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Information Technology: Is There a Demand?

By swgoldwire2546 ·
I thought I would start my weekly threads regarding computers and technology, and how the world is shaped by such.

I start out this thread regarding the information technology sector in my response to Theta-blue's thread regarding the information technology labor hoax.

Although organisations, from big corporates to the United States federal government, are pushing to fight the IT shortage, there is the question regarding the demand. Giving the fact that people of all ages and education levels who enter the info. tech. sector would be paid at lower salaries is of great concern to those, even of the TechRepublic crew.

The scenario has come down to this factor: I perceive that, based on Theta-blue's discussion, that there is simply not enough demand for even skilled info. tech. labor.

There are other sectors involving computers and technology that organisations have high demands (or so I think) for skilled/experienced labour. I would like to share your thoughts and experiences in response to this matter.

-swg

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Depends on the source of your information

by M_a_r_k In reply to Information Technology: ...

swgold, it looks like your brand new to TechRepublic (aka TR). Welcome to TR. FYI, discussions in the Miscellaneous topic often end up in a shouting match or otherwise get sidetracked from the original subject. Usually non-IT discussions are posted under the Miscellaneous topic. For serious IT discussions, I would suggest posting under the "General Technology" topic.

Regarding demand for IT workers, I did not see Thetablue's discussion. It seems like the question of IT job demand depends on who you ask. Sounds like a cop out answer but it's true. IT magazines and web sites will tell you there's a shortage of workeres and will post statistics and survey results proving it. The government and corporations will agree with that. Magazines need to keep readership up and the industry needs to whet the appetite of aspiring tech workers. IT workers will tell you there's a shortage of jobs. Even in boom times, they might say that. In the past I've had conversations with coworkers about this difference in opinion. Those conspiracy theorists will contend that employers and the government are exaggerating in the number of available jobs in order to keep salaries low and to keep the pipeline open for fresh grads from universities. If you're a buyer, you always want more supply than demand. There ARE specific categories within IT that have a shortage of workers. I haven't really done much job-hunting lately so I can't tell what they are, though.

You mentioned this next thing. There are tons of job categories and sub-categories. For example, software developers may be in generally low demand but certain sub-categories like JSP2EE or .NET database developers may be in high demand. Same for any category. It also depends on the industry and job function. Telecom might be down but banking may be up. And this leads to regional considerations. If telecom is down and banking up and you have all telecom companies in your area but no banking, then demand for you will be low.

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Keeping abreast

by beads In reply to Depends on the source of ...

Agree M_a_r_k. Its all about perceptions and work locale thrown into the mix as well.

The biggest problem that I can see as a executive isn't the lack of jobs or the lack of people to fill those jobs its keeping the people abreast of the technology needed to be applied to those jobs. Sure I could hire any schmuck off the street and declare them to be an Oracle developer but if that person never saw a computer do anything but email is that person still an Oracle Developer even if I say so? Thats the problem many businesses are confronted with on a daily basis. Also why you see two answers to the same analysis. Too few jobs! Too few people to do too few positions. Its about slicing the data cube. Remember this: Figures lie and liars figure. Give me enough statistics and I'll also prove that the Earth is flat; Humans came from Mars and that there are little green men living under your bed. Ahhh... the power of statistics. I'm joking of course but you get the drift, I hope.

For IT folks everywhere, its a delicate and fine balnacing act to stay abreast of all the latest and greatest hardware and software packages. After the dot com bust (predicted well in advance by yours truly), we had a recession shedding lots of borderline businesses and there staff. You wouldn't believe the number of completely unqualified resume's I recieved from folks with titles like VP of Web Enabled Sales or VP of Actualization. What the heck do those mean? References to jobs or such like that - nonesense. Most of these folks didn't even have 4 year degrees and were making $150,000+ annually. Just nuts. So many of them went the way of the dodo - extinct in the form of an IT career.

