News

Hiring Outlook for IT Workers Remains Gloomy

It looks like the IT hiring slowdown will last into the near future—and maybe beyond, according to a study by the Information Technology Association of America.

The latest study by ITAA found that the U.S. IT workforce has grown less than a percent since the start of the year, and IT hiring managers don’t see an increase in that rate anytime soon.

The ITAA survey, released in late September, found that the overall size of the IT workforce has grown by only 85,437 positions since January, from 9,895,916 to 9,981,353. Although 782,466 IT workers were hired, 697,029 lost their jobs during the same period.

“Today’s survey results are one more indication that where the overall economy may be recovering, the IT marketplace is still coping with recession,” ITAA President Harris N. Miller was quoted as saying in a press release. “Hiring managers appear to be less bullish than at the start of the year—even as many forecasters have predicted an IT industry turnaround in 2003.”

One silver lining in the dark cloud of the report is that currently employed IT workers are more likely to keep their jobs than in the recent past. According to the report, between January and December 2001, companies let go 2.6 million IT workers or more than 218,000 per month. Between July 2001 and June 2002, the monthly total dropped to 116,000. Those figures suggest that companies have stabilized their staffing levels.

Another significant finding of the study is that it’s good to be a tech support specialist. It’s the most in-demand IT worker in the current climate, with nearly a third of the 440,282 hires in the last three months in that area. Web developers also fared well, with 93,410 added to company rolls during the same period, followed by network design specialists and administrators with 47,463.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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Reader Comments:

Wed, Oct 8, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous

9cBdVI

Fri, Aug 15, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous

nhekD3

Tue, Dec 17, 2002 Sherman Seattle

Can any body help me make a decision?
I got laid off about 2 month.
I have 1 1/2 years as a web tester, and a half years as test developer using C++, I have a BS in Electrical Engineering degreee.
I really like Internet, I was plan to be web developer but the market is doom...
Should I take MCSE or MCDBA? or anything else?
thanks

Sun, Dec 15, 2002 Survival Silcon Valley

Survival is the key word, I currently got layed off in late July 02 as a mid level field support engineer for Voice and Data networks. I am 26 with a B.S. Telecommunincations Engineering Technology, A.S. Electronic Engineering, MCPs, CNAs, CCNA, & A+. I have currently been in the Technology Sector since 96. It took me to Oct 02 to get a steady contract position as NOC Technician. Sending out close to 1000 resumes and also networking thru friends. I believe I was lucky to land this position and I am grateful. Everyone in my department including myself is over qualified. It is a employers market right now. The employers are able to hire a Senior for a Mid level position or hire Mid level for a tier one position. If you have Certs, Degrees, and experience you are bettor off than most, with luck you may just get a job that is pay 20-30000 less than your previous. Good luck out there.

Wed, Dec 11, 2002 Anonymous New York, NY

RE: Anonymous from missouri:
Odds are that you haven't acquired a personality yet at 24 if you think those with an issue to discuss "suck." (Nice word.) Experience counts - you'll appreciate that someday. No one realistically expects "big business to employ you forever at ridiculously over inflated salaries" - that should be clear from reading the posts. (You are reading them, no?) A bit of Friendly Advice: NEVER underestimate your competition (at ANY age)!

Tue, Dec 10, 2002 Tedd New Jersey

There's a serious (I mean VERY serious) issue with employers and employee relations - especially in IT. They choose to farm-out (outsource) their most important asset - the Company Information Backbone. This is very stupid, no matter how many dollars you think you're saving short term. Even the consultants are treated with disdain. At Merrill Lynch, Crystal Henner's man said: "We use consultants like toil... -er, napkins!" as if he were proud of it. That project ("TGA") was advertised as a fabulous, mutual success between Compaq & ML. Proving image and perception is all that matters - NOT reality! (It was, in reality, FUBAR!) A "profession" in IT is not a profession. It changes way too much. I spent $10K on W2K training. And for what?! Better spent toward an MBA. It's a game of "perception-certification." Not merely the certification, but trying to bluster your way through the chaos with unneccessary subterfuge that obfuscates the essential lack of understanding of how to permanently integrate the technology into the Corporate Culture. Well let's just see 'em integrate Active Directory into the Corporate Culture! In cannot ABSOLUTELY CANNOT be done with consultants! So my friends it's a bleak outlook. I'm going for a career change!

Sat, Dec 7, 2002 Anon NY

So Anonymous from Missouri – you have 3 degrees, multiple certs and pride yourself in your “rare skill” with the written word. Yeah right! That’s why you use expressions like “know some shit”.

Thu, Dec 5, 2002 Anonymous missouri

Hey you naysayers: maybe the reason nobody wants to rehire you is because your personality sucks! Ever think of that? I'm a recent college grad with multiple certs, 3 college degrees, some experience and I landed a 45,000$ job pretty easily. Oh yeah, I'm only 24 years old, so I'm not a jaded old geezer who wants the world handed to me on a platter because of seniority. People who say you need to "network" are missing the point; if you schmooze with people just because you obviously want to use them to gain employment, then they're going to notice that, be offended, and probably want nothing to do with you. If you've got a bachelor's degree or better, am smart and actually know some shit, and can conduct yourself in both speech and can actually write (a rare skill), then you should be okay. Also, counting on big business to employ you forever at ridiculously over inflated salaries is silly, go with private sector jobs with small companies or government work for example. Man, I'm glad I'm young and not jaded like the rest of you sad humans. ;)

Thu, Dec 5, 2002 anonymous 2 England

Anonymous - what makes you thing a degree adds value to an MCSE. I have both a degree in Computer Science and an MCSE. Neither of them prepared me for a job in IT but at least the MCSE exposed me to theory and terminology that was both current and relevant to the job which is more than can be said for my degree - which was just a lot of academic theory which I never needed to know again. Personally I think all qualifications are over valued.

Tue, Dec 3, 2002 Jeff Columbus, OH

Thanks for the posts. Lost my job do to NAFTA. Considered going to school to be a MCSE. After reading your post there is no way I would waste the time or 2000+ dollars per course. Think Ill go through a nursing program. The medical field seems to be the only secure field out there right now. Thanks again.

Mon, Dec 2, 2002 Maureen is an idiot the real world

Why am I not surprised Maureen is posting from Floriduh? Lucky for us and unlucky for the Taliban that the stupidest people in the whole country (19,000 Democrats) couldn't figure out they were only supposed to vote for one person for President.

The economy and the stock market started going down on Clinton's watch. The bust after the Y2K boom has NOTHING to do with who's in the White House, moron. Take your sophomoric politics elsewhere - nobody here is dumb enough to buy your snake oil (unless for some reason Algore is logged on).

Mon, Dec 2, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

The only way I'd advise anyone to pursue certification is if it was an integral part of a degree/certificate program at a college. The cost would be far more reasonable and the degree/certificate would bolster its value. The days of the quick (expensive) rush to certification are fading fast.........

Sun, Dec 1, 2002 Maureen Miami

I agree that the job market is horrible...but what are we going to do about it? Our politicians need to step up and do something about it. Clinton may have been a womanizer, but at least the economy was good when he was in charge.

Mon, Nov 25, 2002 PJ New York

It is true that the Outlook for IT Professionals is gloomy. However in this environment only the smartest survive. During the height of the bull market alot of get rich people came in IT not because of the love of the profession but because of the money and alot of them are now been laid off. Ony the strong will survive.

Mon, Nov 25, 2002 Steve Indiana

TO Whatever From Georgia: You flatter yourself! And you are WRONG! I have been an actively employed IT Professional for 25 years in four organizations, public and private sector, in two states. Everywhere I have worked and for every IT business partner I have dealt with, the IT professionals were the ones putting in 70 hour weeks, week-in and week-out, watching the CEO and CFO and their clock-watcher staffs vacate the parking lot promptly at 5:00 p.m. come hell or high water. Like you, they are usually very good at intimidation and paying lip service to long hours (usually saying that they no longer need to put in long hours because they "paid their dues" in some other period of their career before you worked there. Right!).

Sun, Nov 24, 2002 anonymous 2 Anonymous

Go on a two week course at a boot camp to memorise the answers to a few easy multiple choice tests and get a starting salary of £65K + . Hardly surprising that this very rapidly became an over crowded profession.

Sat, Nov 23, 2002 Martin Perth, Australia

So the market is in downturn; what goes around comes around. It's nothing new. We all have to face up to the fact that in this brave new world we cannot rely on a "job for life" in any one skillset. As human beings we are adaptable, we can learn new skills, explore new oppurtunities. There are always oppurtunities. They may not involve loads of money but now is not the time to complain about that. You need to be postive in outlook. Read good books on job hunting. Consider working for non-profit organisations. Network within your community. Above all stop moaning. We live in a ruthless capitalist society where the greenback is king above all else. People (sorry, "human resources") are a disposable asset. The aim of any public company is to maximise profit for shareholders. Period. Salaries are expensive, the less the better. It is hard for management to justify more IT projects when what they have is already good enough. Most corporates now have standard desktops with functional email, Internet and database facilities. Shareholders will not want more money spent on IT improvements unless they can offer competitive advantage. Now, where is that going to come from? Thin client? .NET? Linux? Who knows. We are in recession in all but name, and in these situations companies concentrate on their core business, not on perceived overheads such as IT. As I said earlier, maybe now is the time to consider other avenues in life. Who knows, you may find something else you enjoy other than computers!

Sat, Nov 23, 2002 AlanTTT London England

The one thing one thing that everyone on this board seems to agree on is that experience is a good thing and the more you have the better. But those people who have been bragging about their 20 years etc experience needn’t be so smug. If you have got 20 years experience it means you are over 40. So I hope your job is secure because if you are let go you will find that no one is interested in hiring a tech who is over 35. People over 40 find it as hard to get a job as career changing paper MCSE. So it is possible to have too much experience. The employers seem to want 25 year olds with 30 years experience.

Fri, Nov 22, 2002 Vance Bakersfield

I guess with 20 years experience working my way up from working on CPM computers to p.c.'s, then networks and avoiding the dot com craze has finally paid off for me. I am a Sr. NT Network Specialist for a spinoff of the largest company in the world. And no, I do not have any CERTS, though I will pursue them someday when I get time.

My suggestion to Susan in Connecticut would be to head west. Although the market is a little slow, their are STILL lots of good IT jobs available, you just have to know how, why, and where to look.

Also planning. If you do not have a set roadmap in your head of where you want to be 5 years from now (that is an eternity in the networking world) then no major corporation will want to talk to you. For good reason. IT now means business productivity and lower TCO. If you cannot provide either (usually only gained through experience) then you will not get the interview.
Makes me stop and think that maybe us working stiffs who have been around for awhile should put together an online university for identifying and rectifying common business problems.

For those of you just starting your IT careers I suggest that you get the certs you need for your specialty but enroll in business school also. Or broaden your horizons by being dual certed in systems development and systems engineering. That will set you apart from the others.

Fri, Nov 22, 2002 Jeff Anonymous

It's not just about experience vs. certs., it's about your love of computers. All jobs go up and down over the years. If you want a quick buck right now and it's hard to find a job in IT then you might go for something else (a truck driver, like it seems people want to do on these comments), but if IT is your passion, then it doesn't matter. All jobs are a pain, the grass isn't greener on the other side and there are always pros and cons to every job and career. People should choose IT because they couldn't dream of doing anything else, even if it was for free. No regrets.

Fri, Nov 22, 2002 Sir Admin Dallas

I absolutely agree with Jeff that experience matters more than certs, neither of which have anything to do with this job market right now because you can have all the experience and certs to back it up but will you get hired? Slim chance.... I'll bet CFO's CEO's or other fat @$$ 's are still getting raises.

Fri, Nov 22, 2002 Jeff Anonymous

I remember when a certified A+ technician made $50-$60/ hr to run scandisk, defrag and dust the computer. I remember people coming to me with there new computers right out of the box and asking me to hook it together for $50 to $100 bucks. I rember building system for people and making a ton of money out of my home. Computers used to be VOODOO for almost everyone except for the specialists that could master or work in this world, known as IT. Now everyone owns a computer and knows how to do a lot more than they once did. Hence, computers don't scare off like they used to and everyone is there own tech; especially with the devepopment of newer, stablier and more user friendly products. I have a A+, MCSE 2K, CCNA and certified as a AS/400 system operator, but I also have the experience to back it up. I work for the government and in my interview they were impressed by the certs and we talked about those for about a minute or two, but the vast majority of the interview was based on my experience and ability to do the job they needed. Certs can only get you so far, but they can't effectivly troubleshoot a router, fix an e-mail account or fix an Excel document that a user screwed up; they are just a pieces of paper hanging on a wall, and when the IT world realizes that the better the IT world will be. Don't get me wrong certs are good to have and I am going for more (CCDP, CCNP), but they don't hold water compared to being in the trenches of IT for years and having the knowledge to get the job done. My suggestion to everyone who ever wants to be in IT, is to find any job possible that deals with their field, even if you have to work for free; and do it well (learn as much as possible) and have a good attitude. Because when you do get an interview, that experience WILL be your most qualified argument why you are better than the next person.

