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  • #2276687

    IT Career… an oxymoron???

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    by benjamin ·

    Hello everyone. I have returned to the US after being in the UK for 8 years. While there, I was able to successfully join the world of IT and progress my career quite nicely. I was fortunate to get started in 1999, the year Y2K mania struck fear into most corporations everywhere. As such, I was able to work for several consultancies as we prepared major corporations for the “devastating” effects of January 1st 2000. Because of this I was able to obtain invaluable experience as I worked with and upgraded computer systems.

    We all know what happened AFTER the cities of the world welcomed the new millennium so I won’t talk about that. Fortunately for me, I was still able to obtain consulting work for other IT projects with some of these companies because I actually ended up saving them a LOT of money. I would take directors aside, go to the time and date settings of their PC, change them to a date in the year 2000 and ask them to work as they normally do. When asked why I did this, I commented that this is all you need to know about how your systems will be affected when January 1st rolls around. Because of this, I was called back to do legitimate projects. And I did this until last year when I finally decided it was time to return home.

    Now, that I am home I have come to realize that IT work has all but dried up in my part of the country (Arizona) and the prospects don’t look any better in other parts of the US. So, here I am providing phone tech support for a shipping company. Hmmmm. This can’t be right. I keep hearing horror stories about how recent college graduates with a degree in IT can’t even find a job! I’m sure a lot of you out there can remember the days when there were actually more jobs available than there were people to fill them. Not any more!

    So, here I stand, (well sit actually) with 5 years of job related experience in everything from front end software and hardware support to running things and administrating from the back end. I can configure and troubleshoot just about anything out there and I can’t even find a job in my field of expertise. The market is saturated with guys like me. Granted I don’t have any letters after my name and have not actually taken the time to pursue such things as MCSE, CNA, etc. because I have the hands on experience. Now I am beginning to wonder where I go from here.

    I am not asking for advice or anything. I would however be interested to know how many of you (and I am sure there are a lot of you) who have similar stories to tell and what you are doing about it. Supposedly with all the outsourcing that is happening, there “SHOULD” be more opportunities opening up for more technical jobs. Yeah, right! I’m thinking that if one of my friends who is an awesome software developer can’t find a job, what chance in hell do I have?
    I look forward to any and all posts to this discussion. Thanks for reading and all the best to all of you!
    Ben

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    • #3305356

      Yes

      by black panther ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      And it doesn’t stop them putting through all these Uni Graduates where probably 1 in 10 may have a chance of getting a job ( Same situation here in Australia )

      Good luck… keep trying!

      • #3300363
        • #3300115

          Surrounded by H1B Visas

          by tmana37 ·

          In reply to Don’t get mad, get even!

          The IT company I work for has been laying off thousands of workers, some IT, some not and either outsourcing the jobs or replacing them with H1B Visa workers.
          This year 40 of my co-workers and friends were laid off and now their empty cubicles have been filed with H1b Visa workers from India.
          I walk by the printer and fax machines and see applications for Visa extentions, and US citizianship.
          It just a slap in the face to the American Workers and a constant reminder to me.
          Here are some very good sites: http://www.techsunite.org/
          http://www.washtech.org/
          http://www.allianceibm.org/

        • #3292136

          Re: Surrounded by H1B Visas

          by danarothrock ·

          In reply to Surrounded by H1B Visas

          TmanA37;

          I urge you to join the free Yahoo group H1BClassAction and document your H1B observations. You may remain anonymous, but we are actively filing complaints to the US Department of Labor Office of Inspector General on visa abuse and corruption. Investigations are ongoing.

          What you have described is a blatant violation of US immigration laws.

          Go to:
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/H1BClassAction/
          register, then go to
          Files/Corporate_Intel
          and upload your story.

          Dana Rothrock
          “This battle will not be won at the polls.
          This war will be won in the courts.”

        • #3349092

          h1b *^%^%

          by jorizvi ·

          In reply to Surrounded by H1B Visas

          what company is that then

        • #3292102

          www.StopTheFTAA.org can help prevent more losses

          by tech-trend ·

          In reply to Don’t get mad, get even!

          Some good points being made here. I appreciate the positive attitudes of some contributors demonstrating a tenacity to adjust and succeed despite the difficulties. For them as well as the weary folks that have reinvented themselves, preventing more suicidal “free” trade agreements is fundamental to restoring our economy. Whether you are in IT, timber, woodworking, manufacturing… activating Congress to Stop the Free Trade Area of the Americas (likely to be voted on in 2005) is crucial. It’s an axpansion of the destructive NAFTA and you can get up to speed on it at: http://www.StopTheFTAA.org.

        • #3299691

          It’s the same in other countries

          by alejandro l ·

          In reply to www.StopTheFTAA.org can help prevent more losses

          I live in Colombia and we are cautious about the benefits of NAFTA for us.

          For example, companies like Oracle closed local services and transfered it to Miami, It is the same with Microsoft. These companies are only interested in sell licencees here.

          Here, the power of big IT companies is greater than in USA because in addition they are supported by U.S. Department of State. The benefits of NAFTA for these companies are less taxes and the posibility to close more functions here and do it remotely. In other business, i.e. pharmaceutical, they are consolidating their datacenters and support areas in U.S.A and other countries.

          In conclusion, the NAFTA will change our business independent what side of the border you are. You win or lose depending of the big companies’ interests.

        • #3298588

          H1-B Visas the Economic Reality

          by aesthetic_s ·

          In reply to Don’t get mad, get even!

          Let me first give a brief background on myself, I am a former IT consultant in an Accenture level firm, so I can sympathize with everyone crying foul at the H1B visa situation.

          But lets keep a few facts in mind. Immigration as a whole is a smaller percentage of our overall population then any point in our nation’s history. Blacks and the labor class in general have always been put out by open immigration policies of our society. The truth is that the owning class needs open immigration in all industries, to maintain profits. America is not in decline even though many of us well bred, well educated americans are not finding jobs as easier as our parent’s generation. We must realize that our property values and stock portfolio gains in the past decade have been due in large part to H1B visas. I know its hard for us to accept but globilzation in the Long run enriches everyone, econ 101. Our skills are not as valuable as we may think they are, what is important is entrepeneurial risk taking and relationship (salesmanship) building. We all know how much even mediocre real estate agents make don’t we?? Alot especially in H1B visa land. Just an example of what really matters in the world. Don’t expect that even though you studied really hard and bought the right education that you are actually entitled to anything. That foreign student has done the same thing, and we are all competing for the same world.
          The American Medical Association has been a model for those looking for protection for IT professionals in the U.S. but it will simply lead to the death of IT altogether in the U.S.A. The AMA is already really killing non-medical jobs by raising the cost of the healthcare system by greatly increasing the cost of doing business in america, and hiring for one of (IT professionals) and breaking state bankrolls.

          Protectionism has actually, historically been the downfall of great nations from ancient Rome, Persia to China.

      • #3300097

        What?

        by glitcha1 ·

        In reply to Yes

        I run an IT company in Australia – Show me a uni graduate that can communicate, doesn’t demand a totally unrealistic starting salary, has a concept of ethics, and can actually **do** what they represent on a CV, they get jobs with me.

        I also like it when people turn up on time and don’t have the effects of their nocturnal activities having them zombified at a workstation.

    • #3306564

      It’s the sad reality…

      by obiwaynekenobi ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I fall under that first category you mentioned (recent grad w/IT degree). Hell, I even got my A+ certification while in school, and I did volunteer work at the school as a network administrator for a year and a half. And… nothing. Still no employment.

      I don’t know what to do, myself. I apply for jobs I’m perfectly qualified for, and don’t even get called in for an interview, and when I do I don’t get called back for a second one. I’ve gone through recruiters, and I agree with that “IT Recruiters are the worst!” thread; this guy was supposed to try and get me a tech support job with BrightHouse Networks, and when I contact him about it he tells me “Sorry, but it looks like the position is put on hold.” That was the last I heard from him. It’s very depressing, I have to say. Best advice I can give is to try to grin and bear it and hope something better comes along. I’d be happy to even get a phone support job right now, and I hate phone support.

      • #3297777

        Learn Psychology (or practice meditation)

        by fbartolom ·

        In reply to It’s the sad reality…

        Well… it looks a long way from IT, but after all who are IT managers working with? Machines?! Wrong answer: people!
        After all the big problem is not so much to manage computer, servers, storage area networks, firewalls or whatever: people able to manage those things “following instructions” come custom-made from the university (if not from high school or from a gaming contest).

        So a wise worker should move away from the crowd and positionate herself where expertise is needed: in the position of those that “formulate instructions”. And what do you need to formulate good istructions? Of course understand people and… here we come back to the title of the posting 🙂

        • #3297705

          Yeah, right…

          by mt pilgrim ·

          In reply to Learn Psychology (or practice meditation)

          Give it a rest. I’ve heard that speech about “diversify your talents” to the point it begins to make one sick. Being currently poised on the threshold of having my position outsourced it would appear that your statement is callous, even typical of management pap. It’s hard to compete within a field where some of us have given over 15+ years to the field that is now all but abandoning us for cheap labor markets. After going through more cutbacks, reorganizations, layoffs, et al, than I care to remember over the last few years my “diversification plan” is beginning to face the reality that both mid and upper-level management don’t really care what is happening as they are driven by the proverbial bottom line. Being just north geographically from the originator, Phoenix (once an IT Mecca…) is just as bad with more jobs disappearing on a daily basis.

          “Formulate instructions?” Sounds more like you need to get your steps back in the trenches of the real world. “Understand people?” Try fathoming the reasoning behind why stellar performances by those of us amongst the rank and file are being constantly rewarded with cutbacks.

        • #3297599

          Diversify your talents or starve…

          by boomslang ·

          In reply to Yeah, right…

          Try being in the woodworking industry in Oregon. Diversify or change what you do often to keep multiple income streams. It’s nice to read about all the city dwellers who think they can keep one career all their life and never change. At least in the city, there are obviously more resources available to feed you than there are out here in the third growth timber where it’s diversify or go on welfare.

        • #3302395

          Think about an un-outsourcable job

          by michael.oneill ·

          In reply to Diversify your talents or starve…

          I thought I saw the writing on the wall for programming jobs back in 2000. So I sat down and looked at my non-technology skillset to map out a career based on those non-tech skills.

          I’ve always been a strong communicator, so I started looking at marketing and sales jobs for development tools. I ended up as a sales engineer in 2001: SEs need to have strong, hands-on technical skills to convince other IT folks that the product being sold can really do what it claims. The same problem-solving skills are needed to solve technical problems, and if you have regular user contact, you’ll be fine with the sales side of things (with a little practice).

          OK, may not be right for everyone. But it’s a thought.

          I also went back to school to get an MBA (NYU). Part of that was to diversify my options. But the other part was to guarantee my hands-on technical skills would be obsolete. I backed myself into a corner to force myself out of traditional programming jobs. (I am now in developer marketing for one of the big four Java companies).

          Anyway, don’t assume you need to run IT systems or program, just because that’s your educational and experiential background. There’s more out there. You just need to ignore all the acronyms for a little bit.

        • #3302374

          Whine or act?

          by tradergeorge ·

          In reply to Yeah, right…

          I used to build PCs for a living. When that market ceased to turn a profit, I turned to IT and made a good living during the “boom”. In 2001, I found myself in the same boat as the thread originator. Now, I manufacture candles, homemade soap and lotions to the tune of six figures after taxes.

          One of my professors used to say, “If what you are doing is not working, do something else.” Or, you could just whine about it until the bills come due.

        • #3302258

          Act or Face Extinction

          by gorto ·

          In reply to Whine or act?

          I started life in the Graphics industry as a Computer Graphics Artist. The computer tech’s servicing our system were making far more money than me, so I started learning about computers and switched careers. That was 15 years ago. I became a Microsoft NT/2000 Admin and when the trend started to move toward opensource I moved in that direction. I did some consulting and eventually became a SysAdmin for a large book distribution facility. I had ideas and developed customer service skills to boot and was promoted to the Supervisor of our Technology group. Our I.T. Director is being pushed into the Business Development Division. I’ve been told that his job is mine to lose. Why! Because I’m filling a void in I.T. and getting projects done! Don’t whine, find a hole and fill it. I.T. should be on the front line of Business growth and development.

        • #3300286

          Act or Face Extinction

          by gorto ·

          In reply to Whine or act?

          I started life in the Graphics industry as a Computer Graphics Artist. The computer tech’s servicing our system were making far more money than me, so I started learning about computers and switched careers. That was 15 years ago. I became a Microsoft NT/2000 Admin and when the trend started to move toward opensource I moved in that direction. I did some consulting and eventually became a SysAdmin for a large book distribution facility. I had ideas and developed customer service skills to boot and was promoted to the Supervisor of our Technology group. Our I.T. Director is being pushed into the Business Development Division. I’ve been told that his job is mine to lose. Why! Because I’m filling a void in I.T. and getting projects done! Don’t whine, find a hole and fill it. I.T. should be on the front line of Business growth and development.

        • #3300230

          Act or Specialize

          by huios ·

          In reply to Whine or act?

          Th Key here is specialization. Too many help desk level / desktop Tech people when all the opening are in the specialized fields. If you think IT is drying up you are mistaken. I did a search for IT Jobs and I have found a plethora of jobs the problem is ther eare few people tha tqualify for those jobs. The key is to get your CNA or your MCSE or MCSA or get certified in CITRIX or UNIX or Java/J2EEE or whatever specialized area you desire. Its just like any other field, you must educate youself, get experience where you can, and pay the price to get the good jobs that are out there by the dozens just waiting for qualified people. If your looking to stay in the help desk or Desktop tech arena, good luck… anyone can do that stuff…what is going to set your resume aprt from the crowd? By the way.. check your states job bank, you’d be supprised at what jobs are avilable with the local Gov’t.

        • #3301431

          Exactly!

          by scottma ·

          In reply to Whine or act?

          I have worked, over many years, in several and completely different fields. Everything from cocktail waitress, to retail management, to systems analyst, to bridal salesperson. I have learned, no matter who you work for, other than yourself, the business does not care about you, the employee. The business is not going to put it’s employees first in any business decision it makes. It’s not good business, there are many stakeholders and possibly stockholders to consider. The “bottom line” is what is important, not the specific employee.

        • #3297614

          may be calous but it’s true…

          by coldbrew ·

          In reply to Learn Psychology (or practice meditation)

          The reply can be taken as calous but I know a lot of people who changed their whole career and are happy. I went into teaching and management after I was laid off. IT people are a dime a dozen and half of them are “paper certs” and couldn’t operate a microwave much less a computer. It is a tough market out there for everyone in a lot of fields as the economy and the work force change.

          Good luck to you.

        • #3302415

          different world

          by joe.canuck ·

          In reply to may be calous but it’s true…

          My father worked 35 years for the same corporation. We live in a different world now and most people will have 5 careers before retiring. I would say most IT grey beards got into IT later in life as a second or third career in the 80s-90s when things were hot. For those who have been through reinvention already it’s fairly easy, just find another skill market and learn in that direction, add it to IT and mechanics or whatever else you already have. I feel for the pure IT folks who came right out of college into IT. This may be the first tiem you have had to reinvent yourselves.

        • #3302158

          Different world, litterally

          by llauren ·

          In reply to different world

          OK, so i’m not the greybeard (greyback?) IT manager/sysadmin, i’ve been sysadmin for less than five years. But my job as IT manager now is litterally in another world. I am now working for the United Nations’ Development Programme (UNDP) as IT Advisor in Timor Leste (that’s East Timor for the rest of you). It’s just a 6 month contract and i’ve just only started, but it’s rewarding to put your skills into something that *really* matters.

          ~rL

        • #3297600

          Positionate?!?

          by jchristopher ·

          In reply to Learn Psychology (or practice meditation)

          Were you being funny?

        • #3292116

          Re: Learn Psychology

          by kaldanzia ·

          In reply to Learn Psychology (or practice meditation)

          I absolutely agree with your post. One of my main job functions as a Technician/Trainer is to translate what the high level techs say and to into a form that is more understandable by non-IT employees. People skills are critical, because IT staff persons usually speak a completely different language than other employees.

          Being a female tech is a big help too, as I think that generally makes me seem more approachable (being a former preschool teacher probably helps too!). I was hired by an organization that is really big on diversity, and being one of the few women in the applicant pool, plus my training credentials got me the job over other techs. The network engineer doesn’t like dealing with people, and loves having someone else to do the “face” stuff, so he can focus on the network and what he does best.

          The nice thing about having training credentials is that training can’t be effectively done by overseas employees. Because of my training background, we instituted a formal computer training program in our office. It has significantly reduced calls for help, and a lot of our people are working more efficiently. This kind of thing just can’t be done with outsourcing. It also makes my job easier as a tech, because employees aren’t afraid to try simple solutions to their problems before they call me, and when they do call I get much better information from them.

          Another tip on ensuring people see your value is to do complex procedures (especially if it involves disassembling computer hardware) right in front of non-IT employees so they can see what you do. I inevitably get an audience when I do this, and the other employees think I’m a brain surgeon or something. As much as I hate it, playing the political game is an important part of the job. I even work on employees’ home computers when I have a little extra time, because those relationship are everything. The more I can do to enlighten the non-IT employees about what I do, the more valuable I become in their eyes.

          Anyway, that’s just my 2 cents and random musings on the topic…

        • #3292050

          good rendering

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Re: Learn Psychology

          That’s a good synopsis, explanation, and explication of the sort of “people skills” you can use to stay in a job without compromising your integrity.

        • #3182745

          get into users heads..

          by bruces9354 ·

          In reply to Learn Psychology (or practice meditation)

          I think you may have something there Bart.

          I have a BA degree in Psychology from 30 years ago and even went so far as to follow it into a Masters program – which was left undone. After getting married and raising a family, I found I really needed a job.

          I have been in the IT field now for almost 11 years starting as a phone monkey supporting all kinds of junk. I am now the manager of a small IT dept. supporting about 100 workstations, database, network,,, the whole enchildada, with little formal training.

          I found the biggest part of the IT job is keeping my customers happy. While I try to figure out, on the spot, what the H* is going on with their system, I often engage in conversation explaining what I am doing,,, educating them along the way. This helps me immensely and takes a lot of stress off the immediacy of troubleshooting

          It’s easy enough to take a problem to the back room and analyze it on the work bench,,, but the real trick is to keep your customers’ work flow flowing.

          I found the interpersonal skills I learned way back when have served me well. The machines are just there to serve the people. In servicing the machines, we should remember, it is the user that is our real customer.

      • #3297673

        The Way of the World

        by edpannell ·

        In reply to It’s the sad reality…

        I understand what you are going through. I was laid off here in the Chicagoland area since September. Everyone that I know of has a copy of my resume and it is still difficult to get a position. I have visited IT recruiters who have never called back. I have over ten years support experience, and would LOVE to have a phone support position right now. I went from making over 65000 a year to living (struggling) on unemployment.

        I continue to be hopeful about the future, study while I have the time (and income), and know that it will get better.

      • #3297636

        You may have to move

        by langstonha1 ·

        In reply to It’s the sad reality…

        I’m in the same situation but I’m working on my own to have some income. You may want to try the military or try searching in another state. Some companies will move you. I live in Florida and there are not many IT jobs in my area but I did get a part time IT job making $7.50 an hour. It was a start.
        Later,
        Henry

        • #3292199

          Move for $7.50 an hour?

          by data1959 ·

          In reply to You may have to move

          A start for WHAT??? You can cashier for that wage.

        • #3292074

          nope

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Move for $7.50 an hour?

          I don’t think he said he moved for $7.50 an hour, or even that you should. I think he was just talking about having a job, as an indication that jobs exist, even in areas where the market is pretty bad.

          Of course, I could be mistaken.

      • #3302314

        Yes, it is bad, but….

        by gdellacroce@grnroselle ·

        In reply to It’s the sad reality…

        I have to toss my two pennies in here. I have almost 30 years in IT, developer, design, manager, consultant, and now …. Search Consultant. Yes I am a >recruiter< for IT. What you said about that recruiter is true. They think they (I) have a great match of person and client. And then one (or the other) backs out, slows down, stops returning calls, what ever. Poof! Personnally I still keep looking for my candidates because there are great jobs out there, and I want to put them into those jobs. One point about the IT market now - IT is still in the budget press. There are three types of shops out there. Huge, Normal, and Mom&Pop. If you want to work in Huge or Mom&Pop >>Do Not Use A Recruiter<< We can rarely help with full time positions. If you want towork for the Normal shop, work with a recruiter. I will help anyone (even if I can't place you) with their job search. But I can not find everyone the "great" position, paying 6 figures to starting grad's. Those days where the abnormal that will not soon return.

        • #3302182

          Parallel Thinking

          by robertmi ·

          In reply to Yes, it is bad, but….

          Have you thought of doing the forensic analysis side of computing work? OK you know systems inside and out, you can find your way around all sorts of software and the tracks that a user leaves behind. What you might not have are the skills needed to preserve data integrity and the software/hardware to do it, but those skills and kit are relatively easily acquired. IT is the underpinning of business world wide, but only IT people really understand its complexities. That knowledge can be marketed in a business environment where people are crying out for investigators who can tell who did what where and to whom using a computer. Current practitioners are often retired cops (like me) but any reasonably intelligent person with an enquiring mind can examine and reconstruct the activities of a computer user. Don’t be put off by the thought that you lack investigative skills. Instead of focusing on the nuts and bolts of IT take a look at some spin off activities and build your own empire.

    • #3306524

      Well with your experience

      by hal 9000 ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      You could always start your own consulting firm. I believe that there are Government Grants available for this and you could make a nice living out of it as well.

      But when it comes to working for a Boss I think your up the creek without a paddle as we say over here. When I escaped Uni in the 70’s I had a friend who was top of his class in Civil Engineering and he never got a job in that area of work. He now collects garbage in the morning and makes sails during the rest of the day. Talk about a wasted education but at least he got on with his life and didn’t sit around waiting for something to drop in his lap.

      Col

      • #3309831

        Very Positive!

        by benjamin ·

        In reply to Well with your experience

        Thank you Col for your input. Actually thank everyone who has contributed to this discussion. Starting my own consulting firm will most likely be the best answer. As far as there being government grants available for this, I shall have to investigate.

        I know there are the odd company here and there that need training, networks set up and/or maintained, software/hardware upgrades, etc. Perhaps I should look into it seriously.

        My main objective was to get a feel for the land so to speak and find it interesting this “problem” is universal. I am actually in the process now of creating a web site to assist people like me and from what I can tell from the posts, all of you, with avenues to achieve all they want to do in the world of Information Services / Technology. We’ll see how that goes. I am in the process of brainstorming with Mind Manager and surprisingly have come up with some good ideas.

        But this post Col was a great idea. Thanks again!

        • #3297757

          Strike out on your own

          by hescominsoon ·

          In reply to Very Positive!

          I was in your boat as well. I finally got fed up with it and started my own consulting firm with my wife. She works another job as well. Right now web design is bringing in most of the business. Word is starting to get out(some through advertising and some through word of mouth) about my technical side. We are looking at breaking even this year(paying back taxes and startup costs). We are hoping for at least 10k or more in profits next year.

        • #3292170

          Ya, start your own thing

          by manasmitra ·

          In reply to Strike out on your own

          I’m a bit late entry in this discussion – but it’s not always too late. I left my last job on 31st Dec. ’98 and started my own firm within 3 months – had only a few contacts at that time, now it’s more than 200 loyal clients in hardware support in six years. With all the experience, sincerety does matter.

        • #3294332

          You have no choice…

          by rcsteinbach ·

          In reply to Strike out on your own

          You have no choice, you MUST strike out on your own. I did and the pay is horrible, but at least I’m working. I have a few steady clients and I hope to get more as the year goes on. PC repair, virus and malware elimination, and support for secured wired and wireless networks are difficult and dangerous to outsource or leave in charge of temp tech workers so I focused in on those areas. Hopefully my gamble will pan out in a few years or so.

          We don’t have much of a choice except to roll with the punches, no matter how crooked the game has become. Simply play your cards with the same mercy corporate America gave us. If we can take down a few enemies of American tech workers in the 2006 elections, all the better 🙂 (Evil laugh)

      • #3297115

        Noooo!

        by dallen ·

        In reply to Well with your experience

        That really is the problem now a days, people with very little business and IT exp becoming “Consultants”. I can’t tell you how many times I have been called in by a client to fix a “Consultants” mess.

        90% of the time this person hangs a shingle, does a couple odd jobs, then closes shop becuase it was harder than anticipated. These people have little more than a couple years doing basic networking and hardware repair and then have the audacity to call themselves a “Consultant”. This is not being fair to them, nor the client.

        You can be the best tech in the world, but a poor business person. Please look at your skills before you claim to be a “Consultant” or go into business.

        In the end it is always the client that gets hurt, and it is hard to gain that trust back.

        • #3297721

          READ AGAIN!

          by tlcompany ·

          In reply to Noooo!

          If you would have read Ben’s story instead of just glancing over it, you would have seen that he is well qualified to strike out on his own. It’s the guys coming out of these schools with the degrees and no practical experience that should NOT be consultants. I strongly think that Ben would do well. Like I stated in my reply if he does quality work, he’ll get many referreals. I had a client that had thier own IT professionals and they had to call me in to fix their professional messes. They had all the little letters behind their names that they got from school, but had never even seen the inside of a PC. Now that’s sad. Giving out titles to someone that has only done the theory in school.

          Terry Lewis
          Owner
          TL Company

        • #3297697

          Amen!

          by lcave ·

          In reply to Noooo!

          I am still bleeding from the last consultant.