Long term fellows of DP/IS/IT will tell you that IT is and has always been cyclical. Complain if you want but thats the way its always been and will continue to be for the forseeable future. The biggest challenge for all IT, once Data Processing, later Information Systems is to keep learning the newest most in demand packages. No matter if your a security geek; a developer or a network manager. You have to stay abreast in your field or suffer the consequences of eventual carreer nullification and or burnout from trying to learn and retain too much. Trust me its not pretty thing to see - burnout. Been there, done that with Y2K. Thats why I always tell people to try managing that balance. Oh yeah. Business wants us to become automatons and no longer specialize. Hello! We are specialist. Not marketers. Not Salespersons. Not Accountants. We are technically specialized professionals. If you want us to understand business, your business, the competitions business then you'll have to train us in that as well!

/* Rant over */

Theres nothing happening here in IT that isn't happening in any other industry. It just seems like theres more of it here because our cycles are so much more dense than in other fields. We live under a microscope on a daily basis. Consider that the average 'computer year' is generally considered to be 4.5:1 in comparison to other more normal fields and you'll quickly see why IT is not for the feint of heart. Still, theres nothing else I'd rather do.

- beads

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Reasonable demand now and more later

by Dr Dij In reply to Information Technology: ...

as baby boomer retire, and few young people have selected IT as a career. 5-10 years from now it will turn 'critical'.

In US we will deal with it in creative ways, from labor saving software, and methods such as service providers for items as diverse as ERP software (online via web service), security services, pc maint contracts, etc.

There will still need to be people at the company who represent the companies interest and tie all the vendors together.

Excluding the possibility that the US gov't spends all the money in the universe and we go into a great depression, and back to log cabins 'Dark Angel' wise.

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In principle...

by jkameleon In reply to Information Technology: ...

... we have a shortage of demand for brains due to shortage of brains.

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That doesn't comply with basic economics

by M_a_r_k In reply to In principle...

The supply-and-demand relationship will tell you that a shortage in demand for brains should result in an oversupply of brains. Or a shortage in the supply of brains will result in higher demand for brains. So much for theories....

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Basic economics was invented for 18th century manufacturing

by jkameleon In reply to That doesn't comply with ...

It does not work very well in the areas where creativity, knowledge, innovation, and resourcefullnes are the main commodities.

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I disagree

by M_a_r_k In reply to Basic economics was inven ...

Economics was not "invented". It is a science just like mathematematics or biology. It is used to explain real-life market forces and production and consumption of goods and services. The supply-and-demand curve is alive and well and just as relevant today as ever.

A good example: gasoline prices. Shortage of production capacity combined with more use by developing nations (China and India) equals not enough supply for the increased demand. So prices go up. Unless there is collusion among oil companies, this will happen 100% of the time. It also works in speculative markets where consumers suspect that there may soon be a shortage. When supply was abundant in the '90s through overpumping from oil-producing nations (and we had enough refineries), prices dropped.

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Me too,.

by jkameleon In reply to I disagree

> Economics was not "invented". It is a science just like mathematematics or biology.

Science was invented too (mostly by Bacon), as well as logic (mostly by Aristotle), mathematics, and everything else.


> A good example: gasoline prices.

Gasoline is not comparable to ideas&innovations. Ideas are very similar goods as human resources. None of them likes to be treated like commodities.

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Boy, are you ever in for a rude awakening!!!

by sleepin'dawg In reply to Basic economics was inven ...

One of these days "basic economics" is going to rear its ugly head and bite you when you least expect it, right in those specific areas. Unless you have three years worth of salary or investments tucked away, you'll be in for a rough ride with that kind of thinking. All the items you mention are available cheap for the asking; even cheaper by the dozen. You've been fortunate so far but its going to suck big time when you end up on the wrong end of that type of thinking. BTW just how old are you. You display a lot of naivete and inexperience for whatever age you are but maybe I'm wrong. I thought I was wrong once but I was mistaken. :^O

Dawg ]:)

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I am awake, and...

by jkameleon In reply to Boy, are you ever in for ...

... I don't produce the items in question anymore. My phylosophy concerning creativity, ideas, and innovation is: "if you can't sell it, sit on it".

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