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IT guys, will you still have a job in a few years?(42 posts)

IT guys, will you still have a job in a few years?gtx
Jul 22, 2003 10:50 AM
From today's NYTimes....

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/22/technology/22JOBS.html?hp

I.B.M. Explores Shift of White-Collar Jobs Overseas
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE

With American corporations under increasing pressure to cut costs and build global supply networks, two senior I.B.M. officials told their corporate colleagues around the world in a recorded conference call that I.B.M. needed to accelerate its efforts to move white-collar, often high-paying, jobs overseas even though that might create a backlash among politicians and its own employees.

During the call, I.B.M's top employee relations executives said that three million service jobs were expected to shift to foreign workers by 2015 and that I.B.M. should move some of its jobs now done in the United States, including software design jobs, to India and other countries.

"Our competitors are doing it and we have to do it," Tom Lynch, I.B.M.'s director for global employee relations, said in the call. A recording was provided to The New York Times recently by the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, a Seattle-based group seeking to unionize high-technology workers. The group said it had received the recording — which was made by I.B.M. and later placed in digital form on an internal company Web site — from an I.B.M. employee upset about the plans.

I.B.M.'s internal discussion about moving jobs overseas provides a revealing look at how companies are grappling with a growing trend that many economists call off-shoring. In decades past, millions of American manufacturing jobs moved overseas, but in recent years the movement has also shifted to the service sector, with everything from low-end call center jobs to high-paying computer chip design jobs migrating to China, India, the Philippines, Russia and other countries.

Executives at I.B.M. and many other companies argue that creating more jobs in lower cost locations overseas keeps their industries competitive, holds costs down for American consumers, helps to develop poorer nations while supporting overall employment in the United States by improving productivity and the nation's global reach.

"It's not about one shore or another shore," an I.B.M. spokeswoman, Kendra R. Collins, said. "It's about investing around the world, including the United States, to build capability and deliver value as defined by our customers."

But in recent weeks many politicians in Washington, including some in the Bush administration, have begun voicing concerns about the issue during a period when the economy is still weak and the information-technology, or I.T., sector remains mired in a long slump.

At a Congressional hearing on June 18, Bruce P. Mehlman, the Commerce Department's assistant secretary for technology policy, said, "Many observers are pessimistic about the impact of offshore I.T. service work at a time when American I.T. workers are having more difficulty finding employment, creating personal hardships and increasing demands on our safety nets."

Forrester Research, a high-technology consulting group, estimates that the number of service sector jobs newly located overseas, many of them tied to the information technology industry, will climb to 3.3 million in 2015 from about 400,000 this year. This shift of 3 million jobs represents about 2 percent of all American jobs.

"It's a very important, fundamental transition in the I.T. service industry that's taking place today," said Debashish Sinha, principal analyst for information technology services and sourcing at Gartner Inc., a consulting firm. "It is a megatrend in the I.T. services industry."

Forrester also estimated that 450,000 computer industry jobs could be transferred abroad in the next 12 years, representing 8 percent of the nation's computer jobs.

For example, Oracle, a big maker of specialized business software, plans to increase its jobs in India to 6,000 from 3,200, while Microsoft plans to double the
more...gtx
Jul 22, 2003 10:53 AM
For example, Oracle, a big maker of specialized business software, plans to increase its jobs in India to 6,000 from 3,200, while Microsoft plans to double the size of its software development operation in India to 500 by late this year. Accenture, a leading consulting firm, has 4,400 workers in India, China, Russia and the Philippines.

Critics worry that such moves will end up doing more harm to the American economy than good.

"Once those jobs leave the country, they will never come back," said Phil Friedman, chief executive of Computer Generated Solutions, a 1,200-employee computer software company. "If we continue losing these jobs, our schools will stop producing the computer engineers and programmers we need for the future."

In the hourlong I.B.M. conference call, which took place in March, the company's executives were particularly worried that the trend could spur unionization efforts.

"Governments are going to find that they're fairly limited as to what they can do, so unionizing becomes an attractive option," Mr. Lynch said on the recording. "You can see some of the fairly appealing arguments they're making as to why employees need to do some things like organizing to help fight this."