        • #3297610

          Agree BUT…..

          by lwilliam ·

          In reply to Noooo!

          dallen:
          I agree with you, but I also believe that the consulting business is worth looking at. If you go into it with both eyes open. Get a good understanding of what its going to take from a marketing and sales standpoint. Work on your sales/people skills if need be. Know what your level of technical skills are and market your services accordingly. If you are serious and want to be long term, it will be difficult, but you have to think long term and stick with it. I personally have worked for a large hospital for 6 years in the IT support area. My skills and knowledge have grown immensely, but I am in a dead end job on the support desk spending 90% of my time on the phone. I make over 50K a year, but I hate what i’m doing. I plan on starting a consulting business after the first of the year and my goal is to be full-time in 1 year. 50K may sound good to those who don’t have a job, but its awful to stay in a position that you hate, life is too short and the money is just not worth it. I live in Wisconsin and the job market is flat as well. I’ve done the headhunter route and sent out tons of resumes and not even an interview. a J.O.B. guarantees you nothing in the IT world. If you work for yourself and have a strong passion and desire to succeed, work with clients that you enjoy, find a technology niche your comfortable with and keep your expectations realistic….Then the consulting business can be a lot of fun and highly rewarding. Its not for everyone, but its sure worth considering. As for me, I plan on being long term in the consulting business, you won’t find any dead bodies or messes along my trail. Good luck to you….

        • #3292005

          Consultants… caveat emptor!

          by nusigf ·

          In reply to Noooo!

          Consultants can burn you, but the onus is on you to make sure you know what you’re paying for. Having been a consultant my entire professional career, I have never been misrepresented nor have I ever misrepresented myself to the client. An accurate CV with my experience, references etc is usually enough for people to see the value of utilizing consultants. Paying for a godd consultant doesn’t always bring you pain-free solutions, however. Many companies don’t realize that the consultant you hire could’ve been right down the (proverbial) street at your competitors recently, and can shed light on things that are working in your industry, and things that aren’t. Be smart about who you hire (reputation is everything), use them wisely, listen to what they have to say.

          Otherwise, keep steaming down the path you’re on and try and figure it out for yourself.

          As to the lack of IT jobs… There’s a ton of work to be done in the wake of section 404 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002. Look into that.

      • #3302450

        Caught in a cat and mouse game.

        by luiggi ·

        In reply to Well with your experience

        Its hard keeping a positive outlook in the IT job market today. My experience in all of this is very frustrating. I have used just about every staffing agency in the Orlando Florida and found nothing. I go for an interview then I don’t hear from them at all. I call as a follow-up and they tell me nothing is available or send me another updated resume. (What happend to the first one?)One staffing agency I went to for an interview said in very little words I was to old and to remove my military experience from my resume. Another said through a 3rd party since I am bilingual it was detrimental. So far it has been a year and I have not landed an IT job. I have done contracting work for awhile but that went out the door because of politics between my boss and his supervisor. Last, I got my A+, Net+, Security+, and MCSE I still found nothing except for $8.00 jobs. I am running out of patient and getting desperate my unemployment has run out and don’t know what to do. Its depressing I hope it gets better in 2005.

      • #3302382

        RE: Well with your experience.

        by mharazin ·

        In reply to Well with your experience

        I’ve had to do the same thing, but with my own money.. It’s been 2 years and I’m just now starting to make decent money.

        I hate to give advice, but this has been my experience:

        Put up a simple website with lots of content to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Offer great tips, suggest various software/hardware, review new products at least once a week.. Just give people a place they can go for excellent info. Once people start to realize you know your stuff, start a website for your company and link it to your content site. It doesn’t cost much and now that people trust you and your name is out there, the client list will grow.

        Trust me.. starting your own consulting firm is NOT easy, but it’s well worth it if you put the time into it. I’m starting to get at least 50% of my new clients through word-of-mouth referals and believe me.. those are the best clients to have.

        Mike

    • #3306514

      I went through the same thing

      by zlitocook ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      But I went through a local tec school, a two year degree. I got my A+, network+ and mcp there. I went through two full time jobs in the late 90s early 2000. And contracted out after that. One company did get me jobs but at low pay, but it gave me more training. The last company that I have used has contracted me and now the company is going to hire me. I just learned what ever I could and read every thing. The one company that helped the most was Keystone, I do not know if they are country wide but it’s worth a call. My contact is in St. Louis, 314-878-7200 ask for Erik Rodman, yes thats his real name. I now get alot of calls for full time jobs, but I like the one I have now.

      • #3292210

        local only

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to I went through the same thing

        Keystone Staffing isn’t national. It’s a local business. Apparently, it’s good for the St. Louis area, though.

    • #3306509

      Well I went back to college – online

      by garion11 ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Not sure if you have a degree or not but did you look into that option? or how about programming? That field is still good and not all jobs have shipped to India/China (some you just can’t, like Desktop Support, Project Management). To tell you the truth I am surprised that you are not doing Project Management or something…how about getting your certification in that?

      http://www.pmi.org/info/default.asp

      I thank God everyday for online colleges and now I am going to finish in 2005. This field has turned into … well I dunno what the hell it turned into but it is not fun anymore.

      At this point you might want to think about technical sales? or some kind of a hybrid career meaning…biotechnology field or something?? Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

    • #3306401

      It’s no better in VA

      by itgirli ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I recently graduated from a tech school and got my first, real IT job. My contract ends on friday and I’ll be out on my arse since the company I contract thru can’t find me a job. I’ve been looking for them myself and cannot find any either. I love computers (especially the hardware side), but I’m beginning to regret my choice now that I’m just going to be another out of work tech. I think I need to find a big piece of cardboard and a permanent marker and make myself a sign. I’ll head out to a corner with my big sign that reads “Will repair computers for food, will HTML for a blanket”. The job market is gone, because any one can learn enough of the right answers to get certified, and that’s what more companies want. Who cares about experience. (I’ve had a computer since I was 3). Big business wants pretty pieces of paper. And then you’ll be lucky if you can find a place with a position open. I don’t mean to rant and rave (who am I kidding? Yes, I do), I just want to be able to enjoy what I’m doing.

      • #3306368

        Well there are always Government Jobs

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to It’s no better in VA

        But you have to be able to handle the total lack of any reason and just follow instructions no matter how wrong you know that they are.

        Actually I love the “HTML Blanket” bit it is so accurate!

        Col

        • #3306290

          i wish

          by itgirli ·

          In reply to Well there are always Government Jobs

          I cannot even find any government jobs in this area. I’m a little uncomfortable with relocating.

        • #3306101

          Government Contacts

          by bfilmfan ·

          In reply to i wish

          Drop these government contractors your resume. I worked with both outfits and they are good companies. They do a ton of work up in your area.

          http://www.anteon.com/

          http://www.ciber.com

        • #3306070

          thanks

          by itgirli ·

          In reply to Government Contacts

          I’ll give it a shot.

        • #3309721

          Much Thanks!!!

          by faith_michele ·

          In reply to Government Contacts

          I had been looking for the Ciber link for a while. I do live near an Army base.

          Faith

        • #3297700

          Same problem here in KS

          by angelgrl ·

          In reply to Government Contacts

          Got the training, experience, and almost 5 years looking for a job in this area. Nothing. It’s really frustrating. The company that I worked for sent all bussiness of-shore, Philipines and India. We can’t compite with those salaries.
          In the meanwhile I went back to school to have a “back-up degree” in the health field.
          I am making way more money than I ever imagine, in the health field. There are jobs out there to choose from.
          Don’t get me wrong, I still do some consulting as a Network admin, but, at least here, nothing has been really worthy.
          I don’t give up though. We will relocate to Florida and maybe there I will be able to find something.
          Don’t give up. My advise…have a back up plan. At least this gives you enough to pay the bills until you can hook something else.
          angelgrl

        • #3302251

          re: Florida

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Same problem here in KS

          If you find something in Florida, let me know. I’m looking to migrate from consulting and contract work to full time salary, and I’m in Florida. The search hasn’t been very fruitful.

        • #3052053

          Ohio

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Same problem here in KS

          More of the same, piled higher and deeper. For some reason, we were missed by all the money being thrown around in the dot-com boom, but got sucked down the rat-hole of the dot-com bust.

          Thinking of opening a coffee shop, but then again Florida for rehab construction looks pretty good.

          Certainly not IT .. never again.

        • #3306199

          Always

          by black panther ·

          In reply to Well there are always Government Jobs

          The sad fact is that here in Oz a lot of Government IT Jobs probably in the %50 range are being held by Contractors not permanent public service personnel.

        • #3297620

          A temp job is still a job.

          by ex-military nut ·

          In reply to Always

          Use those temp jobs to leverage yourself into a permanent position. Even working as a contractor, I still look at job postings within the company (MTC) as well as those within the civil service arena.

        • #3297715

          Government or Contractor for Government

          by jeffrey.schneider ·

          In reply to Well there are always Government Jobs

          As a contractor on a government contract, I know there are always positions opening up in the government and with conpanies who have government contracts. Yes, the government beaurocracy can get tedious at time, but as far as job security, it beats most everything else. I work for SAIC. I don’t think my group is hiring right now, but feel free to try and contact my supervisor (Michael Poteshman) 301-763-4390 or micheal.poteshman@saic.com

        • #3297607

          Ditto – over 1000 openings available…

          by ctrstrike ·

          In reply to Government or Contractor for Government

          Same here my friend.

          It might require a move from the AZ area, but here in the DC/N VA area we have pretty much all the big IT compainies. Ours alone, BAE Systems, has over 1000 positions currently open.

          I’ve been with this group for over 10 years now and going strong…

          Good luck to you in your search!

        • #3302446

          Obviously, you’ve never worked for the Government

          by moo132 ·

          In reply to Well there are always Government Jobs

          I got layed off after 17 years of being a government employee. I was unemployed for 7 months before landing a job in the private sector. I can tell you – government employees are just as intelligent & hard working as private sector people. And it’s thinking like yours (that government employees have it made)that made it so difficult to find another job. Have you taken a serious look at available government jobs lately? There are very few! They are outsourcing and downsizing just like the private sector.

      • #3297690

        It’s not easy

        by ksol ·

        In reply to It’s no better in VA

        I’ve been in this business for just over 10 years, I went to college, when I got out, I wasn’t qualified for much, so I took menial jobs not paying much but I expected that. About 1 1/2 years out of college, I ended up with a small, local Networking/Hardware support firm. This company, fortunately for me, was pro-education, they would send me to really whatever class I wanted to go to provided it was job related and I took full advantage of it. The down side was, again, they didn’t pay much in the beginning but I was thankful just to get the experience and training. Many here seem angry when they talk about “paper” MSCE’s and College degrees in the IT industry in general.I’ve found most who are like that don’t have any credentials. The fact is, you need both experience and education credentials to get a decent job. If you scan Monster.com or even your local paper, go to a headhunter or whatever, you’ll find yourselfextremely limited having one, experience, and not the other,credentials. I now work for a large company as a network administrator making a good buck, but this again, has a downside, they are not big on training and/or certifications so as each year goes by, my college educatin has become dated as well as the list of certs I worked hard to acquire, I guess it’ll be my own fault if my job disappears here and I’m out on the hunt again…

      • #3297641

        From the other side

        by bboswick ·

        In reply to It’s no better in VA

        As a recent graduate with a M.S. in Comp Sci, I am coming from the pretty paper side. I am finding it extremely difficult to compete with everyone that has experience. I’ve been doing Database Administration/Development for the past two years and I have tried to migrate to the development side and I am hitting road block after road block because I don’t have the experience. It’s the whole chicken before the egg thing I guess…how do I get experience if no one gives me a chance to get the experience. Enough of my crying. I just want to say that people with the pretty papers are having trouble too.

        • #3300104

          Heavy experience – light paper

          by wizard ·

          In reply to From the other side

          I’ve been doing Network Admin for the last 8 years for three difference companies, currently for an organization with over 400 users. My employer thinks it’s great that I don’t have a degree because he knows I won’t be able to get a better job elsewhere. As it is, I can’t get past HR drones (who are making in mid-20s but have a degree and thus put an inordinate amount of stock in the paper) to even get interviewed anywhere else, much less hired. The end result is I earn $55k for a job that should be in the mid-70s. So, even though it chafes my ass to do it, I’m currently going back to school to get the all-important degeree so I can continue to do the job I’ve been doing for almost a decade and get paid a fair wage to do so.

          Morale is: things suck all over.

      • #3297621

        Counting My Blessings

        by comptech3 ·

        In reply to It’s no better in VA

        Gee, all you folks make me feel grateful for the job I have. I’ve been doing tech work at a community college for about 5 years now. The pay may not be super high, I never wake up dreading to go to work.

        I was lucky enough to walk out of my previous job on Friday, and walk into this one on the next Monday.

      • #3292122

        It’s no better anywhere

        by danarothrock ·

        In reply to It’s no better in VA

        I worked a contract in Richmond for over a year (after being unemployed for 15 months in Texas). My rate was less than I have made in 15 years, considering expenses of being 1400 miles from home, but it saved my home from foreclosure and family from starvation.

        I was paired with an H-1B to train my 30 years of experience (most of my contracts in the last 5 years have been knowledge transfer – or starve.)

        The company was a $36 billion health insurance provider with 30% H-1B and offshore employees.

        I was hired to repair the mess.

        Back in Texas now, looking for work.

        How low can you go?

    • #3306305

      who is doing all the IT work then?

      by wordworker ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I understand what Ben is going through. Three years after being laid off a tech writer job (along with 30 other techies) I am still contracting. I love the flexibility and the money but I miss being a FTE. So what I want to know is, who in the heck is doing all the IT work? Are all existing IT employees just sucking it up when people get fired or move on?? Or are all the new hires coming from within?? Or are all the positions being filled by best-buddy types instead of pulling from the public pool of talent? IT spending is going up, so somebody is building and supporting networks and apps…. It’s a puzzlement.

      • #3306289

        a lot of smaller businesses are into nepotism

        by itgirli ·

        In reply to who is doing all the IT work then?

        Such as where I am for the next week. All of the bosses children and their friends and their friends’ boyfriends work here. it’s sick.

        • #3306275

          Just when I think I can no longer stomach the nepotism…

          by admin ·

          In reply to a lot of smaller businesses are into nepotism

          I realize that its really the only downside of where I work, but in a perfect world I would of course love to not have this one.

          Politics and performance become trcky at best when you supervise your bosses children 🙁

          On a side note, I honestly wish I could find someone like you around here (If of course, they could hang with the nepotism for a few bucks) from your posts you sound like you know whats up and your way around computers, unlike the bazillions of tech graduates that apply and have no idea how to do anything if its not spelled out step by step for them.

          I am sure there is someone who will value your skills in your neighborhood, it just may take a while to find. I found my job by taking a job doing direct service work for people with disabilities temporarily and as soon as they realized I could do computer work I was put into this. Try doing some temp work and watch the places that have IT work to do- even if they are not directly hiring for IT. If your foot is already in the door and they know you have good work habits they will probably hire from within.

          Also, I don’t know about your area, but the hospitals are large enough not to have nepotism and medical IT (which is largely what I do) is looking for network people more than other industries around here. You know HIPPA? If not, I am sure you could learn it fast. Do a little internet research so you can talk it enough to get in the door… 🙂

          Best of luck 2u 🙂

        • #3307605

          nepo…long time

          by secure_lockdown9 ·

          In reply to a lot of smaller businesses are into nepotism

          nepotism has been around for ever abd will always be around. that will never change.

        • #3297604

          Not according to the definition…

          by boomslang ·

          In reply to a lot of smaller businesses are into nepotism

          Get used to family oriented businesses. We have been living in family groups since the beginning of time, and the economic situation we are in now guarantees that unless you are in a large corporation, you are in a smaller group that is trying to keep its family members fed, the original reason for businesses and small enterprises to exist.

          Nepotism is the giving of jobs to nephews by definition, in actuality the giving of jobs to celibate males usually not related to the holder of power. It is a tactic used by religious powers to guarantee that the old boys at the top will not be superceded by someone trying to establish a dynastic line that takes over control by right of birth, THE EXACT OPP0SITE OF WHAT YOU ARE DESCRIBING.

        • #3302453

          I hate it when…

          by hitek-hillbilly ·

          In reply to Not according to the definition…

          People act so pedantic, when they don’t know what they are talking about. ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY SHOUT ABOUT IT.

          Agreed, the word “nepotism” is derived from the French word for nephew, but it is defined as “Favoritism shown or patronage granted to relatives, as in business,” or similar words, by just about any dictionary you can open.

        • #3302154

          He He, Caught one…

          by boomslang ·

          In reply to I hate it when…

          seen on the back of a fishing lure the other day, “May cause serious internal injury if swallowed”. And so it goes…

        • #3302449

          Where have you been living?

          by super_it_mom ·

          In reply to Not according to the definition…

          The definition of nepotism that you gave was used in the days of old, but not in today’s society. Have you been living in a cave?

        • #3302156

          Actually, I’ve been watching…

          by boomslang ·

          In reply to Where have you been living?

          all the jobless types out there who complain about family businesses and the fact that they hire family members and favor them. It’s pretty interesting watching the non-cave dwellers as you kind of portray yourself majorly fail to integrate into the family and enjoy at least having an income. Amazingly, there are people out there who can work in a family and have been with us 20 years or more. Sorry you come from a different social environment that designates every person as an island that needs divorce from the family run business. Corporations are such fun and just sooo nurturing.

        • #3302448

          Nepotism

          by worm farmer ·

          In reply to a lot of smaller businesses are into nepotism

          The new strategy then is to get a new boyfriend/girlfriend in the business…

          How many love slaves do you think Bill Gates has?

        • #3300241

          Currect definition of nepotism

          by netwerkingnut ·

          In reply to a lot of smaller businesses are into nepotism

          For a completely accurate definition of nepotism.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepotism

      • #3297069

        Book worth a read for this question

        by bpeters713 ·

        In reply to who is doing all the IT work then?

        Rising Elephant, just released by Common Courage Press – see my post – has this to say:

        There thus remains a strong risk of false consolation, should there be on-off hiring blips in the months and years ahead, even if this does not serve to make up for a good part of the backlog, let alone structurally reverse relocation, especially with respect to high technology jobs. Indeed, as mentioned previously, there are strong signs that American companies are simply moving higher-value jobs offshore, and that this is a long-term structural shift, accompanied domestically by unreported self-employment, and lower-skill, lower-wage and often-temporary?jobs….

        To sum up, other than the critical ?missing statistic? referred to previously?in terms of the correspondence between relocated jobs, and those not created at home in the U.S.?it may also be years before the underlying composition of reversals in the previous freefall can be really understood. Indeed, it is likely that a wave of political consolation conjured by new employment in the U.S. will mask the kind of jobs being created. Only out-of-work technology workers would know the real difference.

      • #3315802

        1/2 Million jobs /year going to H-1B & L-1’s

        by smiths007 ·

        In reply to who is doing all the IT work then?

        A lot of it is done by foreign workers, either on US soil or overseas.

        You have to remember that in its infinite wisdom, the federal government set up the H-1B and L-1 visa programs to ease the burden of companies unable to find good IT help. Back in the late 90’s (Clinton era) they had opened nearly 500,000 H-1B visas to anyone in the world who wanted to work in the states. (Also, remember that each of these visas is a pipeline into a permanent work visa or “Green Card”, so that after 3-4 years of this, many of these 1/2 million workers would no longer need H-1B visas, as they are now legal to work in the US permanently.) Usually they will work for far less than most Americans, because they can afford to live very economically, by leaving their families overseas, splitting a small apartment several ways, etc., and they are glad to have a chance to have the freedoms that we have taken for granted for decades. (Not only that, but anyone who remembers the “multiplier” effect from economics 101 will realize that for every $50k job where a large part of the paycheck is sent overseas, you are creating a huge hole in the economy, by all the goods and services *not* purchased here, further aggravating the US balance of payments, thus weakening the dollar, and worsening the economy here, which continues the spiral . . .)

        When you do the math, it is not at all surprising that none of us can find IT jobs anymore, given the bursting of the “internet bubble”, the growing recession (escalated by 9/11/01), and the tremendous drain created by the H-1B visa program.

        Not only that, but the H-1B program is also at least partly responsible for the sharp decline in wages, when we can actually FIND a job. The reason for this is that a company must demonstrate that there is a shortage of a particular resource (say, Oracle DBA’s or java programmers). If they can demonstrate a shortage, they can tap the global resource pool, and find IT talent at third-world rates, rather than someone who must pay regular rent and insurance, and save for retirement here in the states. If the market rate for senior java programmers is $70-80/hour (as it was in 2000 & 2001), but a company only wants to pay $30/hour for the same skills & experience level, they can advertise for a senior java programmer at $25-30/hour. If they get no response, they document this, and are given permission to hire under an H-1B visa, at the $25-30/hour rates, since the governmetn is not in the business of determining fair market value for dynamic technical skillsets. Before long, anyone ho wants to work ill do so at these new, lower rates – or they on’t have a job . . .

        Note that this is similar to a man who wants a BMW or Porche, but doesn’t ant to pay over $1,500. He merely whines to the government about the dreadful Porche shortage, and in this case, it is as if the government will import for him a brand new luxury vehicle of his choice.

        Please don’t misunderstand me. I have had many many friends who had H-1B visas, and they are wonderful people, with tremendous technical abilities, and frequently a keen sense of humor. The problem I have is twofold – firstly, companies abuse H-1B workers by paying them well-below-market wages, and then denying them even marginal raises (companies have them “over a barrel” so to speak, and hold the keys to their future, if the immigrants want to work in the US). Secondly, while this program might have made minimal sense in the pre-2000 internet boom, it has tragic results for IT workers here since then, as we all can attest.

        In the last few years, the feds have cut the number of new H-1B visas back to around 180,000 per year, but in my mind, that’s still a LOT of jobs that are not available to those who are still unemployed here in the US.

        The scary part of it is that your tax dollars are still going toward incentives to companies that offshore and use H-1B’s here. Not only for IT, but there are companies in India that are outsourcing administrative, medical tech, and legal work as well (see recent article in The New Yorker about the Indian company who employs a small army of US-trained and certified Indian lawyers to advise and on legal matters, each specializing in the laws of different states. If this trend continues, we will compete with every third-world country for all jobs (not just IT), food, and lifestyle.

        Please urge your congressmen to abolish the H-1B and L-1 visas immediately. Your future and your children’s future depends on it.

        • #3297719

          In a Nutshell

          by mr. jeff ·

          In reply to 1/2 Million jobs /year going to H-1B & L-1’s

          Thank you smiths007 for writing such a concise explaination to this VERY serious problem. You are absolutely correct!

          The call should go out to ALL IT workers ,employed or not, to contact their Senate and Congressional leaders to move toward abolishing the H-1B and L-1 visa programs.

          Thanks again.

        • #3297613

          H1B/L1 Visa Abuse

          by jleyba ·

          In reply to In a Nutshell

          Smiths007 pretty much summed it up.

          Just to expand a little upon this: these days L1 visas are particularly abused.

          No quotas, and all Cognizant or Infosys or Tata has to do is:

          a) set up a office in the US
          b) get a consulting contract from a US client and
          c) request L1 visas from the US government so they can “transfer” “essential” overseas resources to work on this “company project” on a “temporary” basis.

          I just finished a consulting project at a client that also had about 50 of these L1 visa workers. These poor folk get sent over here and basically given a (small) cost of living allowance while still getting paid their native country salary.

          To make ends meet, they all move into the same apartment, share one car among 5 or 6 people, and prepare and eat shared meals. They all work like slaves, 10-12 hours a day, 6-7 days a week, no complaints, no fuss.

          It sounds like a hellish situation to us, but actually most of them are ecstatic just to be in the US.

        • #3302347

          Would be different without guest workers…

          by redstone ·

          In reply to 1/2 Million jobs /year going to H-1B & L-1’s

          I have been out of work for half a year. Last company, a large bank, keeps lots of guest workers because of costs and “H1-B” handcuffs that keep them as captive workers. My skills were above thoses of the workers kept.

          Talk to people who went through last IT downturn in 1992 and they said things were not as bad as now – difference now is huge number of guest visas and offshoring. Unfortunately business drives policy in this country and the cheap labor is the only innovation our CEOs understand. I wrote letters against H1-B expansion but noticed congress just passed a bill – signed by the president – allowing 20K more visas AND exempting those educated in US with Ma/PHd. Ordinary citizens simply have no voice in government these days. It will take soup before people realize it was a mistake putting our government and future in the hands of big business. Even when the issue came up in the last election, it did not carry the concern it should have from the politicians.

          IT may come back some day, but I was in another field in decline for 8 years – it is not a fun ride. Better to get out of dying field and into growing one quickly – especially one that cannot be offshored !

        • #3302250

          QUIT WHINING AND ACT

          by msborso ·

          In reply to 1/2 Million jobs /year going to H-1B & L-1’s

          Probably going to get a lot of guff on this one, but the fact of the matter is these people, who had nothing, will do our work for next to nothing. Lets rally together, lets write to our goverment officials. Get these people out of our country and close the borders. Only when every American is working should we open up our borders.

        • #3292177

          It’s The Economics, Stupid! (Or Isn’t It?)

          by judger48193 ·

          In reply to 1/2 Million jobs /year going to H-1B & L-1’s

          smiths007 put his finger on what I have been saying more and more. Who is going to buy all of those products sold by companies that are sending jobs overseas and bringing in lower paid workers? All of those $50k+ jobs that talented IT people were making are going away and putting the money in the pockets of foreign workers AND corporation’s shareholders not in USA consumers’ hands.

          Our balance of payments continues to increase every period. How long would you allow somebody to buy and buy without the money to pay? It’s going the wrong way and somehow we need to get rid of the short-term, profit-grabbing strategy and start thinking longer-term. If we don’t, the USA will soon begin its decline just like previous empires. After all Iraq, Rome, Spain, France and England were once some of the wealthiest nations in the world. Where are they now?

        • #3292118

          hope this columnizes

          by danarothrock ·

          In reply to 1/2 Million jobs /year going to H-1B & L-1’s

          http://www.bcis.gov/graphics/shared/aboutus/statistics/Yearbook2002.pdf (PDF 17.8 mb)

          TEMPORARY ADMISSIONS
          FISCAL YEAR 2002

          This report will appear as a chapter in the forthcoming 2002
          Statistical Yearbook of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
          All references to Appendices, Charts, Tables, and other sections of
          the Statistical Yearbook, as well as detailed table numbers, appear
          as they will in the final Yearbook edition.

