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How do I help my laid-off IT staff?

By oreojack ·
I'm an IT manager from one of those failed financial institutions who has been recently told that 90% my staff (including myself) will no longer be needed. We are admin and initial engineering support for several z/OS (mainframe) apps.

I know some of you will be saying, 'mainframes!..get out of the 80's', but for those of you who work for large insurance and financial institutions, mainframes are alive and well (they're big servers anyway)

I'm wondering what opinions the TechRepublic community might say to help me steer my staff into other IT fields. Finding mainframe jobs is near impossible now.

Should they get distributed based certifications? if so which ones? They are a good tech savvy group with a lot of years in this field. (You may note the 'age' reference here, which is another wonderful hurdle to overcome).

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by jsimonelli In reply to How do I help my laid-off ...

From a recent masters of information systems grad....

I remember at one of my classes talking about mainframes, and most of us laughed!!! but then one student was in IT with a large bank in the area, and the teacher looked at him and pretty much said that mainframes are still good specially when you have to process the millions of transactions an hour, we then shut up and felt stupid for laughing. So personally i have never worked on a mainframe, but from what I can gather is that this is a specialized skill that not every IT person out has. This also shows the fact that you more about the business side of IT, which is something my professor told us and emphasized heavily. The reason is because of heavy used systems you have to understand each process and what it does and how long it does it so that you maximize the use of the mainframe and are able to keep a fully utilized system without any money being wasted.. Basically what he taught me was how to be an accountant for IT. For example, Sure i could buy the top of the line servers and fill a whole rack full of them but if the application is only running at less that 10% utilization overall, then you are wasting a lot of money on either the lease, the loan or whatever to pay for something more powerful than it is ever needed within the scope of the project.

So the moral of my opinion is that you guys know way more than most of us young fresh out of college folks because you have "studied" the accounting portions of these incredible machines (mainframes)... Maybe looking to be CIO's or other Executive or proxy between the big wigs and the techies would be a good route.. Translate the geekiness to the big wigs and back.. :-)


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Translate skills-do not be afraid

by gorman.mi In reply to How do I help my laid-off ...

Hi there,
I really feel for your situation, it is rotten being unemployed, especially when one is 'mature' and used to the routine and regular salary...
Being a 'mature cheese myself I can recommend the IT Support path, bone up on systems Administration, including UNIX, which should be a breeze for tech savvy veterans. There will be a steady market for mature Tech support people who are good with users-and the money is not too bad either!

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Good Advice

by oreojack In reply to Translate skills-do not b ...

Thanks for the good advice. The support role is probably the best way to go

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As you quite rightly say Mainframes are alive and very well

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to How do I help my laid-off ...

Back in the days when I ran a Department for one of the Big Mainframe makers I used to have new positions available for my staff before they where let go by the organization.

It just takes a few phone calls to the competition asking them do they need any good workers in the field.

Though now with the crap going on now it may be a bit more difficult.


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