The I.B.M. executives also warned that when workers from China come to the United States to learn to do technology jobs now being done here, some American employees might grow enraged about being forced to train the foreign workers who might ultimately take away their jobs.

"One of our challenges that we deal with every day is trying to balance what the business needs to do versus impact on people," Mr. Lynch said. "This is one of these areas where this challenge hits us squarely between the eyes."

Mr. Lynch warned that with the American economy in an "anemic" state, the difficulties and backlash from relocating jobs could be greater than in the past.

"The economy is certainly less robust than it was a decade ago," Mr. Lynch said, "and to move jobs in that environment is going to create more challenges for the reabsorption of the people who are displaced."

The I.B.M. executives said openly that they expected government officials to be angry about this trend.

"It's hard for me to imagine any country just sitting back and letting jobs go offshore without raising some level of concern and investigation," Mr. Lynch said.

Those concerns were pointedly raised on June 18, when the House Small Business Committee held a hearing on "The Globalization of White-Collar Jobs: Can America Lose These Jobs and Still Prosper?"

"Increased global trade was supposed to lead to better jobs and higher standards of living," said Donald A. Manzullo, an Illinois Republican who is the committee chairman. "The assumption was that while lower-skilled jobs would be done elsewhere, it would allow Americans to focus on higher-skilled, higher-paying opportunities. But what do you tell the Ph.D., or professional engineer, or architect, or accountant, or computer scientist to do next? Where do you tell them to go?"

The technology workers' alliance is highlighting I.B.M.'s outsourcing plans to help rally I.B.M. workers to the union banner.

"It's a bad thing because high-tech companies like I.B.M., Microsoft, Oracle and Sun, are making the decision to create jobs overseas strictly based on labor costs and cutting positions," said Marcus Courtney, president of the group, an affiliate of the Communications Workers of America. "It can create huge downward wage pressures on the American work force."

Mr. Mehlman, the Commerce Department official, said companies were moving more service jobs overseas because trade barriers were falling, because India, Russia and many other countries have technology expertise, and because high-speed digital connections and other new technologies made it far easier to communicate from afar.

Another important reason for moving jobs abroad is lower wages.

"You can
last bitgtx
Jul 22, 2003 10:54 AM
"You can get crackerjack Java programmers in India right out of college for $5,000 a year versus $60,000 here," said Stephanie Moore, vice president for outsourcing at Forrester Research. "The technology is such, why be in New York City when you can be 9,000 miles away with far less expense?"

Company executives say this strategy is a vital way to build a global company and to serve customers around the world.

General Electric has thousands of workers in India in call center, research and development efforts and in information technology. Peter Stack, a G.E. spokesman, said, "The outsourcing presence in India definitely gives us a competitive advantage in the businesses that use it. Those businesses are some of our growth businesses, and I would say that they're businesses where our overall employment is increasing and our jobs in the United States."

David Samson, an Oracle spokesman said the expansion of operations in India was "additive" and was not resulting in any jobs losses in the United States.

"Our aim here is not cost-driven," he said. "It's to build a 24/7 follow-the-sun model for development and support. When a software engineer goes to bed at night in the U.S., his or her colleague in India picks up development when they get into work. They're able to continually develop products."
Of course I willKristin
Jul 22, 2003 11:05 AM
I can predict with certainty that I will NOT be a Win2K MCSE Network Admin in a few years. And I can predict with slightly less certainly that I will NOT be administrating any computer systems a few years from today. However, I can predict with 100% (okay 99.5%) certainty that I WILL have a job in a few years, since I'm not planning until 2040.
until the machines become conscious... nmDougSloan
Jul 22, 2003 11:26 AM
Great logic: off-shore blue and white collar jobs for more...eschelon
Jul 22, 2003 1:03 PM
jobs in the USA...right?...oh wait, if there aren't any blue or white collar jobs in USA, they're isn't going to be any jobs...darn!...it's that pesky math/logic problem that gets in the way! Seriously though, it's not that those sh1thole countries have smarter people...its just that why pay for an expensive smart guy when you can pay for a poor smart guy? It's a damn shame...and the short-term be-all-to-end-all profit seekers don't give a damn about long-term obligations to the USA.
Think about it.Kristin
Jul 22, 2003 1:28 PM
What would happen to all those US based businesses if they got ALL their employee overseas? We'd become a third world country and the CEO's of those US based companies would be forced to move to less opportunistic shores. It isn't going to happen. This is the same baseless, illogical argument that was raised in the 70's when robotics was invented. It didn't come to fruition then, and it won't come to fruition now. People were/are and always will be the most important national resource.
to quote Hemingway from The Sun Also Risesgtx
Jul 22, 2003 3:14 PM
"Wouldn't it be nice to think so."
that may be true but...EpicX
Jul 22, 2003 3:15 PM
its a crock of ^%$& when you see co-workers with years of experience let go and replaced with some foreign guy on a visa that takes 6 months to get up to speed and isn't as good then anyway.