          More than 27.9 million nonimmigrant admissions were counted during
          fiscal year 2002. This represents a decrease of nearly 5 million
          since 2001, or 15 percent. This is the second consecutive annual
          decrease since the early 1980s.

          http://www.bcis.gov/graphics/shared/aboutus/statistics/TEMP02yrbk/Temp2002list.htm (see Table26)
          http://www.bcis.gov/graphics/shared/aboutus/statistics/TEMP02yrbk/TEMPExcel/Table26.xls

          “High Tech” Visa Glut

          Year L1 Visa H-1B TN F1/M1 J1 Total Cumul.
          (millions)

          1981 38,595 240,805 80,230 0.360 0.360
          1982 38,595+ 240,805+ 80,230+ 0.360+ 0.720+
          1983 38,595+ 240,805+ 80,230+ 0.360+ 1.080+
          1984 38,595+ 240,805+ 80,230+ 0.360+ 1.440+
          1985 65,349 47,322 257,069 110,942 0.481 1.921
          1986 65,349+ 47,322+ 257,069+ 110,942+ 0.481+ 2.402+
          1987 65,349+ 47,322+ 257,069+ 110,942+ 0.481+ 2.883+
          1988 65,349+ 47,322+ 257,069+ 110,942+ 0.481+ 3.364+
          1989 62,390 89,856 334,402 178,199 0.665 4.029
          1990 63,180 100,446 326,264 174,247 0.664 4.693
          1991 70,505 114,467 343,238 182,693 0.711 5.404
          1992 75,315 110,223 368,686 189,485 0.744 6.148
          1993 82,606 92,795 370,620 196,782 0.743 6.891
          1994 98,189 105,899 394,001 216,610 0.815 7.706
          1995 112,124 117,574 23,904 364,220 201,095 0.819 8.525
          1996 140,457 144,458 26,987 426,903 215,475 0.954 9.479
          1997 140,457+ 144,458+ 26,987+ 426,903+ 215,475+ 0.954+10.433+
          1998 203,255 240,947 59,061 564,683 250,959 1.319 11.752
          1999 234,443 302,326 68,354 567,146 275,519 1.448 13.200
          2000 294,658 355,605 91,279 659,081 304,225 1.705 14.905
          2001 328,480 384,191 95,486 698,595 339,848 1.846 16.751
          2002 313,699 370,490 73,699 646,016 325,580 1.729 18.480

          Totals 2,635,534 2,863,023 465,757 8,482,254 4,030,880 18.480

          Grand Estimated Total 18,477,448

          + – conservative (low) estimate
          L-1: Intra-company Transfers
          H-1B: Specialty Workers and Fashion Models
          TN: NAFTA
          F-1/M-1: Academic and Vocational Students
          J-1: Exchange Visitors

          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/H1BClassAction/files/Statistics/

      • #3297787

        Networking, Nepostism and Croneyism

        by richards_unsubcribe ·

        In reply to who is doing all the IT work then?

        There is an old saying “its not what you know it’s who you know” that gets you in the door. In a slow job market that old adage couldn’t be truer. Networking (as in networking with people) is everything in job hunting nowadays… schmoosing with IT managers, going to places they hang out, and even drinking in the same pub, making “friends”… the underground job market accounts for 80% of all true “open” positions these days. Getting a job demands an entirely new set of skills, skills that are often more suited to a sales guy than a techy. But remember the critical sales technique of “developing personal relationships” that is so often so necessary in closing a deal…in fact the really big $ deals are sealed with a handshake and a game of golf…. well guys that’s the way you get jobs in the underground market…. YOU are the product and YOU gotta sell yourself. Sure you have that 2 page fancy CV on linen paper (the correct off white colour.. And nary a typo or error in grammar) and of course do it up right, but developing a personal relationship with your future employer is what makes the difference. You gotta go after the jobs that are never advertised and these are the so called jobs that are “filled from within”. Small business accounts for an ever-increasing share of the business… companies with less than 100 employees…sometimes even mom and pop operations. Sipping latte’s in Redmond and getting on with Bill Gates and Company is a thing of the past… anyway with he crap they put out I’d almost be ashamed to say I’d worked for them. Skills die fast.. that CNE in NT I got is and always was useless.. never did use mine. Key skills to have these days?
        Microsoft is losing ground fast to Linux and open source …look at what Firefox is doing in the browser business…no big deal you say? Just a browser you say? Nope but I think t’s a trend.. and I see a decided drift toward open source…Apache Server… Wireless networking…. and if your skills keep up with the latest aps and hottest trends you could very much be in demand. Oh and about this outsourcing? I?ve yet to see a guy in India change out a fried hard drive in a Vancouver server farm. Somebody?s gotta be there to do it.

        Richard

        • #3302326

          true, but . . .

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Networking, Nepostism and Croneyism

          All you say is true, with one caveat: The offshore outsourcing is sucking up a particular class (or two) of jobs. Those jobs are, mostly, the “entry-level” jobs of the industry. For some reason, the IT industry has treated local monkey-work (changing out hard drives, running errands for the top IT guy, et cetera) as mid-range IT jobs for the last decade, and has treated jobs that involve more problem-solving skills (telephone support, QA, and short-task programming) as entry level IT jobs. Because these supposed “entry level” jobs can often be done from afar, they’re getting outsourced overseas.

          Without that entry level access, it’s getting more and more difficult for IT professionals to get into the workforce in the first place. It seems that, coupled with the fact that at higher levels the IT staff is hiring out of other departments internally a lot of the time, is what’s creating such a dire employment situation for many IT professionals.

      • #3297761

        I totally understand…and it SUCKS!!!

        by raycaldwell73 ·

        In reply to who is doing all the IT work then?

        I think IT companies are being tight wads and delegating task to existing “older” techies that have been around and trying to possible maintain them, or of course they are outsourcing things like “Help Desk” support (which can be done remotely) (thanks Bush…) to places like India. I keep hearing the poor excuses for IT recuriters and staffing agencies about “opportunites” but they never deleiver what they promise or they call you about a job, but you never hear from them, or they give you this BS excuse and dance around the subject when giving them a follow-up as the what the heck is going on….(sorry if I got off topic) but this pisses me off….6-7 years ago, it’s was a good time to be in the IT market, but now….this is not such great field anymore, they now want to pay you 30-50K to do a job that normally was paying 70K back then, and they want you to have all this ridiculous expereince, but how are you going to get it, if you are not give the chance….you know why? Because companies are trying to cut corners by not paying for training and what someone to just know all of things required…..and what ever happend to IT job fairs?!?!?!?!?!??? I have not seen one in over 4 years here in New Jersey….what the hell is going on?!??!?!?!

        • #3297635

          The President?

          by murdock01 ·

          In reply to I totally understand…and it SUCKS!!!

          I dont want to let this get political but I cant let this kind of misinformation go.
          Your comment about Bush being responsible for outsourcing is laughable. President Bush, or any president, has very little control over what companies do. In my opinion goverment should not get involved at all.
          Do you realize that the US insources more jobs than it outsources by almost 3 to 1. When in your life, when you lost a job or got a new job, can you say it was related to what the president did.
          How about the help desk jobs you are talking about. I have been working in this field for 13 years. I do agree that things were great back several years ago. I feel fortunate that I was ahead of the wave of generic techs out of college. Back then I did not know anyone who wanted to do help desk. Everyone I knew wanted to get the CNE and the MCSE and get the 70k job. What were the companies going to do? No one wants this job, which is really crappy (I have done it). Should they go out of business or should they find people who want to do the job?
          People really need to think before they make stupid statements. That is basically the problem. Its so much easier to blame your problems on someone or something else. Oh poor me, I am just a victim, I have no control of my life, I have such bad luck…poor me. People like this make me sick.

        • #3291981

          Guess again Murdock

          by tge ·

          In reply to The President?

          Guess again Murdock:

          A friend on mine who provided support services for GE prior to his RIF, told me when they were swapping laptops for the top executives, they found emails discussing meeting with the Bush Cheney Campaign in Austin, Tx. During the fall of 1999 (Business Roundtable) in which members of the future administration encourage movement of US based services to India and China. GE was asked to spearhead planning and financing of corporate moves. The reasons given were far from economic; they were to further gain a stronger foothold in Asia but strengthening India versus Pakistan, (note* India has purchased a HUGE amount of arms and materials financed by GE the worlds largest BANK, including a Russian aircraft carrier and Jets). The movement to China was to make their economy more dependant upon the US?s willingness to purchase China made goods.

          I am told the files exist as they were saved off prior to his RIF and that should they not prove to be very valuable, they would be dumped on the web.

      • #3297743

        Un or under qualified best buddies.

        by technicallyright ·

        In reply to who is doing all the IT work then?

        The same happened to me, with 12 years of experience I was laid of 2 months ago.

        Who is doing all the work now, a secretary (that’s right) who was eager to please and didn’t mind stepping on people while overstating her abilities. A computer tech who is best buds with the boss, again not qualified, but sure can B.S.

        Whatever they are finding they can’t actually do is now falling on the other net admin who is just sucking it up for fear of the same happening to him.

      • #3297737

        It’s Called Offshore

        by 33prism33 ·

        In reply to who is doing all the IT work then?

        Our buddies in Bangalore, soon to be in China. Those a-holes work for nothing and John Snow claims it’s one of America’s best exports. Good luck finding jobs, everyone. I don’t mean just IT because I mean anything in manufacturing, too.

        • #3302148

          Absolutely correct!

          by swjslj ·

          In reply to It’s Called Offshore

          Finally someone hit the nail on the head. Outsourcing is what is killing working America. Microsoft, Linksys, Intuit, Gateway, etc. have all moved all or part of their phone tech support overseas, and undoubtedly there are plenty of other companies that have done the same. I know that a huge number of programming jobs have gone to India. I have to deal with foreign tech support occasionally, my boss insists that I try to get help from them, but I never actually get any real assistance. I usually can’t understand their thick accents, and they can’t understand me.

        • #3300370

          good point

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Absolutely correct!

          While I’ve dealt with offshore tech support that I could understand, somewhat, I have yet to talk to a telephone support person from India or Pakistan that actually provided any real help at all. Often, despite the protestations by outsourcing corporations and their defenders, the people doing tech support from overseas basically just don’t know what I’m talking about. If I have some reason to call tech support, and I get overseas call centers answering, I always end up getting transferred to someone that knows what he or she is doing ? here in the States ? or giving up and trying other avenues to solve the problem.

      • #3297672

        Sucking it up sucks

        by colotech ·

        In reply to who is doing all the IT work then?

        Right! All of us existing IT workers are ?sucking it up when people get fired.? The IT dept I belong once had 18 people, and now there are 6. Granted, the number of employees we support has decreased, the amount of work has increased; especially since 9/11. smiths007 makes a great point. Tens of thousands of our jobs are going to foreigners holding H-1B & L-1’s and I think when their visas expire, they then return to their homelands to perform our work remotely. It sucks sucking it up, especially when you know that your job is always hanging by a thread and that any day the boot will drop in favor of cheap labor thousands of miles away.

      • #3297616

        Who Speaks Up

        by gsquared ·

        In reply to who is doing all the IT work then?

        Part of what you’re seeing is probably that the people whos careers are all roses and sunshine aren’t as vocal (typal? writal?) as those who have something to complain about.

        It’s the same thing as in tech support – it’s easy to arrive at the conclusion everything is horrible because of all the calls about problems with the product you are supporting, because nobody ever calls tech support and says, “Hey, just wanted to call and tell you my computer is working perfectly and everything is great here!”

        So, yes, there are people who are still employed in IT. Just not as many as there were a few years ago.

        And as far as the training vs experience debate, I don’t have either. I started in sales, built my own database of customers and sales, and now I spend all day every day building and maintaining a SQL database for everyone else in the company to use. Been doing that for 3 years now. Pay is good, by the standards I’m accustomed to, and the owners of the business say more raises are in order as income increases (we’re up 75% over last year, which was up nearly 100% over the year before, which was triple the year before that).

        If you want into a big business IT shop, you might have a long ways to go. If you can hook up small businesses with ways to make their sales and production/services more efficient, you probably have a huge opportunity. At least, that’s my take on it.

      • #3302436

        Where is all the work?

        by tazabe ·

        In reply to who is doing all the IT work then?

        Currently I think the majority of IT work is outsourced to domestic temporary workers on an as needed basis. I’ve worked for about 4 years as an employee of IT consultant firms billing clients between $125 to $175 per hour for project work.

        I recently relocated to another state and briefly looked for new employment and didn’t find many opportunities as a full-time employee.

        I did several short-term contract jobs for national IT recruiters who pay between $15 and $20 an hour and offer maybe 6 hours a week of work! Not enough to live on.

        My solution is this: start my own IT consultant firm and bill the client between $125 and $175 an hour – so far Iv’e landed a few short-term contract jobs but I’m making 5X the hourly rate so I don’t need to scramble to work 40+ hours a week to get by.

        Many people posting here claim they’re well qualified. If that’s the case, then go directly to the company and offer your expertise at the market rate for your area.

        Everyone knows there’s plenty of work out there to get done and everyone knows that most of the needed work doesn’t get done properly.

        Don’t blame the companies if they decide not the hire several full-time IT employees at $60,000 a year plus benefits. It’s cheaper for them to hire consultants on an as-needed basis.

      • #3302359

        Remaining Employees Are Doing It

        by billbohlen@hallmarkchannl ·

        In reply to who is doing all the IT work then?

        Every company is “trimming the fat” and making the remaining employees do more work for the same pay. For example, I feel lucky to have my job. But I am really doing the work of at least 3 full-time employees. My job title is “Senior Systems Engineer” but I do everything from Helpdesk work to DBA and Programming.

      • #3302330

        on-shoring anyone

        by rbosgood ·

        In reply to who is doing all the IT work then?

        In my shop, there are 7 of us, I am the only native born American. In this building I would say its about 2/3 non-American’s. I dont know if thats common now, but in California thats the way it is, and so that puts downard pressure on the wages as most of the new guys coming in will work ungodly hours for low pay.
        I wish I had the answer, what to do and where to do it, but I am sure thinking about getting out of the IT bussiness and finding something else.

      • #3302222

        lazy people are working

        by catfish182 ·

        In reply to who is doing all the IT work then?

        the current consulting gig im doing. i have been there 4 weeks. and all the people do that i support is praise me for my effort. whats bad is i feel i havnt done anything over the top or above and beyond. but the support that was there did nothing. they tell me horror stories of they would call with email issues and they wouldnt get a reply back for a month. if they got a reply. i was asked to add a email to the database. i told them ok. they replied with the question of “will it be done by friday?” and it was monday that they asked this on. but will all this work get me a full time job? no. companies are afraid to let the lazy ones go for whatever reason. maybe a lawsuit or something. and they will settle for subpar support. my tour with them ends in 2 weeks. and for all my hard work all i will get is a wait and see period with all the recruiters that i have to deal with to get a job. its so annoying but what can you do. and dont give me the thing of “start your own business” there is a shot but with having a family to feed (they like to eat) what choices do you have? its time the companies pay people for thier effort nad work.

      • #3302184

        People like me

        by derelict ·

        In reply to who is doing all the IT work then?

        Who are left on or hired (8 months ago)as the SOLE IT person to manage, upgrade/repair and recently redesign and relocate the company LAN (2 weeks ago), and provide desktop support for an 85 ‘needy&spoiled’ user, 150 desktop/laptop, 50 server environment for a software development/service firm. It’s a good thing I enjoy the work and tolerate working in overdrive each day i tell you!!

        You see, we few ‘tired’ who remain in the force ‘manage’, but unfortunately the weight many times can be too much for just one person to handle (especially the politcs created by management and end users which proves to be the biggest challenge of it all .. like i even have any time for it, yet muster any remaining tolerance for it). Basically I am doing three jobs. I work almost the equivalent hours of two full time people these past few months, but get paid as only as one. I am ‘praying’ for a more normal schedule now that I have everything moved, built and running better than ever .

        I’ve tried repeatedly to get management to hire at least a temp desktop person to help with my workload (at least for and during our recent company move), but all i get from the ‘President’ is that I must provide a two month log of everything I do each day to justify the need for another IT resource. I ask for help to get over the hump, they create more work for me, go figure. Where is MY IT support???? Like 12hrs a day, 6 days a week by myself isn’t good enough??

        I feel a greater burden each day management believes they can do with le$$ and le$$ IT people. Most of these decisions come from execs who think a complete Active Directory migration (800 user corporation as a whole (my parent company) should only take two months.

        Sadly, in many corporate eyes the bottom line is the all mighty. The average worker takes 5th seat (next to big investors, exec salaries/bonuses and ofcourse the bottom __ ).

        Good luck to all of you! Do something you love, don’t waste your life on a job you hate unless you absolutely have to. In my case I love the work I do, but I am being consumed by too much of it.

    • #3306108

      My View of the Land

      by bfilmfan ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I’ve been exactly where you are when I lived in Atlanta and the dot.com boom ended. And frankly, most of the best paying assignments are now contracts and you have to travel to where the work is.

      I’ve been in St. Louis, Bloomington-Normal, Charlotte, Detroit, Atlanta and now Jacksonville just since 2001. If I had stayed in Atlanta, I might well still be seeking work as I have friends that have been forced to leave the IT field.

      I don’t know your situation, but I can tell you that there is work out there if you are willing to travel to where it is.

      • #3306043

        change of course

        by dwiebles ·

        In reply to My View of the Land

        I started w/ my current company in shipping, but when the need for an IT person arose, I had already proven an apptitude for solving general problems around the office, and had covered for the regular IT person while he took holidays. I had had no prior experience, and although had wanted to pursue an IT career, had not yet taken any schooling to that effect. I have now vetoed and overturned that notion, and next fall am starting a 2 yr. Chemical and Biosciences technology course, as the prospect of finding ongoing and entertaining work in IT seems unlikely. I will remove myself from the field to better everyone else’s chances, but I would like to thank the user’s of Tech Republic for the professional insight, they have helped me both with my current position, and to decide what is best for my future.
        -DW

      • #3302191

        and able

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to My View of the Land

        Not just willing, but able. Often, someone doesn’t have the option of simply pulling up stakes and moving to where the work seems to be. That’s particularly the case if you’re unemployed and running out of money.

        You make a good point. It’s just too bad that your solution doesn’t work for everyone.

    • #3306010

      Wasted money

      by james schroer ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I believe that a lot has to do with companies buckeling down and conserve money. They work their employee’s longer and harder and buy less, not so new technology. We are just working on our next buget year and YIKEES the cost for software and licences is so crazy!!! So to stay up with the times we just buy software and keep the old hardware. Therefore there is less to do so they cut back on the number of people that do it untill they work 50 hours a week. It’s a bad spiro that we can’t get out of untill we get away from M$.

      • #3305999

        M$ will solve that by making traditional IT folk less necessary.

        by admin ·

        In reply to Wasted money

        In fact, to some extent they already have. Gone are the days when you have to understand IRQ’s for most purposes, and the fine art of subnetting is gone at most small and medium businesses already. I could go on and on, but most of you get the picture. It also annoys me that Radio shack carries almost no electronics stuff you can actually build anything cool with, beyond the kits… electronics as a hobby is dying out generally and right on its heels is computing.

        Someday we will be the equivalent of the cable guy if we stay in admin positions. Just run some basic tests and replace the boxes.

        Microsoft will transfer what money used to go to the IT staff to themselves in the process, and make it easier with subscription and on demand software.

      • #3307603

        Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

        by secure_lockdown9 ·

        In reply to Wasted money

        my MS licenses cost a pittance compared to oter vendors licences. they discount & undercut like crazy. and hardware has stayed the same price for years – it’s just gotten faster and more stable. what are you talkin about?

        • #3297775

          Just you wait

          by lord deonast ·

          In reply to Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          Right now they might discount and undercut, they do that everytime there is competition or a threat of loosing a small percentage of market share. I just hope that vendors like Novell never go under due to the increasing market share of M$. If they go and if Open source doesn’t thrive, M$ can charge what ever they like, then it is bye bye discount and undercut.

          You can’t rely on discounts and undercuts from M$ in your budgeting, or one year your budget will be gone.

        • #3297729

          Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          by pickleman ·

          In reply to Just you wait

          > Right now they might discount and undercut,
          > they do that everytime there is competition
          > or a threat of loosing a small percentage
          > of market share.

          What are you babbling about? Microsoft’s entire business motto from DAY ONE has been “sell it cheap, and sell millions in the process” Why do you think Microsoft’s software is on 98% of all computers worlwide? Do you suppose it would be on 98% if they were price gouging? No, it wouldn’t.
          They have 98% of the market because they offer exceptional value for the dollar.

          Bitch and moan all you want about Microsoft, but they definitely didn’t get to be number one in the world by price gouging or ripping people off. It’s alway the *nix loonies that are bashing Microsoft and making them out to be the devil

          > I just hope that vendors like Novell never
          > go under due to the increasing market share
          > of M$.

          Novell has been dead for years, and it happened despite all the ranting and raving about how Netware was the next best thing since slided bread. Please.

          > If they go and if Open source doesn’t thrive

          I have news for you. Open source, such as it is today, will never get to be on 98% of the world’s computers. Ain’t gonna happen. In 10 years, if things go exceptionally well for open source, you MIGHT see them having a 5% market share. Might.

          But realistically, at most, open source will be a helpful solution to the poorest countries that could barely feed their people, let alone pay for computers and software. So those of you that are waiting for the day when Linux will be the de-facto operating system, well, let’s just say don’t hold your breath.

          > M$ can charge what ever they like, then it
          > is bye bye discount and undercut.

          Why would they have to charge more? They already have their software on virtually every computer on the planet, and you can bet that in order to keep it that way, they’re going to be doing everything possible to keep prices low.

        • #3302280

          broken assumptions

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          Every single thing you said in this post has problems. One problem is your assumption that somehow Microsoft is keeping things cheap. You seem to base this on the fact that Microsoft is ubiquitous in certain areas of the IT industry, which is not exactly ironclad proof. It’s just an assumption of cause for a given effect.

          It’s true that, initially, price undercutting was part of what got MS into its current position of market dominance, but price undercutting hasn’t been part of that strategy in nearly as great a role for quite some time. Now, the operating system and attendant productivity software often end up costing more than the hardware on which they run. Profit margins are absurdly high for Microsoft’s software, and yet the price of Windows OSes skyrocket with new releases. MS might once have done “everything possible to keep prices low,” but that’s not the case any longer.

          The rest of what you had to say seems to be predicated upon the notion that open source software doesn’t have a substantial market share. That’s just patently false. Many engineering industries use Linux as the primary end-user OS, for instance. DNS, BIND, Sendmail, and Apache are all open source projects, and they run most of the Internet. If Microsoft is so much better than its open source rivals, and proves this by maintaining market share, perhaps you could explain why it is that something like 60% of the web servers in the world are running Apache (open source), and not IIS (Microsoft).

        • #3302226

          Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          by pickleman ·

          In reply to broken assumptions

          > Profit margins are absurdly high for Microsoft’s
          > software, and yet the price of Windows OSes
          > skyrocket with new releases.

          Prices for Windows have remained virtually the same throughout the last decade. A Windows XP license costs no more today than a Windows NT license cost back in 96.

          > perhaps you could explain why it is that
          > something like 60% of the web servers in
          > the world are running Apache (open source),
          > and not IIS (Microsoft).

          Nothing to explain.
          It’s quite simple. It’s an internet web server application, where one is free, the other is not.

          Get back to me when 60% of the world switches to open source equivalents to Photoshop, AutoCAD, Quark, Word, Excel, or any of the other thousands of applications that have been available to Windows for years and years, but are not available to *nix environments. Sure you can get the poor-man’s version of virtually every application that runs on Windows, but the poor-man’s version won’t cut it in production environments in the enterprise where stability, reliability, longevity, and support are key factors.

          Web servers are back-end applications. You set it up and leave it to run. The same doesn’t apply to applications on the desktop which are being used constantly. That’s why open source will continue to be limited to web server-like applications, and why Windows will continue to dominate the desktop in the home and in the office for many years to come.

        • #3302219

          bass-ackwards perspective

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          NT licenses haven’t changed price, individually, but licensing schemes are more complex and require more licenses for the same deployment in many cases. Some licenses require regular “updating”, where previously you only had to “buy” the license once. Meanwhile, by combining home and corporate lines, Microsoft has dragged the home end user’s cost of deployment in line with that of the corporate desktop user, which means that for the home user the price has even gone up in terms of individual licenses.

          While I’m at it, WinXP Pro licenses are more expensive than Win2k licenses were. Maybe you just forgot. You also seem to be forgetting that while MS software prices haven’t risen much recently in terms of absolute dollar values, the gap between Windows prices and the prices of comparable products has widened. If MS prices come down, it’s not without a fight. Microsoft doesn’t try to keep things cheap: it tries to increase market dominance so that it can foster a sense of dependence on MS software, and can thus raise prices without losing customers to cheaper solutions.

          As for your “60% of the world” reference, you seem to be veering wildly off-course. The point was that you seemed to think that nobody but Microsoft had a substantial market share in areas that Microsoft has claimed as its markets. My post pointed out that in areas Microsoft has been targeting for more than a decade it is not only the only major player, but falls drastically behind other competing software packages.

          Additonially, though Microsoft dominates in the desktop market domestically, it’s taking a beating in several foreign markets, and non-MS desktop products continue to gain market share. While I would have agreed with you that Windows was the unquestioned dominating OS on the desktop, in terms of its capabilities, two or three years ago, things have changed. MacOS has become a stronger, more capable, and more reliable OS with its OS X version. Linux has become far more user friendly and slick to work with for the end user. Whether or not Microsoft will maintain a stranglehold in the desktop market depends on how it will respond to the fact that other companies are eliminating the “user friendliness” gap and actually coming up with greater GUI functionality than Windows ever had.

