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Old 06-19-2019, 08:18 PM
 
1,541 posts, read 399,025 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchemist80 View Post
As I've posted over and over again the WE Upjohn Institute for Employment Research found 27% of CTH jobs become permanent/Direct. Mostly carrot on a stick used by lower quality employers to play accounting games, escape employer liabilities, not give raises benefits development etc. I'd only take it as a last resort and do everything in my power to find something else even if it means a career change.
Not everyone who is a W2 contractor is looking to be a direct (so-called permanent employee) because of the flexibility. It is very common for people to make a career out of contracting and in-between contractors they take off 1-3 months before they start the next one. They enjoy that freedom. During the assignment they get time and a half for overtime too. I'm talking about office temps or low paying position. I'm referring to those that pay on a W2 $50-$100+ an hour. As a regular salaried employee, it is doubtful you could take three months off from work on an annual basis. The other benefit to those employees is that they are around mostly when there is interesting work to be done. When the assignment is over they have real diverse industry experience which makes them even more valuable for the next assignment.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:22 PM
 
1,541 posts, read 399,025 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BusinessManIT View Post
I would never encourage younger people to go into IT in this day and age. This field had its heyday but now... IT remains an exciting field with continual advancement and refinements, but it is not taking care of and is leaving its workforce behind. A lot of it is an aggressive fixation on the need to save on labor costs.

From respected, highly paid, albeit overworked IT workers of the 1980s, to today, the fate of the IT workers looks quite bleak today with less respect, less pay, less stability, more age discrimination, greater interchangeability, less benefits, more outsourcing, and more temping and gig work.

No thanks. I have retired out of this waning career (for good employment opportunities). If I suddenly found myself 18 years old today, I would definitely choose a different career, although this degradation can be found in other industries as well.
So what do you advise them to do instead? Become a short order cook flipping burgers?

IT is a very strong field and not a day goes by that I don't get inquiries for it from all over the country. This isn't unusual, I have current in-demand skills and I am taking on new things all the time.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:34 PM
 
1,853 posts, read 713,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rummage View Post
So what do you advise them to do instead? Become a short order cook flipping burgers?

IT is a very strong field and not a day goes by that I don't get inquiries for it from all over the country. This isn't unusual, I have current in-demand skills and I am taking on new things all the time.
Yes, there are still opportunities in IT, but as a whole the field has degraded. Nothing to panic about. Just the reality.

There are other fields than short order cooking. I never suggested that, you did.
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:26 PM
 
10,058 posts, read 4,648,803 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Here's a problem with that idea.

I live in an area where good jobs are scarce. If you have a good job, you're basically working for the local F500 (and not as a contractor), the regional health system, or some aspect of local/state government (including teachers here).
It's not really am IT issue so much as a business cycle issue that's driving contracts (and by extension, contract workers)

The fast cycles of project development means each cycle is fairly isolated from the next project. So companies have little incentive to hire someone and move them between projects if the next project doesn't need that skill set. But they may not even know what project they will be on that far down the line.

Getting a job that isn't revolving around a project cycle is how to get out of the contracting cycle too. Some people like jumping to new projects because it's exciting each time to keep developing something, others don't.

It ties into how businesses startup and fail so much quicker than in the past. The business cycles are shortened because technology advances so quickly that they can't keep themselves up on the current trends

But I dont know what IT jobs those would be that isn't tied into the business cycle that closely. Accounting maybe?
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Old 06-20-2019, 02:28 AM
 
591 posts, read 247,675 times
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There are a lot of contract jobs in the IT sector in New Jersey for decades now. My advice is to get the experience of some work and keep your options open for other opportunities.
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Old 06-20-2019, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
2,701 posts, read 4,667,251 times
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I am a help desk manager for a fairly large company in Seattle. I can say that a lot of positions here in the Seattle area are contract- and at the lower levels such as help desk and desktop support, techs take home horrible pay as a contractor. My help desk has 10 total staff and because of the red tape involved in getting new full time spots approved, I have a few permanent spots that are filled by contractors- one of which has been here for 2 and a half years. Their actual salary is only just a bit over half of what our bill rate is for them. (for example, we pay $39/hour to the agency for each tech, but their actual salary is about $22/hour.) On top of this, they get no vacation time, no company-paid medical insurance (there is a plan available, sort of a high deductible catastrophic coverage plan they can buy into, but they would be paying 100% of the premium), and they only started getting 5 sick days per year this last year because the city of Seattle made it mandatory for all companies within the city limits to provide that to staff.

So, in essence contractors at least at this lower level are getting ripped off. They are making about $5/hour less than the going rate for actual direct hires here on the team, and benefits on top of that here are very good with plenty of time off, great health insurance, etc. The ironic part is that the bill rate we pay for contractors is higher than our rate for permanent staff even when all benefits are included- we would actually save a fair amount of money by converting contract staff to permanent employees. It's just a red tape situation where increasing head count is something that practically takes an act of congress.