Can't argue with math though. Why keep a guy for 60K+ when you can import someone that will do it for 15K. no exaggeration there. i've seen it. they will work cheap because they will share a 4 bedroom house with 3 other FAMILIES. seen lots of that. it's ridiculous. how can anyone compete with that. never mind the jobs going overseas. seen that too.

oh well, just wait till india and pakistan get into another pissing match. we'll see how fast that idea gets turned around. It's not a big deal when you outsource helpdesk, but when you start sending your mission critical work overseas, you better be ready for anything.
I'd leave that company if I were youKristin
Jul 22, 2003 3:32 PM
In America, when someone is laid off, the position must be closed for a minimum of 6 months. It is illegal to do what you suggest. Are you sure you've seen what you've seen? Besides, wouldn't it be a waist of money to hire someone incompitent for 15K when you can just divy up their duties among the remaining scrubs? (That is what's fashionable in corporate IT these days.)

I have been in the IT industry for over 12 years, and I have never seen an employee replaced by a foreigner on a Visa. (Considering its illegal, that makes sense.) As a matter of fact, the corporations I've worked for ONLY higher highly intelligent people to service their networks. I wouldn't work for an employer who hired fools. I'd be overqualified, and, well...why would I? A person who will perform a 60K job for only 15K is not very intelligent. If you have seen it at your job, you should find a new company. You're executive staff is not very bright, and they are breaking the law.
$5k, not $15k....gtx
Jul 22, 2003 3:47 PM
according to the article. But $5k probably buys a lot in India...

"You can get crackerjack Java programmers in India right out of college for $5,000 a year versus $60,000 here," said Stephanie Moore, vice president for outsourcing at Forrester Research."
Won't last longKristin
Jul 22, 2003 3:57 PM
A few software companies will move their divisions over there. India's economy gets bolstered. Viola. No more $5k employees available. They'll realize their value and demand more. Its just like the birth of dotcom's. For a while you could get a crapload of free booty. I got whords of free stuff from startups. But how long did that last? Three, mabey four years? This won't be a long term thing.

Besides, if lots of companies begin behaving in a way that threatens our ecomonmy in America, then new laws will be created to stop it.
so the corporations move their jobs from india to burmarufus
Jul 22, 2003 4:38 PM
or wherever else they can get help cheaper. why should IT jobs be any different than shirt or sneaker manufacturing jobs. americans were productive workers and did high quality work. didn't stop their jobs from being sent overseas.
Yes, but has the fact that they went overseas hurt our economy?Kristin
Jul 22, 2003 6:18 PM
I'm just saying, its not going to devistate us, which is exactly what writers like this want people to believe...that it will be the end of America. I still contest that it won't. If I'm wrong, I'll buy you all a loaf of bread when we are starving on the steets.
well, you pre-suppose that there will be new technologyrufus
Jul 23, 2003 6:09 AM
that will provide jobs to take the place of those lost. but if even high tech jobs continue to go overseas, america will begin to fall behind educationally, as other countries have the jobs, and educate and train their people for them. if all software design or programming or chip design takes place overseas, then there is no reason for schools here to teach them, and our technological prowess falls behind these other countries. soon, we don't have the education or training to develop these new technologies, and eventually fall behind.
Wait a minute53T
Jul 22, 2003 4:24 PM
I've been to many haurs of supervisory and executive level HR-type training. I was never taught that there were nation-wide labor laws that goverened the way companies staffed exempt positions.

