’t want to go up there. Remember Robb’s comment about ageism?
        To boils down to that. There is an age where you are not attractive on the job market and it is best if you are somewhere up there by the time you get to that age.
        I believe in doing what I enjoy. But I also feel there should be rewards beyond your concience and heart. Whats wrong with reaping rewards for your effort. Everybody works for money.

        • #3249443

          Rewards

          by black panther ·

          In reply to Hmm

          Yes true — what are the Rewards you are after?

          Material posession, personal fullfillment?

          **The rich dying man on the deathbed does not remember how many posessions he has but how many people loved him** 🙂

        • #3339154

          Not everybody…

          by black panther ·

          In reply to Hmm

          Some actually work for charities and Care organistations…

        • #3260333

          Earn a living

          by jasons ·

          In reply to Not everybody…

          This may be true but unless one is earning a living then one is no longer working for charities but a recipient of one.

          Everyone’s idea of a fair earning is different, I would rather push myself to a level that I feel comfortable with to earn a little more to enable me to do those things that fufill me spiritualy.

        • #3260239

          to all the idiots out there…

          by thebarrywilliamsshow ·

          In reply to Earn a living

          okay dunb a$$’es ….

          two things;

          #1 – the guy making the most money usually is *NOT* the guy working the hardest!!!

          #2 – the guy that is making that huge a$$ kick a$$ big load of cash that you are after is *NOT* doing it honestly! i am not saying he/she is dealing drugs or killing people — but he is probably pi$$ing people off, back stabbing people, and all other kinds of goodies… so i guess my point is…

          do you really want to spend the best years of your life pi$$ing on people and backsatbbing people so you can make more money?

          note: point #1 and #2 do *NOT* include people that went to college for 10 years and have a PhD, have a good job and good pay. they got that because they got a good education are smarter than you and deserve it.

          good luck…

        • #3239150

          Can we generalise any more

          by jasons ·

          In reply to to all the idiots out there…

          I feel sad for were you have worked. Sure there are unethical people in all areas of employment and believe me they are not all in higher management.

        • #3254983

          Odd Ceiling….

          by rdubrey ·

          In reply to Can we generalise any more

          One thing that I have noticed over the years in my career is that people are often intimidated by IT people and more importantly IT people frequently don’t navigate the political waters as well as others.

          The main reason for the is the IT people are among some of the busiest people in a company, depending on the company putting out fires here and there and meeting impossible deadlines for rollouts, etc etc.

          I think that to succeed in the workplace you have to walk a fine line of exhibiting knowledge and working the politics to your advantage.

          Use your knowledge effectively but always try to make your boss look good instead of trying to impress on everyone that YOU are the expert of all things IT. If you make your boss look good he will either stab you in the back with it or recommend you for his slot when he moves on or move you up the ladder accordingly.

          If you have a crappy boss that stabs you then you have to move on or wait til he either dies or he moves on…..

          Serve your CIOs and CEOs well and make them look like masters of the universe and you will succeed and move up either in the company and if you don’t move up you will at least command the money that you deserve for such work.

        • #3180364

          don’t feel sad….

          by thebarrywilliamsshow ·

          In reply to Can we generalise any more

          i worked 14 hours days while execs with “soft skills” up the kazoo worked 4 hour days — got paid 3 times as much as me — wrote off 10 times more stuff than me — paid 5 times less taxes than me — ran the company into the ground — and still managed to find another exec job where they got double what their last salary was.

          yeah. the world is an unfair place. we have been waiting for you and your high moral ground to come in and make it better. make sure you visit the poor ba$tards dropping like flies in africa. they probably need your help more than us geeky IT guys sitting behind our computers in our underwear.

        • #3254982

          what a pi$$ing good answer!!!

          by thierry ·

          In reply to to all the idiots out there…

          I still lol of it ! please again…

          an admiror.

        • #3254750

          That’s one part of it

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to to all the idiots out there…

          Yes the backstabbers often succeed short term, but real upper management skills pertain to achieving the same results without stepping on toes. It’s a balancing act and you sometimes slip but it can and is done quite often.

          I have held upper management/executive positions and originally was a greed and money driven SOB but you learn how to perform without it. The problem I see is many people coming out of college with certs in management that need retraining from the get go. Most management courses teach textbook management skills, the first thing youi have to do is forget what you learned in school and consider the degree a waste of paper. Now get to work and learn how to manage people properly.

          I agree with you, but I only see this in young, new or incapable executives, not professional businessmen.

        • #3254726

          Reply To: Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

          by jwcummings ·

          In reply to to all the idiots out there…

          I take issue with your assumptions. I am an independent software design consultant. I am incorporated and have been self employed for 20 years.

          1. The vast majority of people that make more money have earned it by working harder and/or smarter.
          2. The vast majority of wealthy people are honest.

          I have made a lot of money in this industry by working hard and taking a few risks. You are demeaning all of us that have chosen to work for ourselves so that our rewaeds are commensurate with our efforts. I have always had far more work offered to me than I can handle even after the IT crash.

        • #3180366

          ah… yes… consulting …..

          by thebarrywilliamsshow ·

          In reply to Reply To: Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

          … the fine art of creating work where none existed before.

          … all you really need is a sucker – and there is usually a sucker to be found in every crowd.

          go sell your snake oil up someone elses a$$.

          fyi – in order for you to be consulting for 20 years you would have to be pre networking era — meaning programming — meaning fortan — meaning no one wants you any more –….

        • #3180334

          Nothing wrong with Fortran

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Reply To: Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

          Just spent two years with it earning a reasonable sum.
          As for higher management, you can’t be a success at it, if you don’t accept that every now and then you have to stop being nice. A manager you want to work for is one who’s nice when they can be.

        • #3180436

          the unfortunate truth

          by gvargo ·

          In reply to to all the idiots out there…

          Time is Money
          Knowledge is Power
          Power is The Amount of Work over a period of Time

          Thus…

          Time (t) = Money(m)
          Knowledge(k) = Power(p)
          Power(p) = Work(w) / Time(t)

          Therefore ..
          p = w/t and since k = p and t = m
          k = w/m

          so solving for “m” we get

          m = w/k

          The end result being .. M as k–>0 = infinity or
          in plain english.. as knowledge decreases, money approaches infinity regardless of the amount of work done.

          Which explains the salaries of our companies executives and upper management

        • #3170876

          re: idiots

          by vltiii ·

          In reply to to all the idiots out there…

          It must be truly sad being you. Your response is clearly based in bitterness. To think that only back stabbers, etc can achieve success is delusional. You are doomed to limit yourself to never advancing, which I guess will be more fuel for your delusions, which in turn reaffirms your beliefs which fuel your delusions… It’s a sad cycle.

        • #3171386

          Reply To: Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

          by thebarrywilliamsshow ·

          In reply to re: idiots

          you – my little friend – have yet to enter the public sector.

        • #3242568

          Some people

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Earn a living

          Prepared for their retirement. I do not consider that being a recipient of charity.

        • #3239153

          Try reading all.

          by jasons ·

          In reply to Some people

          I would class being prepared for retirement as having an income, If you can’t support yourself then its prety damn hard to support others.

        • #3254976

          I like that

          by black panther ·

          In reply to Earn a living

          Well said Jason 🙂

        • #3242571

          Best for whom?

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Hmm

          “There is an age where you are not attractive on the job market and it is best if you are somewhere up there by the time you get to that age.”

          Sounds like someone wants to rest on their laurels.

          If I get to feeling that way, I’ll know it’s time to retire.

        • #3254862

          Age and Job Market

          by economic_dinosaur ·

          In reply to Best for whom?

          Yes, you had better be where you want to be, and watch your back at the same time. If a young enough group comes into management, they appear to have no compunction about removing/demoting you, regardless of years of service/quality of service. Even though Ford Motors lost their case in court, for the antics that other companies use to cover their age discrimination, it still goes on, with impunity, elsewhere.

        • #3181569

          Is age biases symptom of poor management

          by michael.crocker ·

          In reply to Age and Job Market

          Looking at how poorly a lot of IT projects are run and the resulting unhappy customer, overruns, and drive to align IT with the business goals, I wonder if this false need to get rid of or not hire people with too much experience, ie ?too old?, is due to poor management. Bean counts always want to drive salary cost lower, no experience = cheap. For IT managers, hiring people with little or no experience means that you do not get push back when your projects are not align with a business need but are driven by senior management ego. Creating and demanding that people work large amounts of time can be sold as a good thing instead of a lack of planning and poor management of the project. Perhaps what IT management wants are people that will not tell them that the emperor has no clothes and not know that there are better ways to run things. Could it be that once you catch on to the true, you are deemed too old and ?not flexible enough??

        • #3181357

          Weak IT Managers Like “Flexible Staff”

          by keith2468a ·

          In reply to Is age biases symptom of poor management

          Unlike most other areas, weak IT managers like young flexible staff, staff that:

          – Won’t ask “Why ?”

          – Will work overtime for free (on a charity basis) so upper management doesn’t become aware of mistakes in the project plan, product selection, and/or application design.

          – That don’t pose a threat because it will be years before they are ready to be promoted into management.

          The main causes of project failure are:

          – technical staff not asking enough questions to define what is to be done so that they are all working in the same direction on the same workable plan,

          – planning and preparation missing critical steps and details,

          – and for large projects, not having a succession plan for when key people leave or are taken off the project.

        • #3181174

          Better put than I did.

          by economic_dinosaur ·

          In reply to Is age biases symptom of poor management

          Agreed, wholeheartedly, except they put the “replacement” in a higher pay range–although they may not have paid as much.

        • #3254891

          Well..

          by dneumann ·

          In reply to Hmm

          I know that for myself my educatio has been in the way of me proceeding to that level. It seems that a lot of my contacts do not have any education beyond High School. Most of them are older in the Early 30’s range compared to my 26.

          Which isn’t a bad thing because I have always looked at experience being more valuable in the IT field. At least it has been that way for me. But I find myself with two issues. Is this what I want to be doing for the rest of my life? And if it is how am I going to advance my career and not find myself stuck at the level that I am at for the rest of it.

          I have been very successful over the last 8 years of my career. I started it while I was a Junior in High School and things really took off for me from there. I keep asking myself what I want to do and is there something that is more rewarding for me out there. But it also scares me to death to go and start something comletely new. Money is one factor I make good money and the other is the security side of it. Will I be able to provide for the family? Will I be able to prevail in what it is that I want to do??

          I wish I had the answers to my future it would help me get there faster 🙂

        • #3181725

          True

          by gauravbahal ·

          In reply to Well..

          The education bit is quite true…given that two candidates have similar experience..a company would obviously opt for the more educated one. It bodes well for the company’s profile.
          They can always proclaim… x% of our employees have an Engineering or higher degree…it is a marketing stunt which does work.

        • #3181642

          IT Pros can land what ever position they want

          by skygoldsystems ·

          In reply to Hmm

          Name:shola Olowu
          Position:Information Systems Manager
          Location:Nigeria

          I strongly believe that IT pros can climb the ladder to become anything, only if they learn the act of Management, but the other point to consider is that IT pros can?t remain technical all their life. It?s more than the money but the joy of fulfillment in ones area is most important. If becoming a CEO is ones joy then IT pros can become one and be good at it.

        • #3181349

          IT isn’t alone in this problem

          by keith2468a ·

          In reply to IT Pros can land what ever position they want

          Success in upper management requires different skills than success in IT department management in a non-IT company.

          Success in upper management, and the CEO position, requires coming up with good new ideas and plans, selling the rest of the organization on those plans.

          In almost any company, sales and marketing are the key areas that CEOs are choosen from.

          IT managers tend to succeed by implementing the plans of other areas.

          IT managers aren’t seldom even good at coming up with initiatives to keep costs down in their own departments.

          Look at how few track properly track the time spent on recurring bugs and maintenance issues with a view to creating small projects to reduce or eliminate these costs.

          It isn’t just IT that has this ceiling. HR and facilities maintenance have similar problems.

        • #3181269

          What are your Goals?

          by gorto ·

          In reply to IT Pros can land what ever position they want

          Most of the I.T. people that I have met are pretty intelligent. But just being smart doesn’t move you up the ladder unless you have measurable goals. I manage multiple projects a year aside from my job as a Sysadmin. I get things done, on time and for the most part on budget. My corporate CEO recently sent a consultant to observe my performance and interview me. At first I had no idea what this was for. I was later promoted to Director of my I.T. Department. My boss was fired. I had considered returning to school to work on my MBA because I thought that I would never achieve this level without a Master’s Degree. What I found was that by working smart, managing smart and completing projects on time I elevated myself to a new level.