          Aside from all that, you’ve got this bizarre notion that somehow Microsoft Windows is the epitome of stability, reliability, and longevity, and yet you say that “set it up and leave it to run” is what open source solutions are for. Oddly enough, it’s stability, reliability, and longevity that makes that treatment of a server possible, along with security. Windows servers must be micromanaged constantly, restarted regularly, and upgraded often, whereas many open source solutions do not. Open source solutions often enjoy the stability needed to run unmolested for months, or even years, at a time, the reliability to be simply expected to work without constant restarts and high administrative overhead, and the longevity that comes with knowing that in six months your application set will still be relevant, functional, and loaded up with all the features you actually need.

          As for support, that’s no longer really a valid issue to raise in defense of Microsoft. Even if you like MS’s “support”, which most seem to find unhelpful and generally lacking, there are alternatives for other OSes that at minimum match the utility of MS support. Companies like Red Hat and Progeny provide excellent support for non-Windows platforms, to say nothing of the old industry giants like Sun that are now expanding into the desktop market.

      • #3297741

        Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

        by pickleman ·

        In reply to Wasted money

        > Therefore there is less to do so they
        > cut back > on the number of people that
        > do it untill they work 50 hours a week.
        > It’s a bad spiro that we can’t get out
        > of untill we get away from M$.

        That’s right…it’s all Microsoft’s fault.
        Blame everything (including people’s own incompetencies) on Microsoft, and everything will work out.

        Grow up.

        • #3297649

          How’s that job at Microsoft

          by netman1958 ·

          In reply to Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          So pickleman, what’s it like working for Microsoft?

        • #3297628

          Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          by pickleman ·

          In reply to How’s that job at Microsoft

          > So pickleman, what’s it like working for
          > Microsoft?

          I don’t work for Microsoft.
          I’m self-employed, and I earn a very good living.
          I don’t whine about Microsoft taking over the world.
          Instead, I use them as a resource to help me land more business.
          Only an idiot would look at Microsoft as something bad, as opposed to something with all kinds of opportunities.
          You don’t have to work AT Microsoft in order to make money off them.

        • #3302284

          re: Microsoft

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          Actually, Microsoft’s productization of software is in large part what has now started killing employment opportunities for software developers. If software development were still sold as a service, rather than being treated as merely a means to a product, more programmers would have jobs domestically, and software would be advancing more steadily and with better resulting applications.

          Productized software only requires a corporate-mandated “wireframe” sort of set of tasks to be filled out by code monkeys so that it can be marketed in a shrink-wrapped box. Once marketed, all that has to be done with it is some patch-issuing to keep the customer base from revolting and the occasional corporate-mandated add-on so that a “new product” can be marketed. The end result is that, by paying a pittance to a few overworked programmers for maintenance work, the originators (or current owners) of a given piece of software can then rest on their laurels while extorting money from the customer base through planned obsolescence.

          Software development as a service requires that capable programmers turn out good code, and that they continue to do so regularly for their employers so that they don’t get canned and replaced by capable programmers who will. This keeps more programmers employed, and it ensures that the software that is produced is actually quality work.

          Of course, in the IT industry, programmers have seemed to serve as the canary in the mine shaft. When the programmers started getting the shaft (pun not intended, for once), that was the first sign that the rest of the industry was going to get hit. In the end, the rest of the IT workers have been hit harder than the programmers, because many programmers were able to move into jobs previously held by non-programmer IT professionals, reducing the impact on the programming field by transferring a lot of employment woes to non-programming IT jobs.

          Making money off Microsoft’s profit model is a little like being a vulture, living off the carcasses of your fellow IT professionals. On the other hand, when that’s all there is to eat, sometimes you’ve just got to go there to survive.

          I’m certainly not thankful to Microsoft for the current state of things, though.

    • #3307237

      Jobs here in the St. Louis area

      by zlitocook ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      offers in the last month. It has me rethinking my job offer. Some of the jobs look great and the one I was offered seems to be a great job with great benefits. I could send by email the job offers that I get to who ever want’s them.

      • #3308300

        Jobs in St. Louis

        by sandbergns ·

        In reply to Jobs here in the St. Louis area

        I used to live in St. Louis, not a bad place to live and work, I would it if you could send me some of the sites/jobs you know of, my email here is sandbergns@corning.com I have a few buddies looking for IT work in the area..

        Thanks zlito@aol.com!

      • #3302437

        I’m interested

        by wvoss ·

        In reply to Jobs here in the St. Louis area

        Thanks for the offer! I won’t be turning down any leads right now. I’m just starting my search in earnest…probably at the wrong time of year… live and hopefully work in St. Louis. Looking for Admin, jr. Admin, Hardware support, and if necessary phone support(13th worst job reported by Popular Science Magazine). A very interesting thread. I’m generally impressed with the comments and the employment help offered by many contributors. Thanks Zlito and the others for posting!

    • #3308297

      Success the sweetest form of revenge

      by mkishbaugh ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I deeply share your frustration.

      I’ve made several “in-your-face” comments to CIOs over the past year regarding the Outsourcing of IT. After a very successful 14 years of Senior Oracle DBA / Architect experience with Peoplesoft and Oracle Financials and a great resume — I found myself out of work! After looking for work for the better part of 2 years I’ve learned that the politicians really are wrong! Unemployment rate falls when either A) the worker finds work!! or B) the worker exhausts their unemployment benefits. The actual unemployment rate is usually 2 -3 x the ‘reported’. Anyway – I digress.

      I found a few solutions:
      A) Sarbanes Oxley Act has created a huge unfilled void for people who know how to document business and IT processes and controls. The pay is usually pretty to very good. For me the real perk was being able to go home at night and NOT have a pager. I can really have a life!!!

      B) Think of your career as a long string. Technology is on one end – Business operations on the other. The closer you/I/We are to ‘technology’ — the more disposable we become. (CIOs are not the sharpest tool in the box). Yes that includes “development”. Advice: Move your knowledge and skills closer to center. Business Analysts, Database Analysts are two skills that will be slow to see outsourcing. (they need people who can verbally engage the client)

      C) consider taking your existing skills and create a true eCommerce website. A buddy of mine just started his in January. Working smart and hard he’s now grossing well over $80K/month (yes it IS verifiable). My wife and I are now in pursuit of similar success. We’ll be going live before year end.

      Bottom line?
      – Education won’t fix your woes.
      – Better economy– won’t
      – Different President — REALLY won’t (pardon my…)
      – Inspiration and hard work — will

      You have the ‘smarts’. Look at your skills! Personally – I’d opt for option C above.

      Just some neighborly thoughts. Let me know if I can be of further help.

      Mark Kishbaugh

      • #3309777

        Good Advice

        by pioneering ·

        In reply to Success the sweetest form of revenge

        Thanks for your good advice.
        Now, Mark, please name names.
        Who is this “verifiable” buddy of yours and what
        is the URL of his e-commerce buisiness?

        There’s nothing more encouraging than a good example.

      • #3297128

        Thank you very much for the advice

        by garion11 ·

        In reply to Success the sweetest form of revenge

        One of the better posts I have had the pleasure of reading. Thanks again.

    • #3296075

      And the colleges and universities

      by richards_unsubcribe ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Around these parts the colleges and universities are still pumping out the so called Microsoft certified network engineers, all the while there are few or no jobs available. These institutions set up with their computer labs, experienced instructors are desparate to fill the seats and qualify for the government grants that go with full classes. They use all kinds of old government statistics and forward looking projections to convince their students that after graduation full time employment in a full time high paying job is “almost” a certanty. It’s crap, in fact a number of students here started a class action lawsuit agtainst a prominent university for such misleading advertising… demanding their tuition money back.
      I have no crystal ball, but I’d be placing my bets on Linux…all distros, Apache Server… Microsoft products have turned into a security nightmare… and guess what kiddies. I’m using the latest Ubuntu Linux distro (Debian based)… give it a try… and you’ll be surprised ast how easy it is to install and configure…. and no viruses, worms, trojans, spyware OR firewall. Bill Gates be afraid…be very afraid.

      • #3297754

        It’s the Technical Schools fault

        by t_2socks ·

        In reply to And the colleges and universities

        I am in the same boat here. I have 7 years experience with an MCSE cert, and there is nothing out there unless I want to take on a 45 – 60 minute commute. I even have broken down to have the employment agencies try and come up with something, and they have nothing, unless it involves a long commute. The problem I see in my area is the Technical schools, or Colleges, that are pumping out people with a certificate that says they have taken a 1 or 2 year course in Information Technology. Seems that this job field is the big seller. Companies are snatching up these people and paying them just enough to get them in the door, but less than it would take to get an experienced person to even look at the job. The idea is to get this new to IT person molded into their network systems their way. They don’t want someone with their own way of doing things, they are hiring, basically, a lump of clay that they can mold into whatever they want. As long as the local schools are spitting these lumps of clay into the workforce, and companies only need experienced people to mold them, then those of us that want to make a switch need to figure out how to un-mold ourselves and become a lump.

        • #3297704

          Solution?

          by mr. jeff ·

          In reply to It’s the Technical Schools fault

          What should schools do? Your argument isn’t valid. The role of education is to provide basic knowledge and fundemental skills not turn out seasoned veterans with years of practical on-the-job experience.

          If you were an employer who would you hire, why and for how much? It’s always a good idea to hire new graduates and then “mold” them. That is exactly how seasoned veterans get to be seasoned!

          New graduates should have basic knowledge and basic knowledge has a price. As you gain experience you learn to apply this basic knowledge and you grow. Hopefully the graduate gets to work in an environment where he/she can be coached and mentored. This process amplifies specific skills and talents that will guide the employee in a desired career path and increased income.

          This learning and growth could NEVER be taught in a university or tech school. This is life application experience and good companies are always better for embracing these responsibilities.

        • #3297703

          When did you stop learning?

          by ex-military nut ·

          In reply to It’s the Technical Schools fault

          Business is business; tech schools are a business and their product is the “lump of clay” that needs to be molded into whatever the company (or customer) wants.

          It really does not matter what level of education or experience you may possess. All jobs have a learning curve that each and every employee must complete to adequately perform as the company expects. The question is then how much value do you add by completing the curve quicker?

          Of all the replies I’ve read, not one has been really specific about their experience (… 10 yrs here, 3 yrs there,…). It also seems that everyone sympathizing about not having a well paying job needs to review their resumes and perform a skill set analysis to see if they really do measure up to the job’s requirements.

          OK. What is my background? Military! I spent 23 years turning wrenches. I earned ASE certification because a boss did not think I could do my job without it (still current in 17 areas). As I went up through the ranks, my focus went more to administration and supervision than actual wrench turning. However, I still had to keep current with advancements in the field and improve the current way of doing business (get out of the “that’s how we’ve always do it” syndrome). It wasn’t until about 7 years ago that I found myself actually looking at IT as a career change (while still in the Army). Like I said, I’ve been a mechanic for years and only recently found that I had always been “tracking” maintenance and could improve the way I did business by embracing the IT field. I just put my skill set into play (always been interested in computers) and let it lead into a Logistic Analyst job using proprietary systems (soft and hard). Co-worker kept coming to me to “fix” a problem on their computer because I knew what to do or where to find a specific function. It became a learning event for that person which produced a more productive member for the organization. I also completed a four-year degree in Business Management (took 15 years because of military moves around the globe). I did very well because I pulled from my military experience and was able to apply that knowledge to each course of study.

          So, the bottomline (sorry for being longwinded):

          Quit taking the “poor me” attitude! You are the only one who can figure out what you are capable of doing! Do your research – learn what a job entails and develop those skills. Pull from what you know and who you know if that’s what it takes to land an IT job. You may also just find you’re good at something else! And as always, good luck!

        • #3297657

          It is!

          by colotech ·

          In reply to It’s the Technical Schools fault

          I don?t know what it?s like elsewhere, but in Colorado there are tons of ads on TV and in the papers for several local schools stating that there thousands of IT opportunities available. Either the schools know something we don?t or they are using OLD government stats to make a buck while they can. I believe it?s the latter

        • #3346090

          I like the lump of clay analogy

          by cappadonna ·

          In reply to It’s the Technical Schools fault

          I have noticed that most guys at my old job that didn’t last long had alot more education and experience. Frankly, once you have been in IT for a more than three years, you tend to be able to see the BS. The guys that stayed tend not have had more experience than the job I was at.

      • #3297739

        …are places where independence starts!

        by admin17 ·

        In reply to And the colleges and universities

        People are ignorant sheep. I am in college right now with a pretty good grasp of where I want to go. Even though I am a freshman, I probably have more experience (real-world, not playing in ‘kiddie-pool’ nets) than someone who graduates with a tech-related degree/certificate and is planning on going into the workforce. I started this semester with MIS being my only major. As time went on, I decided that although I enjoy IS, I needed to diversify into more stable fields.

        Now to the point. I don’t mean to get off on a rant here, but if today’s students are not willing to take responsibility for their own education related decisions, then it is their fault that they end up in a less than desirable career. I have been told time and time again by more people than I care to count that I should know my schedule and degree plan as well or better than my advisor. I have been told that college is not a time where people are here to hold your hand and walk you through; your decisions are your responsibility now. All of this and I attend a regional school that is known for its “high school-like” atmosphere (in terms of student responsibility).

        As to the advertising, again: take responsibility. Advertisements are typically filled with all sorts of fallacies; learn to read through them. All that schools can promise is that they will provide an education, not that they will get you a job after you graduate. Granted, it’s in their best interest, but still not their responsibility.

        As for the crystal ball (or lack thereof, as ‘richards@shaw.ca’ put it), I can agree to an extent. Each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, as does any technology. It’s up to techies such as ourselves to determine what is the best solution to the problem and advise our clients/bosses/whoever signs the checks what that solution and any alternatives are. Linux (and open source in general), wireless networks, and network security are just a few of the hot up-and-coming fields in IT, but ‘hot’ tech isn’t always good tech.

        Those are just my opinions…I could be wrong.

      • #3292290

        Totally agree with you

        by wizard ·

        In reply to And the colleges and universities

        Taking classes to get bachelor’s in IS (putting the cart after the horse, as I’ve been doing network/system admin for 8 years, but I digress), fully 1/2 of the people I’m going to school with have absolutely no computer experience – including surfing the ‘net or using e-mail! They were really sold a bill of goods that with zero experience, they’ll be able to walk into a $50k/year job once they graduate. The only thing that’s certain is they’ll have $40k of student loans to pay back.

    • #3296060

      Move beyond

      by davesims2 ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Hi all,
      It is frustrating moving from being a highly demanded professional to this situation in such a short period of time but as many others have said this is reality. Considering how fast IT moves these days it doesn’t suprise me.

      A couple of ideas for anyone interested, 1 move out of your traditional search paterns. Sure monster and the internet are great places to find work, if it is plentiful. Bolster your job search with visits to local small businesses (MANY of them are IT starved) and visits to chambers of congress, and non-IT related professional meetings. Worst case set yourself up as a private contractor and sell your services to small business.

      Next if you call yourself an IT professional and you don’t carry any certification shame on you. I don’t let non-certified people work on my house, my car, my plumbing, my anything. What makes you think someone is going to look the other way for the person who works on thier million dollar network? Get to a tech school get an MSCE 2003 or other intermediate level certification. I think after that you will find your opportunites for work are increased.

      • #3297712

        Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

        by pickleman ·

        In reply to Move beyond

        > Next if you call yourself an IT professional
        > and you don’t carry any certification shame on
        > you.

        I can tell by that one statement that you’re clearly not an IT professional yourself.
        No self-respecting ‘pro’ would try and use some lame certificate as their selling point.

        Every single pro that I work with (the real kind, not the paper kind) all get together at least once a week to have a good laugh as we share stories of the latest fiascos brought about courtesy of the MCSE ‘experts’ that we encounter on a daily basis.

        > I don’t let non-certified people work on my
        > house, my car, my plumbing, my anything.

        World of difference there.
        The contractor that works on your house can’t just go in to a room to write an exam, knowing jack shit, and come out with a certificate two hours later with the title of “Engineer” on it.
        Same with a plumber, same with a car mechanic.
        All of those fields require actual KNOWLEDGE in order to gain certification.

        Getting “certified” in the IT field has become a running joke ever since Microsoft bestowed their “MCSE” garbage on us back in the late 90’s.
        You can literally get an MCSE certification just by being able to memorize the answers to a few questions. The fact that you have ZERO work experience doesn’t matter, because all these I.T. certifications don’t care about that.
        You can literally go from cleaning toilets one day to becoming a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer two weeks later. Gee, what prestige.

        > What makes you think someone is going to
        > look the other way for the person who
        > works on thier million dollar network?

        If my company were to have a million dollar network, the last person I would allow to work on it would be the guy waving his MCSE status proudly.

        You know who gets I.T. certifications?
        People who are unsure of their skills/qualifications, and need to find some way to justify to their bosses and/or themselves that they’re somehow “experts” in their field.

        A true I.T. professions scoffs at these ridiculous come-one-come-all “certification” programs, because a true I.T. pro can see it for what it is — not worth the paper it’s printed on.

        Do you know how many MCSE’s I’ve met over the years who had NO IDEA what a SCSI card was? Or what a motherboard looked like…or what a MAC address was…or what a boot sector was…etc etc etc.

        If I had a dollar for every “certified” dumbass I’ve encountered in the last 5 years, I’d have bought myself a Ferrari with money to spare.

        • #3297694

          Certification Defense

          by mr. jeff ·

          In reply to Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          I have to defend the certified masses and those who seek to hire them:

          There must be some value in certification…they all have really nice shirts!

        • #3297667

          Two sides to every certification…

          by ex-military nut ·

          In reply to Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          I agree with your view about certifications to point. The experience portion will become evident when a new hire has to keep asking how to perform a specific task over and over. In other words, the learning curve was never mastered.

          I see certifications as recognition by an outside source that a person does in fact possess certain skills in the field that was tested. A certification is like a shoehorn – it will help get your foot in the door. It’s just up to the individual to impress with experience once there.

          I know some people who have all the certifications you would ever want but are dumber than a box of rocks while others claim they just can’t pass the test. I personally think some are afraid of failing while others are afraid of loosing the money if they fail to pass the test. It’s a risk. So’s life! Enjoy.

        • #3302431

          Real techs do get certifications

          by gurkhan ·

          In reply to Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          I don’t understand why you are so negative regarding certifications. There are good and bad in every profession. But certification does serve a useful purpose and contrary to what you make out real IT pros do pursue and respect certifications.

          I?ve worked in IT for some 16 years progressing from 2nd level support to technical engineer to supervisor. I?m currently back working as an engineer because of this soft IT market. I have hands on experience with PC, printer and peripheral break/fix, installation and configuration. I stated in DOS learning the command line and the arcane memory management of 640K and upper-memory. My first forays into scripting were DOS batch files and text menuing. I?ve worked closely with and seen the changes from Novell to NT to W2K. And my experience does not stop there. I could write on and on about what I have done with servers, web infrastructure, email (client and MTA) and networking. The point is that I have the experience and am recognized for that experience.

          Certifications are a way to highlight to someone that experience. In today?s cutthroat market potential employers, recruiters or customers are not always going to take the time to understand what experience you really have (heck often they won?t understand it in the first place). They will however appreciate that you have taken the time and shown the ambition to continue your professional development. Certifications bring this to the forefront.

          I agree with you certifications or degrees without experience can not do it on their own. It?s really three step process; education, certification and experience

        • #3302208

          Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          by pickleman ·

          In reply to Real techs do get certifications

          > I don’t understand why you are so negative
          > regarding certifications.

          If you don’t understand why I feel the way I do, I would recommend you go back and read my post again. I’ve given you several reasons as to why these “certifications” are completely worthless.

          Here’s yet another reason:
          How many other career fields do you know of where you can take “prep courses” that give you the answers to the exam that you’ll be taking for your certification? How ridiculous is that?

          You can pay $200 and for a period of two weeks you can attend some half-assed night school classes run by a guy that barely speaks English, and during your two week “course”, you’ll be given virtually every question (and answer) to your upcoming MCSE “exam”.

          Now ask me again why I feel that certifications are worthless.

          Imagine for a moment if we “certified” lawyers, doctors, or pilots using those same methods.

          Would you allow a surgeon to operate on you who just got his “certification” two days ago, knowing that his only qualification was the fact that he spent two weeks at a prep course prior to taking his “exam”?

          Thanks to Microsoft, the entire I.T. industry has become a place where any pot-smoking, sloped-foreheaded hippie can become an “Engineer” (MCSE) without ever having spent so much as a single day actually WORKING in the field.

          Like I said in my previous post — where is the prestige in having an MCSE, when you know full well that you can literally go from cleaning toilets to being an MCSE in the span of two weeks?

          Having a certification in I.T. is the equivalent of having a “degree” from one of those spam-universities that offer to sell you a diploma from Burundi for $250. Both are equally worthless.

          If you want to add some letters to the end of your name and actually have them hold any meaning, go and get an MBA. At least you can rest assured knowing that they don’t just hand them out to anyone willing to write an “exam”. You have to have x-number of years of real work experience in your field before you can even enroll in the program. That’s the kind of certification worth pursuing.

        • #3291815

          RE:I don’t understand why you are so negative…

          by bphlgoon ·

          In reply to Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          You missed the point of his post. Certs are not “worthless” and he listed some good reasons why.

          Certifications show that you have take the time to study and are serious about being an IT professional and aren’t just a hacker.

          Some employers don’t hire anyone without a cert. If you apply for a job and have the same qualifications as another candidate except for a cert. They’ll hire the other guy. If you don’t want to work for that kind of company, that’s your choice.

          It’s a known fact that many people lie about there experience and ability when they apply for a job. It’s hard to get away with lieing about a cert, like having a deploma.

          With the addition of training it shows you have been exposed to some industry standard practices and don’t do things because “that’s the way I did it at my last job”.

          Wheather or not you have legitimate knowlege, you still have to be able to study and recite some facts that someone that never takes a test won’t know.

          People that don’t take test are the ones that are insecure about there knowlege. The tests ask about topics that you don’t normally experience but still should know about. If anyone thinks there so much more knowlegable than someone that is certified, go take a test. Most people won’t be able to pass without some prep work.

          You abviously haven’t taken a MS test lately. There all senario and task based, not short question/multple guess. It requires you to actually evaluate a situation and determine a solution. That doesn’t mean you can’t pass them using brain dumps etc. but it’s harder.

          The IT industry is constantly changing and training and certifications shows your keeping up.

          Training, experience and Certifications are all needed to get a high paying job. I wouldn’t hire anyone for an advanced position without all 3. Entry level jobs are a different story.

          I hate taking tests but have 3 certs and I could do my job without them but it does force me to have a little deeper knowlege about the subject. I keep them current to help me get another job when this one gets outsourced or is the victim of downsizing etc, or maybe I just get PO’ed at mgt and want to increase my chances of getting a better job.

          I know this is an old thread but still relavent.

          P.S. MBA’s don’t have the value they used to and you don’t need any experience to get one.

        • #3188110

          I agree with the three step process

          by aggy ·

          In reply to Real techs do get certifications

          I thought I was the only who does think that having certification would help out an IT career. I totally agree on the three step process, I’working on my certifications right now.

        • #3302407

          Thank you Pickelman

          by benjamin ·

          In reply to Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          After reading this post by davesims2, I was about to add a lengthy response very similar to what you wrote! You have mirrored my thoughts completely. Shame on me for not getting a MCSE? Please. As Pickelman so correctly pointed out, they are not worth the paper they are printed on. IN MOST CASES. To me, and this is just me bear in mind, not getting on MCSE has become a matter of principle for me. When I got my first “real” IT job, I had the pleasure of working with a couple of guys who were certified. They were contractors. They basically knew all about theory and all that but when it came to hands on, they didn’t have a clue. Despite my attempt to teach them the practial aspects, they had an air of superiority because of their piece of paper and my lack of said piece of paper. Well, when I joined, the department was in shambles. Calls were not getting completed. If they were it was half ass so they were reopened and they just sat there. The customers were unhappy and it was a mess. Well, long story short, they did not last long. Sorry went off on a tangent there.

          At the end of the day certifications are great and (if done the honest way) they require a lot of work to obtain. It must infuriate those who obtain their certifications legitimately when someone gets certified the easy way.

          I guess what I’m really trying to say is that practical experience speaks for itself at the end of the day. It would be nice if employers could remember that when deciding who they are going to interview and/or give a job to. It is easy to become blind sided by the obsession of certifications and degrees. Basically, give everyone an equal shot.

          I rambled a bit there but I think you all see my point.

        • #3302255

          I mostly agree with you on this.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          On the other hand, certifications seem to be some kind of rite of passage for getting employed in the IT industry. Most employers value IT certifications, even though it’s absurdly easy for someone to “skate by” on a certification without actually knowing anything substantial about the topic it is meant to address. In other words, even though IT certs aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, they are useful for getting your foot in the door with an employer.

          I have only three certifications, and haven’t put much thought into getting more. They haven’t done me any good, particularly. On the other hand, I find that more and more job listings require certifications, and I’m beginning to rethink my approach. I might just decide to go on a binge, pick up a dozen or so certs, and then continue marketing myself based on my knowledge, experience, and aptitude. The certs, though, will at least help to keep me from being ignored from the very beginning by employers who think certification is necessary for knowledge.

        • #3300379

          three step process to certified(wish)

          by laddie ·

          In reply to Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          What is an IT pro, I have been in computers since they were Dos, went from using code to building and now fixing them.But I don’t call myself an IT pro.Maybe a Mr.Fixit. Like U, I have seen some good, some bad, but the best ones are the ones that get the schooling, then experiance, then the certification. The IT”s are going to have develop a standard for certification. No one to be certified without two years experiance(hands on).Same as a plumber or electrican. Just a thought.

