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What does end of the tunnel look like in IT Career

By NewBeeAdmin ·
After reading so many blogs & discussions from so many industry experts who have been in the industry for so long I always wonder what it looks like in end of IT Career. I am a net/system admin with just over 5 years in industry and when I think long term it?s scary. This could be also because I don?t have second degree to fall back on if IT becomes over populated. Is any one in the industry with more than one degree and have used it both together to work their way up or get more clients since they understand other side and can implement IT side for them. Any way just wondering about other users experience who may be nearing to retirement and wouldn?t mind sharing their thoughts.

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Not at the end but past the middle

by JamesRL In reply to What does end of the tunn ...

I have been doing IT since 1985, and I probably will retire in 20 years.

I didn't get a technical degree, I was in a social science. I'm now in management, but spent some time in project management and both are valid career paths, if you can combine technical knowledge with some business operations knowledge.

When I was laid off, I did some work as a business analyst - mostly non IT stuff, but IT exposure sure helped.

Its not scary if you are a life long learner.


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You never retire!

by michael_orton In reply to Not at the end but past t ...

I left full time work at 56 on an index linked full pension. I started on IMBs STRETCH in 1960.(A massive 92 K ram, 86k available to the user)
I saw IT before the chip, it was then individual transistors on boards and 80 column punch cards and paper tape. I saw the transistor replace thew valve in scientific equipment and a PC on every desk.
But when I retired I found that more people wanted my services, for "data recovery," and for sorting out their IT problems. I did teach for two years too at FE Colleges, but have never really taken to hard work.
However the problems that I now see are much harder then in full time work. Computers damaged by total lack of security, no backups, no IT budget, ancient o/ss (even win 3.1)and equally ancient hardware (works a treat with Linux though!)that would never boot XP.
And I now have to tackle ancient hardware problems too.

Whilst I can still drive, I expect I shal never retire from IT.

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Retired and happy...

by brasstown2 In reply to You never retire!

Like Michael I also worked on Harvest and Stretch (both IBM). I also saw much of the same development cycles and in some cases re-invention going on by younger people. I worked on Stratus and Tandem computers but returned to IBM mainframes for the money. I wrote assembler up until last year and enjoyed the challange of constently improving the products of my employers. I was in management but found it unsatifing and returned to being an individual performer. Less stress...
Advice to newbies is as followes...
- Enjoy your work - get out if you don't
- Save 10% of your pay and invest wisely.
- Try to stay out of debt to be independent.
- Don't expect any loyalty from your employer, but
if they are loyal be thankful.
- Don't speak ill of anyone you work with and keep your thoughts to yourself, but act on your better instincts.
- Don't gossip
- Keep a good ethical standard.
- When you leave an employer do it gracefully.
- Love your family more then your job.

Now that I'm retired I don't miss work but now am free to do other things and make up for lost time.

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The IT Pro Sterotype

by qballrail In reply to Retired and happy...

>- Don't speak ill of anyone you work with and >keep your thoughts to yourself, but act on your >better instincts.
>- Don't gossip
>- Keep a good ethical standard.

In many environments I have worked in, "The IT Guy" is not well respected. For those with ethics, some of the things I have heard from other techs can be hair-curling (and if I had any, mine would be! *chuckle*). This is a perception people develop for a couple of reasons: 1) We tend to "talk over their heads," and 2) Many are very arrogant.

One thing I've tried to impart to fellow techs and my reports over the years is to put yourself in the end-users shoes. Think about how you feel with for instance, a structural engineer or even a finance person! You want them to explain things in terms you understand... can somebody say, Layman's terms? Something that has been missing from many vocabularies.

One thing is for certain, if I do retire, I will do so knowing I've done my best to keep my customer from feeling stupid and have hopefully imparted some useful knowledge over the years.

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Everybody's end is different

by jdmercha In reply to What does end of the tunn ...

"...if IT becomes over populated."

