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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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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.

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Constant Change

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

Maybe I've been lucky but I'm sure it's more hard 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.

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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.

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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.

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which assessment

by apotheon In reply to I jumped into a whole new ...

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.

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Funny you should say that...

by sgt_shultz In reply to I jumped into a whole new ...

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...

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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.

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getting out for good

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.

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I feel your pain

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

I have CISSP and CCE certs, and I am having one **** 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.

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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.

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