Fri, Nov 22, 2002 Sir Admin Dallas

Has anyone notice the change in our live from say... about 2 years ago. Unemployment has risen from 3.9% to 6.0% I personally believe it's higher than that because once your benee's have expired your not in the count anymore and I know a lot of people who are in that boat. If your lucky enough to get a job you'll have to put up with so much B.S. you'll almost wish you were back on unemployment. We live in the technology age and look at how many people are looking for work in technical areas. the fat @$$ companies running this country are having their cake and eating it too. Shame on you people who are doing nothing to stop it (You say what could I do?) VOTE idiot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! VOTE VOTE VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fri, Nov 22, 2002 Ben Seattle

The IT job prospect here in Seattle is really bad. The only place hiring for IT is Microsoft but you have to be a developer to even get an interview. So if you have knowledge in .NET or C#, then you might be able to find a job here.

Fri, Nov 22, 2002 Billy Bob Anonymous

I just see these times as a good pruning or natural selection. Add a 4-year degree in computer science, mathematics, or physics to your arsenal then you'll certainly turn heads.

Fri, Nov 22, 2002 Chad Nashville

I barely got in the door during the "certification RUSH of Y2K". I took a few of the instructor led courses and they were expensive as hell, but they did give me some good insight and information. I was doing a career change back then like so many people and needed a little more info (but I was very computer literate anyways). I studied hard and got my MCP in Windows NT 4.0 (workstation) and it helped me get a few Y2K Contracts to get my feet wet. I have been with a company here for about 3 years now and am thankful to have a job at this point. I have since then been working hard on getting my certifications up to speed and have gotten my A+ and Network+. I am going for the MCSA as of right now by first upgrading my nt 4.0 to 2K. The outlook may look grim, but the market will boom again in about 2-3 years. That is how long it is going to take for alot of people who listened to the Radio Ad's and jumped on the certification band wagon to stop searching for jobs that are no longer there. Also, the dot com's will make a resurge. When they crashed the people working there moved into the LOCAL markets (for lack of a better term) and that is the way it seems right now. For those of you out there that are like me and lucky enough to have a job right now, keep it under the radar and keep your head in the books. It will pay off in a couple of years. Just be ready.

Thu, Nov 21, 2002 JCM Japan

Anyone interested in coming to Japan? Well, intermediate Japanese would be requireed, but tons of Jobs are available. It is like that not only in Japan, but in many other countries as well. Take your money and spend it on language lessons... better chance to get a job especially if you have the experience under your belt.

Thu, Nov 21, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Yes you are right I have lost it. No it is not a conspiracy but is the economy is NOT being lead by the current administration. They dont care!!!...Phil O'neill has said this himself that he doesnt need his job. I worked in the Power industry for over 15 years til that colapsed in the mid ninty's and advanced on with what I knew about real time control and the early PC's to networks today. Any of you ever work with an Arcnet? The reason this went was due to Manufacturing going overseas..who is the second largest software manufacturer..take a look in India. Is this going the same way..YES. Who invented the Internet (made useful to public) try Dan Quayle...Gore inherited his work. Was this based on market forces..NO..did it open markets..YES. The current administration has its head in the sand about this..thats what I am saying and it is hurting everyone.

Thu, Nov 21, 2002 StillWorking Minnesota

Things to think about:
Why have a Computer Tech when you can just “ghost” the computer (remotely) if a problem takes longer then 20 minutes to fix.

Mid to Large size business are centrally locating hardware, IT staff and remotely managing “off site” locations.

The only IT projects that have not been cut are the ones that will save $$$ either by eliminating jobs or hardware.

But I believe that businesses have cut jobs as far as they can and right now the remaining staff are working long hours and doing multiple jobs. I just made it through the last “Reduction In Force”(third one this year) and there are no more positions to be eliminated without severe consequences to the business. So the only place to go from here is up (or is that out).

Thu, Nov 21, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

One thing i would like my friends posting here want to take note of is that gone are that days when u could say u have training and exp in vb or NT admin and ask for a huge pay check. IT field has evolved by huge strides in that last couple of years more than ever before.
now be prepared to select the required modules and libraries for ur own brand of linux and c ,perl,php,java,kylix,whatever programming..if u r are hardworking enough to take on such a task u can rest assured to stay in the field.If you just stick to VB or win nt admin then it is going to be a rough time ahead..one thing about IT is u need to keep learning on your own while working....wish everyone who has a genuine passion in what they do in IT field best of luck in their careers.

Thu, Nov 21, 2002 Anonymous 2 Anonymous

You are losing it anonymous the IT slump hasn't been caused by a goverment conspiracy. Business is disenchanted with IT beause it did not improve proffits they way they expected - no surprise then that they have stopped spending money on it. Market forces rule - as ever

Thu, Nov 21, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Still dont get it do you. The old administration welcomed raising us up by the bootstraps. The new administration welcomed back the old economy...the Trifecta..war..they dont care or understand..this will effect you too Microsoft..Sun..IBM..Cisco..Intel..Its time to play hardball with this administration or you will loss out bigtime Bill. Wake up!!!!!

Wed, Nov 20, 2002 ee germany

It all depends on your situation. whether you are young free and are able to relocate or have a family whatever and have got to be there for them bla bla. destiny is in your own hands if you are young and free

Wed, Nov 20, 2002 darcy holland

Theres people with loads of experience who wouldnt have a clue about the stuffon the MCSE exams. STOP WITH ALL THIS SHIT ABOUT IT BEING DEAD YOU ARE ALL TRYING TO STOP PEOPLE COMING INTO IT. I DONT BLAME YOU ALL. EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF IN THIS WORLD. NOBODY GIVES A FUCK. BE AS CROOKED AS YOU CAN

Wed, Nov 20, 2002 wallijonn phoenix

IT is dead. Time to find a job in the medical field (the next wave), water and/or sewage treatment, traffic (highway) planning, court room, jail system, assayer, assessor, etc. CITY jobs, STATE jobs, Federal jobs.

me, i want to drive a city bus. $40k a year and a lot less headache than being an administrator that's on call 24x7x365.

$65k tech jobs are now $35k in nyc. Phoenix city tech jobs went from $65k to $50k. experience counts for nothing. certs are meaningless. managers treat techs as dispossible used toilet tissue.

the next round of home bankruptcies should create a demand for bankruptcy specialists, junior lawyers, court recorders.

street cart food vendors are making $100,000 a year in nyc. if we don't start our own businesses we'll all be selling apples for a quarter.

guess ebay is gonna make a killing out of all of us selling everything we own.

Tue, Nov 19, 2002 j KC.

reality blows... you guys just confirmed everything i have been experiencing but was in denial that i will find a job in the "IT" industry. i left the lame ass floor covering industry in which i had 8 years of experience and made $36K a year to get a school loan and take a job making $28.5K. The worst part is the cheeseballs i went to work for were talking this crap about how they reward people for there continuing education and no-one except my manager, who was recently promoted to that position, has seen even so much as a penny pay raise in the 2 sucky years i've been there. My manager has zero tech or manager training but he has worked at the company for 3 or 4 years and he is a "yes" man. i think i'm going to throw up and then i'm going to kill myself...



not really..... i will just keep marching on and continue to believe that perhaps i will luck into something meaningfull soon.

Tue, Nov 19, 2002 natter San Jose

I couldn't agree more. I used to work with people that were 'OCP' certified that couldn't rebuild and index or pronounced v.i. as vi. I still have a job because I can actually put code into production and have it work.

Tue, Nov 19, 2002 Patrick Colorado

I'm am very happy that most of the IT sector has been laid off. Most of the poeple hired did not have a clue what they were doing. I mean really 100 bucks an hour for an programmer whos experiance included 6 months and a cert in HTML ? please. I am glad that this tech check is here. Most of you should really be doing somthing else. It was a nice ride up. Now lets see how you clowns are made of. Most of you had jobs handed to you via a phone interview from a tech that was hired in the same way. I still make a ton of $$ but then again I have 20 years worth of exp.

Tue, Nov 19, 2002 Phil Colorado

Consider this my 2 cents...I see the posts, there are no jobs anywhere. People with jobs take a pay cut and work for less money and more hours. We all need to deal with it . That guy that said there are plenty of jobs in Colo is full of Sh*t. I jumped ship from Microsoft products 3 years ago and now am solaris certified. Don't matter still can't get job that is worth a hoot. Experience, certifications degree's mean didley when no one is hiring...

Oh and everyone annoyed about the ads on the radio's..That has been bugging me for three years. Did the same thing to me in the early 80's with Electronic's got an Electronic's degree and graduated to 7.50 an hour. bout 8 years later at 11/hr i went to IT work cuz it paid the rent better...
I think i will now go shoot myself...

Tue, Nov 19, 2002 Marc Los Angeles, CA

Its funny my instructor swore up and down that having this cert would be the best thing I ever did. Had I known better. Los Angeles is hit with more Temp and contract positions. In fact I got called to one today paying 10.00 an hour. Insulting. I think corporate america is finding out taht you dont have to have latest and the greatest. Ads on TV saying you can have a cert in 3 weeks isnt helping either. Discredits the market. Even a Highschool senior can memorize questions from a Brain Dump and Pass a Microsoft exam

Tue, Nov 19, 2002 Kenya Atlanta

Reading your comments have me concerned. I am interested in breaking into this field but I am wanting to learn all that I can. It sounds to me that know is the perfect timing for me to do that. At this point a little pay and little knowledge will help much. What can I do to get started?

Tue, Nov 19, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

My recommendation to anyone enrolled in ITT Tech or any other tech school is to bail while you still have not sunk too much time and money into IT. The IT market is still flooded and will continue to be so for years to come. IT will NEVER return to the level it was during the glory days of the late 90's. It has passed for good. IT will always be around but it will just be another support department or a neccessary evil in the eyes of management. Many more tech schools will close before this is all over. Companies are still shedding IT jobs. We have not even seen the bottom yet. BofA just anounced they are laying of 900 IT workers and the list goes on. The question is how long do you try and hang on? It's a terrible predicament to be in that I don't even wish on my worst enemy. The average IT pro has dedicated years of his life to IT, has a BS degree, and has on average at least 4 certs, AND NO WORK. Changing careers is no easy task either in an economy that is still sinking. The US is still loosing jobs to other countries. China's new middle class is growing at the expense of our middle class. Everything we by now seems to be made in China. The cars we drive are mostly foreign. What a mess. The hope the light at the end of the tunnel is not a freight train. God help us all.

Tue, Nov 19, 2002 Chris Ortega South Florida

Well, it can't be as bad as some people are saying. New Horizons is doing very good business training people in all sorts of IT careers. I overheard one of the trainers say a little while ago that they had a teaching position open for someone exeperienced in Java that paid over 120K a year.

Anyway, DON'T PANIC! Have a little faith. There will always be IT jobs availbale because someone has to know how to run the world of clients/servers.

Tue, Nov 19, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Its simple...ITS the ECONOMY...not the TERRORISTS..vote BUSH 2004 for DEPRESSION

Tue, Nov 19, 2002 Sandra London England

It's starting to look as if the IT revolution of the late 90s was not much more than a craze. But unlike the Hula Hoop or the skateboard it wasn't kids that were infatuated with instead it was CEOs and Finance Directors. But like other crazes before it the IT craze is finally coming to an end.

Mon, Nov 18, 2002 Susan Connecticut

Hi Again..I LOVE all your comments, no I'm not going to be a stripper Mike from Houston or work in Walmart (although I like that store) but I also LOVE work that uses my brain!!! So let me condense here some thoughts: we all have yrs of experience and certificates but lack work which equals money which equals survival. (just to be fair yes it's a lot of work & a lot of money to train no matter who pays). Now let me set an anology if you will...can you imagine studying raw acoustic hydrophonic data when it was THE (both governmental and civilian sector) scientific method protecting us from the cold war? What I am saying is LOTS Of JOBS!!! It was a high tech world, lots of experience was needed and lots of certifications were demanded.
And it ended. Yup, there are a few out there who still do it, (VERY few!!!) I even tried to use my imagination and used my submarine warfare tactics to track whales. But the bottom line is when it's over it IS over...read the cute story: "Who Moved My Cheese."(availalble at Barnes and Noble) We live in a fast world., there are the stable jobs and there are the ones new to each generation. These new jobs come in huge swelling waves and then CALM out. Yes, you will always hear about the ones who were able to cling on to the niche in legendary fashion BUT YOU WILL NEED TO SURVIVE! You!!! So again I say unto YOU what will you do next. Yeah, I see people saying there will need to be expertise here and there but that is not going to provide the rest of us with work...Do you get it???

Mon, Nov 18, 2002 Indian India

hi angela it seems you have gone a bit too far..in ur tension of lack of job..they ar real people not some animals to take them into your country when you need them and deport them when you dont ..they too have careers.think about it but for them there was no IT industry in US if u got any doubt ask bill gates and steve.(that is if u have trust in them)!