With that being said, IT work here in this city (which is has a massive, booming tech sector only rivaled by silicon valley) is not all contract- there is a lot of that but there is also a lot of direct hire work. What I have seen is that contract work is easy to find, you sort of sit back and let a recruiter find gigs for you, or you throw your resume up online and the agencies come to you- but for direct hire jobs it may take a bit of effort and time- maybe a couple weeks of searching and interviewing before landing one. Many of these guys are choosing the easy route or not really understanding the other route since contract work is all they've known.
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:58 AM
 
46 posts, read 15,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnojr View Post
Five years on contract?!?!


It's reasonable to do six months. But five years? They'd need to really amp up the base rate to compensate me for all the benefits I'd be missing out on.
I work at a very large company, and I'd say 90% of the people here are on contract, and they've all been on contract for years. The longest one on my team has been contracted for 25 years, and the tech lead has been for 13 years. I don't really understand it.
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm31828 View Post
I am a help desk manager for a fairly large company in Seattle. I can say that a lot of positions here in the Seattle area are contract- and at the lower levels such as help desk and desktop support, techs take home horrible pay as a contractor. My help desk has 10 total staff and because of the red tape involved in getting new full time spots approved, I have a few permanent spots that are filled by contractors- one of which has been here for 2 and a half years. Their actual salary is only just a bit over half of what our bill rate is for them. (for example, we pay $39/hour to the agency for each tech, but their actual salary is about $22/hour.) On top of this, they get no vacation time, no company-paid medical insurance (there is a plan available, sort of a high deductible catastrophic coverage plan they can buy into, but they would be paying 100% of the premium), and they only started getting 5 sick days per year this last year because the city of Seattle made it mandatory for all companies within the city limits to provide that to staff.

So, in essence contractors at least at this lower level are getting ripped off. They are making about $5/hour less than the going rate for actual direct hires here on the team, and benefits on top of that here are very good with plenty of time off, great health insurance, etc. The ironic part is that the bill rate we pay for contractors is higher than our rate for permanent staff even when all benefits are included- we would actually save a fair amount of money by converting contract staff to permanent employees. It's just a red tape situation where increasing head count is something that practically takes an act of congress.

With that being said, IT work here in this city (which is has a massive, booming tech sector only rivaled by silicon valley) is not all contract- there is a lot of that but there is also a lot of direct hire work. What I have seen is that contract work is easy to find, you sort of sit back and let a recruiter find gigs for you, or you throw your resume up online and the agencies come to you- but for direct hire jobs it may take a bit of effort and time- maybe a couple weeks of searching and interviewing before landing one. Many of these guys are choosing the easy route or not really understanding the other route since contract work is all they've known.
I started out at a help desk in 2010 right after college. At the time, all hires were FTEs. Over time, it went to a mix of contractor/FTE, to all contractor with no possibility of going permanent. The contractors were paid a lower hourly rate than employees, not even counting benefits.
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
2,701 posts, read 4,667,251 times
Reputation: 3671
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I started out at a help desk in 2010 right after college. At the time, all hires were FTEs. Over time, it went to a mix of contractor/FTE, to all contractor with no possibility of going permanent. The contractors were paid a lower hourly rate than employees, not even counting benefits.
It's interesting though, back about 10 years ago there was a big trend with companies outsourcing their help desks in one form or another, but I am seeing a real reversal of that- many companies are unhappy with the outsourcing (it doesn't really save much money and it's much worse service) so they are going back to insourcing again- and in a lot of cases with full-blown FTE staff.

Contract staff at this level do not pencil out financially as I mentioned in my case, where the agencies have such high rates that it is just cheaper to have FTE staff including all of the benefits. The only exception might be if they are using very low, entry-level staff that maybe are taking home very small pay rates, or in cases with very large help desks where some sort of package deal can be had for x number of contract staff that can be a bit cheaper than having all FTE staff.

Otherwise this mix of contract vs. FTE like you mention seems to really just be about flexibility- being able to scale down easily without having to lay off FTE staff and pay severence, being able to quickly scale up without going through a long process with HR in creating positions and hiring, or in some cases funding for contract staff comes out of a different budget making it look more attractive even if it is more expensive than FTE's.
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
Reputation: 27573
Quote:
Originally Posted by jm31828 View Post
It's interesting though, back about 10 years ago there was a big trend with companies outsourcing their help desks in one form or another, but I am seeing a real reversal of that- many companies are unhappy with the outsourcing (it doesn't really save much money and it's much worse service) so they are going back to insourcing again- and in a lot of cases with full-blown FTE staff.

Contract staff at this level do not pencil out financially as I mentioned in my case, where the agencies have such high rates that it is just cheaper to have FTE staff including all of the benefits. The only exception might be if they are using very low, entry-level staff that maybe are taking home very small pay rates, or in cases with very large help desks where some sort of package deal can be had for x number of contract staff that can be a bit cheaper than having all FTE staff.

Otherwise this mix of contract vs. FTE like you mention seems to really just be about flexibility- being able to scale down easily without having to lay off FTE staff and pay severence, being able to quickly scale up without going through a long process with HR in creating positions and hiring, or in some cases funding for contract staff comes out of a different budget making it look more attractive even if it is more expensive than FTE's.
I'm in a more senior role now, and we're having to augment with skilled contractors for several reasons. A senior technical consultant might very well do better than an FTE. A help desk person is just meat on the table.
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