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IT Career... an oxymoron???

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 **** 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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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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'"

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by pickleman In reply to From a Web Application De ...

> 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?

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choose to be homeless on the streets?

by worm22 In reply to

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.

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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.

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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).

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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?

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