      • #3260447

        Yup

        by keith2468a ·

        In reply to Depends on the definition of ‘ceiling’

        IT people are not noted for their negotiation skills. And that is a prime requirement for any kind of management.

        So right there you have a major stereotype to overcome.

        IT people are also not noted for their ability to “sell”. Again, another required skill.

        A big part of the issue is how we are trained and now we define the profession.

        And how we have let our profession be run by people from outside it: sales people, accountants, etc.

        • #3260238

          IT people are also…

          by thebarrywilliamsshow ·

          In reply to Yup

          not known for dressing the part.

          they tend to dress like slobs becuase they think it cyber-cool.

          once you start looking the part – then you are once step on your way.

          naturally, make sure you prepare yourself for all the other IT people making fun of you ’cause you dress up at work.

        • #3254869

          You caouldn’t have put it any better

          by just_chilin ·

          In reply to Yup

          That is the biggest drawback – negotiation/sell.
          Also, IT people are not trained to kiss a$$ because they know that what really matters is getting the program/system to work

      • #3242638

        Love that Quote

        by radiic ·

        In reply to Depends on the definition of ‘ceiling’

        **We spend our health making money then we spend our money to restore our health**

        I am going to remember that. How true. We run ourselves into the ground, for 30 years, deteriating our bodies, then when we get older we try and eat all these healthy things, take bunches of vitamins, looking for that fountain of youth.

        I think i am going to start taking care of the old bod before i get in my 40’s next year.

        Thanks for wisdom Subtrop

      • #3242423

        diversity of experience

        by bhunsinger ·

        In reply to Depends on the definition of ‘ceiling’

        It has been said before-technical can only take you so far. How good are you with numbers? People? Sales? all the other things that make a compay tick?
        Carpenters, plumbers, mechanics, all of them need to grow out of ‘We fix/build things’ to ‘we fix /build companies.’

      • #3254740

        Being an executive is not what its all cracked up to be!

        by tcpip4u ·

        In reply to Depends on the definition of ‘ceiling’

        The position that I’ve held in IT is pretty extensive. Within the last 13 years I’ve held positions as an IT director, Sr. IT Manager, Sr. Network Engineer, and Systems Administrator.

        To be frank the money was really good when your on top However, they make sure you earn every single penny of it.

        As a non-managerial or executive there were times when I worked longs hours but only when it was necessary. When I was promoted to management my life completely changed in every aspect you can imagine. I had no time for my newly wedded wife, my newly born daughter, could not enjoy the salary that I earned because I either had no time to spend it or too tired to go out to enjoy it. I realized that my social habits began to change. Once, I used to be a sociable person who enjoyed hanging out with friends and family and doing to thing that people normally do after work or on weekends however my career I’ve morphed into an anti-social being who really didn’t care too much of the social life that I once really enjoyed.

        I was very eager to make it into management and worked very hard in trying to ascertain that goal. Once I reeached that goal all was good at first, you know the usual thing the house, car, weekend car and so forth but I realized that I had made a “BIG” mistake when I was living to work rather than working to live. I was with a company that we all know, the current number one networking company in the world for 8 years and made a great deal of money from stock options and salary but there is always a price to pay.

        I now realize that success is not determined by the title that you hold or the size of your paycheck but whether your life is well rounded, meaning social life, hanging out with family and friends, dining out, recreation and so forth. You could be at the top of the game as an engineer. Look at it this way, in the technical realm a senior engineer is like the CEO of the corporate side of the business, your the person that hold the key, the wealth knowledge. People look towards you for answers and solutions. I think thats a better option than being a stressed out executive whos married to their work. believe me its not all glamour.

        Thats just my two cents with real life managment experience. I’m sure other may have had different experiences, hopefully more positive than mine but most likely we probably share similar experiences. Getting into management is difficult. You have to have executive connections, people that are willing to “GROOM” you. Yes, there is a glass ceiling that is not ascertainable unless you have at least a bachelors degree or some form of higher education. Even then its an up hill battle to the executive lounge. Things to remember, its not what you know its who you know and the right place at the right time is everything and everything else is just a formality.

    • #3256446

      Yes…

      by jbaker ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      And of course most IT managers that I have seen have come from another field, not at all related to IT. I have seen Chemists, Engineers, Sales Reps, etc placed as IT manager.

      I think that most IT people are seen as not able/willing to be in a position of corporate leadership. And since most of us would rather deal with a recursive program than an irate employee, this could be a good thing.

      • #3232217

        Absolutely

        by dc_guy ·

        In reply to Yes…

        Most IT pros are not noted for their people skills, their patience with administrivia, or their zeal for organizational-level issues. As JB says, they’d rather live in the silicon world than the carbon world. I’ve known a couple of IT mid-level managers from IT backgrounds who were spectacularly good at their jobs, but they confided that it gave them a big headache.

        Still, every generalization has its exceptions. I’ve worked under two CIOs who started out as programmers. The lower-level walnut offices are by no means devoid of people from technical backgrounds, they’re just scarce.

        If you have the aptitude and personality for management, nobody’s going to stop you from moving up the ladder. Most executives realize that it’s good to have at least a few people in management who came up through the ranks.

        • #3249485

          Been there done that

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to Absolutely

          I’m not a play by the rules guy. I tend to be aggressive at getting things DONE. I like things to be done on time, on budget, and debugged. My employees like me because I worked like a dog for them.

          I beat up my bosses for overtime and for comp time. I worked with my employees getting stuff out the door. A good leader leads by example.

        • #3254990

          Hit the nail on the head

          by dmcneil ·

          In reply to Absolutely

          Leadership is defined in so many ways, but it has a lot to do with credibility and folks willingness to follow where you go.

          My favorite leaders that I have worked for have been ultra positive people who know where they want to go and have an energy to follow through with it while helping others along the way to grow too.

          Instead of looking at your present employer for answers to this, be more clear with yourself as to what your true goals are and then follow through on that. Your current employer may be a very important landing place for your career as you grow and learn how to contribute there. If they don’t recognize or care about your need to continue to grow, just move on.

          We each forge our own path but the advice of other posters is so valuable too – be balanced and don’t give up a family life and your health in the pursuit of something that ultimately is vanity.

        • #3254865

          You kind of get the skills you need

          by marathoner ·

          In reply to Absolutely

          if you are smart. I would naturally rather hang out in the silicon world because it makes more sense. Silicon has this way of doing exactly what I told it to (whether it is reasonable or not) but I can always get to the bottom of it.

          Carbon units will pi$$ on you, crawl over you, put you down, pigeonhole you, bogart on you, etc. Sometimes you know why, sometimes there’s no way you could know. It is a lot of stress trying to figure people out, and you’re usually not privvy to good data. Even 100% knowing what’s going on doesn’t always mean you can do anything about it.

          Having said that, techies who start their own businesses pick up managerial skills and abilities to deal with people or die.

          And just a personal observation as one who has run a business: Customer psychology is infinitely simpler than inter-workplace psychology. As far as I can see, the complexitiy of human interactions in the work place is more complex even than marriage, because of the number of people involved. Customers only want to scratch a specific itch, and do it cheap and no hassle.

      • #3249445

        And then…

        by britontn ·

        In reply to Yes…

        How do you like working in an IT department headed by an engineer.
        Ever experienced the frustrations of trying to convince some financial director on your IT needs and he/she sees nothing wrong with what you already have?

        • #3242629

          Have a new president…

          by radiic ·

          In reply to And then…

          When our new president of the bank came on board last July, he had lunch with all the VP’s of the various departments. During my lunch with him, he asked me, “so do you have everything you need?” I replied well we could use a couple of new servers, some more pc’s, upgrades here and there, but the previous president always denied because of budget reasons. He replied “get use to it.” All of you IT people always think you need the best of product out there.

          Argggg… And this guy is Technology savvy. So I would tend to believe that since the IT Department in companies as a whole is an expense not an income, and the top is always going to try and limit us, because that is one way to make the company more profitable.

        • #3254868

          Don’t thnk like a techie….

          by dpn_guy ·

          In reply to Have a new president…

          Never make a pure technical proposal to upper management…you will smoke their brains and will generally not understand what you are talking about.

          Format you presentation into a nice Power Point presentation. Discuss new server request Or whatevere) in terms of costs, productivity and redundancy.

          1. What is the cost of maintain current hardware vs. replacing with new. Is there a cost savings? Find it and exploite it.

          2. Will the the new hardware be faster? Discuss things like transaction time and impact to customers.

          3. Will it prevent outages? How much is the company willing to loose during an outage. How will new servers prevent that?

          These are just some of the ways to approach the request. Take off your IT hat and put on a BeanCounter hat. You will be suprised at the difference.

      • #3236443

        Diversity is the key…

        by featherman ·

        In reply to Yes…

        … to managerial success.

        Pardon me while I climb aboard my soapbox a bit…
        IT is a second career for me. I spent about 15 years after my college graduation (more on that in a bit) climbing the corporate ladder, from shipping gorilla (no offence to any present or past shipping gorilla’s, but hey, I was one so I’m entitled…) to Traffic Manager through Sales (Technical and non-technical) to Finance (responsible for a $250,000,000.00 line of credit in a major New York company).

        What started me on this road was a Liberal Arts education (and yes, I’ve heard that it a BA in english allows you to say “Do you want fries with that” in eight languages) – an education which taught me how to think. The diversity of my experience allows me to see a given IT issue from more than just the technical side. Too many technical professionals suffer from a malady common to the Medical profession: Specialitis. That’s where you know more and more about less and less until you know everything about nothing. Too many techs have a fine technical education, but lack the ability to think in non-thechnical ways.

        To answer your question, I believe that non-technical experience is ESSENTIAL for success in any “C” level position, CIO, CSO, CISO, etc… included. Whether the experience is prior to or after the technical career is immaterial…

        • #3260326

          True

          by jasons ·

          In reply to Diversity is the key…

          It is surprising to see how many high level IT people cannot see past the technical. There are allot of skills required for advancement and the higher you get the less that technical skills become relivant. There are always exceptions to the rules but they are few and far between

      • #3181361

        Of IT people and blacksmiths…

        by erich1010 ·

        In reply to Yes…

        There used to be a time when a son learned a trade, like blacksmithing, then became a blacksmith. The blacksmith would always be a blacksmith. The blacksmith learned more and more about his trade until he became an expert blacksmith, but he was still a blacksmith. The blacksmith might even have hired people to teach blacksmithing to and help him, but he was still a blacksmith.

        These days, you go to school to learn a trade. After you learn the trade, you find a job whose description more or less matches your trade, depending on the job market. As you learn your job, you become proficient at it. But as you become proficient at it, you need to learn different skills which may or may not build on the ones you’ve previously learned, based on job market.

        Eventually, you are considered an expert at whatever you end up calling yourself. Then you are pressured to move into management. Management is a totally different set of skills. It is its own profession. You’ve usually been weaned to it by being a technical lead, project officer, then program manager. However, unless you went to a business or management school, it is not the profession you chose.

        Now, you run offices, overseeing projects that may or may not relate to your field of expertise, but hire other people to do the “fun stuff”.

        That really sucks if you just wanted to be a blacksmith.

    • #3256426

      For the most part yes

      by montgomery gator ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      If you work in a building, then I would say your ceiling is artificial. The only way for an IT pro to not have an artificial ceiling is to work outdoors (there is no ceiling), or in a cave (the cave’s ceiling is natural). I think very few IT professionals work outdoors or in caves.

      • #3236474

        There is a ceiling, but…

        by eastexpert ·

        In reply to For the most part yes

        … but who said there should be just one ladder in a building?

        In plain English, yes, your real IT career ends where Sr. *** Engineer is. That’s the ceiling.

        Once you go a bit sideways, if you don’t mind skipping the real IT job, but being involved in: purchasing decisions, legislation, having to deal with employees, — you can make a good IT Manager. The skills required here are a bit different from Engineer’s and you’d want to study a bit to be a good IT Manager.

        Then as I see it, you can once again go sideways, but this time “Physically” — become an IT Manager, but in a bigger company. Or even a Regional IT Manager… This can bring the money you realistically need, a BMW and a really nice house.

        AND THEN you can in theory optinally get an MBA and engage in CEO/CFO/CTO/CIO/CSO… career. But then that would already be a totally different career. And if you were a good IT Engineer you probably were a bit introverted, which would be a bad quality to have as a manager.