        • #3300900

          So does this negativity only apply to Microsoft?

          by mlayton ·

          In reply to Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          … or is the same true of SANS security certifications, Cisco certs, ISACA certs, CISSPs, Novell certs, and the host of OTHER IT-related certifications out there. The point is, just like a degree, a certification can offer a lot IF YOU CHOOSE TO LEARN IT. Those who don’t choose to learn it become paper certs. Thats true of every profession, and in other professions (like the medical community) I’m convinced it’s what keeps lawyers busy. Certifications are worth something to those who take the time to invest themselves into actually learning, not just taking the test. Likewise, Masters degrees are worth something to those who take the time to learn something new and invest themselves…

        • #3346102

          I would agree, Certs are only good with Experience

          by cappadonna ·

          In reply to Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          Frankly, I don’t take Certifications seriously, having worked in IT for serveral years. Plenty of moron and a**clowns get MSCE and the new RHCE within a 2K loan from Sallie Mae and two weeks of classes. Frankly, unless you have atleast an associates degree from a community college and/or at least 2 years experience, I wouldn’t consider you a pro. Its the concepts, not the technology that most important.

          Having said that, IT certifications assure that you have atleast covered the basics. It it can not substitute for experience.

    • #3312409

      The new IT markets are as close as your neighborhood

      by don dean ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      In reply to Benjamin’s 10/8/04 post about I.T. drying up… Yes it’s true that the “traditional form of I.T.” as we knew it during the boom of the late 90’s has essentially evaporated into thin air. Want some proof of that pudding? Q: When is the last time that a half-dozen sleazy headhunters bothered you? I.T. does not necessarily mean getting a 9-5 job at a large company or an organization. Plus, large companies’ fickle plans and stabilities are unpredictable as tomorrow’s weather.

      If you are well-rounded enough to solve just about any computer problem, there is great money to be made from even a 2-mile radius of where you are sitting right now. If you aren’t looking back in jaded bitterness to the red herring dot-bomb days, really, there is a huge market who needs you right now. Public enemy #1 of PC users is…. SPYWARE and the related junk. You knew that. You combat it every day on your own machines. But you probably take your ability to combat such things for granted. On the other hand, the average home user, home office, (SOHO) & smaller business folks don’t have a reliable source to turn to. They desperately want to establish a solid on-going relationship with a trusty nearby geek who can keep them going at reasonable rates ($20-to-$75+
      an hour, depending on the nature of the problem)

      If you’ve got the enthusiasm and interest in helping the average joe, and we all know that 99% of regular Joe’s like the Schmoes’ PCs are bogged down with spyware junk!) Little ol lady in your neighborhood, frustrated families with networked hi-speed computers ..all wondering why nothing works right anymore. They are willing to pay for your services. Throw a dart on the map of any U.S. city.. and all the way out to the sprawling suburbs, it’s a guarantee that you will smell the sorely needed help – get an air sample and it reeks of misconfigured wide-open WLANs (or, more like NOT-configured 802.11b and/or G devices)

      Breathe in deeply and smell that air. You’ll just see it all around you: the spy-infested, trojaned, virused, and utterly 0wn3d folks. It’s been my experience that 95% or more regular users need an expert to get un-0wn3d, cleaned up, and tightend down with 5-minute disaster recovery plans (ghosting their C: partition to D: in case they trash it in 2 weeks – which they will)

      Try posting a small flyer in a middle to middle-upper class neighborhood… cover about 30 houses per evening, which is a brisk 30 min walk ..and do this for 7 days straight. (210 houses). Then skip a week or two, and repeat it. Within a couple of months you will have more PC’s and networks and phone calls, and referals than you ever hoped for. I’m speaking from a personal experience and am not exaggerating a bit.

      • #3297693

        Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

        by pickleman ·

        In reply to The new IT markets are as close as your neighborhood

        > Breathe in deeply and smell that air. You’ll
        > just see it all around you: the spy-infested,
        > trojaned, virused, and utterly 0wn3d folks.

        ROFL
        Oh my god, you have no idea how hard I was laughing when I read that part of your post.
        It was by far the best laugh I’ve had since…well…last night…as I shared stories of the bumbling MCSE ‘experts’ who themselves are 0wn3d by problems THEY themselves create through their “certified” genious brains.

        > It’s been my experience that 95% or more
        > regular users need an expert to get un-0wn3d,

        Oh how right you are..

        > cleaned up, and tightend down with 5-minute
        > disaster recovery plans (ghosting their C:
        > partition to D: in case they trash it in 2
        > weeks – which they will)

        I’ll bet anything that you’re a REAL expert based on just what I’ve read in your single post. It’s gotten to the point where I can tell a wannabe from a real I.T. pro within 2 minutes of interacting with them (or in this case, two minutes of reading your words). And I’ll further go on to bet that you don’t have any “certifications’ and that you’re proud of that fact. 🙂

      • #3302295

        Volunteer your expertise, get some clients

        by rexydog ·

        In reply to The new IT markets are as close as your neighborhood

        What about volunteering your services part time for your local school districts (public and private)? They will probably welcome qualified help, and you will be making contacts in the community. And, those school tech people are often looking for qualified local service providers to recommend; we get lots of requests from the community to fix personal and small business computing problems.

      • #3302294

        well done!

        by mkishbaugh ·

        In reply to The new IT markets are as close as your neighborhood

        Well spoken and wise council. There should be enough on the plate for most of us to eat well.

        Thanks for the cold water!

        Mark Kishbaugh
        kishbaugh@usa.net

    • #3297794

      I have had same problem

      by s_fawcet ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      It seems UK is Building call centres for Tech Support in India and other call centres are doing the same.
      Labour is cheap for UK work part of the trainig is, Wait for this !Soaps.
      I saw a program on this and Blue Peter did a story on this part of the training is elecution, the idea is they lose the accent and have a sort of neautral (oops cant find dictionary) accent.
      I live in Lancashire and watched the demise of the Textile industry, most of the looms were shipped to India, Pakistan and Tiawan. these countries were still using child labour at the time.
      I many years ago went out in Denim, Jeans made in Thialand, shirt in itreland and the jacket in Malasia, they all ahd the same brand name.
      So next time you call a help line and find it is not in the country who sold you the PC or mobile phone in fact any device made in your own country and they answer it, that is a job that has been shipped out.
      I know it may sound racist or a not politically correct it is still a fact.
      Me I have spent
      Two years at college
      One year at night school
      Hours at the books any techie will know what I mean as well as hands on I am still finding it hard. I have had to change career but thats life, either that or unemployed.

    • #3297790

      IT Career – An Oxymoron?

      by scotty059 ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I have been through what you have been through. To make things easier take a position that has tech involved, that way you always have your hand in the technology so to speak. That will also keep the bills paid. Second, build or buy a power machine to program with, that way your hands are always in it. Third, start your own consulting business, create your own software. Is it a tough ride, yes, but a rewarding one.

    • #3297788

      IT Jobs

      by awgpcs ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I have over 8 years experience in IT on all fields, the way I decided to go about this was, join a up and coming school as a standard job if no IT required, within 6 months or less they will require IT support as they realise the work load is too much for the assigned IT people. Thats how I started 9 months ago and now I have the job of IT Network Administrator. Once you get in the job just show that you can do IT support or more. (show interest and offer little help).
      Hope this helps a bit.

      Anthony

      • #3297751

        Depth of knowledge

        by griggs ·

        In reply to IT Jobs

        I’m at the very end of a hiring process for a position that is a DBA and report writer for a small fiscal system (50 users, ~100K general ledger entries, Oracle DBMS) and includes desktop support. But what I’ve found through wading through lots of applications is that there are huge numbers of people out there who call themselves IT professionals who have only superficial knowledge. They think that Access is functionally equivalent to a large DBMS, that SQL is just SELECT statements, and that “desktop support” is googling an error message. What I’ve found is that IT professionals with real depth of knowledge are rare and wonderful jewels.

        If you can demonstrate to an employer that you have a depth in the area the employer needs, you will stand out from the crowd.

        • #3297691

          Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          by pickleman ·

          In reply to Depth of knowledge

          > But what I’ve found through wading through lots
          > of applications is that there are huge numbers
          > of people out there who call themselves IT
          > professionals who have only superficial
          > knowledge. They think that Access is
          > functionally equivalent to a large DBMS, that
          > SQL is just SELECT statements, and that “desktop
          > support” is googling an error message. What I’ve
          > found is that IT professionals with real depth
          > of knowledge are rare and wonderful jewels.

          Amen.

        • #3297689

          100% On target

          by mr. jeff ·

          In reply to Depth of knowledge

          Today companies are looking for some specialty skill to solve a problem. Give me someone who thinks logically, has solid troubleshooting skills, and a insatiable curiosity to know how everything works and I can teach them whatever technical knowledge needed to perform the required role.

          Desire and persistence are usually rewarded in kind.

        • #3302289

          sounds like me

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to 100% On target

          Are you hiring? Heh.

          I’m working for a consultancy with a very loyal client base, at the moment, and I’m making good money. Unfortunately, I’m paid by the hour worked, and in consulting that comes in spurts. I’ve been looking for full time employment to solve the problem of pay that comes and goes. I’d rather make steady pay than unsteady, occasionally obscenely good, pay.

          In any case (and to get to the point of this post), though I have a job that pays well, this means that I’m also in the job market, and I get to see how IT employment looks first-hand. What I’ve found is that while your approach to IT hiring sounds like the most logical, reasonable, and effective, it’s not the approach most managers take. In fact, it seems that the hiring practices of most managers are designed in a way that optimizes for lack of independent thinking, rote repetition rather than critical thinking skills, and a complete lack of curiosity so that the employee will be chained to his current job. That description does NOT sound like me at all, and as such I’m still consulting.

          The people I know and like have ideas similar to yours about hiring. The people that actually have jobs to offer seem to have the opposite view. Based on that, it’s no wonder the IT field is in the toilet.

      • #3297598

        Is english your first language?

        by jchristopher ·

        In reply to IT Jobs

        I think I got your message, however, it was awkward and painful to read.

    • #3297778

      I left the field for a job with a defined benefit pension plan

      by joe k ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I left tech for a new career as a teacher after 22 years in IT. I now have a job with a defined benefit pension plan and good medical benefits. True, the starting pay is not anywhere near what I used to make as a consultant, but when my Master’s degree is finished and I add some more courses I will get to the higher end of the pay scale within a few years. I don’t have as many pressures as my old career and I now get home after a 50-minute commute at 4:00. Sure I go to grad school 2 nights a week but that is not really too hard and is mentally stimulating.

      My principal even tapped me to be technology coordinator and offered to take me out of the classroom to do this job. So tech is not that far away.

      Most of all I’m happy and feeling a bit secure, a feeling I never really had before.

      • #3297677

        Purpose Filled Life

        by mr. jeff ·

        In reply to I left the field for a job with a defined benefit pension plan

        I keep coming back to this realization, both personally and as a witness of many around me.

        In the end (or middle) everyone wants to perform meaningful work. If you haven’t yet you will someday look at yourself and ask: What’s it all about anyway? What have I accomplished?

        Formal teaching has it’s rewards and we are all teaching either directly (in front of a class) or indirectly (by example) when others observe our efforts.

        What are your pupils learning from you?

    • #3297755

      It’s the way of the world

      by fgarvin ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      When I went to College, 15 yrs ago, Accountants were the carreer that was getting the push. Starting Salaries ran in excess of $30K. So of course, Colleges and Universities were pumping them out as fast as they could. By the time I graduated, the market was saturated, and there were no jobs to be had. Now we are in the same place with IT jobs. IT Jobs were the sexiest, best paying jobs ouyt there, so all the Tech Schools and Colleges and Universities started pumping them out. In addition, the historical career path was an entry level position working on the Help desk, and now those jobs are going overseas. As a result, The IT field has the saturated job market. It will cycle through eventually and jobs will be plentiful again. just may take a few years for that to happen.

      • #3297750

        Agreed

        by texasjetter ·

        In reply to It’s the way of the world

        In the 80′ my brother got a petroleum engineering degree, by the time he graduated there was a flood of grads. He is now a golf pro at a country club. Talk about wasted education! The only degree that I have see a steady demand for is chemical engineering. It seems to be consistently in top demand.

        • #3297686

          Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          by pickleman ·

          In reply to Agreed

          > In the 80′ my brother got a petroleum
          > engineering degree, by the time he graduated
          > there was a flood of grads. He is now a golf pro
          > at a country club. Talk about wasted education!

          An education is only wasted if you allow it to be.

          Your brother could’ve done all kinds of things with his degree. Just because he didn’t get 50 job offers thrown at him on graduation day doesn’t mean he couldn’t have found work in his field by actively looking.

        • #3302372

          Have to laugh

          by prefbid ii ·

          In reply to Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          In the early 80’s, I got a degree in Chemistry. I’ve never worked a day directly in Chemistry since then. Later I got a Masters in Operation Research. I’ve had a couple of related jobs, but nothing directly tied to OR.

          So my “wasted” education has gotten me a very senior position in IS. I have no certs, no IS courses to speak of, and certainly no IS degree. I’m not even certain that I can claim that I like “IS” work. However, I love managing change, I love a challenge, and I adore a good math problem.

          I’m good at what I do and my education helped get me here. It is hard to connect the dots and see the line that went from there to here.

      • #3300967

        And another thing…

        by thesaint007 ·

        In reply to It’s the way of the world

        As a new Director of IT, one thing every one of you must keep in mind is that everyone in this world is trying to do thing faster, better, and cheaper than everyone else.

        I have a budget to keep under. I fight for the budget I get and it leaves me picking people that can help me for the lowest impact to my budget.

        Your resume must reflect something that you can help me do that no one else can help with and keep the first paragraph in mind.

        And do not expect the IT field to pay what people were making 5 or 6 years ago (those days are over!). We all want the superstar, but want to pay as little as possible for it. Its just the hard cold fact of this world.

    • #3297753

      Stop your wineing

      by peteze ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Yeah tough! Suck it up and apply for a nite position at the local convient store, cause apparently you are not good at making decisions, especially career ones.

      • #3297748

        WOW thanks for the compasion!!!

        by husp1 ·

        In reply to Stop your wineing

        seems to me that YOU should take that job in a convience store so you can learn to deal with others around you!!! People like you are the ones that make your company look heartless!! seems as though you should stand up and take the pressure off your brain!!!

        • #3297685

          Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          by pickleman ·

          In reply to WOW thanks for the compasion!!!

          > seems to me that YOU should take that job
          > in a convience store

          I believe he’s already there, which is why he’s become so jaded and bitter.
          He was probably a “Y2K Certified” expert.

        • #3344988

          all in you name!!

          by husp1 ·

          In reply to Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          seems to me your responce is based on your name pickleman , how drunk are you? people that have no concence or sympathy for others shouldn’t be placed in a position of control, if you were my boss I’d have left you high and dry the first day!!! if you bothered to read my previous post youd have seen that I do home IT for 50 different users FOR FUN!!! now if you want to do some roofing then make sure not to ask me for work ( I still make 100 bucks an hr.) cause after I interviewed you I still wouldn’t have hired you to do a cleanup job!!! you would have to stand in the unemployment line for that convience store job!!

      • #3297745

        You’re kidding, right?

        by badtoad53 ·

        In reply to Stop your wineing

        Would you take advice from someone that can’t spell night, convenience, because, and whining? Must be another paper MCSE. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but there is no need to be rude.

      • #3297609

        No Negativity Please

        by benjamin ·

        In reply to Stop your wineing

        Being the one that started this discussion, I just had to comment on your moronic post. I was not whining (learn how to spell by the way). I was merely trying to get a feel for what it is like for IT professionals out there. There have been several positive comments and wonderful ideas for those who are experiencing the same problems I am. You are most definitely entitled to your own opinion. However, if you lack the ability to be constructive and offer a well thought out opinion, then please post your comments elsewhere.

      • #3297597

        Learn how to spell!

        by jchristopher ·

        In reply to Stop your wineing

        see above

    • #3297752

      Just like another point in time….

      by dr.phil ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I completely understand and empathize with you Benjamin. 26 years ago I was an autoworker and our great thinking band of management idiots at that time basically threw in the towel and handed pretty much all our automotive (which includes at that time IT was called ‘ADP’) empire just because they couldn’t get their act(s) together and listen to what the customer wanted. What did they want? Smaller more gas efficient transportation. Where did the work go? Japan.

      At that point the “ingenious idiots” (aka management) made our economy crumble in the midst of a so called gas shortage. Interest rates were thru the roof and gas prices doubled and more.

      That was the time I decided to change careers and become an IT weenie. I worked my way from programmer operator to certified systems engineer in a fairly short time (pc’s hadn’t bee invented yet so all this was with mainframes) using my tech talents I stole from the Big 3 Auto Mfgrs.

      Here we are again at basically the same point as before. Management cannot “get it” that the H-1 programs and off-sourcing will eventually kill the technology empire and probably in the end put them on the street as well. I have coined a saying that “it is not against the law to be stupid” to explain this scene and our situation.

      What to do? I plan (and am in the process already) of changing careers again. This time I will be in control as I’m going into business. The business will once again all the 24+ years of IT to power a business that uses technology to make products. How did I make that decision? Well, I looked into consulting and that wasn’t going anywhere as the jobs and opportunities are being presented to our off-shore IT empire and I have been looking into a new job in IT for a few years now with nothing worth jumping on being available.

      At my point in life I have children ready for college and interestingly enough the kids that are looking into what field to go in are picking anything but IT as they know that is a dead issue and career path. Do you blame them? I don’t.

      Monster has sites overseas to manage IT’ers to where the jobs are locally. The list is huge in offerings from all different IT specialties and those countries are scrambling to produce techies to fill them. Go check out India’s monster site…Sad, real sad for us.

      Just the other day I was re-addressing a problem I had with my local Southwestern Bell phone bill. This was my ninth (9) time I have called to have a sub-service removed and everytime I have been diverted by the second transfer to India or somewhere near and each time I was assured by the ex-711 operator now working in IT that the issue has been taken care of.

      I’m yanking all the local phone service and going digital IP telephony in addition to my cable entertainment and high speed network service. My cell phone will be my new “landline”.

      As consumers all of us IT principals should inform the non-IT principals (Joe Sixpack) to dump the service of any company that has off shored their services. That is the only way that the ingenious idiots (you know, management) will get the hint. Those that don’t have a clue and don’t get the hint simply go the way of the dinosaur and die off. This formula has worked several times in history.

      That is my plan. Hit below the belt as they have done to our industry as the general populace has become dependant on technology at work and at home.

      -Uncle Philburn, the new CEO/CIO of my small business company.

    • #3297749

      Start your own Business

      by cabound ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Hi Benjamin,
      I had a similar experience a few years ago, the company that I was working for in IT decided to close its doors with no notice. There was absolutely nothing in my part of the world, so it was pick up a factory job or move. That is when I decided, with the help of my wife and in-laws, that I should start my own consulting business. I do everything, pull cable, build servers, clean home computers, sell network devices, and administer to networks. You will find that if you look around, there is a huge market for talent. Most small business cannot afford a full time IT department, most consultants have to charge too much to cover their overhead, so a small free lancer can build a great niche market just by word of mouth. Small city offices and hospitals are diamonds in the rough for folks like us. These places are on a fairly tight budget but need to be as close to bleeding edge as they can even if they have IT staff; they are usually under manned and over whelmed! Give it a shot, I work long hours but the pay is good and the job is always changing! Good Luck!

    • #3297747

      At least I’ve got good company……

      by rusilton ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Like many of you I find myself unemployed/self-employed after separating from my last employer. Over the last six months I’ve been actively searching for work in my area and it’s frustrating to say the least.

      Apparently 12 years of proven experience from the lowest level support to nationwide corporate network administration, in addition to a few current certs, counts for very little in today?s marketplace, after being turned down by many companies (in my area) due to not having a B.S. degree.

      My previous employer is a good example as they “eliminated” all the positions in the IS department in order to hire new “degreed” individuals. The CFO (yes… accounting was over the IS group) believed that a college degree was mandatory. After all this, subsidiaries of this company would call me as a private consultant to do the work that the new IS team was unable to perform. The CFO even cut this off once he was made aware of it.

      Please don’t think I hold anything against the IS folks with the degrees; they’re just looking for employment like myself. I commend them on their academic accomplishments. It’s only that I am dumbfounded as to why experience seems to count for so very little in the “professional” world.

      Okay… guess I’ve vented enough…. thanks for the opportunity

      • #3297692

        BS Degree …

        by rfinley ·

        In reply to At least I’ve got good company……

        I, like you was ‘downsized’ for lack of a better term. I have a BS Degree, 15 years experience and have been an independant consultant for 4 years now. It almost pays the bills, and my backers have finally said NO MORE. So for the past 12 months I have been seeking FTE. I have two things against me AGE and EXPERIENCE. I have had many first interviews, some seconds and even some thirds. The people getting hired are fresh out of school with their BS Degree, a certifictation and NO EXPERIENCE. Oh, forgot to mention I have certifications as well MCSE, MCP, CNE, CNA, working on my CISCO now too. I can already do the work but without the those LETTERS they don’t tend to believe you … so that is not the problem either.

        I have even ‘dumbed’ down my resume to make me look less experienced and, therefore, would have a lesser salary requirement. Still no takers. I will continue on my own with the solid base of customers I have. At some point FTE will happen again. I might be a grandfather twice over by then, who knows.

        The market in my area is saturated with the unemployed IT workers working as independant consultants so even the market here is hard. I gain two customers a year so in two more years I can be self sustaining, if I had two more years that is. I don’t so it it back to the full time job search and do what consulting I can between interviews. I don’t need to make what I was when I was a FTE, I would be glad to take a 25% paycut just to get back into a FTE position. But like I stated, I have two things NOT in my FAVOR 15 years of experince, mostly consulting, and my AGE … so ……

        –Almost a Grandpa

        • #3297646

          so true….

          by rusilton ·

          In reply to BS Degree …

          I couldn’t agree more with you, especially concerning the age.

          There are many “good” young techs out there, but from my experience there’s a substantial larger amount of “paper certs” whose only experience is theoretical class work.

          Unfortunately, I’ve passed my late 30’s, thereby dooming me to the infamous IT graveyard.

          I’ve considered changing career fields, but friends and close associates strongly disagree with me on this.

          Oh yea…. I’ll be a grandpa too in March 2005 (definitely wont include that on my resume)

        • #3302286

          age

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to BS Degree …

          Even being in my late 20s is apparently “over the hill” to the people doing the hiring in the IT industry. I seem to be permanently locked into consulting now, because all the full time positions are going to people 22 years old.

    • #3297736

      Letter’s behind your name

      by wflatbush ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Benjamin, I have been in this “Industry” for over twenty five years and it has always been feast or famine. You need to “take the time to pursue…” or find another career field

      Been there, done that.

    • #3297735

      I Know What You Mean

      by tlcompany ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I had been working in the IT field in the MIlitary since 1997. I didn’t have any certifications though, so I went and got A+ Certified in 2001. After getting certified, I started applying for jobs. Well, to my surprise, there were thousands of people in the unemployment lines with higher certifications than mine.

      What I had to do was to open my own company. I started out working from my home going out and doing troubleshooting on call. I then strated building my own line of computers and selling them to my clients when they needed new hardware.

      I still work from the home, but now I focus mainly on my computer line which I sell online from my web site. I build my customer base by doing the troubleshooting and repair work, and when they need a new computer, they always buy from me. I get a lot of referrals from my clients as well. TL Company is not in the top ten. Not even on the charts yet. But I do well enough to pay the bills and enjoy some of the left overs. Through referrals, my computer line is selling well and I anticipate being able to compete with some on the “Name Brand” companies within the next few years.

      Just keep your head up. Find that open window, climb in like a bandit, and drop your skills on them like a ton of bricks. If you do quality work, you’ll make it on your own.

      Terry Lewis
      Owner
      TL Company
      Computer Sales, Service & Networking Specialists
      http://www.tlcompany.com

      • #3297659

        Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

        by pickleman ·

        In reply to I Know What You Mean

        > Through referrals, my computer line is selling
        > well and I anticipate being able to compete with
        > some on the “Name Brand” companies within the
        > next few years.

        Before you decide to take on the likes of Dell, you might wanna take a few minutes and spend a hundred bucks to hire some kid to design a web site for you.

    • #3297725

      I’m with you!

      by robert ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      After 30 years in High-tech and at least 6 years of IT experience, I pitch pizzas for Domino’s !! I may even be able to move up to janitor at the local high school if I make the right contacts. IT Carreer? Maybe if I was to learn to speak Hindi ??

      • #3297655

        Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

        by pickleman ·

        In reply to I’m with you!

        > After 30 years in High-tech and at least 6 years
        > of IT experience, I pitch pizzas for Domino’s !!

        That’s just flat out ridiculous.
        What exactly were you doing during those 30 years in “high tech” and your 6 years of IT?

        It’s completely ludicrous that somebody with that kind of a background would be working in a pizza joint today.

        You’re either a complete moron, or you have absolutely no motivation whatsoever. That’s the only way I could explain your situation.

        • #3302274

          right and wrong

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          You’re right: It’s absolutely ridiculous that someone with that kind of experience should be pitching pizzas now.

          You’re wrong: This doesn’t automatically mean he’s a moron or unmotivated. Many factors in today’s IT industry can contribute to chronic unemployment, including simple things like age. If he has 30+ years of experience, that right there is likely to see him canned and unemployable. Many companies are looking for excuses to get rid of people with substantial salaries who are reaching the point of eligibility for pensions, replacing them with younger “talent” that won’t command high wages. Most companies won’t hire someone new that is over about 26 years of age, either.

          It’s no wonder he had to switch job fields, at least temporarily. If he isn’t in a position to create his own business, he doesn’t really have a whole lot of options unless he can find that rare diamond in the rough, an employer that actually hires based on ability.

        • #3302217

          Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          by pickleman ·

          In reply to right and wrong

          > If he has 30+ years of experience, that right
          > there is likely to see him canned and
          > unemployable. Many companies are looking for
          > excuses to get rid of people with substantial
          > salaries who are reaching the point of
          > eligibility for pensions, replacing them with
          > younger “talent” that won’t command high wages.

          Yes but this is nothing new, and is certainly not limited to I.T.

          My point was simply that while I understand his situation in regard to being laid off due to age, what I don’t understand is why he looked at his situation as nothing but a big failure.

