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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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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.

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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

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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!

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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.

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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!

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read before responding

by apotheon In reply to Fruit Loops the Ranter is ...

If you think it's "fruit loops", you haven't looked at a box of Kellogs' Froot Loops 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.

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Extreme Kind Of Guy

by maxmcbyte In reply to read before responding

Just checked out the flash movie "Froot Loops", I love it! Particularly when the Toucan (presumably Froot Loops himself) says (Regal English Accent) "I say, froot loops cereal is out of this world". (Then he says) Ha Ha (And his buddies go) Ha, ha, ha, and ha!

Call me Cuckoo for Coco Puffs!

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. . .

by apotheon In reply to Extreme Kind Of Guy
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Froot Loop??

by dafe2 In reply to The bottom line - REVENGE ...

"And all you yo-yos out there in this forum who told us to find some other work"

Hmmm...I guess I was probably right when I skimmed through most of the posts here. Seems all of us "yo-yos" are doing the "sleeper" right now...

Although I agree with Apotheon's assesment of your personality, I'd change the word "froot loop" to "postal" in your case...

But in your funny way, you make some points, even if the title is what piqued my interest.

Seriously though, most of us just need to shore up our skill sets a bit...To survive in IT today you need excellent people skills, and sound Business Knowledge, with solid IT skills.

In the Global Economy, the original poster says "The market is saturated with guys like me", doesn't really hold water with me.
The people out there, and there are many, who thinks they understand IT because they know the difference between RAM & a HD (or) can edit code from time to time are the ones being squeezed out. So are the paper CERT holders. IMO it's about time. These people are a noisy spleeny bunch. I say good ridance to bad garbage.

Simply stated, IT today is not IT as (they at least) knew it, we're still IT.......just with a better set of skills........provided we pursue new skills, and "really" knew the base skills to begin with.


My take anyway.

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unfortunately

by apotheon In reply to Froot Loop??

I largely agree with you, except for one thing:

It's not just the pseudo-skilled and largely unskilled guys that are getting squeezed out. Many very competent, talented IT professionals are getting the shaft. Much of it has to do with the simple fact that hiring managers often can't tell the difference between the two. A lot of it also has to do with the fact that people who can tell the difference between RAM and HDD (though they may wonder why I used two Ds there), and can operate a point-and-click administrative interface, are sometimes better salesmen than IT pros.

Better marketing skills will make up for a lot of IT skill when trying to get hired. The sad truth is that, unless you're actually making sales for the company, such skills cease to be relevant once hired. Unfortunately, most hiring managers can't tell the difference between a pitch and a calm assessment of skill. You're right: some social skills are needed, if only to interface with other parts of the business. Sales isn't one of those social skills. Hiring managers need more training in looking past that thing, often false veneer of self-marketing.

Consciously sitting forward on your seat still helps beat out more-qualified people in an interview. That fact alone should set off some alarm bells.

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