        No surprise that mostly there are extroverted people who make it to these C*O positions — naturally coming from sales & marketing. All our regional CEO’s are coming from there, and are therefore extroverts.

        Myself, I don’t really think I need that. CIO in a company of several thousand people, — or just an independent contractor… you never know 🙂 — is where I’d like to be in 10 years.

    • #3232166

      ceiling??

      by guggs ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      my office cieling is suspended accoustic tile.

      • #3232134

        Then it is artificial

        by montgomery gator ·

        In reply to ceiling??

        Mine is also acoustic tile.

      • #3181724

        Really?

        by nusigf ·

        In reply to ceiling??

        Mine is hardwood. I am doing an inversion experiment to see if it makes me sit up straighter, gives me vertigo or causes me to pass out from feeling like I’m consistently upsidedown… it’s either that or the booze. Either way… go with a dark hardwood floor.

    • #3232139

      Success

      by black panther ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      The very first step towards success in any occupation is to become insterested in it!

      -SIR WILLIAM OSLER

      • #3260235

        agreed

        by thebarrywilliamsshow ·

        In reply to Success

        you really want something and you want to suceed in it. live & breathe it and make sure you enjoy it.

        • #3254848

          Submerse Yourself…

          by kfadams ·

          In reply to agreed

          If you have a goal, you’ve got to push up your sleeves and work for it. You’ll have to make a lot of sacrifices if you want to make it to the top of the heap. I don’t mean by slashing throats and backstabbing…that’s a good way to burn bridges…which all of us need to get to the next level. Several components are involved: education, experience, soft skills, and self-motivation. You’ve got to enjoy what you’re doing and your enthusiasm will become contagious! You will get noticed and reap the benefits.
          **We spend our health making money then we spend our money to restore our health** If that’s the case, if I’m gonna’ croak from bad health due to job-related stress…let me go out in style!

        • #3180356

          look ..

          by thebarrywilliamsshow ·

          In reply to Submerse Yourself…

          let me just put it this way — from my very subjective perspective.

          i love infosec. i get paid quite well to do it. i used to not get paid well for doing it. now i do. probably sometime in the future – i will go back to not getting paid that well to do it – once all the hoopla dies down – and it will die down and infosec will go back to not being a specilaized skill set but will go back to being part of a senior sysadmins duties.

          but i will still keep doing it. why? because i love the job first. the money is second. i will always choose to do what i do before more money for doing somerthing else.

    • #3235967

      It’s called BURNOUT

      by mjd420nova ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      I left my IT employer of 20 years because of burn out, totally overwhelmed by the little cog in a big wheel syndrome. I tried a smaller size
      company and found it to be totally the opposite.
      Now I’m self employed doing consulting and some
      upgrade work for selected companies. I like this a lot better as I can choose who to work for
      and for how long.

    • #3236495

      Reply To: Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      by angry_white_male ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      Many IT people I’ve worked with over the year have poor people skills and little, if any, business acumen.

      You’ll find that many people get up the business ladder because they have advanced degrees (i.e., MBA, are adept at ass-kissing, can communicate well and have a passion for their work).

      Me: Bachelor’s degree, I don’t kiss ass, I stammer my way through PowerPoint presentations, and I could care less about computers once 5:00 PM rolls along. However I have fairly good people skills and I have a good knack for seeing things from a busienss perspective. But it’s not enough to break through that proverbial glass ceiling. I’ll be a lowly network admin for the rest of my life – and it’s not a bad thing.

      I’ve seen people make the jump to management only to come back to the rank-n-file because they didn’t care for the extra responsibilities, loss of overtime pay, added stress and spending their day in endless meetings. Besides, the higher you climb up the ladder, the more exposed you are – especially when you have upper management turnover (especially here in the public sector).

      • #3236437

        A very close field of study has to be added

        by kolawole_adesina ·

        In reply to Reply To: Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

        From my experience and what is obtainable in establishments nowadays, one has be a professional also in one of the social sciences or humanities. Becoming an MD/CEO of a company, other than an IT company, will require one to have an MBA or a masters in a humanity related discipline.

        However, one can easily become an MD of his own IT company.

        Truly speaking, IT cuts across all field of studies, name anyone. I believe that after studying IT, one has to incorporate another field where the knowledge of IT will be implemented. IT is implemented in Human Resources Mgt, Busness Finance, Banking, BioInformatics, etc.

        All Tech Pro must take it as a challenge to add another field of study.

        • #3236347

          I completely agree with this.

          by the savant ·

          In reply to A very close field of study has to be added

          It all comes from what exactly we’re hired to do.

          IT people are hired to manage technology.
          Managers are hired to manage people.

          Unless you’re a one man IT shop with no employees you’re not likely to get a high-level position with only an IT background.

          High-level managers have to manage people in order to leverage their expertise so that goals can be achieved. In order to get to that point they need to prove that they can build the relationships necessary to manage people.

          The first step towards proving that is developing the necessary relationships with the hiring people. How is this done?

          – Develop your face to face communications skills.
          – Learn proper English, avoid slang.
          – Dress well, polish well.
          – Develop an understanding of business practices.
          – Reinforce that understanding with a credential.

          Since the key to being promotable and having that management job is going to be presenting well, do the things that most IT guys don’t do by over focusing on technology.

          Know your management.

          Thanks.

        • #3254991

          Re: I completely agree with this.

          by charleshagen ·

          In reply to I completely agree with this.

          I started my own company to escape the ceiling and grow. I have grown in capability and ambition.

          Savant is right on the money here. You have to be ready for the challange. Managing technology and managing people are significantly different. With technology you have a pretty well defined rule book. With people the variables involved are enormous and ever changing.

          Own my own successful corporation is fantastic. I knew deep in my heart I could do this. I simply followed the model Savant described and grew my career. I improved my relationship building skills and honed my business process knowledge and skills.

          What a difference.

          Since it is a technical company I have to keep my technical edge too. I feel satisfied and challanged enough to no longer be bored with my work.

      • #3254949

        Peter’s Principle

        by gauravbahal ·

        In reply to Reply To: Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

        Every man/woman in a hierarchy rises to his or her level of incompetence.

        Think about it and nothing is more true than this!!

      • #3181530

        Absolutely correct….

        by tcpip4u ·

        In reply to Reply To: Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

        There are two type of managements/executives. The first type are the ones that work very diligently and put in their dues and made it through the ranks and others as angry_white_male said went through college and got their degree in business, marketing or other degree which require you to take ass kissing 101 as their core requirement. For people that have not been in management think it’ll be great being in managment but you have no idea until you get there. I know my experience wasn’t the greatest experience and don’t want go through it again anytime soon. I gave up a great career at a great company because I couldn’t continue to take on the truck load of work, stress, and the human resources that I had to manage.

        Before very careful of what you strive for, it just may be seem like the best thing but it could potentially turn out to be your nemesis.

    • #3260413

      The frustrated leave

      by bevgon@customerselects.com ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      After 20 years of more progressive positions and advanced learning, stagnation became apparent as I left the door into retirement. Even two years of intense updating of my skills failed to obviate rejections, even if they were “you are overqualified,” and “you would be bored” with this position. Just another way to say, hey we don’t discriminate at this company! It has nothing to do with your age!
      I have found the rejection to be refreshing, after taking about six months to rest and almost…almost give up the working world. There are many professions where one may use IT skills to spring ahead of others who are established in “foreign” fields of work. Why do you have to be CEO or CIO? Go find a job where you may have FUN, be accepted, and make a good salary. Oh yes, you might have to learn some other skill, but chances are you will not. What a surprise to find that knowledge cross-transfers between professions.
      Use your imagination, and your skills. Refresh your interpersonal talents and interviewing techniques. Find a resume mentor.

    • #3260210

      Well Well Let me answer you

      by techrepublic ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      1) What’s wrong with starting your own company?

      2) The vast majority of IT people I meet have no business anywhere near the executive suite, they simply don’t have the skills. In fact, most don’t have the skills to even be in IT — the kind of IT I am writing about in my new paper “The Rise of Stupid IT”.

      3) Whether its from my paper or not, IT as it has become deserves to have its head chopped off. Starting with the CIO position.

      QUESTION: 20 years ago, was there an executive position called “Chief Telephone Officer”? Of course not, because the old telephone system worked, 99.999999999% of the time. You pick up handset, dial a few digits, and you can talk to a person anywhere in the world. If it didn’t work, one called “facilities” and the worst case scenerio was a new wire or handset.

      What gives that IT has taken the telephone, the fax machine, the company library, the photo copier, and the typewriter…merged them into one device (PC) and connected them to an expensive bank of servers, and in the process managed to chew up huge billions of operational dollars, to equip, build, and maintain an ifrustructure, that is breaking all over the place? (Yes, e-mail virus and spam and instrusion is a break, not a “situation”) The answer from IT people: We need more governence! Standards! And oh, a spot at the table in the Executive Suite (CIO).

      This must be the first time in history, a Service Unit has levaraged massive, redundant, expensive, lengthy failure into a seat of power…well maybe not the first, I guess there is the CFO as well.

      🙁

      I’m ashamed of the whole thing. Ashamed because the smartest young minds I know are doing desktop tech support, or living on the streets, or wasting away in university getting Comp.Sci. and MBA degrees. While a bunch of career-long white-haired pin-striped failures, are pulling down 6 digits to maintain a massive scam.

      Shoot me now, cause I’m comin for you guys! The reason you have an incidental monopoly like Microsoft, is the glaring lack of competition. There is more now than before, but other than perhaps Apple Computer, most of it is decidedly no different or better — and by better I mean the ability to press the power button, and have the machinery work 99.99999999% of the time.

      Change Management, Project Management (PMI), ISO, ITIL, Governence — these aren’t sollutions to technical problems. They are patches to massive incompetence that has been bred into the corporate IT workplace, by a bunch of people that know if there were any real critical analysis of what they are doing, most of them would be fired. So you hire someone even more stupid than you, and blame everything but yourself when things break all over the place.

      • #3254985

        That’s just the point!

        by pivert ·

        In reply to Well Well Let me answer you

        That’s just the point: you’re right about “facilities” but at the head of facilities is… someone who knows about these things. But in many cases IT is supervised by the head of accounting or even facilities, you know, the kind of people that are really in to computers NOT! I do agree that it should have a kind of voice at COMPANY level (departemental issues, projects, budget, security, problems with end-users,…) which doesn’t mean it has to be at MANAGEMENT level.

        Why has IT become so important:
        – we talk to everyone in every department and at every level, see how they work
        – sometimes we bring together people from different departments and levels to discuss problems or suggest improvements
        – hell, we even listen to personal problems

        Yep, things that have (most of the time) nothing to do with IT, but how many companies have a person that does this? We have such a person in our company and it’s nice to see someone else hit the glass ceiling. Now I can do what I was hired for. Sorry, have to go now, urgent IT intervention: someone is stuck in the elevator (just kiddin’)

      • #3254895

        Troll?

        by mr l ·

        In reply to Well Well Let me answer you

        You almost have to be trolling here, right? The only possible reason for your biased, unreasoning, and aggressive post in a forum populated by technology afficianados and workers has got to be as flame bait. Well, as it was obviously crafted to provoke such a response, allow to disappoint you and not sink to the challenge.

        Cheers

      • #3254841

        Business is about PAY and ADVANCEMENT

        by dt6string ·

        In reply to Well Well Let me answer you

        Most of you are just not getting it. This guy works hard and wants to advance and see real salary increases and additional benefits. Its no different than any other field. What benefitted me was that I was a Sales Professional for 13 yrs before changing to an IT career 10 yrs ago. People skills and constant pushing are required to advance against any real competition, as well as demonstrated high skill levels. I networked with people from all departments in the Corp I worked for and leaped past 26 IT pros to take over the department I worked in in less than 3 yrs. Then I left to start my own company because I hate the politics. But it three years at that job, I more than doubled my income. It can happen and all IT pros should be looking for it, going for it. Otherwise you just have no career motivation. You’re just there for a paycheck. Thats pitiful.

        • #3181650

          i beg to differ

          by techrepublic ·

          In reply to Business is about PAY and ADVANCEMENT

          Business is about providing a product to the market at a better price point than your competition.

          That people have made it about “titles” and “pay stubs” is what is ruining it.

          What has happened, is that in IT especially, people have been encouraged to cross what I call THE EMOTION LINE at work. There is no place for emotion at work. Yet there it is, especially in IT.

          As a responsible manager, you should be looking to attract the smartest people possible, and to create the best products possible, and to keep these people, you should be paying the best salary possible, by setting the best price possible for your product.