Mon, Nov 18, 2002 layman London

hi...everyone..it seems all the misery of all those posting here arises out of the fact that they are into IT bcuz they are into it because of the gigantic salaries and not their passion..at the height of IT glory i read people at similar posting asking to cut h1s and train people jailed for murders and rapes to train in IT to fulfil the shortage..if that is the kind of the people who get into IT at that time how can american economy be able to sustain them...well bcuz of the craze in high salaries in IT many people have left careers with vast experiences and there is a huge scarcity in many fields likes nurses,teachers,drivers ..hold on ..think a second..if poeple just followed their natural instincts and likings instead of going of huge salaries..IT wouldn't have had this down turn...and whatever may be the reason 9/11 pepetrators are having a huge laugh for what they have done to America..may god save america..in near future..not before it is too late

Mon, Nov 18, 2002 Dee Texas

You don't get it do you? The training schools are just going about their normal business of making money. Why should they care whether you get a job or not? Their job is to sell courses and that is exactly what they are doing.

Now even though I am VERY certified too, certifications do not mean that one can actually do the job efficiently. We have those braindumpers to thank for that! On that note, I have actually trained classes where people have already taken 4 certification tests and passed and don't know how to map a drive or even worse; don't know how to cut and paste.

I also don't think there has to be 10 people doing a job that one person can do. I personally administrate 6 servers, 3 wan links, configured all the cisco routers, exchange server, outlook as well as troubleshooting end-user problems. It just means you have to actually do some work once in a while. get real and get with it, if you really want a job, be prepared to work as a techie for $10 an hour rather than expecting to earn $100 000 a year with a couple of certifications!

Mon, Nov 18, 2002 AugurIT Los Angeles

Well if you watch CNBC or any other financial media outlet they have these 'guests' come on and say everything is great expect a recovery in 2003-04. Well don't believe the recovery hype. All those media networks have advertisement space to fill and its certainly not good business to portray a continuing bear market to the American people. With China taking all the blue-collar manufacturing jobs and India the white-collar IT jobs and American consumer bankruptcies and foreclosures at 30 year highs the prospect for an economic recovery let alone an IT recovery is far from becoming reality. The best we can truly hope for people is for an economy that "just gets by" in a bear market that will probably match the previous bull market in duration. (15-20 yrs).

Mon, Nov 18, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

ReElect BUSH 2004..He and his old economy friends are not done yet. Look at his economic staff..old oil..old steel..its not my fault I inherited this economy. They want to see it go and bring back the old economy..it was costing them too much $$$$..good luck handing out shopping carts at Walmart.

Mon, Nov 18, 2002 Marc Phoenix, AZ

My 2 cents worth from a very popular IT driven state, AZ, is that there are needs in IT but they are being filled by either older (laid-off, down-sized) workers that have years of experience and are willing to work for less than the newly trained IT pros with a student loan to pay off. The training schools have not helped the equation because they feed the glut and there is really no new IT boom in the near future. The bright spot that I see here in Phoenix is there are more database admin jobs and web developer jobs than any other area. If you have 10 years of software or programming experience you may be better off than the CCNA, MCSE's etc.

Mon, Nov 18, 2002 Greg Wash DC

All of these arguments sound similar to past arguments in labor industries for unions - protection for a limited skill set. It is one thing to keep servers purring, but as Doug noted, you need to know how it relates to a business, and that takes more work than a certification. I am a hiring manager that reviews many resumes for positions I have available, I received 480 resumes in response to the last ad - only 11 were worth consideration and I talked to 5. I cannot find a canidate that can clearly articulate thier qualifications. I hire people that can take a business concern and turn it into an IT solution and I still pay top dollar for that. If IT pros would put in the extra effort (not for paper) but for production and successful implemetations, this knowledge based profession will be golden on the other side of the shake-up. If we don't, we better look for a local labor union!

Mon, Nov 18, 2002 jp south bend in

Alot of you were oversold ms. I remember the predictions that novell was finished. many netware 3x people went straight to winnt. in the meantime nds and edirectories became the wan standard. i work in a corp that has novell servers scattered from cali to mex and the east coast. two people manage the entire network. cant do that with nt/2000. ms has gotten tooooo expensive and cannot deliver(at least not yet)a secure, dependable wan. it took a trillion dollars for corps to figure that out. i have no certs, but 5 years exp with both novell/win as well as unix/macs. this recession has taught me one thing dont get too dependent on any platform, be thankful for any it job, and be willing to bust your butt day in/out, and dont believe all the propaganda you hear from vendors.most of it is bs.

Mon, Nov 18, 2002 Angela Dallas/Austin

We are also left with the legacy of Phil Gramm: the senator who pushed for years to up the limit on H1B's coming into this country for tech jobs because there was a 'shortage' (read: supply and demand sent salaries up). H1B contractors in Dallas have been working for slave labor rates for years (usually for firms run by their own countrymen). Guess what that does to salaries & contract rates? And now that there is a glut, have any politicians suggested deportation of the no-longer-needed technical workers so US citizens can stay employed? Nope, that would be branded as rascism or culturism.

Mon, Nov 18, 2002 Jonny 0-0-0 San Diego

It’s not the certification that makes the person; it’s the person that makes the certification. Knowledge is power. Ladies and gentleman, the current situation is tough for every trade, not just the IT industry. If things aren’t working the way you want them to be, change it. Increase your knowledge, change your attitude. It won’t be easy, but it’s possible. Years ago, a certified person was guaranteed to start at 50K. The “Gold rush” is gone, those that made it, great! Those that are trying to get in now, good luck. It‘s not as easy as before. With technology changing, and software applications constantly evolving there is no longer a need to have as many IT people. Having the certification helps you get you the interview, but having the skill set keeps your job. Don’t get caught in the hype of who is making what. Instead, focus on yourself, on your goals, and how to accomplish them. Hard work and dedication will always prevail. Don’t over look the interview process. Getting the job you want, not only requires you to have the right set of skills, but also requires you to be able to sell yourself. Remember, you are going up against a number of people, and you only have 15 to 30 minutes to impress someone. What you do with those 30 minutes is all they are going to remember. Everyone has the certifications, but to even be considered, you too, must have the certification. Even those with a four-year degree come out making 30k-40K a year. So, to all, hang in there. We are in survival mode, and those that can, do. Those that can’t, settle for something else. Good Luck!

Mon, Nov 18, 2002 Adam Chicago

Mike from Dallas makes some good points about how desktop managment software reduces the demand for IT staff. But it isn't only that. Modern hardware and software are now so easy to install and configure and go wrong so rarely that it requires fewer staff with fewer skills to support them. I started out as a first line helpdesk support guy in the early 90s - back then PCs were always going wrong and it was hard to keep up with the flood of calls. I still work for the same company (I am now senior network admin) and the helpdesk is now nothing like as busy even though we have the same number of users - the Helpdesk staff often complain about not having enough to do - even though there are only 2 of them compared to 5 in my day. I am expecting to be told any day soon that the first line support staff are to be let go and their work covered by the admins. I think we have to accept that the IT industry in the future is probably going to generate fewer jobs than it has in the past.

Mon, Nov 18, 2002 JB WI

IT is rapidly becoming a commodity, with all of the baggage that a commodity carries. If you are getting into IT now, you have to treat it like a commodity job. No more glory and nothing special. I think the jobs are there but they are normal and on a par with jobs in other departments. Competition is intense and justifying your position should be a worry. Still...this is nothing unique, other jobs in other industries are struggling in the same way. Others have struggled in the past and we all will again in the future. Like the guy said above, be crafty, take the lemons and make lemonade!
JB

Mon, Nov 18, 2002 Maggie No. Va.

I think Mike from Dallas makes an important point: the mantra for the past five years has been lowering TCO by implementing desktop and network management. The obstacles to putting these things in place in a large organization are daunting, but the bigger the organization, the greater the incentive to accomplish it. And the bigger the organization, the greater the overall number of staff people who can be eliminated. Up to about twenty-four months ago, I guess the assumption was that the demand for IT workers was so vast that the people displaced by more efficient systems management wouldn't have trouble finding new jobs.

Now, in reality, I question how many companies have really been able to pare their staffs this way, not because it isn't possible, but because the initial buy-in to comprehensive desktop/network management can be such a hard sell to penny-wise, pound-foolish executives. But this has been a kind of industry-wide goal for years now, and you can't escape the implications. Worse from an employment standpoint is that the programming to build these management tools can be easily (if not always effectively) farmed out overseas to people making a third to a quarter of a U.S. salary (if that). It appears to me that both ZENWorks and CiscoWorks were largely developed overseas or at least by imported labor.

So, for Bob in Raleigh, a lot of your potential depends on the skills you already have. If you're a paralegal, you will be more attractive as an IT worker for a law firm; if you're have construction background, you will be more attractive as an IT worker for a construction company. If you have a bachelors degree or better, you will qualify for more jobs than people without one, especially government jobs.

I know good people with years of experience who have been out of work for months and even more in the D.C. area, which has a lot more cushion than other areas. In your own area, Dyncorp is offering former Lockheed contractors at the EPA their own jobs back at up to 30% reductions in salaries. As Mike from Dallas says, I ended up with a job when the music stopped BUT I also never made the kind of extravagant salary you may have read about in the papers, the kind that may have lured you to the field in the first place.

If you're studying through a college, see if they have a Cooperative Education program. But -- and this is where a lot of people get stuck -- when I got my first job through the coop ed program at the school where I was studying many years ago, I wasn't making much more money than I had been as a secretary -- I would have been making less but for the fact I had a good undergraduate GPA. That changed quickly, but I've read of career changers in formal certification/internship programs freaking out when they find out they have to start with entry-level salaries.

Mon, Nov 18, 2002 Jason Williamson Des Moines, Iowa, US

I began my career with a division of Xerox (who has their own problems), who cut out an office and moved all contracts to another office. I worked there for over 3 1/2 years, started as a help desk agent, and moved up, over, up, over, and over again, becoming an MCSE, consultant, in-house admin, and general counsil for the office.

The office had writing on the wall from day 1, but i gained a TON of experience through these positions, as well as certifications and a professional attitude.

Once that office closed, I knew that the job market I lived in relied on manufacturing, and was over populated with IT resumes, so I instantly began to open my doors to moving to another city with more opportunity.

Now that I'm Des Moines, I landed a wonderful Tech Analyst position with a Big 4 accounting firm, who pays me 11,000 more than my last job. I bitterly worked through and gained experience at my former job, and now have something to show for it. Now that I have a good income, I can focus on bringing my skill levels up even higher, while still being able to afford keeping my wife at home with our daughter.

The moral of the story it, work hard, think of your avenues, and when the time is right, make the jump, it'll save your tail!

Mon, Nov 18, 2002 McGeorge chicago

I agree with most the posters here that things are horrible in IT right now. Besides our salaries being cut in half, it seems our role in the corporation is sliding back again to where it was before -- I think IT workers are starting to get crapped on perhaps worse then they ever were. Anyone else out there considering law school?

Mon, Nov 18, 2002 Mike Maryland

I teach Cert (MCSE 2000) and I start my classes by telling everyone that with no experience and a MCSE or MCSA you will be lucky to get a into help desk job and take it if its offered. . However without the cert you can forget about getting into the field. Teaching is not my full time job so I also see what is going on in the IT real world. The Certs are necessary to keep your job, advance in your job or break into a new job, But they do not even come close to having experience. We need to understand that CERTS are now how we learn about the new products. More that 1/2 my class have no intention of testing they just want the knowledge base.

Sun, Nov 17, 2002 Mike Dallas

I see three issues:

The Dot Bomb sucked a lot of people into IT that simply don't belong there - people after the $$$ but lacking any particular talent, skills or even interest. Many of these people had seats when the music stopped, and in a massive demonstration of The Peter Principle, they remain there - incompetent, expensive, and immobile.

Another major theme is the transition from implementing major projects to maintenance and administration. My shop has 11 people right now (one of them an arrogant, condescending idiot, but under the protection of the IT Vice President, so, really, 10). In three years at the outside, once we are done migrating the IT infrastructure into the 21st century, we'll easily be able to get by with 4 people (or 2 really good people if no significant projects done in-house) plus the idiot. Goodbye, all but one programmers. Goodbye, all but one network engineer (who could be replaced by a much cheaper admin-only plus occassional consultants). Goodbye, project managers. Goodbye, IT middle management. I figure what's left will be one DBA, one Network Admin, one programmer and one tech (and the last two could be folded into the first two).

I also see major applications tending towards lower TCO (total cost of ownership), meaning fewer and less skilled people needed. Look at what it takes now vs. just 5 years ago to do a website (and keep in mind, it's often now just MAINTAINING a website).

IMHO, there is going to be a huge and painful reduction in the IT workforce AND IT compensation. (As an example, the 120-person consultancy I used to work for is now reduced to the two owners plus 1 employee.) Less work, less skills required in most cases, lots of people coming up from below (and from overseas). It's not going to be over until literally millions of people - some of them quite talented - have given up all hope of getting back into IT. Supply and demand.

For myself, I was lucky enough to have a chair when the music stopped, and my plan during the next few years is to simply work my butt off at the office and spend a good chunk of my free time honing my core skills as well as expanding my understanding in related skills. I still monitor job sites to see what employers value, but I have put off plans to switch horses in the current environment. And, I hate to say it, I'm starting to play office politics - people are already starting to jockey for position ahead of the coming crunch (even the idiot, trying to maintain a semblance of relevance).

For those of you on the outside looking in, my heart truly goes out to you. I personally know people who are exceptional - even gifted - but can't get a footing in the current environment. I know I'm lucky that my hard work has paid off, and I can only wish you luck as well.