Are you sure about this?

BTW, when someone voluteers to do a job for 15K, it is no longer a 60K job.
FrustratedKristin
Jul 22, 2003 6:26 PM
Yes, its a law. I have a friend who is a HR specialist with 7 years of full time education in her field. I am confident she knows what she's talking about. She told me about the laws specifically when I asked about this type of thing. I'm sure companies do it; but it would be illegal.

And do you really want to debate the intelligence of a person who would accept 15K for a job when they could reasonably demand 3 times that amount?
I'm calling BS53T
Jul 23, 2003 5:26 PM
I have a friend who is Director of Compensation for a Fortune 500 company, and I wouldn't take legal advice from her under any circumstances.

Sorry Kristen, but I have to call a spade a spade. I'm very familar with the education system in this country. I could not find an institution or series of institutions who could teach HR full time for four years, let alone seven. I have seen HR professional complete master's degrees in Benefits, or comp, or general HR, but nothing that approach seven years full time. Hell, seven years full time is PhD territory. Is you friend a Doctor of HR?

Now, getting back to labor laws. If I run a company and have convinced myself that programmers are exempt (which I think is a crock) and I wake up one morning and decide to meet one of my cost cutting goals by laying off five coders. A month later I get tired of listening to the five that are left complain about the extra workload and go down to the local college and recruit two entry-levels. They all do the same thing, code frantically trying to support release dates.

Legally, the five I let go were separated. They are collecting unemployment. What law have I broken by not recalling them? I maintain that I have broken no federal law. However, here in Massachusetts I may have violated one of the untested provisions of the plant closing law, but you don't live in Massachusetts.

Any lawyers care to take a stab at this one?
Well don't you look like a fool thenKristin
Jul 24, 2003 6:43 AM
Director of Compensation? That's payroll. I know the person in that role here at my fortune 500 company. Her name is Lisa. She doesn't hire and fire anyone and I doubt very much she troubles herself with memorizing labor laws. That's why we have an HR department. I don't have time to do the research for you to proove that many schools carry this program; but I will show you the ones my friend completed.

Undergrad (usually equals 4 years)
http://www.catalogs.umn.edu/ug/csom/csom10.html
Graduate program (2 more years)
http://www.csom.umn.edu/DegreesPrograms/IndustrialRelationsHRIR/DepartmentofHRIR/MastersinHRIR/MastersinHRIR.cfm

With regard to the laws on this matter, I'm not 100% clear. I'm also out of touch with my HR friend, as she moved away and we did not keep in touch. I believe it works like this:

If an employer terminates an employee by "CLOSED POSITION" -- which is where the employer tells the employee that their jobs been eliminated -- then the position must remain closed for a minimum of six months. This prevents employers from using the "eliminated position" excuse to get around discrimination laws. In today's tort-crazy climate, its unlikely an employer will let go an employee for any reasons other than gross misconduct or an eliminated position. Anything else opens them up for a law suit.

I'm intelligent, sharp, slightly witty, have a great memory and NEVER Bullsh$t. You, I am honestly not so sure about.
is this a federal law? how about in "at will" states?ColnagoFE
Jul 24, 2003 7:31 AM
for instance colorado is what they call an "at will" state. you can be fired for any reason other than the obvious discrimitory ones.
Illinois is an at law state and its the law here. nmKristin
Jul 24, 2003 7:46 AM
There is nothing about the law that says you can't fire someone for any reason. But IF you terminate them and give the reason that the position was eliminated that you CAN NOT rehire to that position for 6 months. To me, this doesn't seem difficult to understand. Perhaps you should shoot your HR rep a question about this and get an answer straight from the source?
Sorry. IL is an "at will" state. nmKristin
Jul 24, 2003 8:02 AM
You're right, it is easy to understand...53T
Jul 24, 2003 1:26 PM
...but that doesn't make it true. The law you are describing is very understandable. I think it would also be hard to enforce and might not meet constitutional muster with the current federal judiciary. However, the bottom line is this: I don't think it's a law. I think it is an idea for a law, but nobody ever got around to drafting it up and bringing it Congress for a vote.