          Is that what your manager is doing? If you are a manager, is that really what you are doing?

        • #3180323

          A career is about pay and advancement

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Business is about PAY and ADVANCEMENT

          Business gives you the environment to acheive this. My career goal is not to be a manager, I don’t buy the idea that some how management is a superior skillset to others. It’s a useful and necesary one, and if you want to do it go right ahead, but remember without something to manage, you’re a gold plated inflatable dartboard, which would definitely be pitiful.

      • #3181533

        You are all mostly disillusioned

        by mach5 ·

        In reply to Well Well Let me answer you

        Corporate executives cannot, willnot recognize the accomplishments of IT staff with high pay or executive advancement because it would be an admittance to your true value to the company. Such an admittance would open the door to what corporate execs just closed the door on. IT 90’s style pay and bennies. Never again will IT professionals be allowed to exact so much power over executive business management.

        http://WWW.ITTRUTHS.COM
        “You Can’t Handle the Truth”

      • #3181527

        You may be on target.

        by rockymtnman ·

        In reply to Well Well Let me answer you

        I’ve been around long enough in IT to recognize a loonnngg time ago that what you say is at least partially true. The IT ranks are filled with incompetence!!! Lots of self-appointed ‘gurus’ because parents and relatives all marvel at little Johhny because he can do anything with a computer. (Because they can’t or are afraid to touch it.) So little Johnny smiles and throws out a few words that he really has no idea what they mean only how to make them sound good in a sentence to further impress his groupies. Eventually he grows up and tries to get a real job and falls flat on his face. I wish!! No, he has become good at the lie and now works at impressing his new groupies, management!

        Lest I start offending some people, I know there are many IT people who are very, very good at what they do. And don’t confuse incompetence with inexperience.

        As for advancement, I suspect if you look at others at the management round table, you’ll note that many were trained in management in college. Some work up through the ranks just as some IT folks have. But if you look at the numbers, are there approximately the same percentage of advancements out of, Oh say, factory production, that get to senior management, as the percentage of IT people? I don’t know of any study that looked at that but from the people I know personally, I bet it’s true.

      • #3181720

        Sooo?

        by nusigf ·

        In reply to Well Well Let me answer you

        What’s your point? Sure, IT costs billions, there are epidemics like SPAM, viruses, etc. Phones work because they do one thing, and they charge a crapload for doing just that one thing. When’s the last time you called eBay? Amazon.com?

        Yes, there are lots of business things that IT brings to the table, baggage and all. The benefits to business are meager for some, enormous for others. Computers and networking and every piece of functionality comes with risk. Businesses buying businesses, selling products, hiring employees, shipping stock, etc… all of that comes with risk as well.

        You measure which risk is cheaper, if it’s acceptable, what the benefit is and move on.

        Large risks are mitigated; change management, patch management, information security, threat and vulnerability management, network security, email filters, federation of identity, access control, PKI, etc.etc.etc. These are all ways to ensure that IT works and provides the benefits that it was meant to.

        Back to the original question, though, there is a glass ceiling in IT. Every business, even IT businesses have it. Most people are either technical in nature, with all the idiosynchrasies that go with that, or non-technical (and they’re a bunch of freaks). You can either deal with people or you can’t. You either understand IT or you don’t (or some parts of it [incompetence vs. inexperience]). You either go up the food chain, understand the way businesses interact and survive, or you don’t.

        You can learn management and supervision… but you can’t learn to be a visionary. Companies that have no visionaries are doomed to die.

        Visionaries can be IT focused, but they only come up with things like the Death Star. Who funds that? Who built it (can you imagine how many milestones there were in the MS Project Plan for that?)? Who freaking manages the waste produced on it?

    • #3260203

      Yes

      by adam.chen ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      Yes to IT pro. with few exception. I am planning to start MBA course. Just feel it. A long story.

    • #3254986

      ARTIFICIAL CEILINGS

      by charleshagen ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      …exist only if you let them.

      ANALYZE. Scope out your company structure and the working management relationships.

      DECIDE if, based on this information, there is a management future with your company that you can reach within the timeframe you want. Think about your goals both short and long term. Set your clearly defined goals.

      PLAN for reaching management. No one can start a successful company without a Business Plan, for instance. I realized that the management relationships that existed in my prior employer would prevent me from ever reaching management. I then started doing preparation work on my own company. I built resources and working relationships with vendors and financial resource (the latter is key to a start up).

      ACT. I set up the parameters for when I would execute the plan I created and then moved forward. Guys (and Gals) this is not too unlike deploying new technology, with the primary difference being the variables that working with people bring into the picture. When your ducks are all lined up, then execute the plan. Ask others for help. Business people who are not competitors often network.

    • #3254974

      Practical

      by omemedia ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      I don’t know if we can talk about an artificial ceiling or not. I agree that it is probably difficult for a Tech Pro to land any of the posts you mentioned, but I think that is probably more of a practical issue. A CEO for example don’t have time for what he/she might have done as a Tech Pro, he/she would be far to busy to run the company.

      I think you probably have to look at it from two different angles. A Tech Pro needs to know Finance and Business communication in order to understand the buisness world and the company he is working for. The CEO might need some tech knowledge in order to understand what his company and employees are working with.

    • #3254969

      An artificial celing – self-limiting perception…

      by matthew moran ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      I would disagree except for those IT professionals who do not adopt and then advance management and leadership skills.

      Moving into management and then into C-Level management would necesitate that someone who was once a programmer cease programming – as their profession.

      Are they throwing years away? No. No more than the CPA who ceases to be a CPA on a day to day basis. Hopefully, and for the astute professional, you are adopting soft-skills (communication, leadership, strategic analytics, etc) as you progress in your IT career.

      However, one challenge/fear that is particularly strong in the IT world is the fear of obsolescence. IT professionals often take their value and worth based on their understanding and application of the latest technologies. Moving into management requires a different skill-set and focus. This can be frightening. At some point you must let go of those older skills – the ones that have paid your bills for so many years – and venture into those newer skills needed for the role you desire.

      I cover this in detail in a chapter titled, The Move To Management. It is a factor in stopping IT professionals from taking the plunge into management roles – effectively creating an artificial ceiling.

      If you have ever done those rope courses, high in the trees, there is one where you are walking across a cable while holding onto ropes that dangle from above you. At some point, as you progress across the cable, the rope you are holding is stretched and you can’t quite reach the next rope. You must let go of the rope to reach the next rope of stability. It is a picture of this phenomenon.

      Or, more succinctly: You can’t steal second base with your foot on first.

      Matthew Moran
      The IT Career Builder’s Toolkit
      http://www.cbtoolkit.com

      Career Advice With Attitude:
      http://blogs.ittoolbox.com/pm/career/

      • #3254957

        Glass Houses

        by meubank ·

        In reply to An artificial celing – self-limiting perception…

        I wuold have to agree with almost every post on here that talks about an IT’s workers in ability to manage anything other than themselves. Speaking from personal experience, education is a huge key! not technical education (though helpful) but formal (i.e. graduate degree MBA etc.) If you are truly wanting a C level position who will have to sacrifice (time, effort, money) to make it happen. Too often in it you have the worker bees complaining that their boss just sits all day in meetings or surfs the net or travels, and to them it is true. However the parts they don’t see are the endless, mindnumbmming budget meetings where they fight for peoples pay raises or simply department money to hire people. In addition the fact then when you travel you are away from your familiy for days/weeks at a time.

        I understand the appeal to this if you are coding all day, every day! Everybody needs a change of pace. However to break through the glass ceiling you have to do something “disruptive”. Something (like MBA) that will MAKE your bosses, or their bosses, take note of you. I had to follow this same way having come up from a help desk to sys admin to network engineer to AD consultant to C level officer in a Fortune 500. This is by no maens the only way to get there however as positions such as CIO asre so new they do not have a “traditional” career path to folow.

        Finally to answer the origional question, you will have MUCH better success in your C level hunt if you come from the App Dev side of the shop. This is just the way it is, app dev is seen as more business critical and a good programmer should have a good understanding of the overall business flow of the company. Networking, on the other hand, is seen as the care and feeding of the machines and infrastructure. Networking allows the people who make money for the company work, programming is usally about gaining efficiency in workflow.

        I have to say that I do not agree at ALL with this philosophy, however it is pervasive in the big corporations and is not going to change anytime soon. I would say that a successful manager could become a CIO without a technical background (and many have) however I would HATE to work for one!!

        • #3254924

          non-IT managers can be good

          by cberding ·

          In reply to Glass Houses

          I’d say that in the last 5 years the best IT manager (I’m talking CIO level here) I had was a woman who was not from IT.

          She was a key player in the business (brokerage) and is very sharp. She is no longer in IT, but she set the stage for the current CIO who is not well liked. She was great! She knew how to find the best people and motivate them.

          She is still with this company in corp strategy, so they are still lucky to have her. If she were still in the old position, I’d work for her in a NY minute.

        • #3254819

          Can IT folks make good managers?

          by msrossinmn ·

          In reply to non-IT managers can be good

          I have seen and understand the posts I read on this subject thus far. Being in my mid 40s and working in network design/support, I see some of what the others before have wrote about. Some, not all IT folks make good managers. I am not sure if it is due to the fact that IT people in general deal with inanimate objects (hardware & software), not people. In the transision to management these same people must shift gear and start dealing with more people issues than the hardware & software issue of the past. I have seen the wheels come off many times when that transision didn’t work.

          To become a good manager one must understand the business side of the equation as well as the resourse and people side. Treat your people fairly and share the praise with them.

        • #3180507

          focus on people

          by marcusbasanta ·

          In reply to Can IT folks make good managers?

          I am 34 yr old who has made a progressive move into management over the past 5 yrs. I pride myself as a hands on and hardcore techie at heart but have had to totally move away from this in order to be an effective manager. Management is almost totally about people. My tech proficiency does server to gain me respect with the team I work with but its all about relationships and getting people to perform.

    • #3254961

      Non IT Ceilings

      by rosaticrew ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      Saddly, it is the culture to think that a bean counter or laywer or production manager would make a better corner office person. Most companies see IT as overhead and not something that contibutes to the overall success of the company, or at least until something crashes hard and takes down production. An IT pro usually does not get invited to those areas where running the business is discussed. The IT pro would need to venture outside his realm in order to get the needed exposure to the paths to CEOship.

      • #3254927

        Couldn’t agree more

        by bill.beckett ·

        In reply to Non IT Ceilings

        In my 15 years of computer experience in various roles, Computer Operator, Programmer, Network Admin and now Sr. Network Admin, I concur with rosa. In each of the five places I’ve worked at, none of them viewed the IT personnel as integral parts of the business piece of the puzzle.

        Whether valid or not, we were always referred to as a “sunk cost”, “a support function” and as rosa said not a department or people who contribute to the overall success of the company.
        Unfortunately that’s the mind set.

        My advice is if you want to be a CFO, CIO, CEO or even a step down or two from those positions, go back and obtain a degree in Business Admin. Just like anything in life, you gotta play the game.

    • #3254932

      IT’s Movin’ Up the Career Ladder

      by evisscerator ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      In 24+ Years of experience as a IT Tech, I have found it difficult for an IT Technician to move up any career ladder without changing careers.

      Many of my friends moved up because they got out of IT and went into other areas of business in order to move up into management positions.

      Yes, college degrees allowed some of those to advance, while those without are still trying to move up. I believe we as a nation, have placed too much emphasis on how valuable a degree or certification is in the past few years.

      The IT field has been clouded by attempts to replace college degree’s with IT certifications. I am sorry to say that I don’t concurr with the assertion that they should count the same. By the same token, how can an IT Professional move up a career ladder ? Most IT Pro’s end up starting up their own small businesses in order to compete in the ladder chain. I did.

      The problem with that now days is that you have people who pay $3k-$5k for certifications (filling the pockets of Microsoft and for what reason ?) or having no certs at all and starting a business out of their home and not paying the business overhead costs or taxation. The latter is the unfair competition I am up against in my small town.

      I guess my main complaint about Cert’s is that they prove nothing. Yes they look nice on an IT Resume, but if you can’t do the work, they are meaningless, and many who hold Cert’s can’t do the work.

      As far as career advancement, if you work in a large organization, the best an IT Pro can hope for is mid-level management. You’ll get further ahead starting your own business and being your own boss, rather than working for peanuts for some other brown noser who’s only interested in themselves rather than helping you develop a career path for yourself (I’ve worked for a few of those in the past 24 years).