Sun, Nov 17, 2002 Bb WDC-Balt-Anap Triangle

The last 11 pages have been some of the most disheartening comments I have ever read. Yes, in general, the IT job market, like all other job markets in the US, is depressed right now. There are too many of us who jumped on, fell off, got back on, and have fallen off again. I have had 9 IT jobs in a row over the last 12 years that ended in lay off, project cancellation, company shutdown, or a cheaper body to do the same work. I am facing the same thing, yet again. I have 14 Certs (NT, 2k, CNE, A+, Network+, Svr+, Apple Service Tech, etc.), half a masters in MIS, working on 2ed Masters in Project Management, BA, three AS degrees and have been in Advanced Technologies for a very long time. What am I doing about it? … That is the question most of us really need to ask ourselves. You didn’t get certs/degrees etc. by setting around being a dummy so you have a starting place. Even if it is just paper an MCSE says you are at least trainable in something … even if it is truck driving. By-the-way they work 60+ hours a week with no vacation, insurance, holidays off, or family life and are the sole of this nation - or the ones who speak English are.
I’m setting my goals higher then I can ever reach. Making and looking for that pot of educational/training money that has my name on it. (PS I already beat a military career, cancer, bankruptcy, and unemployment about once ever 14 months, I say, and you MUST say, I can beat this too). For Bob in Raleigh, NC, stay the course, stay in school, it will pay off.) Been-there, done-that, got the tee shirt.

Sun, Nov 17, 2002 Bob Raleigh,NC

Now that I've read this forum,I'm scared to death. I'm in my 4th week of tech school,hoping to change careers.Im 40 years old with 2 kids and a wife to provide for-and I feel like (from what Ive just read) Ive just pi$$ed away 12k. Is there any hope-or should I quit now and get what ever refund back I can??

Sun, Nov 17, 2002 Ray LA

I no longer include my MCSE in my resume – it’s now got such a bad reputation that I feel it actually goes against me. I imagine the HR manger seeing MCSE on my resume, jumping the conclusion that I am just another paper wanabee and not bothering to read about my 12 years experience. I can always mention the MCSE in the interview if the manager brings up the subject of certification but so far none of them have.

Sat, Nov 16, 2002 Mr.C Virginia

I guess that we shouldn't stop trying. It is true , lIfe is that sad. I am going to graduate from College and I have a lot of certs, I just started working with a good company, even that i am amking a low salary, i am very motivated. I just installed exchange in two of my Home servers, in addition to Sql, running different O.S. (NT,2000,Netware 6, Linux red Hat and Solaris 8) after coming from my new job i expend time at home "playing" with my system. Why I do all that? Because as others said, I hope we will see thw light at the end of the tunnel. And yes I have invested a lot of money in books and taken my time form my family. Good luck and keep trying, times are changing.

Sat, Nov 16, 2002 MCSE RN Anonymous

Any of you gripers tried to turn your skills into teaching. Computers are growing in the local schools and they need teachers with the background to teach and troubleshoot. In Texas, a person with a bachelors can get a tempory teaching certificate that gets them into a job while they take the education needed to make it permanent. Listen to the politicians....education is getting the attention along with healthcare. If you have any inclination toward nursing you CAN work your way through. Take the first year and be a CNA, then the 2nd year, be a LVN, the third year gets you an RN.
I rode out the recession in the early 90's doing parttime work and going to nursing school. I had been a VP in a niche industry that failed. I jumped from working in the hospital telemetry unit to working in their IT department, then rode the 2000 scare as a Systems Consultant. I added the MCSE, lost my job in the post Y2K crash and went back into nursing. Now I work as a nurse and trouble shoot our network (small facility). Take some of those lemons and figure out how to make LEMONADE!.

Sat, Nov 16, 2002 Chris Seattle

Hey I am in Redmond, home of Microsoft and guess what guys,Microsoft does Not give an ass on the MCSE or any certifications they push out. Profit line, that what they are looking for.
I have A+, MCSE2000 , 20+yrs experience in IT and yet they don’t even talked to seasoned IT people like us. Boeing laying off like crazy. Oh well, just collecting the unemployment check of $495/week for almost a year and hopefully, they will extend it till year 2003 of June. Congress has passed the extension date. Life is goood..getting paid for not working......

Sat, Nov 16, 2002 Alex Greensboro, NC

FYI, look for markets that do well no matter how the economy is. Such as healthcare, or liquor, food & drug companies. I was doing a search for Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa I stumbled upon ConAgra Foods website. They have 16 IT openings in Omaha, Nebraska. As long as you have a Bachelors degree, the right certifications and years of experience in the field... They've got openings. Me, I'm still in training. A student of life.

Sat, Nov 16, 2002 JB Wisconsin

oh and one more thing....the next bubble is already forming. Next time you are in the want ads, check out all the nursing jobs that are available, read up on how hard it is to find "qualified" nurses. You have only to replace a few words and you have the same song and dance that we used to enjoy. Like IT, in ten years I think the nurses will be posting to their forums much like we are now posting to ours....JB

Sat, Nov 16, 2002 JB Wisconsin

Wow - there's alot of gloom and doom amongst us all......I too am out of work at the moment - I've been trying to find some perspective on this whole affair. How did the economy recover in the early 80's when things were ~2x worse than today? How about the early ~90's, the last "recession" from which our recent good fortune sprang? It seems like every 10 years there is a purge that wipes out much of the good fortune that preceded it AND HOPEFULLY plants the seeds for the next period of growth. That's what I'm hoping for...What really bothers me at the moment though is an old quote that is nagging at my memory about how some company had put their IT department at the same level as their janitorial services. When asked why they had done this the HR dept stated that they did not know where else to put it and further that the biggest job of the IT dept was maintaining the computers much like the janitors maintained the buildings. I've been chewing on this and have found some truths in it that I certainly hope to learn from. Like janitors, IT in many cases lacks visibility. If things are right with IT, the computers just "work" and no one has to think about it. When something is wrong then people become aware of their computers. This is much like a janitor not emptying out the garbage, only when their cans are full of garbage do people think about the janitor. Janitors maintain infrastructure that has been built by others. They have done none of the building. In many cases IT has done none of the building and they too are expected only to maintain. In BI, the people who build the pivot tables and prepare the reports are the ones who see the light of day and have the exchange with the executives. In many cases the DBA who built the cube and worked out the dimensions remains hidden and unknown behind the scenes. The "reporter" gets the recognition while the "real" worker gets hardly anything. Once a janitor is in place and set up with equipment, little else is needed. How many managers think largely the same thing of the IT staff?....There are other pathetic examples to be mined out of this but I am already sick of it. The point? I'm still working on that, but I do find my thoughts on IT's comparison to janitors to be quite disturbing and revealing. Is it a problem with our visibility? Does IT, like janitors, show up only when everyone else has gone home? Is the value of IT unrecognized until something goes wrong (much like the garbage cans overflowing)? Are IT systems still so foreign to the average "Joe Executive" that they give no value or thought to them and thus no place at the table? One other thing....I look at the training and support that my salesman friends are getting and compare that to the (lack) of training and support I have had and it makes me sick. At a high level, I am seeing way more durability and employability in a sales career than I am in IT....good luck everyone!JB

Sat, Nov 16, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

This is the worst market ever. Its because the market has sagged, you have morons in Management that only care about the bottom line, jobs are cheaper to ship overseas to India and the American job force got lazy and complacent with the creature comforts of 80K a year for what? Installing and configuing software? Here is what you may face in years to come.... Indians demanding more money for being overworked... idiot Managment learning that they just screwed their companies because of lack of proper management of IT systems... hackers tearing into systems that are half-a$%ed and poorly maintained... and worse.... millions of Americans willing to work for peanuts to feed their families... if you live in NY, NJ or very NON cost effective locations, you better believe they will ship you job to low cost centers.... but what happens in the future? Will NY and NJ become barron wastelands? All to soon to see, but I can tell you this... blame the bottom line and nothing else. VP level staff only give a $%# about making stockholders happy so they get their bonus... they are surrounded by YES-men trying to keep their jobs.... beware, beware, beware... every industry is in this state of hell at this time. Good luck in this sad IT market...

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Multi-certified Atlanta, GA

Yup, the certification as "golden ticket" has actually turned negative - companies seem to be either (A) afraid to pay for an MCSE/MCT (especially one with 20 years industry experience like me), or (B) they've seen or heard of enough paper tigers to think all MCSEs are blue-collars who went to a night school, or (C) their HR dept has been told to look for a superman that doesn't exist, at least until they can get a foreigner in who'll work for rice. I joined the legions of certified trainers who were tired of Microsoft's crap, and the hypocracy of convincing hungry desperate people that my training would get them good jobs in IT. When/if they pass my training, they'll be every bit as jobless as I had been since 1999, and still owe money to the school. In fact, I'm now teaching guitar lessons, where I find I actually get respect for knowledge more than a year old. The whole certification industry is just trying to keep their own jobs by building other peoples hopes up, often creating new trainers who perpetuate the royal scam.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 tim Atlanta

"the market is still fairly healthy for programmers/developers" yea right...
I am master degree in computer science holder with 5 solid year experience on programming/development.... I am still hold SCJP(Java), MCAD(Microsoft .Net), MCDBA and CLP(Lotus).....I am still cann't be able to get any $40K/year and up job offer at all...

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Seth Ft Worth

I was hoping that the market would have filtered out all of the "wanna-be" techies - guys getting certs just because "that's were the money is", leaving good jobs for guys like me, the ones who truely and absolutely love IT. It's sad to find that companies got burned by these "wanna-be" techies and would rather do without than hire someone good. Computers are important, they are needed, yet businesses don't see it that way. Most businesses don't see the money that their IT department saved them or how IT improved productivity, but rather as an unneeded expense. Techies took advantage of business when the economy was good.. and now business is taking advantage of the techie.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 J Iowa

I've been trying to find a different job myself, and that has not been going well. I'm even considering a career change, and if I do on the day when companies are begging techs to come in and work for them again, I will say to these companies to go jump in the lake. These companies had their chance with me, and they blew it.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 L Dallas

What a gloomy board! I only have a MCP and am working on my MCDBA but I still have a job. I was lucky and found a job with a small company before they telecom company I did work for went belly up. We can't get raises and we are all having to work really hard, but I still have my job. I think a lot of the posts are correct that business manager are going to hate themsleves when they realized the dearth of technical knowledge that they have one day when one one they have on staff knows how to handle their crisis. Be persistant!! The other thing that has saved me is that I know a lot of different things...SQL Server, Oracle, scripting, web, Cold Fusion, networking and admin, Sybase, Crystal, VB...I'm not the greatest at all of them, but I can get buy. I know for a fact that being a jack of all trades has helped me. Those of you who have a ton of experience on a couple of things are going to have a rough time. Learn some of those low level things, like Access and Excel. There are a lot of people who need help with simple things like that. But, most importantly, if you like IT, programming, networking...HANG IN THERE!!!!!

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Dave Jay (MCSE) New York

The only reason companies spent all that money on IT and our salaries is because they thought it would cut costs and improve productivity and therefore profits. Well it didn’t work. Productivity grew more slowly in the 90s than it did in the 80s and more companies than ever are issuing profits warnings. Companies have finally wised up and realised that nearly all the money they spend on IT is wasted and have decided not to throw good money after bad. Looks like we have all staked our carers on a failed technology. Still may be it will be no bad thing if people decide to do real worth while jobs instead of tinkering with computers all day. It’s time to put the “IT revolution” behind us and get on with real life. As for me I am studying to be a teacher – and no I won’t be teaching IT.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Matthew Miami, FL

It's gloomy, but not as completely destitute as some might have you believe. I can't speak from the MCSE/Admin/Help Desk side of things, but the market is still fairly healthy for programmers/developers who can back themselves up with solid professional experience and impeccable references. Certs help too, especially with VS .Net, but as long as you got the history you still have a pretty good chance.

These radio ads are for suckers, but unfortunately good people are getting sucked in by them. Buyer beware.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Keith Portland

If enough people get up in arms and demand that politicians close the floodgates to foreign IT workers, then guess what - American companies pack it up and move to India and China. Any way you slice it, hardworking white males get the shaft, and those on the top cash in. I've learned several computer languages in the last few years, but now I'm thinking I should be learning Chinese instead.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 John NY

I can't believe that an ITAA article came and went without Harris Miller claiming there's an IT shortage and that if we don't import another 200,000 immigrant IT laborers this year, the country will go into a depression. That always seems to be his message no matter WHAT the job market looks like. I wonder if the ITAA backers like MS realize that they screwed THEMSELVES royally by creating artificially low salaries for IT workers. They managed to convince corporate America to spend 10 years worth of IT budget in 2 years, much of that on the cheap labor. Suddenly. surprise surprise, corporate America says it has no plans to purchase new computers or software for 4 or 5 years. Whoops! Those cheap laborers soaked up all of the MS budget dollars!