          So what if you’re old(er)?
          Older just means more experienced.
          So what if you won’t be the first choice in a long list of resumes? Use your years of networking and years of acquired knowledge to your advantage! Call up contacts, friends, previous co-workers, previous suppliers, contractors, janitors — anyone you can think of…and get word out that you’re available on a contract basis.

          Before I decided to venture out on my own, I was working for a large corporation (3,300 employees) and I enjoyed it quite a lot. The only drawback was that I was still working for someone else, and corporate politics and the usual beaurocratic nonsense got to me after a short while. But during my time there, I had an amazing manager who was about 25 years older than I was. Despite his age (which many people would see as a “negative” these days), he was constantly getting offers from various companies to go work for them. He had people lining up to hire him at a moment’s notice, despite his age.

          What made him so valuable?
          Two very basic qualities — he knew what he was doing (real I.T. pro as opposed to paper idiot) and he had excellent people skills.

          So bottom line…I don’t care who you are or what field you’re coming from, but when you have 30 years of expertise in a given field, that’s an ASSET, not a liability.

          So the thought of working at a pizza joint after 30 years in a given field is just ridiculous and there’s no possible excuse anyone could use to justify such a thing.

        • #3302190

          work is work, pay is pay

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          “when you have 30 years of expertise in a given field, that’s an ASSET, not a liability.”

          The problem is in finding an employer that realizes that. I’m not saying it can’t be done, just that it’s not as easy as you make it sound.

          “So the thought of working at a pizza joint after 30 years in a given field is just ridiculous and there’s no possible excuse anyone could use to justify such a thing.”

          I don’t know why you feel it needs to be justified. It doesn’t. It can be good money, as a way to fill the months between jobs with some income-generating activity. Do you expect him to turn up his nose at less glamorous work like making or delivering pizza when he needs the money, just because he used to have an office all his own?

        • #3300284

          Its Called …..

          by rfinley ·

          In reply to Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          GOTTA PAY THE BILLS … I have 15 years experience and in my late 40’s. Granted I am not tossing pizza, but you gotta do what you gotta do to survive. If that means slapping burgers or tossing pizza then so be it. He didn’t say he wasn’t looking for FTE, just stating a fact. Go easy us ‘older’ people with good experience ARE getting overlooked for the up and coming 25 or less generation with minimum years of experience. I have had numerous interviews over the past 4 years and then never hear anything. I call or stop by and sure enoug the person they hired is half my age, have little on hands experience and get about 2/3rds the salary with someone with my experience might expect. I am doing independant consulting, another couple of years and I will be able to be self sustaining, that is if my grants and backers will stick with me for that long, which I am hearing grumblings that they won’t and the grants were non-renewable.

    • #3297723

      Get a clearence

      by reimage ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      The catch 22 is that you can not get a clearence without the sponsorship of the company, and you can not get the job without the clearence. It took me 8 months before I landed a job that would sponsor me for a clearence.

      Go to your local Police station get finger printed then send it to the State Police.
      Once you receives the paper work back, you can submit that to a perspective employer along with your resume. it basically will inform your employer that you are clearable!

      GOOD LUCK

      • #3297606

        Security Clearances

        by wdoliver ·

        In reply to Get a clearence

        I know many people who are experiencing the same frustrations as you. The IT arena is tight IRT jobs; however, sensitive government work is the exception.

        There are more positions vacant then people to fill them. One of the reason is many people are not willing to go through a complete background check and take a polygraph. The other reason is many people are not eligible due to their background or problems with the polygraph.

        Not familar with opportunities in your current state, but in Virginia and California there are numerious opennings for cleared people. As previsouly stated the first step is the hardest and that is obtaining a sponsor to obtain a clearance.

        I would suggest following the advice provided by ‘gaskinsro@state.gov’ and sending resumes out to the top technology firm’s government (public) sector departments with a cover letter stating your willingness to obtain a clearance. Occassionally a company will obtain a sponsor for you and IF YOU obtain a clearance they will hire you.

        Keep in mind many of the government organizations have IT shops and they would also be good candidates to send your resume.

        Last, do not just rely on posting your resume and sending them to employers. Burn some shoe leather and hand deliver your resume to HR department. If asked, HR might event provide you with a POC in the organization entity that uses your skill set.

        • #3302273

          here’s a question

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Security Clearances

          Where exactly would you go to find that lineup of employers, anyway? It’s my experience that finding a job asking for people that can pass a security check is a matter of blind luck, because they don’t advertise.

        • #3051093

          Actually they do advertise

          by countrytechie ·

          In reply to here’s a question

          At least around here. The Washington Post is full of ads that say thing like must be able to get and maintain a secret clearence. Must have Top Secret Clearence. They even have job fairs for cleared personell only.

    • #3297722

      BAD MANAGEMENT

      by justin ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I can tell you from my experience in IT that the lack of decent jobs comes from the lack of qualified management! To be qualified to lead a technical department you NEED to be technical as well as a manager. People who are hiding that fact will tell you otherwise. (Look at Micro$oft – can some lowly IT guy working there bull$hit Bill Gates about something technical? Is there anyone in the world that knows more about brand and product licensing?)
      I have met few managers that have had any technical or true business management expertise what so ever. These people tend to initially over do things which causes the, “IT is too expensive” speech from the business that they are serving to surface. These unqualified managers then begin the lay-off or outsourcing as a result. They accept no accountability for anything that has gone wrong and are just buying themselves some time.
      I worked at a company where the new IT management came from busted dot coms in the 90’s. They had ZERO technical ability and obviously ZERO business sense. I watched them fumble with the technical aspects and the business aspects of running a banking IT department for 2 years. The result was they were conned and robbed by a small consulting firm and were fired. The consultant company managed to get away with $12 million dollars of the companies money. Had the managers had ANY technical sense they would have known that the projects he was preaching were unsuitable and unnecessary for this small bank. If they and any business sense they would have been able to manage him and put his projects through proper auditing and testing procedures before accepting.
      I became one of the VP?s of IT at this bank.
      The moral of the story is:
      When you are on an interview, you need to interview the guy talking to you! Ask questions about their work background. If it is what it is supposed to be, they will be proud tell you. What is the worst that can happen? You don?t get hired for a bad job that is run by a weak manager that will end in a lay-off in 6 months!

      • #3297698

        Very well put…

        by mikefromco ·

        In reply to BAD MANAGEMENT

        Great answer! It seems that when IT became a major budget item, many employers went to management types with little or not IT experience which has put a black mark on the IT departments; making them natural targets for budget cuts.

      • #3297645

        #1 Criteria

        by mr. jeff ·

        In reply to BAD MANAGEMENT

        So what is your #1 requirement for selecting a top notch “Manager”? What would your top 3 be?

        Say I’m applying to be a IT manager in YOUR company. What skills are most important to YOU.

        • #3302253

          Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          by justin ·

          In reply to #1 Criteria

          1. Common Sense – not so common if you know how to look for it.
          2. A history of IT technicalsupport in both large and small shops.
          3. A progression of IT career from help desk to support to network admin to manager.
          From here we could work on the business skills if the common sense is strong enough.
          4. A non-it related job – weather it was car sales or waiter. You need to know people skills and how to view people as clients.

          Very simple, you ask it like it is a challenge.

    • #3297720

      Good help is needed.

      by charlie ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I am retiring next March 1 at 62. I work for a small alternative school as the sole technical support with about 120 workstations and 5 servers running ISA2004, Exchange2003, Student Records (SASI), and Blackbaud Accounts and Donor software… And i should make 38K for this year on a 12 month basis. Unfortunately, most people expect to make a lot more than that doing what i am doing but i assure you it is an enjoyable job, working with the teachers and students… I will forward your emails to the HR person here. Charles Kuchar, DeLaSalle Education Center, Kansas City, MO

    • #3297717

      Might be picking up..but we’re appliance techs now

      by mikefromco ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      As vice-chair of the local tech alliance, I’m hearing better news from the local university regarding employment. Nothing like pre-2K levels but seems more of their grads are getting jobs within a couple of months.

      But I do agree that computers have become more of an appliance which has lowered the overall need for IT people. Five years ago, it was tough for a company with 25-50 computers to get by without a small IT staff. Today, networking is almost a given and most things run out of the box without much rocket science.

      Also, there hasn’t been any great leaps and bounds on the hardware side recently, meaning IT is pretty much running status quo from a year ago or more.

    • #3297714

      Sprechen Sie francais?

      by mr_dobby ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      All you techies out there need some non-it related skills these days. A university degree and/or certifications alone doesn,t guarantee a tech job anymore!
      Many larger companies deal offshore, if you are a great techie and can speak the lingo you stand a better chance of getting and/or keeping your position.
      I’m a net admin for a large US firm in Germany, I am English but because I speak german and french as well, I have a very secure position.

      Techies you speak multiple langauges are few and far bewteen, may help make the difference when job hunting!

      Regards

      Steve

    • #3297713

      Good Grief!

      by lcave ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Dear Benjamin,

      Forget Y2K! Just about anyone who knew their way around a home pc was hired in ’99. It never ceases to amaze me that anything positive was accomplished. Most of “it wannabees” from 1999 have, fortunately, been culled out of the IT job market.

      The quickest way to end your career before it starts is to pursue a degree in the IT field (any other degree is better). IT managers and mentors are exhausted from trying to unlearn the bad habits of many (not all) “it grads and paper certs”.

      You can start on a help desk. If you have the right stuff, you will be promoted so fast, your head will spin. Place your focus on networking and security (not necessarily in that order).

      IT jobs haven’t dried up, but the industry surely expects more than we did in 1999.

      Good Luck!

      Linda

      • #3302256

        a point of disagreement

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Good Grief!

        The “entry level” jobs in IT are pretty much all being outsourced overseas, particularly “help desk” telephone support. In the past, and in other industries, losing one’s job would often mean that at worst you’d have to pound the employment beat until you could get into a relatively entry-level job. You could then work your way back up, usually much more quickly than other people in entry-level positions because of your increased experience level.

        Now, however, the entry-level jobs are those that are drying up the most. That option just doesn’t really seem to be available any longer. There was a time not long ago when your advice would have been a perfect fit, but that’s not so much the case these days.

    • #3297706

      Try Related IT Fields

      by rick_fowler ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      You don’t need to be “stuck” in a dead end position if you’re willing to change what you do. I’ve changed careers three times now (that’s not jobs — that’s entirely new carrer paths), so I know it’s possible.

      One area that is wide open right now is IT Auditing. You already know IT, so look into the security, policies and internal controls of your current employer. Check out COBIT (www.isaca.org) for guidance on what you need to learn. With Sarbanes-Oxley as a permanent part of the business going forward, the jobs will continue to be available.

      Other options include looking into data privacy and security tools. GLB and HIPAA are two other legislative acts that are making financial and healthcare businesses look into hiring additional IT-knowledgible folks as privacy officers.

      • #3297678

        Good Advice, but…

        by augustuser ·

        In reply to Try Related IT Fields

        I work in the healthcare industry and, yes, there are jobs opening up for IT professionals. Facilities are looking for persons knowledgable in PC and information security. But be CAREFUL. The HIPAA regulations call for facilities to name a Security Officer, who will be solely responsible for securing all Electronic Protected Health Information. If there is a breach in security that person would be personally responsible and can be held accountable in court. Don’t accept a position as security officer unless you are comfortable with these responsibilities.

    • #3297688

      Business savvy

      by gmarvin ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I have an IT career that is 15 years long. In my experience, there has always been a schism between the business side of the org and the IT side. I think by now it is a cliche, but IT must show ROI, align with business goals and IT staffers must be able to talk the talk.

      I just received an offer as an IT Manager for a large, prominent company in my home city. They didn’t weren’t primarily interested in my technical skills, those got me the first phone interview. They cared about my leadership skills, my business skills, and my fit with the organization which I illustrated in my cover letter, resume, and during every interview.

      My advice for all IT people- go back and get a business degree. Talk in terms of ROI, profitability and the future value of money. Show how your innovations and projects contribute to the business. Who cares that you have programmed in C++ for ten years? How much money did you make or save the business/organization? Prove it, show it, brag about it.

      Furthermore, if I may continue to ramble, network, network, network. I mean people, not computers. Read Tim Sanders’ book “Love is the Killer App” to begin with. Then, read leadership books. And share the knowledge.

      Enough said.

      Greg

    • #3297684

      Yes – I did it – not easy but…

      by richabel ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      The first thing I di was go back to schooL (Online – University of Phoenix) and obtained my MBA – IT managment. Next I took a look at my knowledge and skill levels and asked myself – Now what? I have over 20 years IT experieince with a lot of platforms, applications, and operating systems as well as management level experieince and IT Security. What happened next was really a twist for me – AUDIT. I had a doctor freind of mine who needed to get his practice up to date for HIPAA. I went out and read everything I possibly could on it and then did the job. Right SARBANES-OXLEY is the big thing for Companies to get around. There are lots IT Items that need reconciling to insure no fraud is taking place. This is a law thgat is going to be around for a long time and is going to need people who read and under stand things and can apply what they know towards helping companies get their certifications each year. So that’s what I did. Good luck and happy hunting…

    • #3297683

      It seems only unemployed people post on here…

      by jeff.carlton@sbcglobal ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I worked 5 years for a Microsoft Certified Solution Provider. I learned a lot during that time. In May I was told that by the end of 2004 I would be laid off. I had earned A+ certification just prior to going to work there, but had not kept up with any other certifications. I only possessed five years of good experience.

      I examined my employment potential here in central Arkansas and determined that with only A+ certification that I was dead in the water. I took a loan out against my home and enrolled in a boot camp to catch my certifications up with my experience level. July 31st I learned that I had one month to work and that my final day would be August 31, 2004.

      Because of the MCSE that I had earned, I was able to go to work for a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner in here in Arkansas on September 7th. Anyone familiar with the Microsoft Certified Partner Program will know that a Partner has to have a certain number of certified employees on staff to achieve or maintain their Certified Partner status. Had I not earned my Microsoft credentials, I would never have been offered employment.

      Here comes my two cents worth. If you are unable to secure employment without ?letters after your name? then perhaps it?s time to add those letters. You really should be analyzing the requirements of the jobs that are out there and tailoring your qualifications to fulfill those requirements. Whining about a lack of jobs and getting responses from other whiners might make you feel better for a little while but it will not make the house payment or pay the grocery tab.

      “The truth knocks on the door and you say, go away, I’m looking for the truth, and it goes away. Puzzling.” – Robert M. Pirsig

    • #3297681

      Try a Non-IT field that uses your knowledge

      by don.rummell ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I read part of the posts and one sparked a thought. I am not IT, but CAD, but use computer skills all the time. At one time I considered switching to working with a local Prosthetics & Orthotics shop, discovering that that field is now becoming computerized – they can scan a leg and build a prosthesis (artificial leg/arm) as a computer model, then tweak the model, make a mould and try it out – all with MUCH less work than the old manual plaster of Paris method. The companies that are developing such software could probably use the skills and knowledge of guys like you – and there are all kinds of fields moving into the computerization of once-manual activities with laser scanners, etc. They will all need computer/software expertise to enable their ideas to become reality. If you’re a people person, you may even enjoy such a job more than a traditional “IT” job. Open your eyes and look in all directions – you may discover a new related field you’d never thought of. May God bless your life and your search.

    • #3297676

      Same thing happened to me and i am disgusted!

      by mike ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I have A.S. in Data Processing, B.S, in Computer Science and 10 years of diverse hands-on IT. Help Desk the whole time (Level I, II & III), 4 of those years also as a Network/Systems Administrator, 7 years also as freelance web developer (moonlighting), and i have certification as IT Project Manager AND I STILL COULDN’T FIND A DAM JOB IN IT! Even after lowering my standards in salary and position, geesh.

      I had much more experience than requireed for ths positons and got along woth everyoine i met in interview and said how could they not hire me, the interview went perfectly…. yet i never got a call back and i was left dumbfounded. I realized its a product of the current job market.

      I got laid off first week of the 2004 and THANK GOD i just found a job and im starting first week of 2005. A whole year searching for 15 hours a week average but luckily i wont have to deal with that anymore.

      I know its frusterating but you cant give up. Do crappy short term temp jobs (in IT or not) to pay the bills till you find something suitable.

    • #3297670

      Tech is a Tough Career

      by michael.becker ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I have been working in Tech for over 20 years. I have seen the industry go KHz to GHz, Kilobytes to Terabytes, 300 Baud modems to OC48. Over my careere there have been times people in technology could write there own salaries and demand all the perks and there were time when there was only one job fo a thousand people.

      A job in technology is constantly learning the new technology at the right time and convincing the people who want the new technology that you know the new technology. This I think is where certifications play a role. When I started in tech there was no such thing as certifications. Now every company provides them or demands them. Other than making money for a company issuing certifications, I think certifications validate knowledge of a technology to those hiring people who do not know technology. You may be more savy and have mor pratical experience than a person who has passed a certification test but the people you interview with don’t know that. I think certifications help you to find a job.

      Technology is also a difficult profession because more advanced applications require less skill an knowledge to use. Manually editing four files and creating file systems for users in UNIX required a lot more skill and knowledge than creating a user in the CDE. Thus less skilled people can perform higher skilled work. It is very analogous to cash registers that give you the right change as opposed to counting the change yourself. Lower skills also means lower pay.

      Again a career in technology is har on a lot of levels. It is very transient. I do tech because I can and because it is all I know. Had I a chance to do it all over again I wouldn’t. I also tell my children not to go into technology!

    • #3297666

      IT Career? Weenie Wagon or Back to School?

      by too old for it ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      If you are over 38 (see Hall v. Best Buy), you are in the wrong field if you are in IT. My best advice? Learn how to cook bratwurst out of a weenie wagon, or back to school for a degree that will lead to professional licensure, and the ability to hang out one’s own shingle.

      Since the IT firm I work for never has us contractors on anything steady, I’ve picked up work with an attorney as a paralegal, a career I thought I had left behind.

      Soon as practicable, it’s back to school for a BA in business and a MS in Psychology.

      … although there is a nice used weenie wagon, decked out with Italian Sausage signs for sale locally for only $9,500 ….

      • #3318844

        psychology and business degree

        by lumbergh77 ·

        In reply to IT Career? Weenie Wagon or Back to School?

        Sounds like a good idea and something I thought about doing, except I was thinking of a psychology BA and masters in business. What kind of careers are you looking into with this combo?

        • #3191383

          Careers in Psychology

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to psychology and business degree

          My thought was to be a “rent a expert” in school/education law cases.

          For a fee, I’ll be happy to tell you that the school should have prevented the held-back-two-years-school-yard-bully from breaking the nerdy kids violin on the school bus, an causing emotional harm.

          Not how they should have, just that the should have.

          Yeah, at this stage of the game, I really want to just reflect on 30 years of work and cruise towards retirement, like 50 year olds used to.

    • #3297662

      quite honestly….

      by placidair ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Just the fact that you appear to think that problems related to 2-digit years at the turn of the century were not a “legitimate” concern would give me pause. That someone’s PC wasn’t going to blow up wasn’t the real issue. Large databases that firms depended on were very real issues. Y2K turned out not to be a huge deal precisely because people took it seriously enough to fix what needed fixing ahead of time. That’s something to be proud of this industry for, not to sneer at. And if you’re giving potential hirers the impression that you are sneering at one of the things this industry has gotten very right, then you’re probably not going to make it to the top of anyone’s “want to work with” list. Just imagine someone’s HR database spewing nonsense data because all the current employees are showing as being hired in a hear which is later than the current one, and so the calculations for pensions/benefits, etc. won’t run. Fun huh?

    • #3297658

      Companies have doubled new job responsbilities and are still very picky

      by mike ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I’ve applied for many jobs as System Analyst, IT Project Manager, Network Administrator and most also require ASP, PHP, Java and .NET. Since when did a “project manager” or “Network Administrator” need to also be a programmer (with 5 languages no less).

      5 years ago, if you had 4 out of 6 job requirements and they like you in interview, you may have been hired. More recently, your lucky if you get hired for having 9 out of 10 things they now want.

      Ive been perfectly qualified for a diverse job and got along well with everybody i met in intervierw to the point im saying to myself, how can i NOT get this job, yet no call back and im left scratching my head. I realized its because of the job market and employeers just have too many options.

      Despite dam outsourcing, which has really hurt out job market, there are still a lot of IT jobs out there, but like you said, the market is truely saturated with people like us.
      It makes me sick when i hear radion commericals advertised to go to school for a career in “the hot IT market” – LOL.

    • #3297632

      Done Just About Everything

      by meryl ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      My husband has been out of work for almost two years. He has been in IT since 1986, got his MCSE certifications a few months ago, looked for jobs that use PM skills, attended job fairs, and tried getting clients on his own while he looks.

      He had high security clearance when he was in the Air Force, but every security clearance job fair requires an active security clearance. There would be many jobs for active and one job allowing inactive that many are competing for.

      He’d do teaching, but he doesn’t have a college degree. With three kids, he can’t go back to school — he needs a full-time job. It’s unbelievable. I never dreamed we would be in this situation two years later.

      He has the people and process skills, but that hasn’t helped so far.

    • #3297618

      Two suggestions

      by nicknielsen ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      First, if you have the money and time, go out and get at least one certification: A+, MCSE, CCNA or whatever. Most employers use certifications as the first discriminator during the hiring process, regardless of experience.

      Second, if you are so inclined, consider teaching, whether part-time as adjunct faculty, or full-time. While full-time teaching will not usually pay what you could be making in IT (believe me, I know!), I think you will find that it makes you a better tech. Just trying to stay ahead of the students in my A+ classes has kept me current even though my certification is over 5 years old.

      Always remembering, of course, that most advice is worth what you pay for it…

    • #3297612

      One of two choices…

      by boomslang ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      1) Adopt the Southern Oregon Method, IT is one item in what you do to keep a job. You must have other talents, become a jack of several trades and create your own multiple income stream while filling one job position.

      2) Find another career if you can only hack doing one job description at a time. Too many people think they can fit only one slot, ie are a corporate replaceable part.

      • #3302427

        Changing Careers Again

        by tmana37 ·

        In reply to One of two choices…

        I have to thank Techrepublic and other forums such as these for helping make my decision to yet again change careers. I was in the USAF, then a Federal Corrections Officer, received my paper MCSE and hired on with Compaq as telephone support on Proliant Servers and direct attached scsi storage devices. I moved from front line to backline, supporting every Compaq Proliant server, cluster, external storage and tape devices, along with Compaq Insight Management. I loved working for Compaq and gained some wonderful experiences. After the HP merger, I witnessed hundreds of fellow co-workers and friends, many with degrees in information technology and multiple certs behind their names, laid off and their empty cubicles filled with H1B-visa workers. I was able to side step the lay-offs by transitioning into a Stoage Technical Account Manager position for HSG?s, EVA?s , ESL tape libraries and Brocade Switches.
        This has given me the breathing room to look around and send out resumes.
        As a certified MCSE, MCP, Server+, A+ and numerous Compaq/HP certifications such as ACP, ASI, ASE, I received zero replies. I have a friend who has the same position as I, who return from a 3 month stint in Kuwait. She came back, saw what a mess IT has become with very little future opportunities and decided to quit HP. She hired on with Haliburton and is now in Iraq enjoying her non-IT job. Another co-worker in the same position, gave it up and went into Sonography and another went into Law Enforcement. Another just finished his MBA and is currently scouting around for jobs, since HP has nothing here for him. As for myself, I?m going back to school and applying for a RN program in the fall. The one thing I loved working as telephone base support was being able to help people with their problems and the immense satisfaction I received when I did and them telling me ?Thank you? and meaning it
        So with that in mind, I?m going to go into a career, that has longevity, flexibility, scalability, mobility, profitability and the since of satisfaction and well being, I?ll never find in IT. I wish all of you in your IT careers and IT job hunts success.
        Good luck to you and Merry Christmas.

        • #3302237

          ugh

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Changing Careers Again

          That’s awfully depressing for those of us staying in the IT field.

          Good luck, in any case.

        • #3302152

          Exactly…

          by boomslang ·

          In reply to Changing Careers Again

          Most of the IT economy is like watching an oncoming train wreck. You can see it coming, you can see the situation developing because the truck didn’t stop short of the crossing in traffic and the trailer is spanning the tracks. Step aside and let the others take the crunch if you are paying attention to what’s ahead.

          We’ve been hearing in the news plenty about offshoring, outsourcing, cheap intercontinental communications for some time now. The predictable result happened to a friend of mine. He lost his computer help desk job to someone overseas. Took a year and a half to get something along the same lines since he hasn’t changed his job skills.

          Change what you do in the company to add value and develop a parallel carrer, else learn who is being outsourced to and get your job there and as was mentioned, if it’s bad enough, change drastically what you do.

          There are no guarantees in life and why continue to be a buggywhip manufacturer when automobiles are taking over the road? The only buggy whip manufacturers left will be the high end ones making whips for enthusiasts who ride the old Landau for pleasure. I once was involved in a business that locally assembled computers, Dell took care of that, so, the answer? Sidestep, develop along a different path and change what you do.

    • #3297611

      Missile Defense outsourced 2?

      by cyberblatt ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      The real cost of cheap outsourcing bill is in the mail.

    • #3297608

      It’s all about money!

      by mhasf ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Benjamin:

      That is why I could not compete as an outside consultant. I am now working as a Network Administrator, making less then I did 20 years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job but it isn’t nearly as lucrative as it used to be. I believe the price/salary targets are set by these large consulting firms who are getting the contracts, paying “Hamburger Slinging” wages and charging “Manhattan Attorney” prices.

      The sad news is that I have been doing this stuff since 1975 and have worlds of experience. And yet it took me quite a while to find suitable employment. Unfortunately, there are people out there that are willing to give their services away to these consulting firms for practically nothing! And what’s worse is that they are hired because the have a MSCE or like certificate, but when push comes to shove, they don’t know which side is up on a CD!