    • #3254928

      Nothing artificial about it

      by bill.affeldt ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      I will answer by asking a question… Would you hire a programmer to work on incredibly complex and vital projects if his programming skills were ‘above average’? I would hope your answer is NO I need the best avaiable talent.

      Sitting infront of a a screen debugging issues, generating tons of code or creating complex infrastructure diagrams does nothing to foster the skills required to be a CIO, CEO, CFO etc.
      Working the business part of the business does create foster and hone the required skills.

      A hard core elbows deep techie probably does not have those skills and probably sees the world in a very black and white way. Business decision are almost always GRAY.

      Also there are studies that suggest people who work hands-on technology develop very high levels of frustration when they do not get the immediate response and/or gratification from people that computers provide.

      So the answer is if you want to run the business you have to do things that teach you how to run the business.. Just as a whiz kid techie fresh out of college needs to get some ‘real world’ ex[perience under their belt to apply thier talents to the real world, the budding executive/manager has to get that GRAY world decision making, negotiating and presentation making experience under their belt.

      So if you want to go into management you have to ween yourself from the safety and security of the black and white world of technology and learn the gray areas of business.

    • #3254911

      In six years

      by jcptech ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      I have managed to climb the ladder from PC Tech to Dir. of IT for a small private orginization with 140 employees and over 400 workstations and 10 servers in 6 years. I have also succesfully grown a small business on the side that will generate a significant amount of income this year. I have no formal training and left university in 1998 after being discouraged by the curriculum. Although I may not be the “norm,” I am a good example against a few arguments out there. I don’t believe in the ceiling. I have read many of the posts and believe that no paticular position in any given company is responisble for the advancement of the employee. The individuals state of mind, personality, appearance and work ethic are more directly responsible for their over all achievement. Your state of mind rules your conscience, which in turn helps you make choices that lead you towards you ultimate goal.
      BELIEVE
      from Baltimore
      😉

      • #3254886

        Then you are lucky….

        by 69552901-69552901 ·

        In reply to In six years

        I have been working with computers since I was a kid (literally), then got a diploma and plently of certs later. But even with that and being DAMNED good at what I do, I barely have a job, and it’s not an IT position. It’s “technical support” on the telephone, which usually means that someone can’t figure out how to bold their print. I do a few IT related things on the side for people, but not enough to start a business.

        Perhaps it’s because I’m female, or maybe things are just different in Canada. If you don’t have a diploma, certifications, and 5 years of experience here they don’t want to talk to you, and even then it’s difficult to get so much as a callback. I’ve had a couple, but I’m getting sick of being offered minimum wage for piecework.

        I know it’s not lack of work ethic, because I pride myself on always being on time, never missing a day, and working as hard as I can, as well as being dressed appropriately for my location of employment. It seemed to do well for me when I was 16 working at Tim Horton’s, but now it doesn’t seem to matter.

        I’ve always been told if you work hard and try to be good at what you do you’ll get ahead. It doesn’t seem to work that way.

        I gues what I’m saying is you should appriciate the job you have, because they’re hard to come by. I’m sure I’ll find a job eventually, I just hope I don’t give up on IT before then.

        • #3254748

          First mistake

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Then you are lucky….

          Don’t apply for positions and don’t wait for callbacks.

          Take a good public relations course, such as the first Dale Carnegie course, it will help you learn the ablity of being more forthright and creating your own positions.

          I have never APPLIED for a job in my life. I have always gon eafter companies that DON’T advertise positions, that AREN’T planning on hiring someone etc. YOu need ot learn how to propose and sell your ideas and abilities.

          If you are in the same position as you say since you were quite young, and you have all these pieces of paper that show you have other skills, get some experience with those skils. If THIS company won’t let you get it, go somewhere else and sell your skills and abilities to them.

          Sorry if I sound rude but really, your post explains exactly WHY you haven’t advanced your career.

          You have certifications but seem to lack the ability to move YOURSELF forward, people don’t hand out those jobs, they are acquired by driven people that make presentations and know how to close a deal with an employer.

        • #3181412

          Good luck to my fellow Canadian

          by jcptech ·

          In reply to Then you are lucky….

          Stick with it. If you have passion for what you do people will notice. Patience one of the most valuable virtues, especially in IT.

    • #3254901

      Professional management and general management

      by martin_ternouth ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      Firstly, yes, I can think of many examples of IT guys making it to
      CEO.

      However, it is important to recognise that the shift from the top
      of a profession (IT, HR, Accounting, Law) is not a move vertically
      upwards, but a long way sideways at an angle. At the top of a
      profession, all you have to worry about is delivering
      professionally and technically. In generally management you
      have to deliver the optimum solution for the business taking all
      professions and other stakeholders into account. It is the
      difference between hitting home runs and making sure the
      stadium makes a profit. Where IT professionals fail in general
      management it is because they cling to the values that rightfully
      took them to the top of their profession, but are no longer
      appropriate in thier new role.

    • #3254887

      There and back – a 25 year history

      by old man it ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      At the ripe ?old? age of 50? I have been on both sides of the spectrum.

      My IT career didn?t even start in IT. I was involved in marketing? (now called customer service) I ate, slept & drank marketing, marketing management, profit/loss? then this neat little thing called a ?PC? was dropped on my desk! Again? learning? applying learned people/management previous skills and applied it to ?technology?? I then turned an 8 month suicide mission called ?Annual Budget? into a 45 day walk in the park? used this PC to increase my marketing efforts? moved into ?Middle Management?, while watching upper management flounder with technology?
      I took my marketing skills and combined them with technical skills and started moveing any ceiling that was in my way.
      Fast forward 10 years? IT Manager, applying all learned skills ? people, marketing, politics, sales, technical? My bottom line was great! The best tech?s? cohesive teams, smooth technical transitions? for 5 years? I rose up to the ceiling? I had people raise the ceiling for me. And for what?
      I became everyone I never wanted to work for.
      I was good at what I did, I am better at who I am.
      Could I be a CIO? Probably not of a large company. (No degree? life took over).
      I don?t miss the lime-light, the pressure? oh, I?m still in management? I manage a small (2 of us?lol) IT department that supports 100+ users. I still have to worry about EOL, TCO, ROI, the technical ineptness of users? the early mornings and late nights, and yes everyone still counts on me to take care of it yesterday.

      The difference! I no longer have to impress anyone with who I am? or what I do? I take care of my family? my company. My career now allows me to make where I work a better place for others to work. Not only technically? but personally.

      • #3254850

        Now that IS the spirit

        by tlea ·

        In reply to There and back – a 25 year history

        Hear, hear! I think many of us lose sight of this and end up less happy for it.

      • #3181696

        “I became everyone I never wanted to work for.”

        by gauravbahal ·

        In reply to There and back – a 25 year history

        Thats the biggest and the scariest part of moving up the chain….its difficult to be self, when one has to put on so many hats and be on the defensive / lookout for something unforseen…most of the time is spent in saving ass and pointing fingers.

        • #3181649

          ousted

          by techrepublic ·

          In reply to “I became everyone I never wanted to work for.”

          I’ve been ousted by my staff. But I still won’t make that the focus of my work. Some of them lost their jobs, and some of them got better jobs when the contract went belly up.

          The kind of people that you impress by ass-covering, are not the kind of people you want to work with anyhow. In my case, the people that were key to removing me, were also the one’s that gave me the most grief opperationally, and are also the people who became unemployed soon after the shakeup. If anything, I learned I should be quicker to fire people.

          And that’s really it. If you have to ass-cover, you aren’t doing enough firing / hiring.

    • #3254883

      Only if we let them

      by arthur.leible ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      I have had this same conversation with my boss. I am the CIO for a community college. I said I do not feel that I should never be able to compete for the top job just because I am IT. We both agreed that as long as I prepare myself technically and educationally, the door is Not closed. I am working on a terminal degree and she has sponsered me to an Advanced Leadership Seminar to learn the politics and financials of higher education (fund raising ansd schmoozing).

    • #3254878

      Ceiling for some, Wild West for others…

      by dpn_guy ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      “If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.” It’s as simple as that. Look to take on some small management projects to learn and demonstrate diversity. Make sure other Techies on your team can do ALL the tasks you do. No smart manager will let his #1 IT guy (or girl) go if the feeling is that the network can’t run without you.

      I have seen many ego driven IT folks run themselves into distruction (Divorce, drugs, alcohol) because they HAD to be THE GUY. Utilmately they destroyed their lives working 20 hour days because they had to do everything and would let anyone else step in. This may also apply to small shops where you are the only guy do to poor staffing.

      In large companies, face it, IT is not viewed as a profit center. IT is a hole where large amounts of money are thrown. As much as we know what the true value is, the bean counters view it differently. Enough of that….

      If your goal is to move to management, you may have to look outside your present company. Someone said above that the path may be sideways…that is correct. The smaller the company, the greater the need to look external.

      Oh and yes…there where “Chief Telephone Officers” I never heard it termed that way, but it’s great and has me laughing. When Voice went from Centrex to PBX, there was alway some ex-telco guy that was hired to oversee the Adds, moves and changes (MACs). These folks usually held a fair amount of power in their thiefdom since no-one could do anything without them. As it chipped away at their power base with VoTDM, VoATM and finally VoIP, those who failed to convert to the dark side usually ended up in mailroom or something…unless they were so favored by management that they were promoted to IT manager.

      In the IT world, be nice to everyone. You never know who you are reporting to tomorrow.

    • #3254858

      A CEO is not an IT Pro

      by tlea ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      I think IT Pros can become CEOs, but you have to stop thinking of yourself as a IT Pro. A CEO is not a IT Pro but the pilot of a business. You mentioned that a number of your personal contacts moved to other fields to allow mobility up the corporate ladder. In effect, any move toward a purely managment position is like changing fields, even if it is a tech oriented management position.

      All of the CIOs and MIS people I know come from technical backgrounds. Most, but not all, have an advanced degree of some sort. That said, a majority of the IT people I have know over the years would make lousy managers. Not only would they be bad at it, they would hate it.

      What it comes down to is do you want to give up being an IT Pro to move up the ladder, and if so are you willing to learn the skills necessary?

      In other words, no, there is no glass ceiling specifically for IT Professionals.

      • #3254836

        Business of Business

        by garnerl ·

        In reply to A CEO is not an IT Pro

        I knew I’d find the right reply if I looked long enough.

        There’s more to running an organization than technical knowledge. IT is a support role. The chief executive needs to be a businessman, not a technician. Moving to finance, economics, getting an MBA, etc. is exactly what you have to do.

    • #3254855

      CIOs in the Healcare Field

      by greenpirogue ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      In the April issue of Health Data Management, they talk about this particular issue.

      While it is true, that Healthcare CEOs generally do not come from the CIO position, more and more, some CIOs are being tapped to become CEOs.

      You can see the issue at: http://www.healthdatamanagement.com/html/current/PastIssueStory.cfm?PostID=19323&PastMonth=April&PastYear=2005

    • #3254853

      Leaving IT and Moving On…

      by averagejoe ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      Hi all,
      I started my career in IT in 1991 as an entry-level programmer. About 3 years later I was promoted as a Lead Programmer, and then a year after a Systems Analyst and Project Manager. I moved from company to company promising better pay and benefits, but the hours never stabilized, especially when I reached the six-figure mark as a C-level executive. When the stock market crashed and “dot-bombs” blew in everyone’s faces, most of the companies I worked for ran out of money. All my hard-earned stocks were worthless, leaving me no choice but to find low-wage jobs away from IT and become a part-time consultant to just make ends meet. In addition, my health started to deteriorate from all the ten-thousand hours I dedicated to those C-Level “scheming” morons who did not know squat about IT.

      I believe that my story is similar to everyone, and advancing in IT within a company not your own or without a personal financial stake in it is next to impossible unless you are a push-over and “politically” affiliated with C-Level execs who usually plays mind games instead of making the right decisions and, if not worse, they truly do NOT understand the technology behind each project!

      Unfortunately, IT is now a hopeless career since it’s overly saturated by wanna-be’s and outsourced to headhunters by your very own C-Level execs–if they are not doing it now or where they can not “confirm nor deny”, believe me, they are planning for it regardless of what they are saying to you.
      Anyway, for everyone that it’s not too late, leave IT and move on. Hope you will find good health, peace and happinesss.