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Techgrrl Anonymous

You certified folks may consider lobbying companies to CHECK THE CERTS they think their hires have. I am hearing more stories from the young techs I come in contact with about contracting firms sending out people who are not really certified. Especially with premium certs like Cisco. One guy I know of has a Cisco cert and he is being paid simply for the use of the cert for another tech to work, as well as making the salary from his "real" job. I myself have run across a company or two who tried to use mine without my knowledge. It is harder to do to women because there are less of us in the industry. They piggyback ten techs on one cert. No one checks. A male voice is a male voice on the phone I guess. When jobs are tight, you may need to rat out these imposter companies. They condone it, they encourage it to increase their profits and body count of working techs. It is a dirty little secret of the IT industry that seems to be getting worse. Where did the pride and ethics go? I think folks get used to cheating in college and go on from there. I feel lucky. No degree, no high level certs, but still doing well, working day by day making sure my users are satisfied and productive. Hang in there all you good techies...I just hope the dishonest companies/techs get rooted out. They make certs seem worthless. And they are commiting fraud. How about some stories on this industry mags???

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Seth Ft Worth

I graduated with a Bach. Degree in Telecommunications Engineering and came out of school w/ a huge student loan to pay and nothing in the way of a job. After 6 months and numerous credit cards (to pay the bills) I finally landed a job, but am only making less than 25k per year. The potential for getting a better paying job in the IT industry is just not there.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

IIT Tech is another bigtime promoter on TV "Stating we're training people for the jobs of tomorrow" - more like the past. They pay people to say things like" I used to be a marine biologist - now I'm the manager of a broadband network. What a bunch of crap. The marine biologist position sounds pretty darn good right about now. Does anybody know how to shut ITT up? What a bucn of lying sacs of manure. They are false advertising big time and sucking naive people out of hard earned money that can be spent much better elsewhere. I hope ITT runs out of money soon and goes the way of the dinosaurs.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 MM NH

Good points, bad points. They're all here. New Hampshire is similar to the rest. Experience is important, but you’re not going to walk in the door as a janitor and work your way up to supporting an Enterprise infrastructure unless someone is willing to spend a lot of time with you (unlikely in this economy). Certs are important also as you learn a lot about the technology from its developers; not the person beside you who may not have the best way of doing things.
However, instead of saying, ‘I can’t get a job even though I’m certified here and there’, focus on specific contributions you have made to companies in the past and what you can do in the future.
As for those of you with the ‘gotta pay your dues’ mentality, this is true to some extent. But those of us who live in the real world, life is expensive (try buying a small house in Massachusetts - $350k+ average price ). I’m really surprised that you would chastise those who are complaining. Working 50+ hours a week at less than 40k/yr for an experienced IT person is High-tech slavery. Especially if his or her skills are current. I believe we must grin and bare it but some healthy lamenting is surely called for!

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 steve california

So far I have heard mostly whining about how hard jobs are to find. Have any of you even thought about creating your own consulting firm? It doesn't take much capital, and even though the big companies are laying off, there are PLENTY of small firms that need computer network maintanence. Most of them are Accounting firms, Dr.s offices, and law firms. I suggest to all you whiners is get some huevos and go market yourself. I landed a contract with a school district just by calling them and making myself available. The kicker is I just finished the 2000 track. I still have 5 tests to take. I started my company while I was in school. I do have my A+, and MCP for NT4, and my CCNA, but if you don't make yourself available, you won't get anywhere. Good Luck to all of you who have the huevos!

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 John San Jose, CA

I can feel your pain. I was laid off for six months last year. I have over 8 years experience in this field. I put in the nights and weekends studying for the exams on top of the 50 hour work weeks AND paid thousands of my own money to get certified. The hard fact is--this world isn't fair. You have to get what you can for yourself. I gave everything I had to the company that I went to with my CNE. When they decided to go to NT and I asked for help with the training so I could support it, would they help me? NO!!! What did I do? I went to Wells Fargo and took out a personal loan to pay for the classes myself. I went to school at night and on Saturdays (all day) for months while making payments on that loan and using that knowledge on that job because I couldn't afford to quit. When I finally finished getting my MCSE and found the higher paying job I told that old company to kiss my ass and I never looked back. AND I NEVER WILL!!! It's up to you to look out for yourself. I wish all of you the best of luck. By the way, I have been busting my ass for eight years, I have a CNE on Netware 3, 4, and 5 as well as an MCSE on NT4 and 2000 and I recently got certified as a desktop tech on Apple and am pursuing OS X training for my current employer. I thank God every day for the job I have making 50k a year. I also live in fear of losing it any day because of the current economy. I hate to ramble and I don't know if this post will be useful to anyone, but it is completely honest. Good luck to everyone, and God Bless You! One last point--you don't have to pay thousands at the training centers. Take your hard earned money, buy the Microsoft Press books and two cheap computers (old P1 or PII's), install the trial software and study your ass off. Good Luck!

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Vince San Diego, CA.

San Diego is no better. Though we have a 4% unemployment rate, it's much higher in IT. My small company had one CM job opening which paid $40k - $45k (not great pay in SOCAL for those of you who don't live here). We've been flooded with resumes from people laid off in the IT/Wireless industry here who were making much better money. Plus we also have those IT Schools telling their students how much they can make once certified. Shameful. With San Diego being a big Navy/Marine Corps town , IT companies can hire kids out of those services with the certs. and the experience vice one of these IT school grads. I've been telling kids that if they get certified an can't find work due to no experience ... join a military service and get that experience - plus all the other benefits. The military is always looking for people smart enough to do IT.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Kisner Dallas

MCSE is your ticket to a $50-$100K job...err in 1997-1998. CCNA was a nice bonus in 1999-2000. I paid my dues (for longer than I had to) and was a admin since 1994 (starting at $7.50 an hour). I'm part of the 25% of MCSEs out there that are Win2k MCSEs. If you think your going to take a 2 week boot camp and start doing my job tomorrow at my salary....think again - and IF I get laid off I'll go up against you with 7 years of pure IT experece. Don't believe the radio adds. I've do it because I love it, if you love it and work hard God bless you I'd love to help you get a job. But if you think it's your ticket to riches...go to Medical School instead.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 JuanDelagator San Francisco, CA

I work for a big company that is and has been looking to outsource all IT. Some departments have been saved by whitty managers, others are on the chopping block. My few years at this large company have taught me several things: 1) big business really doesn't care about your "skills". 2) Who you associate with and who likes you will get your further than skills. 3) 20/80 rule: 20% of the people do 80% of the work. 4) POLITICS make or break your department. When I started working at this place, I was in the process of getting my NT 4.0 MCSE (which I did). I work in operations. The developers laugh at certs, and one of their own went to a boot camp for 10k+ that the company paid for. No one really respects the certs in my organization, so I have given up. Networking is key in IT. I have made good connections with consultants and other people in the IT field, and I never close the door to my past work places. You have to establish and maintain a web of friends in the IT world in order to have a safety net. Almost all hires in my organization are from internal recommendations. If you are not recommended, then EOE, ya BULL! they are not going to take a chance on you. Anyway, the place I see for IT right know would be the medical industry and government (war on terrorism,etc). Government IT work will help you when you want to break into the private sector. A lot of former military work with me. I know layoffs are coming to my group, and I even know the people going. I can't say they don't deserve it, but it's still a bad situation. What makes me mad is that I know people, with excellent skills who are begging for work, and in the meantime there are SLACKERS galore who do nothing all day, human routers if you will, and get credit for an excellent write up of the situation...DILBERT didn't lie EVER in his cartoons!!!

Juan Delagator

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Owner Anonymous

I just read ME's comments. They should be etched in stone because what he/she said is completely factual.
The certifications don't mean anything without the technical skillsets and the people skills to compliment the certification. Too many of us feel we have reached the pinnicle when we have the paper from Microsoft, Cisco, Citrix, CheckPoint, Sun or Novel. Well, I got some disappointing news for you that paper doesn't mean anything except you know how to take a test and that's about all.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 JALogan PA, USA

In regards to Whatever from GA.

ARE YOU NUTS, IT people also have constant retraining on all of the updates, and new systems. My boss' never floated a thing, I had to pay it. $15,000 in one year for the TechNet, 2000, new MS exams, new office version, etc.

THAT'S WHY WE WANTED MORE PAY, TO RECOVER WHAT WE HAD TO INVEST TO KEEP CURRENT.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 JALoganMCSE PA, USA

Speaking of those bogus radio ads:

"Do you know the average MCSE makes..., and are in HIGH DEMAND"

Anyone feel like launching a class action for the hell of it? I think we have proof to the opposite, and we were railroaded out of our jobs to make room for people who have no clue how to install an OS, NOS, or even a video card.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 JALoganMCSE PA, USA

What about Gates donating all the money to India for AIDS, this is on the verge of a "Technology Trade" as well, say bye-bye to our jobs, they're going to India, or repeating the H1B Visa stint again. Why pay us 50-60K when they can bring someone in and pay 20K.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Whatever Georgia

Gloomy for hiring? Not on my end. I wish I could find someone who wanted to work rather than show me all the Certs they have. The fact is, the IT world has gotten itself into this position by overcharging and underservicing the unwary Business sector for years. As an 18 year self employed veteran that has sat on both sides of the table, I can tell you without a doubt that it's time for IT'ers to pay up. If all you care about is benefits, pay, stock options and time off... well, I say it's time you learned how to flip hamburgers rather than muddy up the water for those who KNOW what they are doing. I see people coming out of IT camps that compete with REAL IT'ers at ridiculously lowball prices and LIE about their ACTUAL ABILITIES. Losers. They suck the breath and life out of business. How about putting in the 70 hour+ work week that it takes to get the job done. FOR THE SAME PAY as you would normally get. You do realize of course that most contracts call for a specific amount of money for services... and that's all the company gets for providing the service.. regardless of how poorly it is implemented by IT Wannabees. "Oh, my employer is so bad... he won't pay for me to get my CNE so that I can leave him for better pay... he's so unfair." Whiner. Stay up until 2am, get up at 5am to learn your job. Man... now that's LIVING! hahahaha

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 alanTTT London England

Things are just as bad here in England. The few jobs that are on offer are in the public sector offering really low wages. The skills shortage (if it ever existed) has turned into a skills surplus - only the best qualified and most experienced can now find a job and then at a salary that most general office workers would turn down. Having a job in IT is starting to look a bit last century

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 ME Anonymous

Here’s a comment from the other side of the equation. I am a business owner who hires people like you. Think about it, I’m the guy who two years ago you extorted that unreasonable raise from. You threatened to go to work for my competitor because he promised you a 3% raise over what I was paying you. I’m the guy who paid thousands and thousands of dollars to train you in the latest technology which I desperately needed you to implement for my clients. You are the one who left my company after receiving the technical training I paid for. You took that training and went somewhere else to earn a few dollars more than I could pay you. You see it was always about you, what you wanted, how you felt about things, what was best for you…not what was best for the company or for anyone else.

If you want to find a job in this industry (and there are still plenty of them) learn some people skills. Learn how to sell to the customer, learn something about customer service, get a haircut and lose the nose ring the tongue stud and cover up those hideous tattoos you are so proud of. Most of all take this opportunity to learn one of life’s lessons, business is cyclical, there are ups and there are downs, currently, things are down. It won’t last forever, nothing ever does. Next time things are up and you think you are on top of the world, just remember be friendly to the people you meet on the way up, because you’ll for sure meet them again on the way back down.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Peter Victorville, CA

This has got to be one of the most depressing boards I have ever read. I just certified in January and February as an MCP, MCSE, MCDBA, MCSA and A+ and have been working as a free-lancer ever since. I have distributed literally thousands of resumes and apply to dozens of jobs a week and not a single response and I have about 2 years actual network experience and over twenty years A+ experience working for myself. Almost makes me want to go back to helicopter maintenance. The several part-time jobs idea sounds intriguing, an angle I haven't tried yet. I manage to make my car and rent payments finding odd IT work. Get some business cards and just dump them at all the local businesses. They usually have someone taking care of their computers with very little experience. I get calls once or twice a week to come fix something stupid like reinstalling an application that won't run and often I get work on the spot when I walk in. Think entrepreneurship. Be your own boss. The hours are great, even if the pay is not steady and will give you experience in the meantime. Good luck to all!