"CLOSED POSITION" is not some sort of legal description of terminating someones employment. While the D. of Labor has many rules about employees and how they are treated, no governmenmt agency has any control over how I name the positions in my company, and what duties I assign. Unions often have work rules exactly like the one you are decribing. They are designed to prevent employers from abusing the layoff rules (usually last-in-first-out). Maybe that is the source of your confusion. Do you have a bargaining unit where you work?

By the way, 4 years + 2 years = 6 years. Add "exagerates a little" to intelligent and witty.
too clarify...EpicX
Jul 22, 2003 4:39 PM
not a direct replacement. but there is nothing illegal about bringing someone in, getting them up to speed and finding yourself eased out and that person assuming your responsibilities.

unfortunately, some companies are finding that knee-jerk staff reductions, have left them understaffed while workloads increase. well, hell, if i'm going to have to bring in more people and i have 60k to play with what makes more sense? 1 person or 4?

as far as not being terribly intelligent, i disagree. compared to the average 3rd world lifestyle, this must be an improvement of sorts. A person comes over, getsome work experience then auctions themselves off elsewhere for more $$. coming over at a lowball price just gets the foot in the door.
But this whole article isn't about people coming hereKristin
Jul 22, 2003 6:32 PM
That is controlled by immagration laws. Only so many work visa's are issued each year. This is about IT jobs being shipped overseas. And I still think the whole fear of massive poverty and destitution over IT jobs going to other countries is foundless. I'm not worried. I doubt anything drastic will happen. And even if the economy collapses, I'm still not worried. I'm a survivor. If it happens I'll face it. I'll do my best and I'll move ahead. If it kills me, so be it. I have better things to do with my time than fret over some distant, possible threat that a writer dreams up.
Basless? Illogical?czardonic
Jul 22, 2003 3:26 PM
I don't see it as either. There is nothing stopping US based companies from shipping their entire operations overseas. Certainly not sentimentality over our nation's most important resource.

Barring another technological revolution (such as IT, which allowed us to replace manufacturing with service based industries), the the standards of living in the US are destined to fall towards an equilibrium with developing countries like India and China where an abundance of highly educated workers is being created.

Welcome to the global economy.
When robotics and technology were being bornKristin
Jul 22, 2003 3:51 PM
In the 70's and early 80's, there were countless arguments that new technology would replace everyone's jobs. Okay. That part is true, and lots of jobs were eliminated by new devices. But was it really a big deal? Yes, Betsy lost her job as a coin counter at the local bank because of an automated change counter. But did Betsy end up on the street? Doubtful. If she was bright, she got a job maintaining the new machines. If she was not so bright, then she got a nice receptionist position somewhere; probably earning the same salary. We have 3 employees who worked as "computer operators." It was a boring, entry level position babysitting mainframes. The positions were eliminated due to advancements. But all three were offered other positions. Two decided to go elsewhere. The one who stayed has advanced twice since the change, and has a couple new certifications. In my experience, job eliminations due to tech advancements (as opposed to corporate financial woes) will result in more opportunities for the employee who's job was cut.

So will the IT positions we know and love to day be replaced tomorrow by another process. Sure. But will it cause the demise of America's economy? Very unlikely.
Betsy didn't have to compete with serveral hundred million. . .czardonic
Jul 22, 2003 4:26 PM
. . .equally bright and (probably) better educated workers living overseas. That is what has changed in the last 25 years.
No way53T
Jul 22, 2003 4:19 PM
The people of Venezuela are very fine people indeed. But the most important resource of Venezuala is oil. If all the Venezualans left tommorow, Shell and BP could run things by modem.

I could say a lot worse about the people of Saudi Arabia. I find the people of Kuwait to be particularly useless.
I'm an IT guy who's already been out of a job for 3 1/2 yrs...The Walrus
Jul 22, 2003 4:49 PM
...and it doesn't look good. My former employer was getting heavily into offshore outsourcing (to India) about a year before my departure, and I noticed the quality of the work in developing new applications was poor, although their maintenance of existing systems was acceptable. This is too typical of the "thinking" of a lot of "management" these days--get it cheap and get it fast, and we can worry about whether it works or not later. Go for the short-term profits, get those all-important bonuses, and then move on to some other place and let someone else deal with the wreckage you left behind. That's what users and customers are for, right?