    • #3254839

      No

      by mattww ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      There is a ceiling for some IT people because they lack basic business knowledge. It is very rare for a tech to become a CEO or move into a business related function because they are techs. As far as a ceiling goes for roles, there is obviously the CIO role, although this is often filled by a non-technical person who may not even have come from IT. The role of these people is as a bridge between IT and the business and to sell the IT capabilities to the business and show how value can be both driven by and support by IT.
      There are always going to be VP’s in IT, and there are plenty of Diretors. If you mean Board of Directors, sure there are IT folks on boards as well, tho not many.
      If you want to start as a tech and make your way thru the ranks to a CEO, you need to understand a lot more than IT, even working for an IT company. It is not an IT role to be the CEO of any enterprise. Get yourself an educaton in business, finance, marketing, HR, operations, logisitics, sales and so on, at least at a level where you know what is going on when sitting with those people. Get a degree in a non-IT field.
      I know plenty of MBA’s who are IT folks and have no idea about finance or business however, so don’t think that a few letters after your name means anything.
      For an IT person, the best way to move away from being a tech but still stay in IT, is through business process and business enabling application work. You will see how the business works, get exposure to a lot of non-IT people, and learn something about the non-techy world. You could also quit IT and go do something else for a while, or find a company with some form of rotation scheme where they move you to different roles.

      The person who becomes a senior exec in a company does so because they know what they are doing and have a general knowledge of everything, that is why most of them were one “general managers”, they know the basic’s of all areas of their business.

      It is certainly possible for IT folks to become senior in a company however, even CEO’s, you just need to broaden your horizons. The best path in my opinion would be to learn something about finance.

      An IT guy who knows IT, appreciates what money is, and knows about how their business runs, will go a long way.

    • #3254828

      3 Categories: People, Process, Tools

      by lballard ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      I think there are three general phases in moving from a technical position into management. First we focus on setting up and maintaining the best systems possible (the Tools phase). Then we learn things like ITIL, CMMI and Project Management standards (the process phase). Then finally we learn to speak well, sell, negotiate, and realize that politics is a necessary and natural process (that can be used either for good or bad) (the people phase).

      What you are focusing on and where you get your self worth determines what phase you are in. To go into upper management from a technical position, you must move through the first two stages and get your self worth from the third. If you still get the most pride from setting up excellent systems or putting in place the best processes, you aren’t ready yet for upper management in a medium or large organization. You must get most of your self worth from motivating and directing others in the right direction in order to move up into upper management.

      It is a hard thing to let go of earlier phases. You have to be willing for other people to not set up the systems as well as you sometimes and to not have the best processes in place. Then it is your job to motivate and train them to do things well like you did when you were in the technical or process oriented position.

      • #3254784

        Working Effectively Through Others

        by david.m.gingrich ·

        In reply to 3 Categories: People, Process, Tools

        Well said, iballard!

        In addition, in motivating and directing others, the fine art of delegation is a critically important skill with which most technically competent peopole have a tough time. Being able to select the right people and effectively delegate imporant, success-dependent tasks to them is critical to the ability to progress upward.

      • #3181701

        Thats about it…

        by gauravbahal ·

        In reply to 3 Categories: People, Process, Tools

        Very right…though these skills can be got in parallel…i would still put communication as the top…just the ability to listen and respond in a manner that a lay man understands…breaking down tech stuff into some day to day example is a skill that i found useful. Simple examples that are less jargon and more related to the business simplified.

        It all depends on urself..what course u want to take. If you are one of those people who is worried about what ”others” percive about you and ur ”designation” then u had it!! For such a person personal intersts take a back burner and just getting a fancy desig preferably management related is the key.

    • #3254826

      Yes, Moving up does require moving out. Usually

      by jcooper ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      If you’ve worked in IT and only IT then how are you going to understand problems in accounting department or any other department if the problems are not related to technology? If you?re having personnel issues or moral issues in sales you have to have the ability to look at problems from differently. Most people in IT are fairly one dimensional at work and IT people for the most part are predictable. Look at the lines at the release for Star Wars, were not all people persons and other people have a difficult time talking to use because they can?t relate to us at our level of geek ness. If you want to move up in the company you have to move out in order to demonstrate that you are capable of managing areas other than IT. You have to look a the big picture of what’s best for the company as a whole and the best way to do that is to demonstrate it and that is an area that IT does poorly. Not because were all tech geeks but because IT is perceived as an expense to companies (not including consulting). The technology we implement may increase productivity and reduce the number of staff that are required but when you look at the dollars spent on IT over a year it is mind boggling, so much so that many people outside of IT find it hard to comprehend the actual value of the service we provide. So if you?re looking to move up in the company then it may be easier to make a lateral move to a different department. This demonstrates diversity on your part and that is something that is highly valued by employers.

    • #3254816

      Freedom

      by theohkm ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      IT professionals – IT standard – IT enterpris – IT basic – MyIT – IT Messenger – IT mobile phone – IT methodologies - IT love – IT home – IT company – IT government – IT map – IT equity

      Everything is surrouned by IT. One day you can purchase a “management” package, then you know who to deal with the people, their action isn’t without path.

    • #3254811

      Yeah, they need for those positions

      by innocent_bystander ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      What is your deal? You want to stay technical but you want to be a manager – why are you programming in the first place? My advice, if that’s what you want is to forget about being technical and doing anything useful or interesting and start being political – you can begin by stabbing your coworkers in the back and sucking up to HR. With any luck I’ll never meet any of your ilk. I started programming in COBOL, stayed technical, avoided lead positions like the plague. Now my wife and I work from home designing and supporting web sites for small companies.

      • #3254714

        You don’t have to choose…

        by old man it ·

        In reply to Yeah, they need for those positions

        I’m sorry your experience has left you so bitter…

        Not all managers are as you described? maybe ?cause I?ve seen more or something, but I remember an IT mentor telling me??When you no longer look forward to doing your job? your doing the wrong job!?

        While I can understand your feelings ? I personally couldn?t do what you described? my integrity was more important than ?leaving another carcass on the way up!?

        Maybe that?s another reason?. There is little to no integrity in the work place anymore?

        It?s no longer how good of a job you do? it?s how bad you screw over the other guy, while making yourself look good.

        However, if that?s how you do your job? be careful? there will always s be a price to pay.

        • #3181587

          Huh?

          by innocent_bystander ·

          In reply to You don’t have to choose…

          Were you replying to me, because that’s not how I do my job. I never have, and never will be, a manager, and I’m sure there are good ones. I just have trouble understding anyone who really enjoys programming wanting to be a manager. There’s only so much code you can write over a lifetime, and I think anyone who really enjoys programming wants to write as much as they can.

    • #3254770

      Few IT pros have the skills

      by stan20 ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      Few IT pros have the skills for upper management. When you spend all your time on technical matters you aren’t learning the business, in terpersonal and political skills necessary to be seriously considered for top managment positions.

      That doesn’t mean it can’t be done. But you do have to make choices about whats important to you.

      Personally, I love technology and prefer working with technology in a development environment to managment. And I have done both, having held positions such as Chief Technology Officer and corporate vice president.

      But I wasn’t happy so I now have a little company of my own with a very few employees and we only work on projects that are interesting. And we have more work that we can handle because we are really doing what we love to do and are therefore very good at it.

      Moving up the corporate ladder from IT is very difficult (partly because of the stereotype of IT people), so be sure its what you really want. You will be competing against people who feel the same way about business managment as I feel about technology and development.

      If you have the skills and desire and feel that your path is blocked where you are, I would recommend starting your own company. That will really test your skills! And, it will give you some real experience for your resume if you decide to go back to working for someone else.

      • #3181532

        BINGO!!

        by mach5 ·

        In reply to Few IT pros have the skills

        A little less arrogance would also help.

      • #3181721

        Reply To: Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

        by techrepublic ·

        In reply to Few IT pros have the skills

        werd to dat

      • #3181699

        Brilliant!!

        by gauravbahal ·

        In reply to Few IT pros have the skills

        Thats about it…you have seen it all Stan. You have followed ur heart and thats the key.
        Get a few like minded people together and one can do wonders…there is no substitue to dedicated and passionate people. Money would become secondary..it would flow in on its own if one does a great job.
        My best wishes!!

      • #3181698

        After thoughts..

        by gauravbahal ·

        In reply to Few IT pros have the skills

        Stan,
        Isnt it true that if one has to start on their own (like u did) you would need all the network to get business (At least initially)..and that comes in when one is a in a management position?
        Did u utilize ur contacts from industry..if yes..were these contacts from ur days as a tech guy or as a management person?

        • #3181250

          Contacts are always valuable

          by stan20 ·

          In reply to After thoughts..

          With my current company I have used mostly technical contacts, and have hired a few people I knew from other places I have worked, since I knew they could do the job and would fit in with our goals. (I’m responsible for all technical activities, and stay away from other areas when possible, since I’m less interested in other areas and have people who are good at the things I’m not good at.)

          I haven’t used many business contacts since I’m in a completely different field now, and, having learned what I’m good at and what I enjoy doing, I started my current company with one partner who is very good at sales and marketing. And we are currently negotiating with a potential third partner who is very good at managment and has extensive legal and accounting skills.

          My partner had quite a few business contacts that have been quite useful, since they are in the same field. Contacts won’t make the sale, but they will get you in the door, which sometimes is difficult for a small, unknown startup.

    • #3254768

      which end is “up”?

      by rwilliams ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      Migration out of IT occurs for a number of reasons – It’s definitely tougher than it used to be (we don’t automatically switch jobs every few years for that salary bump), as we mature and our skills become more rounded we decide that we would prefer to do something else/add something to what we do.

      Some of our industry’s “big fish” are (or were) hard core techs, including Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Scott McNealy, Pam Lopker. I don’t see a ceiling for techs who become able, qualified, and interested in the “larger picture”. CEO’s & Directors share a quality missing many techs don’t have – the “vision thing”. We have laser-like attention and focus, we create simple or elaborate solutions to complex business problems as part of our jobs, but the C-level folks are deal-makers and (in some cases) risk takers too. Breaking through requires the same “right stuff” required for success in any field – skill, excellence, dedication, but also requires vision, the ability to lead, inspire, and instruct, and other skills we don’t have or don’t hone. If you can’t see it, you may not reach it.

    • #3254766

      Take a sales course

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      It’s the exact same thing for a sales rep.

      It’s the exact same thing for a marketing director and many other positions.

      BEcause IT is such a young field, people are JUST starting to see all the issues that go along with virtually ANY other field.

      This is not unique to IT at all, as a trained sales rep, there was little hope of management advancement (past sales manager) unless you stand up and start proving your skills. AT that point anyone can have any job in teh copmpany, it’s called DRIVE, many people seem to think that certifications equal drive and ability these days, but it’s not so.

      Anyone in a company can obtain any position in the company, with the right assertion, drive and proven experience.

      I’ve done it so many times it isn’t funny. Take an ENTRY level position and once you’re in choose your direction and get th ejobs you want to continue to your goal.

      The issue is, when you leave that company you must be prepared to quickly jump in on someone else’s ground floor opportunity and take minimal pay until you can prove your way up the next ladder.

      When I take a job, I often have little to no idea where I want to go with the company, I just pick a company for who they are. After selling them on my skills, whether in sales, marketing and promotion, management or IT, I then get involved in many areas of the company until I either choose a position I want or else I work to create my OWN position. I will CREATE a fit for myself, not look for someone else to offer me a fit.

      It’s a bit hard to really explain unless it’s a trait you possess already, but jobs aren’t handed out, they must be sold to the employer. Where you come from, what certs you have, even what BASIC education level you have will become irrelevant, once you learn to sell yourself and prove yourself, this is VERY hard to do in IT though because your jobs are usually quite specific, but I have seen it done by a very driven IT guy.

      He had no certs, was hired to run a large IT department (ful of certified staff) and is now a VP for that company’s parent company.

    • #3254746

      IT Needs Expansion Past a Certain Point

      by belvidge ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      Hello All

      There is no reason to characterise the development of one’s career progress in such black or white terms. IT People who manage other IT people tend to manage them more effectively than management without such a background, but those managers must perforce develop other skills beyond those that may have been contained within their original portfolio. The IT skills may no longer be in use in the same manner as they were, but they continue to inform that manager’s understanding of the work that is being done under him and, thus, shape his expectations.

      This is a natural evolution, not a barrier you have to leave your skills behind in order to cross. IT people need to appreciate that even if, to borrow the intial example, such persons start their own companies, they will immediately need to develop additional skills in order to complement the technological.

      Brian Elvidge
      Chief Technical Officer
      WanderPort Wireless Inc.

    • #3254723

      mutually exclusive filters

      by sr10 ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      I can speak most effectively to what I have seen. In my experience, the very attributes that will get you promoted to a senior technical management (e.g., CIO) position will prevent you from being a business manager.