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 tom chicago, il

I've been reading about how no one can find a full time I.T job. Ive been in this IT business as Tech and Admin since 1979 (after I graduated DeVry with a BEET). Finding a IT job isn't easy, even befoere Y2K.But when you cannot find a full time one, negoiate for a part-time one. Many comapnys, especially small ones, cannot afford a full time IT staff, but can afford a part-time, one day a week or month or on-call, IT person. At one time, around 1989 to 1993, I was working part-time for 6 different companies. One was on-call for a fixed monthly fee, the others were as a part-time emnployee Monday through Friday. SO when your skills and Certs are great, but your experience is not, negoiate with some small companies to be their part-time IT staff. The pay is better, the hours are good, the experience is great,but the benefits (unless negoiated for) are not. If you cannot find a full time job, go create several part-time ones.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 LadOff-W/Exp ;( Boston Area

I got let go from a Navy contract in August and have been stressing ever since. Just had to sell my house (thank god for real estate boom) and am now renting a townhouse with wife and 7yr old. At first I thought I was alone in this, but after reading these postings I'm amazed and saddened. In the New England area (6 States) it's awful! Example: The Boston Globe had 2, yes 2 IT jobs in the whole Sunday paper. I have 9 years (real hands on experience), MCSE-MCDBA-MCP-MCT and have my resume posted with a dozen Career sites. I apply to an average of 20 jobs a week (via email agents) and haven't even received a phone call. The problem/scam with Internet job postings is CIO's put these "wish list" jobs up there that aren't even needed until Q3-03' when they've been promised a little bit of their budget back. I NEED A JOB NOW, NOT Q3!!! Their just corralling applicants. I thing I just got a job with Cingular Wireless via a very good friend as a Data Sales Specialist (Blackberry, Good, RIM). It's a bit of a change in direction from I'm accustomed to doing, but I'll work 80hrs a week if I have to for the benefit of earing for my family again. Some of you need to stop being so harsh about certifications, people have families to take care of and bills to pay! Certs or no certs, experience or very little doesn't matter right now. I've yet to see a person in this thread ask for 75K a year because they just got certified. People just want a chance to make a living. There's people in here with CCIE, CCNP and CCNA who can't get jobs..there's a big problem people and it's not about certifications! Good luck to everyone out there...we'll all have to do what we have to.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Bruce North Carolina

Folks, Some of have gotten a raw deal, but why did you get into IT in the first place. If you did it for money you are eventually going to get hurt. I was force retired, from a telco this year, after 32 years of 24/7 working sick & no time for my family. But, I did it because I loved the job & my employees. Those still there have lost their love of the job. Look around you; all around you and not just in your little nitch. Tens of thousands of people are being put on the street. All in the name of 9/11. Every industry is hanging their hat on 9/11. Our government needs to stop this madness. There is truth in every comment made by everyone of you. Now that I have retired (haha) I went back to the field I started in 40 odd years ago. Not because I was dumb enough to fall for some radio ad or hollow promise. But because I love the work. I’m attending New Horizions to get caught up and get certified. Pie in the sky? No! I want the pride that comes with it and the job will follow. Meanwhile, like so many others of you, I will do what I have to do until I can do what I love to do and get paid for it. I wish you all the best in these difficult times.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 MCSEX2 Raleigh, NC

You can forget about the "TriAngle" area here in North Carolina, the market is dead. I'm certified as an MCSE in NT4 and Win2K and have been unemployed for over a year! Recently, I had a friend hand deliver my resume to his H.R. Manager for an opening they had, The HR guy showed him a stack of over 200 resumes they recieved for that one position! Sadly, there are too many people chasing too few jobs... and no, I didn't get called for an interview.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 wendy richmond, va

I have enjoyed reading these responses, but no one is looking outside of the rose-colored glasses. I have been in IT (IT support, programming, network adim, MCSE, etc.) for 17 years and have been truly blessed. But I have also been in environments where layoffs are existent. I have seen my organization (financial) go from 140 employees to 14. I am fortunate, we still have pcs and servers and they need support. But if I should get my pink slip, I have decided to teach public school. The pay isn't that great, but there are plenty of positions available and the benefits are awesome. I am not telling everyone to teach, but I think it's a career than can be personally and professionally rewarding. And with a little dedication (Masters in Education Administration) there is room for advancement.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

To all my Tech associates. Their is a way out and around this low IT market. If 20 IT persons are willing to come to Atlanta, and join a soon to be Tech IT investors program, we can implement our expertise with my innovative ideal. We can then be like the MicroSoft's and IBM company. It will be low pay at first but once the ideal I have gets off the ground with proper investments, dedicated Tech IT persons, I'm sure we will be in the Dunn & Brad Street mouths in less than two years. If you are interested for the details please email me at dbd7avid@cs.com. Thanks
P.S. The economy needs a change, and we are the ones to do it ( Tech IT persons).

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 RP Chicago

HOT! HOT! HOT!
I know where they are begging for IT help! 15 of our guy's positions just moved there. India! Of course the positions are there but the 15 programmers and help desk people are laid off. Right around Christmas time. Bill Gates goes to India and invests $400 mil for technology. He's training the guys that will take your job. So don't whine about jobs here, go grab your own grass hut before they are all gone.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Teddy Charlotte/NC

My company has laid off almost all of our IT staff so I agree that the outlook for IT jobs looks dim, but what I have learned at least around this area and any area I suppose, is having connections. True there aren't many jobs out there, but with the right connections, the few jobs out there might make it to your attention. I belong to a professional non-profit organization called BDPA - I.T. Thought leaders (bdpa.org), amongst others. But through this organization I have came in contact with CIOs and CEOs from major companies like UPS, First Union, Microsoft, Statefarm Insurance, and others at National Conferences for our Organization. Also I am a board member in our organization which I think looks good on my resume to due to the responsibility I have with such a position. Trust me anybody you can know in the inside at a company helps, especially CIOs. Also I have started to supplement my income now in anticipation for the future, by doing things Non-IT related such as a few small businesses. Heck I don't mind selling candles at the mall or selling shades. Money is Money, that's all my bill collectors care about.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 routerwoman Greenbelt, MD

I got laid off in the early '90's and it took me several years to find IT employment again. Please tell me we're not going there again!
Right now, I'm working for a Government contractor in IT Security, but I keep hearing that the Agency is experiencing budget cuts. Will IT Security positions remain safe?!

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Doug Anonymous

Today it's not enough to know your job, or have the technical skills and certifications. To be successful (or in demand) you have to understand the business your company is in and be able to apply the technology. When you understand the business you have a better chance of communicating with the non-technical decision maker's. One of the biggest complaints I hear from user’s and decisions maker’s is that IT people don't understand what the user does and claim the technology is a burden most of the time and not a benefit, even though we know it's not. While we understand that the non-technical person doesn't understand what we are doing, are we doing all we can to understand the business and how our knowledge can help it?

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Larry Columbus, Oh

Not sure what everyone is talking about in Columbus. We have not lost the core fortune 1000 companies that do most of the hiring here. They are still rolling out new technology and are in need of skilled specialists. We hopefully will never go back to the market from a couple of years ago where I could be required to work along side someone who can't even type and doesnt know the first thing about systems. I understand it is an employer's market now, but what provides for me is that I can know that the folks in the foxhole with me day in and day out are solid.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Mark Washington DC

Any IT professional who knows their stuff can get a job here in DC. There are plenty of jobs, both high and low-level. With the war on Terrorism and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, job prospects rere remain pretty good (not great). Professionals who emphasize their skills on Security-related technology have the best chances of landing the high-paying contracts.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Troy Seymou, IN

When the manufacturing company I worked for as Senior Database Administrator closed down I knew I would have a hard time finding a new job. I thought I would give it a go as a self-employed consultant. Wrong answer. While nobody wants to hire any IT people on a full time basis, they are even more reluctant to hire consultants for very short-term jobs! I ended up working as a maintenance tech on manufacturing equipment hoping an IT position would open and I could apply from within. Again, no luck. I finally took a short-term contract because it pays much better, but no benefits and I'm away from my family all week. What a world, what a world.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Paul Washington DC

Here in the Capitol area things are about the same as the rest of the country but with one twist. Our National Legislators are so busy voting themselves another $5,000 a year raise (pushes them up to almost 150k/yr) they forgot to do their real job and pass the federal budget. We are already on one continuing resolution with the likely prospect of another that goes through March/April. With no confirmed budget; and warnings that what they DO get will be significantly less, Govt. agencies are cutting back on IT left and right, scaling baqck on existing contracts, annot signing any new ones. This means that the potential employers in the area are VERY picky about who they keep, who they dont keep and grabbing cheaper labor where they can. Sure, bring on your certs, your skills your reams of experience....just dont expect to find a job paying what it did 5 years ago.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Chipchick Dayton,OH

We've got the same problem ITGuy has in Columbus. The ante is much higher now...you can have certs and college degrees and still not get considered. I was laid off in Nov 2001 from a nationally known company because of "budget". The basic fact is that companies have wrung the profit out of what they can prior to this recession, and now there is nothing left to cut but people, people, people. I am afraid for the future of this country, to be honest. We are selling ourselves in the "wall street dance" and cutting our throats at the same time. How can you buy goods and services when you are unemployed? I decided a few months ago that it was time to move out of IT - I went back to college for a different career field. I love IT, but its become a lackey job with huge challenges that cannot be met by reasonable timeframes and work hours. And we have people in positions of authority that got there by something other than technical abilities and don't have a clue. The advertising has slowed down a lot lately on certs...so have the promises.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Pete Sarasota and Jax Beach

I should've visited this comment board a long time ago. I"m back in the groove after 6 months, was layed (laid? -feels like screwed) off in April. Those of you with new certs, don't give up, it doesn't matter whether you've got the experience or not right now, no one is hiring. Soon things will get better, so if you love IT, hang in there. I had to rent out my 4br home or lose it, moved into a mobile home 300 miles away, and sell my Honda to keep my a$$ afloat. After 100+ resume submissions, got a call out of the blue to go back to Sarasota. Friends in Chicago with CCIE's aren't working either. It's a crap shoot out there. I'm starting a home-based business regardless of my new job success, no more getting caught with my pants down in the IT industry. Best of luck to you all..

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Nick Connecticut

The IT job market here has pretty much dried up as Susan has stated earlier. Funny thing is . . . the company I work for keeps growing in the IT area. More servers . . . more apps being hosted . . . less manpower. It is just like a few have posted. You truly need that red "S" on your chest.

Managers, Directors . . . whomever . . . the none techies understand that the market is saturated and they have the techies over a barrel. It is basically legal extortion. They know you're not going to quit. Where you going to go? So they demand more and more out of you and keep your pay the same.

Upper management generally gets their performance measured, not by how much money they make a company, but how much money they can SAVE a company.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Anonymous Connecticut

I teach at one of those schools. It is difficult to find gainful employment, yet we continue to place students. The scool I teach at focuses on technical skills not certifications, and I think that hiring managers appreciate that for entry level. Granted, the average starting salary has decreased considerably. On the bright side, IT has grown, albeit less than 1 percent, but a growth trend is better than a loss trend. I agree with mark that people wanting to break into tech should not focus on certification. They should focus on basic skills and find a way to gain experience. Many tech schools, not cert farms, offer a good array of hands on training. Volunteering for a private non profit that needs technical experience is another good way to get your foot in the door. I also know people, who have gained experience in the reatail tech market before moving on to corporate IT (e.g. starting at Best Buy, COMPUSA, or local fixit shop). A good bench mark for certification is to have 1 year of experience prior to taking any test. Doing certification first is putting the cart before the horse. For those of you who are unemployed with experience and certification, it is only a matter of time before you land another decent job. Keep on trucking.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Instead of doing his job to get this sagging economy back on it's feet and fixing unemployment, our President just got more dictatorial powers, and is only busy with causing panic, fear and gloom, preparing for his own little war. You get what you deserve.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Eddie Boston

The ninties are SO Over!!! Right now there are no IT jobs in boston, and even with me getting my CCNA and with 4 years of support experience in IT,,, I cannot even get an interview!!! When will this end??? no time soon, as I see it!

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 gratefully employed dc

I read through these posts and agree that many people bought into the radio ads. Unless you are exceptionally lucky, there is no substitute for experience. A lot of people I work with that have been in the industry for 10 years have 1 year of experience - 10 times. I have a degree in CS but no certifications, and have never had a problem finding a job. I started out 5 years ago at 40K and now make 80K. I did it by working 60-70 hours per week. I started as a network administrator full time and spent my nights learning SQL and web development. I couldn't find anyone to hire me as a web/database developer so I started my own projects - no pay, but much experience and wound up with a huge portfolio to show on my resume. I still work at least 10 hours per week learning new technology - for FREE on my own time. If you are unemployed, you should be working 10 hours per DAYlearning Java, SQL, VB, .NET or anything else. Do IT work as a volunteer. There are thousands of non-profits who need help. With all of the on-line help sites, there is nothing that you can't learn IF you apply yourself. I also have a friend who broke into the IT field several years ago. He used to install carpet. Didn't even have a computer. He got A+ certified, did volunteer work, eventually got a part time job and worked himself into a full-time position. He got MCSE certified with NO classes. He learned it all on his own. If you work hard enough, you WILL get a job. Good luck and get to work!

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Mike Houston

Well Susan I hear Strip clubs are still in.
But really, if I were you I would look to the smaller business to plant my feet. You may start with a lower salary than expected but as with me I retired from the Air Force 2 years ago, and excepted the first job offer I got from a small business.
The first raise was great, and this one was even better. As the company grows so can you. I started at a lower salary, but now I am making way more than the norm for IT. Sometimes it pays to be patient.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Bill Nashville

In response to a couple of "anonymous" posts, I don't expect to get a $75k per yr job after going to school for 5 weeks. I spent over a year going to school for the certs I've earned. I would be delighted to start with an entry level job in I.T. to gain experience in the real world. I've seen many entry level jobs advertised that require 2 yrs experience. I thought entry level meant no experience. How the hell are you supposed to get experience if you can't even get an entry level job without experience? People here are venting their frustration, not whining. It's interesting that the people who post here and accuse the others of whining are always anonymous. Bock Bock!!

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Surviving RTP

I'm a CISSP,MCSE,MCSA,CCNA,CCA with 8 years in IT and I make 15hr working a BS job as a tech. Thank you techtrain and the likes. Also I'd like to thank all the contracting firms who squeeze the life blood out of a industry in which it used to mean something when I said "yeah I work in the NOC" Now however the janitor says "I work in the NOC what's that stand for again?"
One thing is for sure though. IT is a rough industry right now. I wish everyone the best of luck because i know i need some.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 James M. SFO, CA.