      (I remember hiring a fellow with a fresh CNE certificate. We were setting up a Novell server and I asked him to load PSERVER. He asked me where the disks were. Whew!!!)

      I wish you all of the luck in your endeavors!

      Marc

    • #3297603

      IT Careers

      by barry ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Benjamin, you are right. the IT job pool is bursting wide open with super/over qualified people. I am the VP of Professional Services for a VAR/Consulting firm in Silicon Valley. Business is good, but not in California or the surrounding states. Currently, 80% of our business is conducted in the Mid-West or East Coast.

      When I post a job rec for one consultant, I’ll get 250 resumes, most of which do even have the skills, (a lot of engineers blindly send their resumes out). Of the 75 qualified resumes, most have 15-20 years experience, so most times, anyone under 10 years experience never gets looked at because we’ve already found a more experienced consultant.

      We do have a job rec in the Phoenix area for a MCSE with some WAN experience coming up in Feburary 2005. We are also looking for expereinced IT Professional Services SALES people across the nation. Most of our recs are posted on dice.com. And just so everyone knows, we are not a headhunting company.

      Please feel free to forward your resume.

      Thank you,
      Barry Bestpitch
      VP of Professional Services
      T: (408) 720-8899 x123
      F: (408) 720-8848
      ComteqUSA, Inc.
      http://www.comtequsa.com

    • #3302451

      Same companies that import workers?

      by awfernald ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      On H1b Visas stating that they cannot find anyone qualified to perform the work?

      Or are they different companies?

      I’d be willing to say that a large part of the fortune 500 companies on one hand are still bringing in H1b IT personnel (or outsourcing the work offshore), while on the other hand, turning down qualified applicants because they don’t have any openings.

      Would anyone agree? Is this a possibility? Or am I barking up the wrong tree?

    • #3302447

      Same situation here…

      by nickwojo ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I was tired of being “down-sized” every 4 -5 years, so I started my own company in the KC area. Started with 4 National Service providers, advertised locally and it grew! Now, I work full time for one of those companies and maintain a group of local Dentist Offices. If your experienced and willing to work hard, you’ll make it. Word of mouth is very powerful advertising!

    • #3302435

      Times change

      by chief125 ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I have been involved in “IT” since before it was “DP”. As with everything else, our salaries and expectations increased more than our “productivity”. We must remember that we all have but one purpose. That is to help our organization make a PROFIT on a product or service (unless of course we work for the “government”). ie I’m from the government and I’m here to help you! Ha Ha.

      For those of us who really are interested in producing for our employer/client, there will always be an opportunity. Sometimes the “marketing effort” to find the job and make the sale is much greater than the product or service. We are all salesmen first and “producers” next.

      When an outsourcer can provide what we do for $2 an hour, we must be able to change what we do in some way so that our employer or customer will perceive that they are receiving value for their expense. Everyone has a different skill set but with intelligence and imagination, you can make a change.

      An old mentor told me many decades ago that when I was looking for a problem and could not find the solution, I was either looking in the wrong place or was too close to the problem. Look elsewhere and/or get advice/assistance from someone else that you trust.

      There is NO golden solution to this problem. The solution is unique and within yourself. Find comfort in the fact that 10 years from now, the problem is going to be something else and we will have the opportunity to “create a solution” once again.

    • #3302428

      Mid-Life Transitions

      by smichael9 ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I experienced the same situation 2 years ago. After a complex project to integrate multiple plants together into a centralized AS400 Data Center, I was suddenly on the street after 20 years in IT. I spent the next 13 months seeking employment in IT, interviewing and getting nowhere (other than depressed and frustrated).

      From one of my interviews I was offered an opportunity to work at a small HVAC company to setup their in-house accounting system. Although a significant step down from where I came from, it was work, it was interesting and they treated me with a certain degree of respect due to my background and experience.

      I soon discoverd, that like most of us IT professionals, I knew a fair amount about how companies run, how accounting really works and how to manage diverse groups of people and how business process really work in the typical company.

      After 3 months at the company I was offered the position of General Manager with profit sharing and a nice 401K package. I thought about it for at least 2 minutes and accepted.

      So here I am, a displaced IT guy who now deals with management issues, bottom-line improvement issues, personnel issues and an exciting opportunity to make some changes to a company that hadn’t made a significant change in the way they did business in over 20 years.

      All in all, it’s been a good year, albeit diferent and I’m looking forward to 2005. It may be that a dramatic paradigmn shift in our lives is sometimes best handled by a pragmatic approach to the problem.

      The best to you in 2005

    • #3302425

      I agree

      by printzm ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I recently graduated with a BS in Information Systems. I’ve had about 2 years of experience doing general support/installations/upgrades. No one seems to be hiring unless you have at least 3 years of specialized experience, a BS, and certifications. I can’t afford to earn any certifications right now. I’ve been on Monster.com every week applying for an average of 3-4 jobs weekly. Only once have I received a job offer, which was only for $9/hour and an hour away from home. I just wish I could give myself more experience.

    • #3302422

      From a Web Application Dev standpoint

      by worm22 ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Back in ’98 I got involved in web development in an attempt to avoid the inevitable crash after Y2K. I figgured with all the people being pumped out of colleges and tech schools to deal, specifically, with Y2K, that field would dry up quick. I managed to dodge that bullet … right into the path of another. oops.

      Well, in ’99 I moved to Seattle to find a better paying job, and, with a good skillset and ability to learn quickly for just the cost of an O’Reilly book, I quickly moved up to making $60k/year and getting reccomendations from former co-workers. Life was good and I was living it up until the “DotCom bubble” popped and I found myself working at a gas station that didn’t even pay enough to cover my rent.

      Suffice to say, that didn’t last long, and I found myself penniless and living on the streets for some time. Eventually I was forced to come back home.

      I increased my skill set doing free work for friends and non-profit organizations while I looked for work. Now I work as an independant contractor, or under my company name (same difference), and struggle to keep my bills paid between contracts.

      I have some good contacts in the tech field, as well as contacts in government and the military, and I still find myself going 6 months or more between contracts. In the end many companies who are looking to hire full time will hire someone with less experiance because they feel they can pay them less. Before all this happened, I never thought I’d see the day when having an impressive resume and decent experiance would count against me. lol

      On the up side of all this, I’ve learned how to manage my money, not to mention that being homeless taught me that your friends aren’t always who you think they are, and good friends can be all you need.


      worm22
      “I’ve seen so many ships sail in, just to head back out again and go on sinkin'”

      • #3292279

        Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

        by pickleman ·

        In reply to From a Web Application Dev standpoint

        > Suffice to say, that didn’t last long, and I
        > found myself penniless and living on the streets
        > for some time. Eventually I was forced to come
        > back home.

        If you had a home to go to all along, my question is why would anybody in their right mind choose to be homeless on the streets?

        • #3155949

          choose to be homeless on the streets?

          by worm22 ·

          In reply to Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          Never said I was in my right mind, but that’s beside the point. There was the little matter of getting back home in the first place … 3000 miles is a long way to walk … and then the matter of pride. Was easier to take odd jobs to keep food in my stomach than it was to call my parents for help.

    • #3302421

      Keep The Faith

      by tr ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      There are lots of people with similar stories. I have an acquaintance who has experience and all of the right letters after his name, including MBA, and he has had one interview in three solid years of job-hunting.

      In the current situation it’s more critical than usual that you tick every box on the emplyer’s wishlist, as filtered through whatever agency they use. If the client says “MCSE essential” and you don’t have an MCSE then that job is a lost cause. Find a way to tick more boxes.

      The client might well consider you, but you can’t reach the client through any agency working to that brief. Employers, please note: specify precisely what you need in your agency briefs.

      The good news is that the job market (at least here in the UK) is more active than it has been for years.

    • #3302417

      Security and Vote for Liberals

      by hrosa ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Security is the key. You can not outsource or offer security jobs to foriegn nationals with H-1Bs, if you are truely interested in maintaining your systems security. So learn what you can about cybersecurity. Liberals are more concern with social issues than the bottom line. They protect you (the worker).

    • #3302416

      IT Career… an oxymoron???

      by tornadotracker ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      well I do know where you are comming from!
      I to have time on my side with computers and I cant do ……… If you know what I mean!
      People treat me like I am nothing but now If a Mexican or somone from Inia coes around then they get the work!
      I think It Is sick when we sit here and complain that our kids have no where to go and smoke crack and other drugs all day but can you really blame them?
      there are no jobs for them! they have all gone to India!
      What are they supposed to do and where are they are going to find work!
      Now tell me that?
      How In the ………. are we supposed to tell our kids to go out and find work and their Is no work here?

      • #3292277

        Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

        by pickleman ·

        In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

        > I think It Is sick when we sit here and complain
        > that our kids have no where to go and smoke
        > crack and other drugs all day but can you really
        > blame them?

        Yes, you most certainly CAN blame them.
        Not having a job is no excuse to become a junkie.
        Grow up.

    • #3302409

      I to was there

      by mwilmoth ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      A few years back I walked away from a Sr. Network Admin position, 75,000 a year. I thought it would be easy finding another position until reality set in. I was off a year looking for something in the IT field. What I found was competition was fierce, there was lots of other people just like me…Now I am the IT Manager for a company with unlimited growth and a huge upside..I actually like my job again and the people I work with..What I did….I got mad, there is no Indian, Russian, Chinese I have to play second fiddle to…American IT Employers are cutting their own throats and good times will once again come back for IT people and the IT Employers will pay a high price when it does..Advice, don’t forget what got you to the point you are, dedication,team work, hard work are hard values that you can not put a value on..America is in a big state of decline and the people to blame are our elected officials..

    • #3302408

      Dear Slackers and Trained Monkeys

      by upl8 ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      The problem is the IT job market is full of unqualified people. An experienced technical person is going to demand a high salary and needs to have the same professional appearance, work ethic, intelligence, and courtesy as a similarly paid employee in any other field. IT was the hot job market a few years ago and it paid really well, so it attracted people and now there is fierce competition for the best jobs. Maybe you need to make some personal changes or consider a lower paying position in the IT field if you aren’t getting hired.

      I have tried to hire a field tech (read Network Engineer) recently and I have been bombarded with resumes from and interviews with:

      1) Stubborn IT Pro. Usually from government or a big company who has seen it all, but still got fired or quit his last job because there were too many changes or he had to do it someone else’s way. Here’s a candidate with the experience I need who just told me he is going to do it his way and I can get bent. These guys are great with clients! Clients love to hear the word “no” and “can’t”! Their tendancy to always think inside THEIR box makes them especially ineffective in finding answers to new problems and working with new technology.

      2) Raggedy Andy. This guy can be smart and experienced, old or young, but his appearance or behavior makes him tech bench material only. Whether its the coffee and cigarrette rumpled look, the sandals and greasy hair look, or just a mumbling problem, these guys are the best for impressing your next client. Critical data and expensive systems should be worked on by people who are so absorbed by technology that they can’t address their poor grooming habits and quirky personalities, right?

      3) The Trained Monkey. This person is highly qualified to follow directions from a checklist. The experience gained from doing 1000 workstation migrations from GroupWise to Exchange makes this candidate worthy to run wild on all of your servers. I mean, they have like, 1 whole year of Exchange and GroupWise experience, and oh yeah, like since they changed the backup tapes too, they know Windows 2000 Server and BackupExec.

      4) The Jumper! Nothing says wasted training and productivity like the resume with 5 jobs in the past 5 years. This person is great for leaving you in a bind and maybe taking a client or two with him when he decides to start his own business. Even cuter is a combo of 3 and 4 – the Jumping Trained Monkey!

      5) The Negative Creep. Looks good on paper but has nothing good to say about anything. This is the guy who types M$ for Microsoft. He hates particular brands of hardware and software. He hates it when this and he hates it when that. He probably hates you too.

      6) Tech Skool Guy. I used to throw these away. Now I consider them. No joke. Alot of these people have serious interest in improving themselves, learning, and they are willing to work and even pay for the opportunity. Most of these schools are ripoffs, and some graduates are looking for what they thought was easy money, but some are smart and professional. And sometimes its easier to take a person with all of the qualities you are looking for and teach them technology than it is to deal with the negatives of an experienced IT person.

      I had some fun writing this, but I know that many of you are out of work and this isn’t a laughing matter. IT is still a hot market, but the high pay and slack requirements for employees is gone now. You will find a job if you really work at it and you have the necessary qualifications – not just experience – the whole package! If you are expecting it to be as easy as 5-10 years ago, forget it! To make $60k a year you are going to have to look, act, and produce like people making that same money in other fields – and that can be tough! Be realistic when considering your experience. Find and work on your problem areas. If you are doing NOTHING but looking for a job, volunteer as an intern at a COUPLE of local companies. If you are worth a darn you will probably intern yourself into a position.

      • #3302282

        RE: Dear Slackers and Trained Monkeys

        by worm22 ·

        In reply to Dear Slackers and Trained Monkeys

        I agree that there is a lot of this out there. Hell, depending on when you catch me, I can look like #2 myself at times, but for interviews or anything on-site, I go in wearing slacks, dress shirt, and tie, clean shaven, with my hair clean and pulled back.

        The biggest problem is that employers see the resume, and ask “why is this guy asking so little?” or, if I ask for a salary commensurate with my skills and experiance, someone with less experiance gets hired.

        I’ve heard both of these situations from prospective employers and friends who handle hiring for tech companies.

        So what’s the solution? I can’t get hired by asking for less money, and if I don’t ask for less, then someone who isn’t 1/2 as qualified gets hired.


        worm22

      • #3302165

        UpL8

        by redstone ·

        In reply to Dear Slackers and Trained Monkeys

        Your categoiztion of employees along some “parts bin” framework reminds me of the mistakes I see alot of managers make. I hope no employee suffers from such questionable appraisal skills. Disparaging people’s ability during various stages of their career development will show up in your interactions with them and ultimately hurt you and/or your organization . Did the it pro say “no” to be stuborn or maybe it is from experience that certain changes will disrupt the organization too much which may cost the organization in the aggregate? Maybe you will be glad someday you have #2 guy when he fixes some critical problem .. etc.

        Point of thread is the market has changed and not for the better. Maybe people were overpaid for services they were providing a few years back, however we now see the market in such a freefall (from an employee’s point of view) that it will do little to attract people into the field and will entice many qualified people to leave it.

    • #3302401

      Get your foot in the door

      by gordonuk ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Find a good agency and go contracting – the money can vary from average to very good, but the main thing is the chance for a permanent position.
      The majority of contracting jobs I have done eventually led to an offer of a permanent position – it makes sense for a company to employ someone who they know and who knows their systems.
      My current job – I moved to Edinburgh for a 3 month contract replenishing desktop hardware, was kept on for 12 months contracting doing systems admin and was then offered my current full-time job as Systems admin – best thing is that they offered me well over the current market salary just to make sure my knowledge stayed with them.
      I’ve now been here for 2 years.

    • #3302399

      some advise

      by treilly ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Benjamin,
      You sound just like me. I feel your pain. I have been around since 1990. In all those years, this (2001 – now) has been the worst time for our field to find work.

      My only advise (this being the most successful), is talk to everyone and anyone that you are out of work and need a job. Do not be ashamed. It truely is not what you know but who you know. All the jobs I have had is through people I know. In some instances, I knocked on doors with my tail between my legs. Those types of “searches” yield the best results. Monster, .com, hotjobs, local head hunters (they can be good), direct company websites, etc are mostly useless.

      If, however, you have tried friends, neighbors, strangers at parties, the mailman, etc, and have had no luck, don’t be afraid to persue another career. I know a lot of people in our field that have done this and have done better.

      I wish you luck, and you are definitely not alone.
      -treilly

      • #3302392

        Windows 2K

        by kel_stevens ·

        In reply to some advise

        I work for Bank of America and when we attended our first conversion from NT to Windows 2K courses, I announced to the LAN Admins in my class that we would all be laid off. They all thought I was grand standing. I was right. Windows 2K is really so much easier to make builds and maintain that much less skilled workers can maintain PCs. How many people can remember getting TCP/IP stacks loaded on Windows 3.1 machines or editing net.cfg files for Novell clients? How many new people even understand the files required to boot? Do they really need to know anymore? You can reimage workstations or servers in minutes, rather than troubleshooting the fix.

        Bank of America has since laid off most of the IT force or outsourced entire groups and let HP or EDS do the lay-offs. It is hard to find a job when you have a great deal of experiance. Many 24 year olds are getting certified and will work for 20K less than I require. I am happy to be out-sourced to HP at this time. Will I be out-out-sourced? Probably next year! Am I thinking of a career change? Yes!

        • #3302386

          Agree

          by tmana37 ·

          In reply to Windows 2K

          I work for HP and they own the majority share of Citel and outsourcing company in Canada and India. HP is trying to outsource as much as possible. They are even outsourcing critical engineering work to India and China. HP is a Global company that only care about the bottom line and how much money they can make for the share holder.
          I’ve decided on changing career paths all together.
          Good luck!

        • #3302385

          Agree

          by tmana37 ·

          In reply to Windows 2K

          I work for HP and they own the majority share of Citel and outsourcing company in Canada and India. HP is trying to outsource as much as possible. They are even outsourcing critical engineering work to India and China. HP is a Global company that only care about the bottom line and how much money they can make for the share holder.
          I’ve decided on changing career paths all together.
          Good luck!

    • #3302397

      Relocate if necessary

      by jonf ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I have not found this to be a problem in my area even though it is one of the less populated areas of CA. IT jobs are available but you may not get picked up on a few interviews. Just keep pushing on and hone your interviewing and tech portfolio and you will make it.

    • #3302394

      What to do

      by crbiii ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      VOTE,

      I used to think I was safe. I had little sympathy for mill workers. Then our jobs started going overseas in HUGH numbers.

      The company I worked for was purchased by a foreign firm. One of their stated objects was jobs in their country. Mine went there. I am also 56. Try explaining to the 26 year old personnel manager that your experience is worth something.

      We were told work hard, get an education, do your job. Truth is it no longer works. IT workers today are the mill workers of the last century.

      I don’t know where companies think their customers will come from when the only jobs left here are flipping hamburgers and these jobs don’t pay enough to buy their products. Management seems entirely focused on the short term. We now have record amounts of our currency held by foreign countries. What will happen to our economy and way of life when they decide they no longer value our currency and want to switch it for something else. I am also an enginneer. This is clearly not a stable system.

      The future looks very grim to me. IT expertise is the mill work of the 70s, 80s and 90s. You are destined to follow the mill worker. Ask what they are doing today. Perhaps ask the greeter at WalMart what he/she used to do and see your future.

      We must view some industries as strategic and must grow and support them. The WTO seems absolutely opposed to this. Our taxes pay hugh subsidies in agriculture. Why, because at one time we viewed agricultural production as strategic. Steel, textiles and other durable goods manufacturing in the U.S. has virtually ceased to exist. They were not subsidised. Look to the past and see your future.

    • #3302391

      keep on looking or move

      by mxwa_2000 ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Hi all, what Im doing right now is keep on looking for a job in this area or see what are the options that i receive… eg sales engineer… or what else i wanna look for… like for example systems auditing

    • #3302384

      Desk job…

      by symon.michael ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Hi, Ben:

      Maybe it’s time for you to consider getting out of IT completely.

      I currently work for a major US bank doing build packaging and ClearCase support, but this is not my first occupation… I’m 42 and have had three previous careers. I was a journeyman electrician for a few years, then I spent 5 years working in advertising as a sax player (fully employed), and after that 13 years as a mechanical engineer servicing commercial exercise equipment. I only got involved with IT because I needed a desk job (knees giving out, bad back and 4 hernia surgeries as a result of lifting heavy equipment all the time), so I ended up working for the phone company for several years, took some Unix and C programming classes at night school, and now I suppport code installs for a major U.S. bank. It’s a fun job and I love my work, but since all my friends have been laid off in recent years I went back to school and studied Spanish, real estate law and now I’m about to take a night class in refrigeration repair. I am fully expecting to be unemployed sometime next year and I’m already preparing for yet another career outside of IT.

      So this could be a hidden opportunity – even though employment problems are unsettling and stressful, I think they also create excellent opportunities for growth and exploration.

      Just my .02,

      –>S.

      • #3302360

        RE:Desk Job

        by mdaskam1 ·

        In reply to Desk job…

        If your looking for piety, please. I think what’s really sad is that you haven’t really found your path in life. You remind me of a traveler who doesn’t know what he wants to do, so he travel or wonders from place to place holding many different jobs. No body said that a Techie’s job is suppose to be an easy job. Whoever told you that a Techie job is suppose to be sitting on your ass is graet. I think your an old man who’s near retirement and should look in the mirror and really think about what you really want to do with the rest of your life. Do you want to continue to be a wonderer or a guy who knows the right path to take in life.

    • #3302381

      Its Just starting

      by jeffc ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Hi Everybody,

      The problem that Ben is experiencing is just the tip of the IceBerg. I have a great job in IT working for a very small company. My job is secure because I work in the defense industry. Obviously everybody can’t have a job in defense. I really don’t need to worry about my job, but I do worry about people like Ben that can’t find a decent job. This will eventually affect all of us.

      Our whole economy (the middle class) is being assaulted everyday. We flood the country with illegal immigrants (Mr. Bush), allow corporation to export our jobs and industry to China and India (Mr. Bush), and hand out H1B visas like candy (Mr. Bush) to folks from India and China. I’m no liberal, in fact I’m pretty conservative, but I’m also a nationalist, especially an economic nationalist.

      Lets look at the illegal immigrant issue. You have people crying that the illegals are just taking jobs that ordinary citizens don’t want. That true for some jobs, but not all of them period. Remember in the old days that being a carpenter, contruction worker or a meat packer used to be a good paying job. Not anymore, because the corporation (the bottom line) hire cheat illegal labor to do both. Who in the hell wants to bake in the sun building houses for $5 an hour. I haven’t notice that housing prices have drop with this cheap labor. The only thing that has dropped it the quality of the construction. Same with the meat packers, you hear all the time about e-coli contamination of our meat. Do you ever wonder why? I’ll tell you why, because the illegal aliens don’t know how to cut the meat instead of the intestines of the cow!!!!

      Lets talk about outsourcing our jobs and industry to China and India. Here the politicians say thats a good thing. It’s easy for a millionaire to say how wonderful that is. When you go shopping take a look and see how many items are made in China. Pretty much everything. The Chinese aren’t the ones developing these goods, it the corporations that are closing our factories and moving them to China (with slave labor). The good paying jobs are disappearing, especially in the blue collar area. Mr. Bush can say that the ecomony is great, B.S. the jobs that are being created don’t pay the same amount in the past.

      Jobs are being outsource and its growing everyday.

      Call Center jobs being outsource to India, Phillipines, everywhere. Try calling Dell tech support.

      IT jobs are being outsource, you read that everyday.

      H1B visa’s being issued. Corporations say they can’t find experienced American labor. No, they don’t want to pay for American labor.

      • #3300167

        i object to your racist tone

        by sgt_shultz ·

        In reply to Its Just starting

        hey-!
        everybody who watches West Wing knows that India got our tech jobs so they wouldn’t nuke Pakistan. we were getting gravy train before. used to be If you knew how to make dos boot disk, you could get $40K to start…I am getting poundeded on with competition, admittedly. i can still compete tho. helps make me better person imho. competition is a favor not a curse for pete sakes!!!
        you want folks to pay you more, bring more value to them.
        you must be one of those ‘pure’ americans i keep hearing about. myself, i am a mix from all over the world…proud to be here and proud to welcome anybody else in world to join me and work with me and teach me

        • #3292275

          Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

          by pickleman ·

          In reply to i object to your racist tone

          There was nothing racist about his post.
          Everything he said is true and accurate.
          Many jobs in America and Canada ARE being outsourced. Just because he pointed out the exact countries (India and China) to which they’re being sent does not make him a racist.

    • #3302369

      Seems someone thought ???

      by allwright ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Is it only a select few that noticed that so many were entering the IT trend 5 yrs back? It was pretty obvious the market would become saturated at some point. Sorry that’s not the reply you likely expected.

      If you are good at what you do, you should be able to develop a reputation for your abilities. Then if you are the cream of the crop, you may find many positions available. Unfortunately, no-one really wants the milk and folks can be choosy cause IT chaps are a dime a dozen. If you can weather the storm and hone your skills (possibly diversify) many of the drag will fall away with time. If time is a factor for you, then you either have to be very good or change profession.

      Hope for the best
      Arthur

    • #3302367

      NO

      by ron ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I work in IT in Arizona, and for some reason, I see the exact opposite. We can’t find any GOOD IT people. Maybe, there is a personel reason why some people can’t find an IT job.

      • #3302354

        RE:NO

        by mdaskam1 ·

        In reply to NO

        Finally someone who agrees with me. Ben, what I said before your not looking in the right place in Arizona. Nowadays employers prefer to go thru IT Recruiters. So, you acn send your resume to tons of employers yourself, but what’s happening is that all your resumes are landing in a pile in the closet.

      • #3302334

        Really???

        by benjamin ·

        In reply to NO

        Hi Ron. Are you in Phoenix? I’m in Tucson and there are no jobs. I consider myself to be a good IT person. I applied for several jobs I am more than qualified for and I don’t even get a call back. Please do share with me these companies in need of GOOD IT people. I’d love to talk with them.

    • #3302366

      IT Career… IT Career… an oxymoron???

      by mdaskam1 ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      The only Oxymoron in the IT world is you. Apparently you haven’t been looking in the right area. My advice is that you either go thru a IT recruiter or an IT consulting company. The IT Market for better or worse is chnaging. Alot of us fellow TECHIES have learned to adapt to our changing environment. The biggest problem with the IT job market is that there are alot of umemployed IT people who should never have been in the Technology field in the first place. I have worked and ran into many wannabe Techies who think they know what they are doing. There’s too many people who ran into the IT field because, back in the early 90’s during the so-called Dot.coms era. IT was the field to be in. So, what we have are alot of people who took a computer class called networking 101 and got a certificate making them think they are IT knowledgeable. Basically what we are seeing is a job market that is not like it used to be. So, what’s happening is that all these unemployed wannabe Techie guys are competing for the same jobs as are some very knowledgeable guys such as yourself. Be patient, the right job will come around, but for now continue doing phone support for now. A Techie job is better than not having one. So don’t complain.