      The tech organization tends to reward people who are operations focused, detail oriented, interrupt-driven, hands-on and want to do things right. The business wants senior managers who are strategic, big picture, have an agenda, delegate and want to do the right things. In many cases, having an agenda or letting go of technology will get you blocked from advancing within the tech organization. Then a person gets to be CIO and suddenly has to flip a switch and turn her/his habits 180 degrees? Not gonna happen!

    • #3254705

      What’s the ceiling made of?

      by diamond dan ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      In most cases, the ceiling has more to do with the person’s soft skills (communication, interpersonal, leadership, decision making, etc.) than a person’s technical abilities.

      Unfortunately for most in technical fields like IT, the soft skills are hard to come by (nobody from the Chess club in high school was homecoming king). Without being too stereotypical, it is common that the reason that most put themselves behind a computer (by choice) is because they would rather work with programs than deal with people. Not that this is a bad thing…to each his own, right? But, it can be tough for someone to switch from and introvert to an extrovert simply to fulfill a new position.

      AND…contrary to what many will say, education has little to do with it. Many top executives and some of the wealthiest people in the world didn’t attend a day of college or have any certifications to their name.

      Develop your people skills and decision making ability and you will be able to extend beyond your cubicle walls, just don’t be afraid to leave some of the daily IT chores to someone else, as your new position will make more use of your new soft skills and less use of your technical abilities.

      Just my 2 cents (observed as I moved from technical to non-technical management in my company, and without stabbing any backs along the way!)

    • #3181615

      You’re On The Right Track

      by jackintucson ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      Most IT techs/pros are educated in different aspects of IT and as their career enhances they learn business disciplines. I have always professed “give me a B.A or M.B.A. (MBA almost required these days) and I’ll teach the IT side”. Just “picking business discipline up” on the side just isn’t enough. Management skills and IT skills rarely cross paths. I dare say that a good manager doesn’t require the technical skills for managing an IT department. That’s what his staff is there for.

      It worked for me.

      Get your MBA first… then get the IT background you are interested in.

    • #3181588

      Career Ceiling

      by scottpmullins ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      It is true that over the last few years, there has been a ceiling forming for IT professionals; however, that is not entirely true.

      In order to understand career paths to the corner office, one should also look at the criteria and discriminators used when selecting CEOs, Directors, etc. Many selection teams seek someone that has operational – strategic and tactical – experience in that industry. They tend to look for someone that has an intimate understanding of the business and a feel for the pulse and direction of the industry.

      Why? Put simply, they need to be able to function as the Captain of the boat.

      So, when looking at a career path for a technology professional, one should consider some of the following:

      – Are they working in a capacity that contributes directly to profits / losses?
      – Are they in a line of business position?
      – What type of credentials (academic, professional, experience, etc.) does the individual have that qualifies he or she to lead a business unit or firm?
      – What does the breadth and depth of their experiences look like?

      Many IT positions are allocated to support lines of business in firms. And, while many of these business would not be able to function without that technology support, most business managers still (rightly or wrongly) view IT as not fully understanding the bigger picture.

      Simply stated – if you are support, chances are you are always going to be support. If you are contributing to the bottom line, than you are perceived as “getting it”.

      So? What to do from there…

      In my opinion, there are two options:

      1. Project management
      2. Technology consulting

      Project management affords a professional the opportunity to expand their portfolio of skills. As a project manager, one is responsible for scope definition, resource allocation, scheduling deadlines, planning, negotiating, finance, human resource issues, … , and the list goes on. They simply are exposed to many of the same issues that a CEO or line of business head have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

      With these experiences, there is a logical path from managing projects, to programs, to business units, to groups and divisions, to businesses, to companies…

      Technology consulting firms give the typical professional an opportunity to “get out of the support role” and become a profit / loss contributing member of the firm. It is an opportunity to understand the business, and with the right assignments, really gain an insight into those same issues that are described above for project management.

      In the end, technology is likely going to be outsourced under a utility-like model. Businesses are going to expect it to be there just like the electricity, phones, and other utilities. And, while our understanding of the technology is imperative, we also need to be striving to identify with the line of business units and constantly positioning ourselves to increase profit and growth.

      We need to shed the “tech-head” image (but not lose the subject matter expertise we have worked hard to gain!) and be perceived as the well-rounded business professionals that we know we can be if we want to take a career path that leads to management positions.

      Or – we can always start our own firm.

    • #3181564

      The celiing is falling

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      To bridge th etopic, it’s hard to believe the IT ceiling is STILL falling.

      For years I have read chicken little stories from incapable IT staff who flood these forums with tales that the sky is falling. IT has let them down, IT is not what it used to be, IT is not living up to their expectations, their time and money spent was wasted, etc.

      Perhaps it IS true, but it’s not the sky, it’s an artificial ceiling!

      If so that must have been one pretty high ceiling, it’s been fallin gfor years now, and IT still goes string and is an excellent stepping stone into an executive career, if you beat your own path and not follow the old one that is more of a rut now than a path.

      • #3181465

        That is so true…

        by robotech ·

        In reply to The celiing is falling

        I’ve been in IT 15 years, started out as a simple telephone technician (ladder and everything) now I’m a network engineer and owner of my newly formed consulting company. I never finished college, but I have done a lot of courses and I read a lot. I speak spanish and portuguese and I’m basically a well rounded person.
        I’ve worked in three different countries, and I can tell you IT is a whole different world. In IT, if you can’t perform, it’s much more difficult for a ‘Godfather’ to hide your deficiencies.
        I’ve seen a lot of incompetent Execs who costed companies thousands of dollars, they had poor management and people skills, yet HR was always more reluctant to let them go as compared to technical staff.
        As a technical person you deal with everyone, because everyone relies on technology. You have to understand what their needs are before you can help them.
        Let’s see a show of hands: How many of you IT people have sat down with Sales Reps, Marketing, Accounting and HR people helping them to meet a deadline that they couldn’t have met without your help?
        How many of you IT people have helped your CEO, VP, CFO to master his PDA, use his DVD player, program his car stereo etc, so that they could impress friends at a business meeting, golf club etc. ?
        Many of you know perfectly well that the reason we stay in IT without chasing after these “HIGH PRESSURE POSITIONS” is because people see IT as the only department where people really know how to get things done. I’ve even gotten calls from building maintenance to help solve a problem.
        We get to play with the latest gadgets, we send in the rebates, we get the gifts from our suppliers and we give them to our girlfriends, wives, parents and in-laws. We get to fix the neighbor’s computer/network and he pays us cash or invites us to dinner, Superbowl tickets etc.
        It’s a good life, one that I would never trade for a VP or CEO role.
        Right now I have a client whose network I rescued from disaster 3 years ago. I’ve always been fair with them and I give them a lot of breaks because the staff is so cool and they respect me a lot.
        Ever since he got himself a new Admin Assistant this woman has been like a persistent migraine. No one complained before, but she questions everything: “Why can’t we use the same CD to install Office? Why can’t we just use Windows XP Home Edition (on the domain)it’s cheaper?”
        I was hired to manage IT and she is trying to do my job (which she is not trained for). This is the sort of thing that we IT people hate. We do not like the politics, or the backstabbing or office gossip (which is why they call us geeks), we just want to work as a team and feel the satisfaction of having things actually work, instead of just turning up and getting a paycheck for moving papers around. To be fair, there are a few strange characters in IT (just like anywhere else), but when it comes to the crunch we like IT.
        How many other employees have time to go to a site like Techrepublic and make posts like these? NONE!
        As an earlier poster said, it also depends on where in IT you work and what you do. Like everything in life, a career must be balanced, and IT allows me to strike that balance.

        We don’t need to complain about the ceiling, we enjoy our jobs. For the typical IT person, they would rather move to another company to get more money, rather than move to a non-techincal position to achieve that goal.

    • #3181477

      Not what you know, who you know.

      by ehhorst ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      I’ve been in the IT field over 16 years now. Started in field service in 1989 and climbed the ladder from basic PC repair, Desktop support, Server Admin to Network and security. However the only way I have been allowed to excel into new territories of Information Technology were to change companies.

      During the years it has always seemed that management would try to keep me in check by making sure I stayed in a little box they have created for me. However, not only I perform my job, but also became involved with other departments and learned as much as I could from my peers. Also in my spare time I researched new technologies and broaden my horizons. In addition I would learn about the company i was employed with at the time and not only know the technical side, but to get an understanding of that business to fuel pro-active thinking and present ideas in group meetings, until such manager claimed my idea for himself. And the kicker about that is that he lacked technical knowledge.

      I have never believed in politics, it reminds me of the popularity game in High School. In my opinion politics decreases productivity within an organization. However it is an unfortunate must in Corporate America.
      I could share many a horror stories but lets get back to your question at hand; few companies promote from within, unless a structure change occurs (down sizing).

      They may state in the employee handbook they promote from within, but it is a rarity.
      However if you shine within the political arena, continue your education and achieve your masters degree, befriend an executive, a techie could make it as high as CIO (Chief Information Officer) Or follow the same path and hire on up the ladder into management.

      After reading an article on cnet.com; the IT outsourcing trend is going to pick up, I would make a decision what you will want to do in the next couple of years. However being faced with the same circumstances a couple of years ago, I went out on my own as an Independent contractor, and as IT departments are downsizing and outsourcing, business became increasingly busy, and MY company is about to soar.

      Again my esteemed professional, these are my own personal experiences and opinions. Best Regards!!

      • #3180461

        Its also who knows you

        by stan20 ·

        In reply to Not what you know, who you know.

        Quite often people higher up have no idea what tech people are doing, or who is doing what. As long as things are running smoothly they don’t pay much attention.

        In my first IT job I started writing a weekly summary of activities, and pointed out specifically things that saved the company money. And had it on my supervisor’s desk and the department head’s desk every Monday morning. You want to be sure you and your work are visible.

        • #3180440

          sage advice

          by techrepublic ·

          In reply to Its also who knows you

          You are the second person lately to recommend this. I think it IS a good strategy, it still speaks to poor management — who should know exactly what everyone is doing through the use of intelligent reporting systems — but in the vacuum, one must take matters into their own hands.

        • #3180322

          It’s osmething a lot of IT people don’t like to do

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Its also who knows you

          but I’ve always tried to make my self as visible as possible where ever I’ve worked. It’s always nice when you’re manager comes to you to discuss something technical, because he’s been told to consult the resident expert. If a manager has a problem with that then they aren’t a very good one.

    • #3181749

      One thing is for sure….

      by dpn_guy ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      Being a 40 something techie, I have been following this discussion closely and have come to take comfort in being 40.

      Reading the posts and responses, the old addage of “Youth and enthusiasum will always be overcome by age and experience” seems to prevail. Kind of makes me feel more comfortable being 40.

      Someone stated above that it’s not what, but who you know. This is very true in business. Good managers will surround themselves with people who make them look good. The best managers take care of those people. A renegade engineer, no matter how many times you save the company’s a** at 3am, will never get beyong their cube. Its just a fact of life.

    • #3181733

      The Eternal Question!

      by gauravbahal ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      There are no answers to this…Take my example, I have been quite happily implementing ERP for the past 6 years and am now invovled in pre-sales. Though I am a functional guy I am now at the point in the career where I HAVE to decide in a couple of weeks where to head..here are my options:
      1. I have been selected within my company to head the Business Development (there was an assesssment which I cleared)
      2. Offer from another company as a ‘Principal consultant” for its Indian operations.

      I know for sure that the best bet for advancement in your ”Designation” and ”visibility” in an organization is going the marketing / sales route…these are the guys who generate the moolah for the companies and hence pampered.

      But my problem is, I know too that once I step into the shoes of a marketing / sales guy there is no turning back…plus my chances of a career shift later dwindle…since I would not be in touch with IT any longer and there would be a gap in my ERP career. Both these are a strict no no.

      I intend to stick to the ERP world and try and sweat it out…this also gives me chance to go independent in future..something i really like and something for which I think i need to hone up my skills further and possibly get some more pure tech skills into my resume…a two year plan should work fine I guess….

      So thats how I am planning it. Note that I work in a IT Solutions company and not a regular company selling consumer products or in the manufacturing industry..I guess the decision to move would also depend upon the industry one is in.