As for illegality, I doubt there are few places that would be stupid enough to directly replace a laid-off employee by hiring one of the cheaper foreign workers. Most foreign "talent" actually works for a foreign company; the U.S. company pays the Indian company, which pays their employee
i in India,
even while he works here. Voila! Legal issues are eliminated (except for trivial things like visas, but that's another matter...)
I know IT is tight right nowKristin
Jul 22, 2003 6:46 PM
Will a company that takes that mind set, and settles for sh$tty app dev, really be around in 10 years? Currently, my company is hiring in IT. We wouldn't outsource any jobs over seas. We want our developers in 1 to 1 communications with our front line managers. We want to build competative processes and an IT infratructure that supports our staff, streamlines workflow and allows us to beat our competitors prices. Our competitors have developers too. It is in our best interest to write better software than they do. The get rich quick logic is only embraced by idiots. Why get behind a company that follows those philosphies?

I'm sorry you've been out of work. I know its tight right now. There's lots that has happened within our borders to contribute to that also. The end of Y2K projects, poor economy, the fact the IT is most usually "overhead," and the desoving of 8,000 Anderson Consulting positions.
Accenture cuts?53T
Jul 25, 2003 8:56 AM
Did Accenture really cut 1000's of jobs? Was this a result of the problems at Aurther Anderson (the Public Accountant), or some other problem?
You'd have to hypothesizeKristin
Jul 25, 2003 9:14 AM
It was 750 cuts, and the only reason Accenture has given is weakness in its core consulting business. Since its only affecting senior executives in one LOB, I might speculate that they have internal organization issues. The Anderson job cuts I mentioned were from the liquidation of their IT consulting practice. I believe that over 8,000 jobs were lost in total. My former employer won the lion share of Anderson's lost business and hired on many of Andersons former consultants. But 8,000 newly unemployed IT bodies definately impacted the IT job market. We're feeling it in Chicago where they had a huge office.
You've lost me completely53T
Jul 25, 2003 3:01 PM
It was my understanding that Aurther Anderson (the big combined accounting, business, IT consulting giant) spun off its IT consulting business as "Anderson Consulting" about 7 years ago. My wife worked there at the time. Then, about 4 years ago, they re-named Anderson Consulting to "Accenture".

Who got rid of IT, Accenture or Aurther Anderson? Where did I loose track?
Hard to tellDuane Gran
Jul 23, 2003 5:53 AM
There are many indicators that geographically independent jobs will move overseas, but there are many other jobs that simply require face to face time. A company's second biggest investment (after salary) in employees is their comprehension of the domain logic. Knowing the business rules and operating philosophy of a company takes time, and because it is rarely codified in writing, it takes face time to absorb it.

I expect in years to come a new trend for business to focus on documenting their core business processes in order to make it easier to employ workers remotely. That could be interesting and it would be an opportunity for someone to build the bridge.

Let's keep in mind some of the benefits of this shift. The same rules that allow a company in the US to employ a person in India also allows you to work in the US at home in your underwear instead of going to the office. The trick is to justify the salary difference and add value by being close enough to have necessary face time with the organization. Who knows, this could be a boon to telecomuters.