BS degree, certifications, experience all vary in terms helping one obtain a job.
During the ga-ga late 90's nealry every industry overspent on IT, dot.com or otherwise.
That source of funds has dried-up. Most of those companies would never have become profitable.
In addition to gloomy IT job market, we're now in a moderately serious recession. Most industries are not adding to their workforce.
Unemployment typically contines to climb even after an economy begins to revive after a recession. And the experts have not said we've even it bottom yet.
Greenspan didn't cut the interest rate by .5% (twice as much as expected) because the economy is doing well.

IT will contine to contract until it returns to its former and natural place as simply one other department in the corporation.
I think most of the downsized IT jobs are gone for good.
Similar to the recession of 1989-1993, its a fundemental shift in our economy. Back then it was the end of the Cold War. Much of the job changes are permanent. Unfortunately.
Thank you.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 ITMaster Anonymous

Certs are required. I don't know why so many people bash certs and other education. It is stupid. You need to have proof that you can do the job. I'm thinking there are a lot of people posting here with no certs that think they deserve a job because they fixed a computer once. There is a huge difference between the quality of a certified worked and an uncertified worker. Bashing certs is not going to get you a job. Just learn the products and get some certs. Quit crying because others are more educated than you. And yes, you are still going to start at the bottom when you go into a new job no matter what.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 IT Worker West Palm Beach

Let just say I am quite sure you guys are going to beat me up for this, but I stop testing in 1999. I have my A+,CNA, and MCP I am a computer instructor (haha)but I have two IT jobs, I am also the woman with the big "S" on my chest Jack of all Trade master of none for a call center. I must say Thanks eddie, I was considering moving to Tampa but now I am not! LT from columbus you got a bad deal but if I was you I would catch the next wave with Susan. I think the medical field would be perfect, what are you going to do with teaching? oh I know, train teen-agers to replace you!!! To all keep getting the certification they show persistent, willigness, endurance These are great skills for Wal-mart.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 D Arizona

I agree with all of the comments in this post. I have been out of work for over six months. All of the certifications in the world (which I have my MCSE, MCSA, MCDBA and going for the CCNA) and experience (8 Years) does not amount to anything. Unless I want to work for a Minimum wage Tech. Job which is 40 miles away from my house. Companies do not want to hire skilled labor anymore unless you know every OS and programming language known to man (or woman). For instance from my last job, the one I was layed off, they let go of all of the skilled labor (the people with real certifications, not the ones who studied by using the braindump sites) and kept all of the clowns. Companies would rather have Minimum wage clowns running the show, then have people that know what they are doing. No offense to Trade School Cronies but I would rather have someone that has a clue running my IT business then someone fresh out of school. To all those who are in the same boat that I am in (layed off, fired or just in a dead end job), GOOD LUCK, your going to need it.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 h-town IT Houston

Worst in Houston. I'm a experience admin/network engineer with CCIE written and I know at least 5 experience CCIE are looking for job.. The company I work for is taking the whole support center over sea.. Don't waste your time on the cert and try to get into door of IT. The dot com era is gone and no more "1 cert wonder" (get a A+ or MCP or CCNA and get pay $$$).

Go get a degree and get a "regular" job.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Martin Till Chicago, IL

My experience is much different than most that are posted here. I started my career as a hospital accountant with a CPA over 10 years ago. I also had an MBA. I stayed in accounting for 7 years.

Since I worked with hospital department managers on their budgets every year, both my verbal and written communication skills became one of my top selling points, which was unexpected, as I was shy growing up.

I quit my job in a rural Missouri town, moved to Chicago, took computer classes, got an MCSE, CNA, and took a job as an accounting software consultant in 1998. I didn't like that, so quit that job after 10 months, and at that point ended up with a starting position as a systems administrator with 2 nonprofit Chicago clients.

Both of those clients had some issues with their accounting databases. My accounting background was something most administrators didn't understand at all, and that really paid off in a big way when there were accounting database problems.

After 1 1/2 years, one of those clients wanted me full time as a technology manager, and am very happy here.

Chicago is a tough city for systems people as well. However, my recommendations are as follows:

Technically, learn an operating system besided Microsoft. Everyone and their mother knows Microsoft. I know Novell and Groupwise (on Netware 6). You have to differentiate yourself from the pack. Regardless of what Microsoft would have you believe, Novell is still a very important operating system for many companies---and the platform is generally more stable.

However, most importantly, learn a discipline besides computers. I feel very comfortable talking to CEOs, COOs, and CFOs about many different areas of business in addition to tech. Because my background consisted of finance and marketing before I got into computers, I can relate to them and communicate with them in a manner which they understand.

I was told that I was the best systems administrator that one of my original clients had. The reason for that was not due to my technical skills. It was due to the intangible skills that I developed earlier in my career, as well as my knowledge of accounting.

In summary, I like the I.T. field, but am getting project management skills. It seems like too many people in the tech field have a strong tech background, but need to work on other areas to complement the tech background they have.

Also, discouraged IT people should really consider learning accounting as well. That combination has been unbelievably good for me.


Thu, Nov 14, 2002 RonDeL Upstate NY

ok...I just read through the other pages of postings....I guess NYC is just as bad off as the rest of the country (and the world)...at this point, the only people and positions that seem to be open are those in the military...I'm not going back there again!!!

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 RonDeL Upstate NY

The schools up here are still pushing the certs like there are thousands of IT jobs going unfilled!! and they still (all but) promise $67K/yr("...according to MCP magazine, the average salary..."....I have 10yrs experience, my AAS in CIS, A+/Net+, MCSE(NT/W2K), CCNA, and I am LUCKY - I repeat...LUCKYto be making $40K upstate...I could teach if I had a BS instead of AAS-(I am net admin for a college)....if you are looking for work, it's not here...but NYC always has postings - IF you want to live there...Employers seem to want more college, more experience, as well as the certs, before they will look at you for a "decent" paying ($60K or better) job...lets hope the economy picks up....and SOON!!!!!

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I think the best place to be is in a consultative roll. While these big companies have slashed there IT work force, some group still needs to do the project work, so they are using an outside work force to get the job done. Its not a perminent job, but it will pay the bills.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I guess I just dont understand why you people think that just because you studied one book and took a $100 test that you deserve a $75k a year job. Most of you have said you fell for the radio ads promising huge salaries with just a few weeks training, well WHAT DID YOU EXPECT! I am an MCSE in NT 4 and 2000 and a CCNP. The MCSE exams are a joke and anyone with an internet connection can download enough materials and learn enough to pass them, with out using Troy Techs and the likes to cheat. That is the whole reason the are a HALF MILLION MCSEs out there! Microsoft has made it so damn easy its like buying it at the supermarket. Dont get me wrong I feel for anyone that has lost their job, I truely do. But if you think that just because you fixed someones computer once because they blew a breaker and didnt know it, why should a company spend $50-$75k a year to hire you? This advice may sound a little harsh but I have been in the industry a long time and have seen the fad come and go and I'm sick of hearing people with no ambishion nor drive to do whatever it takes to succeed in thier "chosen" career field cry about why a company wont give them what they want on a silver platter. The best advice I can give you would be to start at the bottom like the rest of us seasoned veterans and work your way up with a solid foundation and understanding of the entire IT industry, dont just buy a $50 cheat sheet and wonder why the offers arent pouring in!

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Paul NYC

Hey James, I hear ya on the NYC scene. Just wondering what other careers you're looking into. Any ideas yet? Sounds like you have many possibilities considering the education you have. Let us New Yorkers know if you run into anything good. Good luck to everyone.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 RD New Orleans

The view from here is about the same. New Orleans never was and never will be a tech town. We survive on service industry jobs - bartender, waiter, busboy, etc. The "Big Easy?" Yep, that's us. Some guys on this thread have been yapping about "IT wannabees" or giving the slack-jawed advice about jumping to programming. I'm a hardware guy, 20 years experience. Yeah, yeah, 1200 baud modems, 8" floppies, VisiCalc, the whole nine yards. Have done tech support, some database and interface programming, hardware maintenance, procurement, small business consulting, medical office management, peer-to-peer networks, yada yada. Can design company logoes, oversee medium-sized construction projects, make great coffee and fix the damned fax machine. Got an MBA from Tulane. Got certified as an MCP in NT Server, Workstation, Enterprise. Took all the MCSE coursework in 2000, but when I talked to HR people, they said there was no demand for them "yet" so didn't spend the money for the exams. Sent out 300 resumes, got 8 interviews, still no job. Know what I do? Manage a little neighborhood bar. 52 years old and I'm breaking up fights and tucking drunk girls into cabs. $18,000/year and all the beer I can drink. It would probably be fine if I was 25, but with no benefits and "retirement" looming, life kinda sucks. My point is (and I do have one) is that big business bought everything we tried to sell them 2 years ago and frankly most of it was either unneeded or just pure crap. Too many "thinktanks" (Gartner Group for one) have come out with surveys showing billions were spent on stuff to "take advantage of the vast potential of the Internet" and it just didn't fly. Sales people moved a lot of boxes touting the technological features of IT with little if any regard for the business goals of their client companies. So, here comes the backlash. "You need what? Well, two years ago you needed all this crap to keep us competitive and it didn't do squat for the bottom line. Now, it's belt-tightening, pal."

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Thomas Knoxville, Tn.

I work tech support for DSL for a large ISP in the southeast. Its an okay job. I start this job while I was in Tech School to get some needed experience in the IT field. I graduated in June 2002, and have sent resumes out the rear since then, nobody is interested. I have had a few interviews, but experience is still a hinderance. Most company's want someone who can do it all, for little compensation. The last group I interviewed with offered no real pay, or benefits, and had lousy hours, but opted for some youngster over me who had no more experience and no certs at all. I can't even get the crappy jobs. I have my MCSE in 2000, CCNA, A+, Net+, and am working on my CNA from Novell and LCP from Linux. I really get depressed writing out those student loan checks every month.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Stuart Greensboro, North Carolina

I agree with you all. ECPI and others are flooding the airways around here with fantastic "promises" of great jobs and salaries, of which there are none. If you have a job, whatever you do, DON’T ASK FOR A RAISE! I have 3 MCP's in NT and 2000, and was laid off (fired) in December '01 from a permanent TekPro position with TekSystems because I received an excellent review from client and subsequently received a decent raise from Tek. Three weeks after that, the client told me that I was being replaced, and declined to give me a reason. Tek wouldn’t give me a reason either. The next week, the client hired a new technician from another contract firm at 30% less than my bill rate. I had been with Tek for 5+ years, and had a grand total of two weeks on the bench in that entire time! Most of the guys had about one week per month. I've survived by taking PC deployment jobs for a month or so whenever I can. Now, my fiance found out that she's getting laid off next Friday. I have a good friend in IT at a local technical community college that had 148 applicants for a $10 per hour IT job. They hired a guy with NT and 2000 MCSE's!!! Merry Christmas everybody! I'm afraid there won't be one around here.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Ian Singapore

Just thought you should know. This crap is happening everywhere even in my small country. Down here it's a bit more racial issue though. Only Chinese ppl seem to get hired.
Anyways I like computers too currently unemployed with lotsa experience and certs. Never give up Never Surrender(Galaxy Quest) hehehe . Hang in there IT ppl.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Rock_On orlando

I agree with a lot of these comments, I work for a big place that takes care of Human Beings and see the CUT THROAT things that go on. Managers that don’t understand and keep piling on the Responsibility and the MULTI MILLION dollar projects but no help, demands placed on us and no where to run because no one else is hiring and they figure, "Hey we got these guys by the BaXXs. Let’s not give them raises because they are scared to leave anyhow." I've been doing this IT Crap 24/7 for 5 yrs, and figured out that there is a lot of stupid people that think we are just going to keep this up, But I will say probably in 5 yrs from now that the IT work force will be so slim that they will have to pay a lot more for us to stay. So essentially they are screwing themselves.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Unemployed! Charlotte

Not much in North Carolina and what jobs are available are few and far between. I would like to know just how many people I am competing against. For someone with over 10 years in the profession it has been very difficult to even get interviews. Cheap labor and to be willing to work a tremendous amount of hours is the name of the game! IT sure isn't what it use to be!!

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 James Manhattan

I'm currently working as an application support person on Unix/Sybase systems in NYC, but my job is day to day. I have 3.5 years experience with Unix, an MCP in Windows NT, A +, Network +, and a BA degree in History with a teacher's certification. I'm grateful to be working at the moment even if my job sucks. There is no room for advancement, and the pay is a sad joke. I'm really thinking about a career change at the moment. To hell with these ongoing certification tracks as I've found that most employers are not all so impressed with them nor do they really have much if any impact on your salary since many people without them will gladly do the job for much less. The time, money and energy to obtain these worthless pieces of paper are just not worth it in my opinion, and I'm not going back to college to get a degree in Computer Science. I'm just marking time while I spin my wheels, and contemplate my next move. I'm ready to explore new avenues. I'd like to hear from some of you who are looking beyond IT. Just a friendly piece of advice; stay clear of the NYC IT market at this time. The jobs are scarce, pay is lousy, and employers are asking for way too many skills. It's a nightmare here.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Sean Atlanta

There were always too many Network Admin/System Engineers. Everyone flocked to that field because it was the easiest to get into. There's always a demand for good developers. My advice is learn .NET or Java, and be willing to contract. If you're only interested in full-time positions with benefits you're going to be sorely disappointed. Also, just because you have 10 or 15 years experience doesn't mean you're qualified to do jack. If you spent most of those years at only one or two companies, getting too comfortable with an easy job, and not learning anything new...you fell behind the times. It only takes 2 or 3 months to get behind. If you're sitting at home do something productive and resume worthy. Build a website for your home business, develop a software product, do anything so that when you do get interviews you can say you are currently working!