      For ex., main stream e-Biz work …a la CIOs of the world is pivotal for large companies and if u are good technically and can communicate your ideas clearly and crisply to all concerned, man there is no stopping you…and all these presentation skills, communication skills, nego skills are learned skills …one just needs to be a litlle more ”aware” when involved in a discussion…i guess the quintessential need is to be aware of the ‘Business Processes” – i dont mean one should be able to read balance sheets, P&Ls, etc…but be clear in the cross functional interactions of business and related IT systems and no one can ignore you…no one. I can bet on this. Also, there are a very few people in the company who can provide a holistic view of the IT operations…no bits and bytes…but how systems interact, what is the information flow, what are the pros and cons..etc etc..

      Thats about it I guess!!

    • #3181314

      Depends on Company

      by swoodburn ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      My IT Director was just promoted to Assistant Administrator. I work for a Home Health Company. He is now not just over the IT department but over all departments. The difference I see in him compared to other department heads is that he was not afraid to give opinions concerning other areas of the company. I’m talking about constructive opinions, not complaints. If he saw a problem, he offered solutions. Oh, and just so you know, he does not hold a degree (I know a whole other subject). He has experience, common sense, and he gets the job done. The ceiling is only as low as you want to make it, at least in my opinion. I myself do not want to be a boss. I’ve been there and I like my sleep at night. So my ceiling will be a lot lower than most of yours and I’m happy with that.

    • #3181147

      an IT person can go wherever he wants to go

      by raw41 ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      I think one of the unique thinks about this industry is that sometimes age is not a deteriment. As you grow and your skills get better sometimes that is an advantage for when a company needs that type of skill for their business and also I have seen plenty of IT people promoted to Director, CIO, CEO all because of the knowledge they gained starting out in the technical field. Granted it is harder now than before but it is still rewarding and you can earn a nice living up until your ready to give this up. I think what we are seeing now is a global change because of technology and there will always be opportunity if you adjust your skills to what is needed.

    • #3180253

      Reply To: Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      by the admiral ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      I think the perceived Artifical Ceiling is based on the IT pro’s own inability to grow past installing Windows and the applications. It is one of those things where much of it is outsourced, so rather than go into management or other areas, they sit stuck with paycuts or worse yet, on unemployment.

      The ceiling that is percieved is based on is not having the liberal arts or critical thinking or, in some cases, the ability to grow beyond the certifications or the degree and experience that you have into an area where you can go elsewhere.

      Take for instance a technician who has been doing “techie” stuff for over 10 years and could not get out of the rut. Graduated high school, and got every single certification there is, but can not break into management. The break is to get a bachelors degree in a management area.

      What you have to do when you go after a degree is look past the degree as to where you want to go. Sure a technical degree is great if you are going to be doing a technical discipline, but not if you are going into a management area.

      From what I have seen is a self-imposed ceiling where a technical degree and experience do not buy you into anything else.

      • #3179529

        Senior Exec

        by techrepublic ·

        In reply to Reply To: Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

        Ok, I’ll call. Here is my resume, bring me on board…I’m the OPPOSITE of what you mentioned there, fitting in no groove, often chastised for being too creative, generally loved by those that work with or beneath me, generally feared by those above. I never even got an A+…yet I’ll bet a month’s consulting fee that I can make a PC out-perform factory settings and anything a A+ tech can do to it. Or maybe there are staff and/or management issues? I can take those on too. Or how about a really pissed of client? I can resolve that too. Or maybe a bloated IT budget? I’m the man for that too.

        http://datapaper.com/resume

        • #3179433

          Reply To: Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

          by the admiral ·

          In reply to Senior Exec

          The fact still remains that IT is a commodity that now is nearly $2.01 plus tips to work in due to companies cheapening the value of the carreer field.

      • #3179509

        Self limiting, perhaps

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to Reply To: Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

        but a degree doesn’t seem to have anything to with it. It’s being able to step beyond what the technology is to what it’s for.
        The other problem I see is a certain class of tech gauging others or themselves as somehow failing if they don’t want to move into management. As though it’s some sort of technical progression as opposed to a career switch. A lot of people grumbling about not getting a move into management, when they don’t want to be managers, it’s just expected that they should.

        • #3179415

          Reply To: Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

          by the admiral ·

          In reply to Self limiting, perhaps

          Not necessarily, I think it is a self defeat and a matter of “I am in Information Technology” and that is that rather than where can I go from here.

          So far, every single person I have seen and talked to in the IT profession have blinders on that they can only do just tech stuff. The fact of the matter is that you have kids in grade school that can do the same thing that someone with an A+ can do, so that attitude that they are the only ones who can do tech work is self-defeating.

          I have found a very few that want to go into other areas, which stuns me in that the amount of outsourcing and the numbers of “automated” solutions, no matter how crappy, they continue to get rid of the technicians.

        • #3193089

          Undefeated IT person

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Reply To: Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

          The fact that I want to be and stay in IT isn’t a limit, it’s a desire and a goal. No doubt I could employ my undoubted talents elsewhere, I just don’t want to. Just the same as a good pilot wants to keep flying. Of course in their case the physical limits to their profession do at some point force them into a career chnage, but in IT those limits are self imposed, if I’m good and I keep up with the technology then I can keep earning and enjoying. If you are unhapy with waht you do and don’t find it rewarding enough, then you should move on. If like me you still do, then you should not consider yourself somehow lacking.
          I feel no more limited by the fact that I don’t want to be a manager than I don’t want to work in the attack industry.

    • #3181015

      Where is the ceiling?

      by kevaburg ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      IT forms the basis of any modern organisation and so has to conform to the standards set by it.

      IT moves constantly as does the motor industry and so the ceiling moves acordingly.

      Anyone that thinks the ceiling is tangible and can be met or exceeded is fooling themselves: Ask Microsoft, 3-COM, Cisco or anyone else and they will tell you.

      The job of a senior executive is based purely on business and IT has very little to do with it.

      Therefore, rely on the instincts of lessons learned by the people that know and not on the statistics of people that don’t!

      • #3180846

        Dear Monkey boy

        by thebarrywilliamsshow ·

        In reply to Where is the ceiling?

        In the motor industry – the MBA/buisiness buckaroo does not go around telling the car engineer how to build the car or what parts and materials to use — why?? becuase some poor shmuck will buy that car, put his family in it and they will all die on the highway.

        In the IT industry – every god damn MBA/business buckaroo with the slightest interest in IT wants to mastermind the engineering of the network and tell the admins what to use and how to do it.

        There — thats the difference between the motor industry and the IT industry.

        • #3171067

          That was not my point

          by kevaburg ·

          In reply to Dear Monkey boy

          My point was that the industry we have chosen to work in has a continually moving ceiling that has committments we are bound by professionalism to meet. Just like the car industry.

          You are of course right: Anyone, not just in business but also in our private lives, that has an interest in IT generally thinks they are the God that everyone should follow. But I think that thread is a completely different discussion altogether.

          But in the same way that the MBA business “buckaroo” (who thinks of these words?) in the car industry does not dictate building standards, so the same ranked person in the IT industry should also not dictate which firewall of server system should be used. After all, IT is now a mission-critical subject for almost ever business in almost every industry.

          Maybe the question really should be “are we in the IT industry incapable of the right kind of communication to prevent the wrong person making the wrong IT decisions?”

        • #3171323

          I’m Sorry

          by techrepublic ·

          In reply to That was not my point

          “I’m sorry, you are not qualified to make that decision sir”

          I’ve said that. I’ve been sacked. That’s why I keep several clients, and make sure I get paid what I’m worth.

          When I’m sitting at home between jobs, I increase my value via education. There are companies out the that exist to do business — verses existing to stroke egos. You have to keep looking till you find them. (similar advice for finding life partners)

          :o)

        • #3193142

          Ever thought about not insulting people?

          by kevaburg ·

          In reply to Dear Monkey boy

          Sorry to have to say this but it does seem to me that there are alot of answers that you have posted that are nothing less than insulting to those of us that work damned hard at what we do.

          I am no “Monkey-Boy”. I am the sole system manager for a company that stands to lose around ?60k a day in revenue if the systems I put in place don’t function correctly. On that basis I think it fair to say that I have a little bit of knowledge in both and something interesting to say to the remainder of my peers.

          You are not one of my peers. You are an egotistic man who believes you are it and if you are a manager of people then I imagine you to be a bad one.

          I engage in these discussions to hear constructive points from people that know what they are on about and not to receive insulting comments.

          I would therefore ask you politely not to say anything if you can’t say it nicely.

        • #3193411

          DO IT people die then?

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Dear Monkey boy

          If the MBA/Business Buckaroo (you don’t seem to like more successful people then yourself do you)wanted to, they could say ‘buh bye’ to the entire IT department and o back to paper and pens.

          People in IT seem to have some inflated concept that they are the bread winners and backbone of the organization. Yet ANY oranization where I have been in C level positions, does not see the IT department as anythign more than an expense. They place you in the same mold as the trained secratary, she has a skill but does not MAKE the company money. The accountant, has a trained skill too, but IT staff like to believe they are above that too.

          IT is a company expense. IT is NOT seen as the bread and butter nor even a contributor to most organizations, obviously excluding online businesses.

          IT is just ANOTHER cost that the C level employees must control, reduce and streamline. Your position in their eyes is no more important or valued than the janitors. Get over yourself.

          When YOU start generating millions in actual company revenue, then you will gain some importance and clout, until then, you are a mee emploee, get used to it. IF you don’t like not being the backbone, then either find a new skill or build your own business.

          Oh, by the way, the MBS/business buckaroo DOES have a HUGE say in what parts and engineering is used in new cars. The engineers are just told to make it happen under the budgets and expectations of the businessmen.

          Otherwise we would not be able to afford a $200,000 compact car.

          Yes, people DO die on a regular basis due to engineering cutbacks and material savings fordced upon engineers by the MBA/business buckaroo’s.

          To once again hit on your comments about them stepping on IT toes, if you said NO, they would simply say have a nice day and find someone else who WILL do what they ask. They control money, not you,THEY decide what’s needed not you. YOU just make it the way THEY want it and if they DON’T like it you are gone, completely disposable. Unlike the MBS/Business buckaroo who is responsible for driving revenue to the company and not just retaining some of it.

          YOu may think you SAVE the company thousands, in actuality, you COST the company thousands and while you may help them streamline and save, you are NOT generating revenue. REVENUE GENERATION IS WHAT COUNTS IN BUSINESS, saving and cutting back on expenses is secondary to most execs, that’s why they hire a bean counter, so they don’t spend too much on pens and paper, but that is miniscule in contrast to a revenue generation stream, (salesmaen and C-Level employees). Sounds ODD but that’s how the C’s see it. A Sales rep is FAR mroeimportant to ANY organization than the IT geek.

          Why do IT staff feel SO important just because they are now accepted in a working environment and allowed to leave the basement?
          It’s not just you, I see it all the time and the employers laugh at the Prima Donna syndrome, it’s like a bunch of wannabe rock stars.

          IT staff are just replaceable peons and always will be, once they understand that, they will enjoy their work a lot more and will become accpeted by those they work with.

    • #3059382

      Bullseye

      by saint714 ·

      In reply to Does the IT field have an artificial ceiling?

      In the past 17 years as an IT pro, with emphasis on project management and technical documentaiton, I have yet to see a single corporation that rewarded the people who *DO* the work versus those who *MANAGE* those who do the work, PARTICULARLY when the workers are contractors.

      The IT community these days has become a shark pool where promises are intentionally empty, and more time/effort is spent covering one’s @ss and/or justifying their positions than actually performing in any effective manner.

      It’s what I’ve come to call the “Frank Burns Syndrome.” In the middle-season of M*A*S*H*, Major Frank Burns went insane when Hotlips left him. So one day in Tokyo, he assaulted a general’s wife, thinking she was Margaret Houlihan. Instead of putting him in Leavenworth, the Army promoted him to Lieutenant Colonel and assigned him to a Pentagon director-level position.

      I’ve lost count as to how many times I’ve seen managers and directors mismanage and misdirect projects and programs into the ground, play the nepotism/friendship card and get promoted while the project team who worked their tails off under the mismanagement were fired or frozen.

      Given the opportunity, the majority of managers and mid-level executives will screw royally anyone they can to get what they want, and they generally get away with it because the corporate accountability system is premised on targeting the lowest man on the pole. Example: A $150,000 director gets a $500,000 bonus for a program that was over-budget and past deadline, yet the company fires/lays off 10 $50,000 project managers because they have to cost-cut.

      The “loyalty is a two-way street” concept was abandoned long ago, but not before it was raped and beaten by the “get what you can while you can” concept.

      Greed, avarice and disloyalty only need an opportunity. And the majority of managers and directors will seize that opportunity, regardless of the victims.

Viewing 45 reply threads