It is already overpopulated. Especially at the upper levels. Most people in the middle now will be stuck in the middle until the baby boomers retire. 10 years from now it should look pretty good for those in the middle. But there are still so many trying to start out in IT now, that the upper levels will never see much of a shortage.

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Two degrees, I must be freezing

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to What does end of the tunn ...

Haven't got one. Twenty years in, twenty-one to go 'til retirement, I might actually be good by then.

You don't need degrees to do that.
My core skill is development and I've never stopped, but I've done stints as VMS admin, windows admin, net admin (for both) Linux Admin, DBA and webmaster. Knowing the requirements of these other professions helps and helped me a lot.

You can't get a degree in any of them, that would come close to either of our real world experience.

Don't believe them HR types, if they knew anything they would have got a real job.

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The end of the tunnel = the grave

by Eddie N In reply to What does end of the tunn ...

Who said that you cannot be in I.T. until the day you croak? That's my game plan! I am going to keep on building my development skills, and branch into project management while I do so. Pick up my advanced degrees (in addition to my two bachelors degrees), make sure I get at least two certifications, and I am prepared to keep on learning and earning until the Grim Reaper comes a-knockin'!

I look at the future and I am heartened, not frightened. I know that it is all down to me in the end, captain of my destiny and all that. The industry is ever-changing, so I intend to do the same.

Be optimistic! As long as you keep your head to the sky, you can win! :)

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Depends on the tunnel

by NickNielsen In reply to What does end of the tunn ...

From my point of view, don't worry about degrees as a fallback. Believe it or not, having strong soft skills and keeping your skills current, (or for that matter, diversifying in your chosen area) can be much more helpful than getting a second degree.

For example, my degree is a 20-year-old AAS, my certs are a 6-year-old A+. But my electronics background and experience in the Air Force are perfect for my career goals as a Sr Tech. I have strong troubleshooting skills, the ability to rapidly learn new equipment, procedures, and techniques, and personnel management skills. Oh, and training skills.

What you need to do is figure out where you want to be 5, 10, and 20 years down the road, then map your path. Review your path periodically, as goals have been known to change.

Incidentally, the end of my tunnel looks like this:

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be here and now and change is the only constant

by thefred In reply to Depends on the tunnel

I've been in computers since 1972. Watched the paradigm of the
computer change from huge pig iron handling hundreds of
dumb terminals to handling PC networks to intranets. Change is
As you stroll through the IT tunnnel works, know you too will
continue to change, grow and go, or you'll be spit out before
you see the light.
I graduated as a poet in 1969. I learned poetry was an excellent
segue into programming. I immediately got that function is to a
programmer what metaphor is to the poet. The only difference is
programming languages are paupers when it comes to
vocabulary. This makes it easier to compress the language and
create a function, so programmers don't have to work as hard as
the poet.
The beauty of working the computer world is you never get
bored with your job since the technology keeps changing at a
pretty rapid rate.
So forget about degrees and tunnel endings and enjoy the
moment to moment challenge of being in the IT world where life
is often occurring in the fast lane.
If all else fails, you can become a dot com. I know.

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end of the tunnel ??

by half In reply to What does end of the tunn ...

The end of the tunnel is the same as for any other job I would bet. I spent 38yrs in mechanical engineering, Rail maintenence machines mainly.With the Govt, then they outsourced and decided I had a hearing problem and retirement fund. So I was an expensive asset, out came the cheque book and redundancy was paid out. So back to school doing computers for 3 yrs,with my wife Now we do upgrades, repairs, new builds, Last year they rang me and asked if I would come back.To rail. I hammered out an I.C. and now work part time, mainly weekends on full penal rates and do both things part time. As most of the posts have said, You never stop learning,and there is always something around the corner if you take the time to look. the end of the tunnel is not that bad, just make sure you have a good retirement fund and work when you want, to get what you want. And take time to smell the flowers, Or in my case go surfcasting off the beach, with my fishing kite

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