IT careers?

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by sduke, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. sduke

    sduke Formula Junior

    Mar 10, 2003
    The Hub City, Texas
    Full Name:
    Steven D
    Hey all

    I have a question that maybe someone can help shed some light on. This group's experience is varied and there are a large number of very successful people here. So here goes......

    I am pretty fried in my current career. 25 years as a Master Technician. Most of them with Toyota. I have reached the top of the scale as far as salary and perks. I have no more room for advancement unless I want to move into Service Management, which is nothing more than a position of terminal abuse. I am pretty good with computers and I enjoy technical pursuits. I have considered going back to school for some kind of IT degree but I keep hearing that all the IT jobs are being outsourced overseas and IT is dead.

    Is there any truth in this? Is IT truly a dead end career? I have been lead to believe that positions in Networking and Database Administration are still in big demand and that salaries are nearing the 100K range for really qualified persons in these fields. Is this total propaganda promoted by people wanting me to sign up for classes?

    Shoot it to me straight. I am burned out fixing cars, but I'm not stupid enough to jump ship only to find myself holding a worthless degree.
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  3. lukek

    lukek Formula 3

    May 2, 2003
    San Francisco
    Full Name:
    Yes, production level IT jobs are a dead end street. Do it only if you want to live in Bangelore or Beijing.
    The only people not being outsourced are mgmt (in order to become one of them you have to pay your dues all over again after switching industries), VCs, and some high level design /software architect positions.

    The future and big potential are in healthcare, biotech. Do some research into bioinformatics, it might be a good fit for your technical talents.

    Or...find a niche in your current field. Designing systems for Neuspeed, working for Toyota Racing Development, starting an ECU only dismantling business, opening your own garage and cashing in on the small car performance craze.....
  4. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Nov 26, 2001
    E ' ' '/ F
    Full Name:
    Hans Olo
    IT is a harsh place to be right now. Those that have been in for a while and have developed a speciality are doing well, but entry level guys are a dime a dozen. I've been doing this for almost 10 years and have a solid resume with some differentiating elements, but if I lose my job I will be hard-pressed to find a comparable postition.

    My brother used to be the manager for a multi-national IT group. When his company was absorbed by another, his entire team was dissolved. It took him 8 months to find another job, and that position was never advertised. A friend of a friend recommended him for the job, and took his resume to the hiring manager. That's the kind of job market it is out here.

    For entry-level guys, they're better off in another field. Pay rates are low right now and outsourcing/consolidation is shrinking the number of jobs.

    Bottom line, don't go into this field for the money.
  5. F-passione

    F-passione Karting

    Mar 31, 2004
    Orange County, CA
    Yea, it sounds like the Bangalore crowd have that market cornered these days. Why don't you make something work on your own? Apply those learned talents on something you enjoy and can reap the rewards with. Working for "the man" sucks and your only way to assure job security is to fill a niche on your own. Good luck!
  6. EVelasco

    EVelasco Rookie

    Dec 16, 2003
    I thought the IT jobs that went overseas are the programming jobs. I understand that there are a lot of programming jobs lost, but IT is much more than just programming. Isn't there a lot of other fields still?
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  8. LAfun2

    LAfun2 F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:
    Since you have inclination to go back to school, how about going to law school and trying the IP field?
  9. tvrfreak

    tvrfreak F1 Rookie

    Mar 31, 2003
    Full Name:
    F K
    No, there aren't many segments which cannot be outsourced cheaply.

    Imagine any IT function. Now imagine if a qualified person sitting in India (or wherever) with a high-speed link can do it just as effectively. Chances are, the answer will be, "Of course they can." If they can do it cheaper, of course the job will go to them.

    Even management and architect-level positions. India's schools have very rigorous programs of study, and churn out managers at least as proficient as those graduated by schools anywhere else.

    There will be some "grunt-level" jobs that won't go. Those you don't want anyways.

    There will be some higher-level jobs also that won't go. Competition for them will be stiff.
  10. mozi

    mozi Rookie

    Jan 24, 2004
    Bay Area, CA
    Full Name:
    I worked for a small IT consulting firm for a few months last year, and although I didn't do anything technical per-se (I was in sales), from experience, not all areas in IT are dead. In fact, the company I worked for was doing very well with a large client base that was expanding (given they have been around for more than a few years). Although things like programming and software development are being outsourced to other countries, there are still many services in IT that need to be done here. Some of our biggest, most profitable projects were things like network platform migrations (i.e. Windows NT platform to Server 03), comprehensive network maintenance, network security and protection, and full network upgrades (servers, workstations, etc), among other projects. I was surprised how well I was doing sales wise, as I went went in hearing about how IT was completely dead, etc. The fact is that although some things ARE being outsourced, there are many services in IT that simply CANNOT be outsourced, things that need people locally to perform (imagine outsourcing to people from India to come over and fix your network when it's down, or when you're trying to upgrade your hardware).

