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Old 09-30-2009, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Englewood,CO
345 posts, read 869,056 times
Reputation: 108

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Probably half the people I know in IT want out for various reasons. On top of that the baby boomers will be retiring in the next few years. I expect a shortage of IT workers in the next 5-10 years.
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Old 10-01-2009, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
5,676 posts, read 9,413,880 times
Reputation: 2896
In IT, if you learn your stuff well, and even more if you specialize in something that is not a typical field of expertise you won't have a problem finding a job. Where I'm working at, the IT department has had a bit of turnaround in the past couple years, meaning that when employees left, they've had to hire new ones to replace them, even during the current recession. So it does happen once in a while.

Things that come to mind to make it easier for you to find and keep your job are if you specialize in one of the following:

Unix system administration
Database administration/ dba
SAP
Network administration in data centers
Java and .net programming

These things are always in demand because they are more complicated skills than the run-of-the-mill IT people are familiar with and because every IT shop has got infrastructure that it needs to support regardless of whether the company is downsizing.

Be aware that these are not skills that are learned overnight. Schooling is imporant and you need to do it prior to entering the IT job market. But the primary way you learn this stuff is through job experience. The best schooling you can give yourself is an undergraduate education in Computer Science.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Screw Sacramento View Post
I don't know whether it's an overly optimistic source, but I researched it a little on the Occupational Outlook Handbook (Computer and Information Systems Managers) and it projected faster than average growth into 2016. One can always hope, I guess.
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Old 10-01-2009, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
5,676 posts, read 9,413,880 times
Reputation: 2896
Quote:
Originally Posted by maximusmgm View Post
Probably half the people I know in IT want out for various reasons.
Demanding workloads.
Difficult users.
On-call 24x7 hours.
Always having to learn new things in order to be able to troubleshoot and fix issues.

Typical IT work. I've been a Unix SA for the past twelve years.
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
302 posts, read 773,157 times
Reputation: 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
In IT, if you learn your stuff well, and even more if you specialize in something that is not a typical field of expertise you won't have a problem finding a job. Where I'm working at, the IT department has had a bit of turnaround in the past couple years, meaning that when employees left, they've had to hire new ones to replace them, even during the current recession. So it does happen once in a while.

Things that come to mind to make it easier for you to find and keep your job are if you specialize in one of the following:

Unix system administration
Database administration/ dba
SAP
Network administration in data centers
Java and .net programming

These things are always in demand because they are more complicated skills than the run-of-the-mill IT people are familiar with and because every IT shop has got infrastructure that it needs to support regardless of whether the company is downsizing.

Be aware that these are not skills that are learned overnight. Schooling is imporant and you need to do it prior to entering the IT job market. But the primary way you learn this stuff is through job experience. The best schooling you can give yourself is an undergraduate education in Computer Science.
I guess it's good then that I'm doing undergraduate studies in Computer Science. I chose the concentration in Information Security because a vocational instructor stressed it would never go out of demand-companies always need security and hacker prevention with the sophistication of viruses and whatnot. Hope she was right.

If I'm lucky I'll get some sort of work study program so I can get job experience by the time I graduate
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
5,676 posts, read 9,413,880 times
Reputation: 2896
Security is a specialized field; however, most companies don't hire a person specifically for security, they leave it to the regular IT staff to handle it. In fact, for many places of business, security is not a priority. To be honest, I haven't worked anyplace where it was given much thought except on rare occasions.

Not to burst your bubble - security is interesting stuff - but I think you should supplement your studies with something else to give you a better chance. SA work - like what I do - is always in demand, especially if you are knowlegeable in an operating system or application that are heavily used but which most people aren't familiar with. Examples are:

- Unix, especially AIX and HPUX
- Filenet software
- SAP
- Oracle from a dba standpoint
- Sharepoint

Select a large, enterprise class application that is heavily used by large companies (the above are a few examples), become proficient in it, and you won't have a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Screw Sacramento View Post
I guess it's good then that I'm doing undergraduate studies in Computer Science. I chose the concentration in Information Security because a vocational instructor stressed it would never go out of demand-companies always need security and hacker prevention with the sophistication of viruses and whatnot. Hope she was right.

If I'm lucky I'll get some sort of work study program so I can get job experience by the time I graduate
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Old 10-01-2009, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
302 posts, read 773,157 times
Reputation: 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
Security is a specialized field; however, most companies don't hire a person specifically for security, they leave it to the regular IT staff to handle it. In fact, for many places of business, security is not a priority. To be honest, I haven't worked anyplace where it was given much thought except on rare occasions.