Of course, my outlook is a tad upbeat because I just landed a job after a 2 month search. My background is in software development. I'm taking a job in project management because (in part) I'm concerned about having to compete globally, whereas project management is almost always face to face.
Same approach--IT is scary todayColnagoFE
Jul 23, 2003 7:05 AM
I used to be what they called a "Webmaster" back in '95. I basically ran the whole show from servers to web design. Pretty soon the tech advanced so much that it became hard to keep up with it all and get your work done. The business also became more and more reliant on the web as a integral part of the business structure. I started doing straight web design and they hired someone to take care of the servers. Today I still code occasionally, but have moved into more project management roles. With the great tools they have today they can pretty much train a monkey to produce decent code. Project management just feels safer and I can be the bridge between the techheads and the managers. Most IT guys are not all that great with people as evidenced by the guy trying to justify his job says in the movie Office Space, "I have people skills dammit!". Still my heart isn't in IT these days. I often think working at Starbucks part time would be a great thing to do between bike rides. Now if only I could get rid of that mortgage payment and the cost of raising 2 kids I might consider doing just that.
I think a lot of people are moving in directions away from ITKristin
Jul 23, 2003 7:30 AM
I've been doing internal IT support for 12 years now. I like what I do--well, I loved it at first, now I kinda like it, but not really. You burn out after a while. I've done everything from helpdesk to server adminstration. The trend over the past few years has been to minimize staff and maximiz responsibilities. My team has shrunk over five years from 6 staff, to just 2. We still have the same workload, just fewer people to do it. They still pay for all my training and I take classes on company time; but I study on my own hours. Since most admins need about 4 tests a year to stay current, I find myself married to my job--something I didn't want. I'm considering a change myself. Not sure what yet, but something... Summers off would be a big plus. (I suspect, though, that lots of x-IT will be obtaining teaching certificates.)
It's a little ironic...The Walrus
Jul 23, 2003 11:51 AM
...since most people of my vintage (I began studying Assembler, RPG and COBOL in the late 70s, started as a computer operator in '80 and worked up to Senior P/A) got into DP (I
i hate
the term "IT"; needless self-important inflation of job description, like calling a trashman a "sanitation engineer". End of rant.) as a second-choice career after finding that their liberal arts degrees didn't mean squat in the real world.

...and now, the people I worked with who were victims of the bloodbath that wiped out 25% of the department staff are mainly going into other fields. One just finished culinary school, another's a Pilates instructor, some are in various sales positions, a few are becoming teachers, one's becoming a lay minister, another went into real estate, there's the woman who became a hypnotherapist and I'm doing odd jobs and selling off my bikes....
they might be the lucky onesColnagoFE
Jul 23, 2003 12:38 PM
I mean every time I've made a career change it has been for the better--though for periods of time I wasn't so sure of that. Especially after 6-8 months being out of work and running out of savings to pay bills. As someone said earlier corporations are cutting staff like crazy and expecting 1 person to do the work of 10. People who are getting paid the big $ to "manage" the peons are sometimes the most worthless people around and they seem to rarely get fired or laid off no matter how little work they really do. Crazy times for sure.
Yeah, why is that?!?!?Kristin
Jul 23, 2003 1:04 PM
My boss is a...eeeerrrrr!!! I can't say what I think here. But really, I get condolances from my peers at the other office all the time. He started with a staff of 6 that included 1 project leader and 5 staff. Now he has just me. "WE" are now part of another team that has a manager over 4 staff, 2 consultants and my boss--who is still boss of me. I'm the only one he manages. And he's a terrible manager. Sigh. I'm just holding my hand in a casual manner. I'll make my moooove soon.

The way I figure it, psychology is the field of the future. Lots of twisted people out there and their kids are fixin' to go off to college soon.
True dat....The Walrus
Jul 23, 2003 1:13 PM
"Crazy times for sure."

In our shop, staff cuts seemed to affect every area
i except
"management"; the classic too-many-chiefs-and-not-enough-Indians situation. (Well, no--plenty of Indians, just not the kind we needed....) Project teams would have a manager, who in turn would have multiple project leads, who in turn had application specialists, and somewhere in the murk there would be three or four people actually working on the project--working 70 to 80 hours a week, I should add, while the "brain trust" running the show never seemed to have any issues with putting in less than a full week. Let's hope that karma really, truly works...
Agree, business processes...loki_1
Jul 23, 2003 9:49 AM
are becoming more the focus of the IT industry. Look at the shift from procedural programming to object based programming over the past 20 years. With this shift has come different modeling tools which allow the succinct description of business processes.

I feel very fortunate that my company has been hiring on a regular basis over the 10 years that I have worked here. At this point, my salary is not based on what I know technically, but my ability to describe the business and design the systems so that those who are more technically adept can support it. In my personal case, my company wouldn't outsource to foreign companies for security reasons, but for the average company, as long as they have people to describe the process, the actual labor of coding can be done anywhere.