    Sorry for the long post, but the point is, there are still opportunities in IT, so don't brush past it without giving some thought.
  11. 194kw

    194kw Rookie

    Dec 1, 2003
    mozi speaks the truth.

    networks and network security are in high demand these days. the IT migration that everyone is talking about will end up being about 15% of the jobs here over the next 10 years, so its not like every job is being sent over.

    like everything else in life, find something you're good at and learn to excel in it. there'll be work waiting for you.
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  13. cabrio_fan

    cabrio_fan Formula Junior

    Mar 23, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    Full Name:
    Michael Davidson

    I'll throw my $.02 into the ring -

    I've been an Oracle Database Administrator going on 15 years now. You mentioned databases in your initial query (no pun intended) and since that's up my alley, here are a few thoughts.

    In regards to overseas outsourcing, there are a number of "things" that will always be near and dear to a corporation and/or client's heart that they will (~~probably~~) not want to have outsourced overseas:

    -Human Resources
    (both of the above ***especially*** due to Sarbanes-Oxley!! If you don't know about Sarb-Ox and are interested in Info Technology... read up on it.)
    -Research and development
    -Strategic moves in relation to the competition
    -basically the core fundamentals of the business that give the company a corporate advantage over the next guy

    Technology buzz words that are big and getting some of the rare and few IT dollars right now:
    -Business continuity (think 9/11... how does business keep going in case of disaster or some unseen circumstances?)
    -Disaster recovery (related to above but different)
    -Security (network, desktop, virus protection, servers: Wintel and Unix)
    -Wireless technologies (not everybody is doing this but a good number of $$$ being spent where you will find current wireless projects underway)
    -IT project management and business analysts... but here's the rub: THAT UNDERSTANDS THE BUSINESS INSIDE AND OUT (these folks are ~gold~ in our neck of the woods)

    I know I can't speak for everyone out there but we currently have openings in my department that we are actively seeking for. In the last 12 months, my department has gone from a headcount of 25 to now we number 37 with some new hire slots still vacant. We're looking for specific skill sets and the hiring managers are being very selective, but we do have open positions.

    Oh, back to databases for one minute: if you look into Oracle Database Administration - being Oracle certified is probably worth almost as much as a BS in Computer Science -- esp. if you already have a Bachelors degree in another field.

    Hope this helps. Good luck with the path you choose.

  14. formula1joe

    formula1joe Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    Full Name:
    Joe Bennett
    The problem with the IT market I believe is it has been flooded with too many people having no clue to what they are doing and way too many schools being able to give degrees into the IT field. I am talking about tech schools mostly. Your Univeristy degrees are actually good ones since they teach more of a business approach to IT that lets a good candidate understand the whole business model, at least that was what I was taught.

    The current market allows the small company I work for be able to hire top grads of some of the top schools. A couple of years ago, we could not even get them to show up for an interview because of their salary demands.

    I would not call the IT market dead though. There are alot of niche markets like security and data warehousing, but as far as you have gone in your current career path, it will be a hard switch to start over at the bottom and be able to live the lifestyle you may be comfortable with now. I wish you all the best though if you decide to switch careers.
  15. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:
    No question it's tough. I've been in IT for more than 10 years myself with a very solid resume and definite areas of specialty. I lost my job mid-2002 and tried to get my own software company going. Great 1st year, then bust. I started casually looking for a job in November '03 and then seriously full-time in January. It's April and I'm still looking, wife is getting *very* impatient. I've been on a few interviews, finalist for one job, but nothing yet...with almost 200 resumes sent out.

    I've got a couple of very good leads at the moment, both from "friend of a friend" directions. The ads are nothing more than a way to spread the word, good luck getting a job from them. I'm looking at pay cuts from my last job anywhere between $20-50k. It sucks, but I believe it will come back. Then problem is there are so many "paper" IT people who have no real experience and are willing to work for pennies. Once companies get over the cheaper-is-not-necessarily-better mentality, good positions will open up again.

    My two cents, the market is actually good (and competitive) for low-end techs and very high-end developer/network/executive types, but in the ditch for mid-range generalists. That's what has been hit hardest, and unfortunately where most of the job seekers are.