      • #3302308

        In my defense…

        by benjamin ·

        In reply to IT Career… IT Career… an oxymoron???

        Okay, first let me say how flattered I am that so many people have replied, took part in and offered suggestions to what I originally considered to be a way to start an intelligent discussion on current IT trends in this country. I am not complaining nor asking for advice. I wanted to learn from and exchange IDs with other tech professionals. It seems that some people are in great IT positions while others are having trouble getting work. Regardless, one thing holds true: The market is saturated and the bubble has burst. IT professionals need to adapt or change direction. I know all that and I am adapting. Well, trying to any way. It is getting increasingly more difficult to stay in the field. That was basically what I was trying to convey. That along with the lack of longevity of what was once considered a solid career move.

        I would also like to say that phone support is not a “Techie job”. It is basic and repetitive but at least I am assisting people. With this post I have learned a lot. I have thought of different avenues I may not have considered. I have learned that other people are experiencing the same types of problems. Smart, intelligent, capable people. When viewing this with a positive outlook I gain a sense of community. With this, we can all work together to create a vehicle to get ideas flowing and helping each other with whatever we want to achieve.

        I agree with you. When IT was the flavor of the month/year everyone went into it. A lot of people with the wrong motivations. Getting those people weeded out of the system will be a great thing. Until my day comes where I am back doing what I love I will do what I can where I can. I am confident in my capabilities and given the chance I will be able to prove that.

        Thank you for your comments and let’s keep the positive ideas flowing.

    • #3302357

      You’ll definitely have to move

      by jedimastr1 ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      “Knock on wood”, but I have survived 4 rounds of layoffs from my company. As a matter of fact, my company had to re-classify my position so it wouldn’t fall under “IT” in order to keep me. All of my co-workers who got laid off couldn’t find any IT related jobs. They all had to change their careers. Of the ones that got laid off and are working in IT now, they all had to move out of California to find IT jobs. Think about it…”having to move out of California”, home of Silicon Valley. I have a friend who is working in the St. Louis,Missouri area. He said that is one place where there are more IT jobs than people to fill them. You might want to try there. Good luck.

    • #3302338

      Diversify

      by zentross ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I agree. IT is a tool. In order to become marketable in today’s economy, we are required to know another aspect of the buisness/institution for which we work or apply.

      Having excellent customer service is expected in phone support (and, with little patience to maintain this, these positions will not be difficult to find). Knowing psychology, on the other hand, is indispensible in that it allows us to identify the needs of our employers AND our customer in order to [ideally] meet both or position ourselves to best facilitate the meeting of both.

      Consider which department other than IT should be approached for a position. Imagine how much handier it would be for your direct supervisor to have someone on hand who actually *knows* what machinery is needed for the department, can fix small problems without waiting for support, assist in training new employees on the system/software, and can best coordinate with outside services to meet the requirements within a reasonable budget.

      Yes, this is admittadely broad. The point I’m trying to make here is that (at least for me) we identify additional intersts and strengths in order to put them to use as well. For me, I like psychology, problem solving, interaction with people, and tinkering. As a support person, this has been very beneficial because I work with customers in their offices and can keep a steady conversation to find out what they really need to accomplish then get it done. In the end, everything that I do is about people.

      Thanks for reading this ramble.

    • #3302319

      IT Career… an oxymoron???

      by februarie02 ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      My dear compadre, just a short answer, be patient.
      The payback time is coming, sooner or later all those computers will need to be worked on. With all the IT jobs vanishing for one reason or another everybody will have a hard time to deal with it.
      Employers are treating us like dirt for now, but when the time comes they will be the one to pay the price.
      Remember the Y2K, all those years the problem was neglected, and all of a sudden BOOM, year 2000 is here.
      What we are going to do? Asked them selves our dear employers.
      That time will come again, and in top of that all the technologies that are outsourced for now will turn and bait us all in the ASS.
      Do you think that the terrorists are not aware of this?
      I guarantee you that the next big attack will be on the computer field, no more airlines.
      To costly and to dangerous to get a plain now, it?s a lot easier to attack a network, no more suicide people to look for, can be done from far away, anonymous, etc. you know what I mean.
      GREED is the mother of all bad things that happening to US of A.
      We train them and they turn back and kick us with our own tools, look at Afghanistan, Iraq and all others that got help, France, Germany, etc.
      I think that you sense my frustration from my words, I?m in your position too, and for two years I can?t get a job. Not even as a low-level pc technician, I found Network Engineer position or $18.00/ho, somebody must be crazy to take it, not me.
      I will rather use my savings and wait then to work for free so that big CEO?s to make millions.
      Just look at the increase rate for high rank executives, all this years it went up and up and up.
      That is enough, ?to much of a good thing is not good for our health?.
      Good luck my friend, and Happy Holydays to all of you that are in this situation!

      • #3292269

        Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

        by pickleman ·

        In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

        > My dear compadre, just a short answer, be
        > patient. The payback time is coming, sooner or
        > later all those computers will need to be worked
        > on.

        Don’t be so sure.
        I’m in the process of composing a new message in this thread. Look for it.
        The title will be “Think it’ll get better?”

        >I guarantee you that the next big attack will be
        > on the computer field, no more airlines.

        You’ve been watching way too much “24”.

        > it’s a lot easier to attack a network, no more
        > suicide people to look for, can be done from far
        > away, anonymous, etc.

        Again, way too much TV.
        Which do you think is easier to accomplish?

        1) get some uneducated religious fanatic dumbass to blow himself up or…

        2) get that same uneducated religious fanatic dumbass to execute a perfectly orchestrated electronic attack on some vital infrastructure from thousands of miles away, that will cause more damage than could be caused using high-yield explosives?

        > I found Network Engineer position or $18.00/ho,
        > somebody must be crazy to take it, not me.
        > I will rather use my savings and wait then to
        > work for free

        With all due respect, working for $18/hour is not the same as working for free. It may not be the $50/hour you may be hoping for, but based on what I gathered from your posting, I doubt very much that you’ll have employers lining up to pay you that kind of money.

    • #3302318

      Consulting revisted

      by esystems ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I wan an IT manager for food distribution firm that went under in April 2002. I went right into consulting without hesitation. I’m still at today doing quite well. If you’re serious about this you have to willing to learn alot about this business all the time. I read CRN and VAR magazine constanly to keep myself up on what the business is doing. Also you should get every book you can find on computer consulting (“The IT Consultant” by Rick Freedman is a must read.) Also learn project management. I’m constantly advising novices that you can’t succeed as a “consultant” without project management skills. Last thing, talk to other sucessful solo consultants, pick their brains on what makes them successful. Good Luck!

      P.S. Learn about the local business community around you (chambers of commmerce, clubs, civic organizations, etc.) Get to know “Who’s Who”.

    • #3302310

      Try the Non-profit world

      by mikewbc ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      The money stinks, but you’ll get to do and learn more than in a “real” job. Most non-profit organizations have made the transition to computers, but almost all need help. I work for a medium sized company and got my start when they switched from the old wang 2200 to NT4 about 5 years ago. I was working in marketing(I have an MBA), but because I had opened a computer and added memory, I was given the task of overseeing the conversion. I took a MCSE course (didn’t take the cert test because I knew it didn’t matter to this employer) and they paid me for going to school if I promised to stay at least 2 years. I now manage a network of 4 servers, Exchange, 50 workstations 60 users and related switches, routers, Wan connections and other fun stuff. There is never enough money for hardware, and I also get to do data base development as well as tech support for staff, volunteers, and executives with little computer experience. All this for about $26K a year! If you’re not in it for the money, it can be a great life. I’m sitting here watching the eagles fly over Puget Sound as I’m typing this during a break in converting 25 AMD K62-400 from win98 to XP. I have more responsibility, variety of task, and experience than many who make 3X what I do, but I won’t trade with them.

    • #3302307

      Go for the sideline circuit

      by mikdee ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      About 3 1/2 years ago, I got laid off from my psotion as sysops for a large construction company. They had outsourced my job (sound familiar?)

      What did I do? Well, after seeing the glut of other sysops looking for work in my area, I decided it was time to look into a new venture. I am glad I did. With the increased use of DT (digital technology) in audio and visual systems and support, I opted to start an AV company that specializes in DT format AV production and installation.

      You don’t know just how many churches, auditoriums, schools and even small business and/or home users need someone to install and program computers to work with AV systems. It’s been a great experience for me as my salary has doubled in the last 3 years.

    • #3302259

      Constant Change

      by sunlover ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Maybe I’ve been lucky but I’m sure it’s more hard work…in the past 4 years I have been made redundant in IT twice!! This second redundancy is happening in 6 months from now, but I have already lined up my next full time role with a job sharing set up between now and when I can start full time for the new company. Each time redundancy comes around I have sent out the feelers and been picked up immediately by other companies. There is work out there, but it’s the stuff that’s hard to find. Companies have had too much experience with unskilled techies and are constantly afraid of being burnt. If you prove yourself in any role, your contacts from that role should be more than willing to snap you up as soon as you are available. Applying for advertised jobs is just frustrating and fruitless from my experience and companies seem to only want to take a chance on hiring someone who has actively sought them out, rather than just replied to an ad.

    • #3302234

      It is indeed!

      by pbishop ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I feel that many of us are in the same situation. My original education was BScEd and I spent 5 years teaching. However I did much IT with Uni, and personally after hours. I Left teaching and did a few things, but could not crack IT without ‘letters’. I put myself through a course and got an advanced certificate. However at the time I was part time in a call centre; started sorting all their IT issues. Got placed permanently even before finishing the course AND doubled the income I was getting as a teacher. Since then I have had over 10 years IT in end to end support, application support and training, systems integration and so on. Got my CNA and other ‘letters’…

      Did a voluntary sea change, then tried to find work – BANG. Don’t even get replies. Plus, the market is saturated with young IT grads, going in at low dollars. Many are highly skilled or just plain clever, but typically in one area and lack the in-field experience and maturity that real experience in troubleshooting gives.

      I am now self employed, lucky enough to find an on going agreement with a company. The majority of my work now is Desk Top Publishing / Digital Printing!. But I am only income earner in my family, so this is risky. You know, the mortgages, bills – blah blah. Need to find something more solid OR build my own business.

      By the way, teacher salaries have improved a bit and IT salaries have dropped so much, that in regional NSW, teachers can earn more than an IT manager. (To my teacher friends – this is great. You actually need to earn more for your responsibilities and workloads). I’m just showng this for comparison and to illustrate how IT roles & salaries have changed over the last 10 years. AND still the Uni is pumping the grads out. Heap now doing IT & Multimedia so the web design, graphic design, DTP etc, will be well oversupplied very very soon.

    • #3302207

      I jumped into a whole new career at 51!

      by mgtucker ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I took a highly Valid and Reliable career assessment that showed me what I am BEST fit for and some on my list are higher than computer professional. I spent 23 years in IT and feel MUCH better in an internship/training program to be a healthcare administsrator. Go figure.

      • #3302189

        which assessment

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to I jumped into a whole new career at 51!

        Which assessment did you take? I haven’t looked into career assessments much, and find that I’m curious about what assessment tests are out there and what their strengths and weaknesses are.

      • #3300170

        Funny you should say that…

        by sgt_shultz ·

        In reply to I jumped into a whole new career at 51!

        i just finished my emt-b and am thinking of switching over to emergency med related field. we love to diagnose, yes? i am 50…

        • #3300885

          Been a medic for 13 years…

          by scottsman ·

          In reply to Funny you should say that…

          I have been a Paramedic for 13 years and the exact opposite is my case. I have been working 2 full time jobs (1 in IT) for the past 6 years. Now that I have my degree and almost 6 full years of IT exp. I am looking to get out of EMS. If you are interested in the medical field go RN as you can still get the excitement if you work in the ER and you will get paid a LOT more. Not to mention that EMS is a physically and mentally tough job.

          In my almost 6 years of IT I have not gone more than 2months (once) without a job. I live in Detroit area which has been hit very hard economically of late and I can still find IT work. Granted for every 20 resumes that I put in I get 1 interview. But I almost always get the job that I interview for. (The secret there is IT is NOT supporting computers IT is supporting people. If you are personable and can talk “tech” in terms that HR and management can understand you have 2 people in the interview room on your side.)

          Good luck folks and work on your “soft” skills as much as your technical skills.

    • #3302195

      getting out for good

      by gone to another field ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I have just given up. I lasted almost a year when the job quit. The company closed up and went to Honduras. Living in the Deep South means we just got electricity, much less PC’s. Upgrade?? You gotta be kidding. Around here the tech guys can be had for 20K. I went to work with a security company, putting in and reparing systems. After all, they are just little computers! I think the day of getting and keeping a solid IT job are over…regardless of how much titles, letters or experience comes after your name.

    • #3302193

      I feel your pain

      by madyson ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I have CISSP and CCE certs, and I am having one hell of a time landing anything. I tried working on my own but I am terrible at marketing and I’m not sure how I should approach it. It’s a rough market I’ve been looking from Ohio to the West Coast, so far I’ve lost my car and I’m about to lose the house. Tried quite a few low paying jobs but I get the same crap about being overqualified over and over. Sucks to be IT right now.

      • #3302188

        I’ve never understood that.

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to I feel your pain

        The “overqualified” bit gets old, and I’ve never really understood what the point of it was. It’s not like anyone, in this economy, is terribly likely to get hired away for $80k/yr.

    • #3302162

      same in here

      by youssifm ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      after 5 years of readings, practicing, and working, getting A+, working as technical support, then manager, and now setting at home, because anyone can hold a screw in hardidsk is really working as technical, and any problem to face, the first solution and easy one , why bother, just format and re-install, that’s life

    • #3302147

      IT glut??

      by raysal ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Yes I believe you hit the nail on the head on this one. I am still a student and I can see that. There is no way for the IT market to give jobs to all the ITs being graduated. The only way for a lot of IT graduates to find jobs is to bump existing ITs out of their jobs. China alone will outstrip the US in the near future. That is a shame cause the US is on it way to being a 3rd world country.

    • #3302127

      Out source yourself

      by alamgir21 ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      We are hearing soo much of IT business outsourcing to India and Pak.. So y dont you outsource yourself to such place and trust me you can get a good monetary benefit out of it plus the cross culture experience.. People here would be wanting your type of experience here for sure.. keep in mind that life in these countries is king like

    • #3300383

      Kiss It Goodbye

      by iis ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Benjamin,
      Kiss your ideas about job stability and career goodby. YOUR OWN GOVERNMENT is conspiring to take our country down, create a worldwide depression, and destroy at least two thirds of the US population. This may sound terribly weird and “conspiratorial”, but face facts: the people that run our “government” are basically pawns of the super rich.
      In case you havent noticed, while our government is hastilly passing “laws” that no one has read (Patriot bs) and that are robbing us of all our freedoms, they are opening the borders to lawbreakers from south of the border (who may also be terrorists), letting REAL terrorists alone by claiming that we cant “profile”, forcing American women to undress and submit to having their private parts and breasts fondled at Airports while REAL terrorists are waved on throught, giving our tax dollars away to people who did not work for “social security”, spending like there is no tomorrow on things that have nothing to do with us, waging needless wars while inflatting the dollar until there is no more value in it (essentially, deceitful taxation) while claiming to give us “tax cuts”, unfairly favoring the super rich and the corporations, allowing our environment, food and water to continue to be poisoned by a shitload of toxins including fluoride, pesticides, rocket fuel, radioactive waste, msg, aspartame, do some research and I’m sure you will find many more.
      Meanwhile, all these super rich are hyped up on creating a WORLD SOCIALIST STATE (“New world order”)! Thats the plan. In order for this plan to succeed, WE THE PEOPLE OF THIS ONCE FREE LAND must be put down and submerged into third world status. We must be made to operate just like MEXICO is today! Thats why Bush is giving everthing away to Mexico. And thats why IT jobs and other specialized high end work is being shipped overseas. WE MUST BE RELEGATED TO THIRD WORLD STATUS! Can anything be any plainer?

      You better start thinking for yourself instead of believing the lying US Media (All major news networks).

      • #3300333

        Socialist?????

        by dc_guy ·

        In reply to Kiss It Goodbye

        I’ve got no problem with just about everything you said. Perhaps I disagree with you on the degree to which some of these things are happening, but basically you’re describing a Paradigm Shift and yours is one of many perfectly valid perspectives on it.

        But a “world socialist state?” Give me a break! The Bilderberg Group is orchestrating this. Their leaders are not by any stretch of the imagination “leftist” in their economic policies. They may be socially liberal because they came of age in the civil rights era, but when it comes to economics they are hard-nosed capitalists. In fact, socially liberal plus economically conservative is a textbook (albeit shorthand and somewhat oversimplified) definition of “libertarian.” What we used to call “classic liberal” before the American/European leftists stole our name.

        The only problem with the Bilderberg model of the world is that it is incredibly statist — strong central governments with tight control over everything. That pretty well blows the libertarian model, in which the government has the duty to maintain internal order with police and international order with a defense-only military force, and the citizens are trusted to have enough sense to take care of everything else.

        What we are facing is not so much a world socialist state as simply a world-state. The nation-state was bad enough. The world-state really sucks.

      • #3292266

        Reply To: IT Career… an oxymoron???

        by pickleman ·

        In reply to Kiss It Goodbye

        Would you like a hanky for your weeping, bleeding, oh-so-Liberal heart?

        Give me a break.

    • #3300374

      What happened to IT careers

      by terry ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      As a lot of us have found, companies are going to outsourcing. Just as technology evolves and changes, our jobs change too. Like it or not we live in a business world now where outsourcing seems to be the way most major companies want to go.

      Now, we as IT professionals are forced to make decisions. Do we try to fight for what the few jobs left in the market, or do we change too? I have an analogy that helped me to answer that question for me. Lets face it, If you were manufacturing buggies in the early 1900’s, Detroit saw to it that you didn’t last long. You got on the automobile bandwagon or you were left behind.

      That is basically what I was faced with about 5 years ago when the company I was working for was purchased by a New York investment company and my job as an MIS manager was eliminated. My decision was to move into the consulting sector and provide outsourced IT Services to those companies who don’t want to spend the money to staff their own IT department. Since then, I have grown and have a small staff helping me and have continue to evolve. We have followed the demand of the industry and began to move into the network security field. These types of positions won’t be farmed out to foreign countries. Companies will always need someone to help them with their day to day needs, network infrastructure design and setup etc.

      Anyway, I’ve been having problems finding good qualified networking engineers / technicians in my area. We just picked up two large contracts and need some additional help.

      Most of our clientel is in Ventura County and Northern Los Angeles County. Anyone interested, I’d love to hear from you.

      Terry Schladetzky
      Emend
      info@emendsolutions.com
      (805) 388-8441

    • #3300317

      The ages

      by herrmanso ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      when you are a young-IT you haven?t enough experience, when you have a lot you are overcalificated!!, where is the balance or
      the golden measure?.
      I have the same problem, Overcalificated, in Proyect Management. The answer, erase some habilities of your r?sum?, enough to rise the job.
      Good hunt.
      Herrmanso

    • #3300306

      Unfortunately I think we all know the answer

      by binomial ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      This might have come up already in a post but, my experience regarding this matter is plain and simple. In today?s market, it is all in who you know. I like a lot of us was laid off back in 2001 due to the stock market and dot com crashes that left me doing contract work which later led me outside of the industry. I was outside of the industry for 2 years, (not by choice mind you) and then and associate referred my to a job posting, I sent him my resume that he had delivered to management and HR, set up the interview and BAM, hired. Were there others that were more qualified than me? Defiantly! Do managers respect the opinion of their employees? Yes!! So as sad and political as it may seem, keep the lines of networking open with all those you know and get to the point where someone hand delivers a resume to a decision maker, it made the difference for me, and I know that I will do that in return when a position becomes available for someone else. Again, and this is coming from management, they would rather chance the opinion of a loyal employee, than take a chance on a shot in the dark with words on paper.

      Just my option,
      Good luck!!

    • #3300300

      it’s a cycle, not a trend…

      by sgt_shultz ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      don’t let the glass get half empty my friend. it is filling up to overflowing, can’t you see? get some letters after your name. one server, one network and a security cert ought to do it.
      you can’t dip in your net and pull out several prospects like in the golden days, i agree. but it is not hopeless. count blesssing, do good work, do golden rule, have fun…banks and dr’s offices have more it needs right now due to new laws. have you tried there. defense companies crying for help. have you tried there.

    • #3300285

      the ups and downs…

      by homestar ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      As with many fields of endeavor there are ups and downs. Technology has evolved in such a way as to invite a regular pattern. Most businesses have an IT cycle now. Since most companies upgraded at least some of their infrastructure on or before 1/1/00, the general consensus is this stuff should last 3-4 years (or at least as long as the lease). New jobs in the IT field have been flat since 2002. We will probably never see the surge of activity we saw in 1998-1999. As one who also had troubles finding work when the job market tanked, without any distinguishing letters behind my name, i.e. MCSE, CCNA, etc. I decided to buckle down and put all that OJT to the test and get the MCSE and CCNA and CNA and CCDA, etc. Once I had obtained at least the MCSE some opportunities opened up for me. This may have been coincidence, but I don’t think so. Employers who are looking at hundreds or even thousands of resumes need some thing to hang their hats on. In most medium to large companies this process is handled by HR dept, not IT. Software like Peoplesoft makes sure that if you don?t have certain key words or phrases in you resume, you resume never gets looked at by human eyes. They cannot distinguish between candidates unless there is some measurable difference. My suggestion, scrape together some cash and attend a MCSE or Cisco boot camp. Walk away after 1 or 2 weeks with 1 or both these certs and now you can make sure your resume combined with the 5 years experience you have, doesn’t go in the trash before and IT manager looks at it.

    • #3300212

      Opportunity is Knocking, Bro

      by eyost05 ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      I have experienced much of the same, however, opportunity is knocking at your door.
      With your background, you have ample experience to start your own IT gig. Be positve. Do whatever it takes to put your mark upon the world
      Begin looking at these situations as positives and you will find yourself much happier. Use your personal contacts as resources, local, state and federal support systems await a good IT person to take advantage of their offerings.
      It (personal success) is out there and you will be more satisfied being the boss, instead of working for a corporate manager who is fearful that you will take over his/her position. These individuals love to keep a person down…do not let that happen. Go for it, you deserve success.
      The harder I worked, the luckier I became. Never give up.
      Ed Yost,
      Netparcel

    • #3300046

      The bottom line – REVENGE!

      by maxmcbyte ·

      In reply to IT Career… an oxymoron???

      Corporations have become so large that their interests are not connected to their local communities, they are globalists with monopolistic power and only care about the bottom line!

      And it’s not just the corporations, there is wide-spread corruption in the legal system, banking, government and the media, for the bottom line. Have you ever tried to contact your senator and talk with them, forget about it unless you have a $100000000 donation. California’s Senator Feinsten husband Richard Blum does billions of dollars business with the ChiComs, Communist China. Folks, is this what you want?

      Labor laws get changed to help the bottom line, finance laws get changed to help the bottom line and boarders are opened up to help the bottom line. It’s certainly not helping anyone I know, how about you?

      And all you yo-yos out there in this forum who told us to find some other work do not realize what’s happening, they will eventually come for your job too. We are being deleted, this country is being erased all for the bottom line.

      What needs to be done is to target the CEOs, boards, law firms, foundatations and senators with negative publicity, boycotts, investigations and anything else that will knock down their bottom line.

      I want REVENGE!

      • #3292256

        actually . . .

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to The bottom line – REVENGE!

        If corporate law were abolished, a lot of these problems would sort themselves out. It’s the institution of the corporation that makes all that sort of crap possible.

        On the other hand, I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I agree with some of what you said. You have a very froot-loopy sort of tone to your rant.

        • #3292230

          Fruit Loops the Ranter is Back

          by maxmcbyte ·

          In reply to actually . . .

          First off, it’s fruit not froot and secondly my post was not a “rant” as you put it.

          It’s an emotional thing for me even though I am not as effected as many in this group. I am angry with the unmitigated greed practiced by those I mentioned in my post. I have seen it all and then some. Let me give you one little example.

          Approximately 1998, while sitting at a bar in the local neighborhood restaurant I stated a conversation with the couple sitting next to me. They asked what I did and I told them that I just finished a consulting gig with Claris Corp and that I would not be going back to it. I explained that the folks that I worked with, my contacts, the folks who hired me were all gone as the entire department was replaced by foreign workers from India. Prior to that gig I told them I worked over at Sybase and the same thing happened, only over at Sybase it seemed that the whole company was replaced, no I’m not kidding, I thought I was in India, not Emeryville, Ca. I explained that I also observed this phenomenon going on all over the place and had not put me out of business as I have a fairly wide skill set, however I was *** not *** happy about it either.

          I asked the couple what they did, and they explained that they were attorneys and that their main business was the processing of H1B visas. When I asked them how they felt about displacing American workers, they actually got angry with me and told me to F$)@) Off!

          Ever since then I realized that it is unmitigated greed at all levels (that I mentioned in the orig post), and that is what is responsible for this BS and it is not going to stop. Oh yea, for those of you still waiting for IT to come back, forget about it!

        • #3292213

          read before responding

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Fruit Loops the Ranter is Back

          If you think it’s “fruit loops”, you haven’t looked at a box of [b]Kellogs’ Froot Loops[/b] lately. Check out http://www.frootloops.com if you don’t believe me.

          I don’t disagree with your dislike for the government granting employment privileges in this country (that citizens don’t get) to foreign nationals. I think it’s ludicrous to grant H-1B visas to anyone, because they are privilege packages above and beyond what are allowed to citizens, and people who live their whole lives here can’t compete.

          Your tone, though, is a bit extreme. Your words read more like the screed of a conspiracy theorist than the well-considered words of an industry analyst. That was my only point about how you present your opinions on the matter.

        • #3292059