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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!

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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.

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What to do

by CRBIII In reply to IT Career... an oxymoron? ...


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.

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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

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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,


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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 *** 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.

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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 **** 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.

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i object to your racist tone

by sgt_shultz In reply to Its Just starting

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

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by pickleman In reply to i object to your racist t ...

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.

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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

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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.

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