    Anyone got a good lead in Atlanta? :)

  16. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:
    Hear hear!!! I've had to deal with so many newbies with TONS of alphabet soup after their name who can't even solve a print queue error, it drives me nuts. Paper tigers and the tech schools have pumped out waaaay too many of them. There's no substitute for real-world experience, but getting your foot in the door to convince a company of that is extremely tough.

    (can you tell I'm looking?)
  17. karmavore

    karmavore Formula 3

    Dec 29, 2002
    Full Name:

    What are you looking for, excatly?
  18. karmavore

    karmavore Formula 3

    Dec 29, 2002
    Full Name:
    I agree with what people above have said. I graduated with a Computer Science degree in '98 and jobs were easy to find but, unfortunately, this meant any retard with a heartbeat could make a ton of money doing nothing. I think ..well, I hope.... that once the re-res are weeded out and forced into other careers us real live "dorks" can get on with our lives. I tell you what though, this whole things scares the piss out of me.

  19. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:
    Anything! :) Seriously, I've been involved in so many different aspects of IT, I'm overqualified for many, underqualified for others.... I'm after manager, sales engineer, business analyst & technology optimization, and on. I'm also a high-end Lotus Notes/Domino app-dev but those positions are few and far between.

    I'm currently digging into RUP, UML and Java and hope to get my Sun cert soon. I'd take a junior-level position if I could get into java/internet applications, or any of the server systems like Websphere/Weblogic/Jboss, etc. Here's an excerpt from one of my resumes:

    "Over the past ten years, integrated widely dispersed corporate acquisitions into existing IT infrastructures with online applications and tools, supported widely-dispersed user groups. Developed, marketed and sold a powerful production system for the tradeshow and exhibit industry – ExhibitFlow™ Can bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to an existing team – analyzing and optimizing business processes and technology, working with executives, development, sales, clients and end users."

    Ok that's my last "me" post, PM for anything else. And to the original poster, if you want to go IT, go after internet applications or infrastructure. Those are only going to get bigger. Just realize it's a tough market.

  20. Pantera1523

    Pantera1523 Formula Junior

    Mar 17, 2004
    Full Name:
    Scott Carpenter
    I've been in IT for 14 years (and no degree even)... I am currently (thankfully) at a .GOV job rather than a .COM job. I was lucky enough not to listen to all my friends durring the .COM boom who tried to get me to bail and come work at their companies that were giving BMWs as sign-on bonuses etc. Now every single one of them is looking for a job. The market is pretty bleak at the moment.

    I second the sentiments that there are far too many people out there with certifications that don't know squat about computers. I have a few certs but mainly because my employer doesn't care about certs they want real world experience. I think with time the IT market will weed out the people that were just looking for high salaries and get back to having the people that really love IT.

    The corporate IT scene is a mess... I have been in the shoes of those looking for a job before and I know how hard it is. I have several good friends going through this same thing right now. I don't envy any of you. Depending on your location I would say the best places to be looking for a job right now are government contractors. Even the Government is outsourcing alot of jobs to contractors. I would suggest looking into that area if you are looking for an IT job.

    For me my job is just a hobby that I happen to get paid for, and that is exactly how I have looked at it all along. I started playing with computers when I was 12, I'm 33 now and I still have no idea what I want to do when I grow up. :) So far, this hobby pays pretty well...

    I just wish I knew as much about cars as I do about computers. :D

  21. Ricambi America

    Ricambi America F1 World Champ
    Sponsor Owner

    I've been in the IT game for about 15 years -- all associated with J.D. Edwards enterprise software. Started as a techie, slinging RPG code. Way past those days now...

    Somebody needs a job? Bring me a resume of somebody that can sell ERP implementation services, and I'll be a captive audience. For the last three years I've been doing the Services Marketing (in addition to my other responsibilities), and although I've been very successful (or very lucky), I need a professional sales person who can hit the street and land JDE services work. The job doesn't necessarily require a J.D. Edwards background, but it DOES require hardcode experience in the ERP market and specifically the selling of implementation services.

    Position is located in Greensboro NC or Richmond VA.

  22. chaa

    chaa F1 Veteran

    Mar 21, 2003
    I know nothing about IT but in the UK alot of pros in all fields from lab tecnisions to lawers and IT tecs are being retrained as ..................Plumbers, beleve it or not.In the Uk at the moment there is a shortage of plumbers, they can earn hundreds and thousands of pounds and basicly name there own price. People in top jobs are being retrained. Very strange but true, 10 years agon it was IT now it Plumbers who are king.
  23. Tyler

    Tyler F1 Rookie

    Dec 19, 2001
    dusty old farm town
    Full Name:

    LOL, doesn't shock me at all. you can't outsource your plumber or your electrician or several of the trades. Funny you mention plumbing though. I've got a friend who was a programmer, became dissatisfied years ago and became a plumber. Now, most of his friends who stayed in IT are worried sick about losing their jobs, while he is hiring this year. He's got a good business, a dozen employees and makes significantly more than he did when he was a programmer.