Good luck!

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Pete k Minneapolis, MN

I've got 12 years in IT doing all of the above. Company I was working at went under and 1000 resumes and 4 interviews later, still not to nice up here. At least show removal pays something. Important thing is to keep up your knowledge and be productive during the downtimes.It will come back, to a degree, next time, don't spend all your money on gadgets! Good Luck all!

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

All I hear is a bunch of crying from IT wannabes (idiots who bought into "get a cert, get a job") and X-Admins (Novell, AIX, etc. Admins who dont know MS). Despite the so-called "gloomy" job outlook, anyone who knows their stuff (MS, Cisco, Security) and keeps up with technology, can find a job next week. The one thing you all don't understand is the IT industry is always in need of people who know the jobs. This isnt flipping burgers or clerical work, you need to expect to work 50+ hours a week and take on contracts out of your home town, and most of all you have to actually know what you are doing. I'm sorry the scam artists at Transcenders didnt explain that part to you.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Bobby E. Tampa FL

ha ha, great I'm a 16 yr old high school student and I live in Tampa, looks like there's some future for me residing in the area. "according to the first comment from Eddie"

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 NetSec Colorado

I was laid off then rehired due to a buget shortfall. There are quite a few IT jobs in this area if you have Network Security experiance or extensive Net Admin skills. Agree with the concensus that employers want a six-figure skill sets for half the going pay rate. The big gotcha with the security jobs is the top secret clearance requirement. I've been waiting 18 months for my clearance and still don't even have an interim or a good explanation as to why the delay. No clearance means no job.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 JL Tampa

Eddie is correct about the Tampa market, it is depressed. However, the Florida market has always been behind most of the rest of the country. There are many schools in the Tampa market touting MCSE, etc., etc. Many of the schools in the Tampa market have closed their doors simply because there isn't enough students to keep all of the schools that have popped up over the last few years open.
It doesn't really matter what kind of certification you have, you simply aren't going to make the kind of money we made two years ago. Investors are still angry with the technology industry and all of us are still feeling the backlash of the "dot bomb" era. Even if you weren't involved in the waste and fraud, you are still guilty by association. The industry has been due for a shake up for some time now and here it is. There are too many paper MCSE's and people who don't have a clue but do have a certification.
Where do you go?? I can't say. It used to be the Thin Client market, but even that it now a third or fourth tier profit center as Citrix Systems has destroyed the channel and their certification (CCA CCEA) is almost worthless as well.
I'd consider looking at a security certification probably the best bet would be the CISSP as a baseline certification. Much more difficult than a Microsoft or Cisco exam, but worth the pain.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Sikorac New York City

If IT Managers are hiring tech support specialists, web developers, and network designers/administrators...I'd really like to know where because noone is hiring anyone here in New York.

Local Dept of Labor Statisitics report that over 400,000 IT workers were laid off shortly after 9/11/01 (I being one of them)and they're projecting those jobs will come back at a rate of less than 3,000 per year between now and 2007. Further more their studies indicate that there is little or no economic reason for companies not to be hiring...they're just being extremely over cautious.

I visited my local unemployment office a few weeks ago to review some of their job postings...needless to say there were no openings in IT and close to none in all other professional fields. There are plenty of bus boy and dish washer positions available...but get this I don't have enough professional dish washing experience to apply. Looks like you need to be certified even to wash dishes.

I've got my resume posted on at least two dozen job search sites...I've visited countless head hunters, attended job fairs, networked with friends, family, colleagues, rubbed elbows with IT professionals at IT conferences and workshops...to no avail. There are simply no jobs to be had unless you have at least a masters degree in computer science, an entire laundry list of certifications, 10 or more years experience, and willing to work for 20K a year. I saw a want ad the other day for a company that was looking for someone to simply unpack new computers and set them up on desks(...a fairly simple task). Unfortunately you needed a minimum of a BA in Computer Science, CCIE, MCSE, A+, Network+, Redhat Linux, Oracle, Dell, and IBM certifications even to be considered. The job paid $18 per hour with no benefits. Companies are just not being realistic. The sad part is, there is probably someone out there with all those qualifications who a year ago was making six figures and now will consider such a position simply because there is nothing better out there.

The job market seems to be much better anywhere outside of New York and New Jersey. I'd love to move out of New York, unfortunately I've been out of work so long I no longer have the money to do so.

With the holidays coming and a nice layer of dust gathering on my IT Technician's Tool Kit...I see a MacDonald's uniform or cashier position at the GAP in my not too distant future. That's not a joke and I'm definitely not laughing.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Bill Nashville

I'm one of those guys that got suckered by the tech school ads. After twenty years in the music business, when it took a nose dive I thought "I've got to do something else. I know, I'll get into the I.T. field!!" After all, the guys from the school said there were twice as many jobs in I.T. as people to fill them! They wouldn't steer me wrong. Right. After getting A+, Network+ and MCP I've sent out a thousand resumes. The only jobs I've been able to get were: computer operator (3rd shift) Cable modem installer and a short lived phone tech support job with that big computer manufacturer out of Austin who hires through a temp service and never puts you on their full-time staff. I do a few contract jobs here and there, but a real job with benefits? As far as I can tell, they don't exist in I.T. I see ads in the paper on on Monster, etc. where they want someone who can administer the network, database, exchange server, build web pages, write programs. Sheesh! Are there really people out there that can do all that? I give up. I'm outta here. Going to work for a cell phone company that doesn't pay very well but has great benefits.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Anonymous Albany, NY

I work for a small company that does consulting services for school and government. We just added a senior network admin to the team and we're probably going to add 2-3 more IT positions in the next year. I think it is more big business that is feeling the crunch.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Chris Ohio

I guess I will lay off my NT 4.0 MCP for my graphic design experience... in Ireland, across the pond. Cleveland, OH is definitely not the place to be for IT. Even if was in voc rehab because my hearing is shot....

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Jim CT

17yrs+ experience, AND A+, Network+, MCP, MCP+I, MCSE....I've been laid off and have nowhere to go. Nice, huh? I should have took the police job 17 years ago instead!!! I'd have 3 years til retirement! But Nooooooo, everyone said computers are the future...I guess my future wasn't included.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Got a degree in International Mgt, along with concentrations in Acctg, Mktg, and Project Mgt. Not only that, been consulting with the Fortune 500, but it appears that more and more companies will subcontract IT work overseas

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Matt NY

Have a degree in accounting, in the beginning of 2000, got MCSE in NT and A+, and found out it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Got two years good experience, then half our consulting group got let go. Learning to create web-sites and want to get certified in MS Office. One day I would like to do IT consulting to the public and small business. At least I wouldn't have to take a train to Manhattan where know one gives a darn about anyone else.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Chris Edmonton, AB

Yup, this all sounds too familiar - I've been in the field since Nov 98 and all I ever get are these silly 1 - 3 month projects with no chance of getting hired at the company the project is running at as well as having a 3 to 12 month break between projects. I can't afford to have things be like this, but I am giving the IT field one more chance by upgrading my NT 4 skills to W2K. If I can't get any sort of stability/permanence I am going to move on and do a BIG career change (like drive a big truck or oil/gas). In the long run the IT field is going to be hurting even more especially when large corporations realize the errors of their ways and then try to find people to fill their vacancies - reality will hit them hard and they will realize that the people that were in IT, available, and unemployed before have disappeared into the void and as a result the shortage of IT talent will be immense. The dot com craze will pale in comparison to the positions that will be available at that point in time.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 tbone Olympia

The Seattle Area is not good either for hiring. Sure, you have a friend that says Redmond is looking for 2000 people. Right. I live an hour away, but it takes 2 hours to drive there one way on Die-I-5. Yea, there are only a few jobs in comparison to about 15 months ago. I'm certified from Hell and that won't get you a cup of coffee. Oh, I don't hear the ads on the radio, but I sure see a lot of them in the newspaper. Talk about false advertising! Most of the calls I recieved when I was looking were from pimps! (Headhunters) And they want everything (skills) for nothing! And as for truck driving school, you are absolutley right! I worked for the Air Force last winter in Idaho. You know the Feds don't pay all that good either. Anyway, while visiting my family here in Washington, I took the bus, gus, and there were 4 truck driving students headed to Salt Lake to learn how to drive dem rigs. Well, they said they were starting at $3600 a month, and as a GS-7, I was only getting $2600, which sucks compared to the schooling, technical knowledge I have, and have to maintain! Anyway, enough of my wining! I still like computers.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Mark Thousand Oaks

I agree with Eddie and Mike. Technical schools that are pandering certs to IT neophytes ought to be ashamed of themselves! Regardless of the outlook for IT workers, certs are practically worthless to people trying to break into IT. IT is like anything else, experience counts! If you don't have that, then tell a potential employer about the time you resurrected your brother's computer just in time for him to turn in his doctoral thesis. It sounds lame, but saying you have an MCSE or CCNA in lieu of experience is like saying your Catholic but you've never stepped inside a church! That said, certs are very valuable to those of us in the "silver lining" who want to keep our jobs (I have an NT & 2000 MCSE and I'm taking my CCNA exam next week.) They say something about your willingness to keep abreast of technology and make the ax less likely to fall on you when its chopping time.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Susan Connecticut

I've been working as a network tech for a global network service. Now I'm layed off, I recently passed my CCNA and people said all kinds of doors would be open to me...they are not. There are no more doors. The individuals surviving all the lay off rounds will be the ones seated in the chairs when the music stops. All the need for building networks, websites, etc has been met. Now all that is needed are a few to maintain these structures and to build the occasional one or two new ones. Unfortunately it is time to concentrate on the new job market, the new wave, get ahead of the curve. I'm not sure I want to be a teacher or a nurse. I'm not sure if the certifications and expense was worth the knowledge I now possess if I'm unable to use it. Does anyone have any suggestions on just what is the new wave of the future as far as jobs go? Does it still include IT?

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 ITguy Columbus, Ohio

Yeah, companies are too interested in hiring unskilled IT labor right now just to save a few bucks. They don't realize what education and certs bring. I'm seeing the fallout from that where I work now. I am VERY certified. My project manager is an ART major. I put in basic needed recomendations for things like account security and they get shot down by my project manager becuase he thinks we can wing it. Where I work we don't even have a policy about removing sensitive user data from the workplace. This crap can't go on much longer without a major crisis taking place.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 David Houston, TX

OG2 is right about the student loans, and some of us are packing mortgages and other debt too. Meanwhile, the foreign hiring has only let up slightly.....

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Hollund Fremont

Well, Silicon Valley isn't a rosy place right now-the unemployment rate for technology jobs is estimated to be as high as 10% in San Jose! Don't be looking for a job in this area!

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 LT Columbus, OH

That giant sucking sound you hear is jobs leaving Columbus. All the good IT jobs are gone, he bad ones left, manufactuing gone. None on the horizon, as we have a mayor that thinks you can tax the city to prosperity. All that is left is nursing, (bedpan changing) and .. well, there is nursing. I think I would have to ditch 80% of the experience on my resume to even get considered for that greeters job at Wal-Mart two counties over. No schools on radio, I think truth-in-advertising got to them here. My school went out of business shortly after their first "Win 2000" class graduated. At 46, I'm gald I can still do volunteer work until my daughter graduates in 2006, then I can leave this pit of a town in my tail lights.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Al Los Angeles

Oh Hell Yes! Employers are taking advantage of the market and exploiting the situation to new heights. I remember the days when network administration, email administration, technical support, helpdesk, equipment procurement, user training, database admin and monitoring the infrastructure were all individual jobs - these days to survive, you gotta a have red flowing cape and huge "S" on your chest. As for all of these schools pushing "get certified" you'd do better using that same money learning to drive an 18 wheeler or becoming a general contractor.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Mike Ft. Lauderdale

I have too agree with Eddie's post, down here in Ft. Lauderdale it's the same. And he's right about those damn radio ads. Unfortunately I was one of those suckers who bought in to it. Know I have a student loan, no IT job and no light at the end of the tunnel. I guess theres always pan-handleing

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 OG2 Dallas

I don't think Small Business has been hit as bad as the corporate fat cat world. Many small business owners still have to go on doing what they do, no matter what the news says about the economy!

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Eddie Tampa

Don't move to Tampa! It seems the local market is interested in H.S. grads with little/no practical experience over more qualified individuals with college degrees, certified professionals. thos few lucky ones to land a job are expected to manage not only network/systems admin but add: database mgt, web related activities, programing and others! Talk about cut/slash the workforce then hire ONE poor soul to do it all. Listen to the radio and technical schools push certs (MCSE/CISCO, etc) as if jobs are available. Yeah, right!

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