Not to burst your bubble - security is interesting stuff - but I think you should supplement your studies with something else to give you a better chance. SA work - like what I do - is always in demand, especially if you are knowlegeable in an operating system or application that are heavily used but which most people aren't familiar with. Examples are:

- Unix, especially AIX and HPUX
- Filenet software
- SAP
- Oracle from a dba standpoint
- Sharepoint

Select a large, enterprise class application that is heavily used by large companies (the above are a few examples), become proficient in it, and you won't have a problem.
I'll think about that. What I did notice was that all but 10 or so units of my Computer Science Major shared the same core curriculum with the other Computer Science majors, the concentration (be it security systems, software engineering, web page design, etc) came at the end. So basically all the core curricula contain web design, algorithym/logic, SQL, Java, UNIX, and a few other concepts. Are those some of the concepts that would keep someone marketable like you were suggesting, or would additional vocational certifications be needed?
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
5,676 posts, read 9,413,880 times
Reputation: 2896
Quote:
Originally Posted by Screw Sacramento View Post
I'll think about that. What I did notice was that all but 10 or so units of my Computer Science Major shared the same core curriculum with the other Computer Science majors, the concentration (be it security systems, software engineering, web page design, etc) came at the end. So basically all the core curricula contain web design, algorithym/logic, SQL, Java, UNIX, and a few other concepts. Are those some of the concepts that would keep someone marketable like you were suggesting, or would additional vocational certifications be needed?
Good question. What's important is experience and the ability to get in the trenches and do good work. You'll learn the skills (how to get the job done) in school, which is very useful for you. However, it doesn't matter much to recruiters. They're looking for experience, because in IT, the on-the-job experience is very different from the classwork. I would highly recommend you try to get a student job doing computer work at the college. It will help you land a job afterwards.

the way I learned to be a Unix sysadmin was, in my last year of college I knew that's the career path I wanted, so I talked the professor of the CS department into letting me be the Unix sa for the department. He actually agreed right away because apparently nobody else really wanted to do it. So I learned a lot, then after I graduated and moved to a different city, I found there was a big demand for my skills and it was easy to get a job.

I got into the CS/IT late in the game. I actually was an applied math major, but in my last year of college, I took a bunch of CS to get a minor in it. The CS classes were useful for my personal understanding of computing, but not really applicable to working in the field.
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Denver
11 posts, read 16,019 times
Reputation: 14
Very nice opinions, 80skeys. I saw this by chance and want to recommend to someone else. My husband is actually finding a job in several directions. He is more suitable to be a sys admin. He found it is very difficult to find a non-entry level position for him, even though he has a experience as windows admin for more than 3 years and a total work experience for more than 7 years in IT. We actually want to know is it very hard for person who are not english native speaker, to find a spot in somewhere as a sys admin? If it is the turth, we will really think to let him come back to biology area, which he got his BS.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
Good question. What's important is experience and the ability to get in the trenches and do good work. You'll learn the skills (how to get the job done) in school, which is very useful for you. However, it doesn't matter much to recruiters. They're looking for experience, because in IT, the on-the-job experience is very different from the classwork. I would highly recommend you try to get a student job doing computer work at the college. It will help you land a job afterwards.

the way I learned to be a Unix sysadmin was, in my last year of college I knew that's the career path I wanted, so I talked the professor of the CS department into letting me be the Unix sa for the department. He actually agreed right away because apparently nobody else really wanted to do it. So I learned a lot, then after I graduated and moved to a different city, I found there was a big demand for my skills and it was easy to get a job.

I got into the CS/IT late in the game. I actually was an applied math major, but in my last year of college, I took a bunch of CS to get a minor in it. The CS classes were useful for my personal understanding of computing, but not really applicable to working in the field.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
5,676 posts, read 9,413,880 times
Reputation: 2896
Quote:
Originally Posted by CUrenn View Post
We actually want to know is it very hard for person who are not english native speaker, to find a spot in somewhere as a sys admin?
Not hard. What matters most is the ability to get the job done.
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Old 10-06-2009, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Denver
11 posts, read 16,019 times
Reputation: 14
Thank you very much. I knew maybe there are more competition under such an econimic. I feel like that my husband has a good personality as lot of my freinds say, so I actually like him to start to look at some customer support job. While he don't even feel safe to persue the career as a desk help. I am not really familiar with IT job, but he told me that since IT is a very quickly developed technique, maybe in a few years, the needs for the support staff will be cut down a lot. However, he said for the Sys admin like in linux system , will still be safe. What is your opinion. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
Not hard. What matters most is the ability to get the job done.
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