    Life is funny sometimes.
  24. DMC

    DMC Formula 3

    Nov 15, 2002
    Full Name:
    Mozi makes some good points.

    Most of the jobs that will stay local will be things like Network, Windows, or Unix admin work.

    I've done Network and Windows admin work for the last 12 years, and have been doing messaging work for the last 5 years or so (Microsoft Exchange migrations). In this (geographic) area, Active Directory is finally catching on, and there is a real demand for people with those skills. I've found that 9 out of 10 people that think they know AD really don't.

    Another big area is network security and infrastructure. Some of the busiest guys I know are doing VIOP, firewalls, and network intrusion detection.

    So there are still opportunites out there. Just not in programming.
  25. mfennell70

    mfennell70 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 3, 2003
    Middletown, NJ
    Oh, I believe it. I have had to practically beg to get someone to come out and take 6 or 7 thousand dollars from me to replace a sewage ejection system. I am not kidding when I tell you I've been trying off and on for 4 years to get this thing replaced.

    Right now, i finally have someone who deigned to take $3200 worth of deposit. His call-return-rate is about 25% but he did actually come to the house and (eventually) offer up an estimate. I still don't have a firm date for installation. It will take one day and he'll clear about $2500.

    I am convinced that anyone with a tiny sliver of business acumen can become wealthy as a plumber who actually returns phone calls and simply does the work he promises to do.

    Of course, in two years the UK will be flooded with plumbers and it will be a poor profession over there. :)
  26. chaa

    chaa F1 Veteran

    Mar 21, 2003
    A few months back there was a thread that asked, would you hire a builder who came to price up a job in a ferrari, about a plumber!
  27. tjacoby

    tjacoby F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    Vancouver Canada
    Full Name:
    We're having good success with IT Networking. But the double whammy of Y2K and "awareness" of e-commerce (being polite here) is certainly disappeared. We'll never see those days again. I keep telling our guys that it's back to 1995 again for IT. But many customers are making excellent coin off of their IT infrastructure, and are willing to invest with the right partner's.

    I agree with the comments below - being a real expert in something of value is a good place to be. It could be AD (and yes - maybe 10% are competent), databases, high-end servers, Network Security (pretty well all networking is security now), IP Communications (either Voice over IP and/or Video over IP), and a host of others. In fact, come to think of it - the 10% rule applies to pretty well any industry.

    If IT really turns your crank you can be successful at it and have fun. If you just like building your home pc and network to fool around it may not be a great place to be.

    I'm not worried about the India outsourcing trend, 90% of what we do has to be local - like a plumber or electrician. Fortune 500 guys can outsource to anyone anywhere, and have been for a while, but the sweet spot is the 500 desktops and under customers that value local relationships.

    I could be wrong, but so far so good.
  28. sduke

    sduke Formula Junior

    Mar 10, 2003
    The Hub City, Texas
    Full Name:
    Steven D
    A big thanks to all that replied. I knew that F-Chat was a great place to get input. This is one of the best boards on the web. I think the part that a lot of people overlook is that Ferrari owners tend to be successful. They are good at what they do, and are compensated at a level above most other folks. If I were to ask this same question at the Mustang, Honda, or Camaro board the answers often come from folks that work at McDonalds or live with mom and dad.

    As for my plight, I am just as confused as ever. I would like to change careers. The girls are leaving for college, and I haven't enjoyed fixing cars for a long time. I could go back to college, but I don't feel like going back to college for several years just to get another JOB, is the answer. I would like to open a business of my own, but I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. HAHA.

    I just feel trapped by my own inertia. My company loves me. I make more money than 99% of all the technicians at all dealerships in the city. I am the only Master Diagnostic Toyota Tech for 300 miles. With all that, I still can't stand my job. Seems pretty selfish of me, but what the hell, it's true.

    I guess I will stay for now and try to figue out what I CAN do. I am afraid I was looking at IT the same way I looked at auto mechanics. I enjoyed building my street and race cars and assumed I would enjoy doing it every day, all day. I enjoy working with computers so.........

    I wish I had a clue about what I should do.

    Thanks again everyone.

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