Top 10 reasons an IT job sucks...
With governments screaming out for more IT staff, its a pity bureaucrats will never ever read these comments. What a waste, as there's some powerful insight here. Anyway, here's my shot at the Top 10 reasons an IT job sucks (with acknowledgements) :-
IT ON TV
IT is easy, isn't it? Because someone can transfer music between iTunes, their computer and their smartphone they think IT knowledge isn't special... They don't see the Swiss cheese one has to deal with everyday. And as devices became easier ones perceived value by other staff will lesson even further. There are no IT experts anymore or that is the perception, just techies like out of a TV show. Hey, didn't NEW-MEDIA made a comic show out of IT? You know the one about the 'IT Crowd'.... You knew your job was toast when that showed up! Frankly, I've seen janitors garner more respect than IT support. Perhaps because they can unblock the facilities i.e. do something practical and visible in the 'real-world'! Janitors are probably a lot happier too, as they don't have to worry about endless relearning and thankless crud maintenance...
When I was kid being useful at computers was a blessing with friends, family, neighbours and ex-girlfriends. But as time wore on getting late night frantic phone calls became a nightmare. In short it was the pits of thankless. Even after doing the deed I'd get bitched at for two hours as to why windows was so messed up?! Then they'd ask what use was I when I couldn't solve all MS problems for eternity! I thought, I'm kind of like a PC surgeon... When is the last time I saw a doctor operating on his neighbour at midnight for free?!
IT = FLEXIBILITY
A date who was a nurse once said to me: 'All you IT guys work from home don't you? You never have deal with four hour commutes and can work whenever you want with total flexibility'. I said 'yep'! She said: 'I hate you!'. Of course the truth was something different. For me IT flexibility translated into being on call at all times, including at weekends to fix El-Boss' home computer! In fact, all my workplace bosses were more like Yahoo's Marissa Mayer, devout lovers of quality face time!
How many other jobs do you know where everything you know is obsolete every three to five years...
"I wouldn't encourage anyone to go in to IT, knowing what the job is like now. Poor salary, no respect from the rest of the company (because if it's computers, it can't be hard, right?), no training, no career progression (because how many people make it out of IT in to management?) and no job security."
Non existent! But when there is Quality is often questionable. The proliferation of online-training has killed quality and companies know it! For example without wanting or asking I was given all the answers to the MCPD. Training companies are known to email answers from an anonymous email account to their students in advance, in order to keep their 100% pass rate claim! IT training is riddled with fraud!
"But I wouldn't necessarily agree that what people want is industry recognised qualifications - there are always people who do but personally I just want to know how to do things. One of the great problems with training course is that they often focus solely on getting people through the exams - to the point of including information that is not actually true but is what one is expected to know."
Ones IT value is inextricably scaled to how cheap you're perceived to be relative to an outsourced BRICS tech. Tech work was one of the first and probably the hardest hit by the globalisation-pay-equalization-effect. Its not so easy to gazump wages in other professions like medicine or law etc. The key problem is: even if you contribute productivity a multiple over your peers, your pay is ultimately capped. There is a nasty IT glass ceiling. Corporations have cruel and strict pay rules that frequently reward less talented IT staff over their more productive peers.
Why Not? 11:54:
"Why would you 'do something with computers' when the pay is less than your average surveyor / solicitor yet you have responsibility for the firms entire turnover and need to have knowledge superior to anyone else in the business?"
Boris the Cockroach : "after 10 yrs of picking stuff up and learning computer/programming skills you can earn below what a McD branch manager does."
Not anymore! IT used to have lucrative future benefits-- RIP the golden days of stock splits! In addition, IPO's are looking more like Ponzi Schemes these days. Hell, gimme a large serving of Triple-A rated CDO's before any Zynga / Groupon junk!
There's a real problem with career progression in IT in the UK. You do not have to go very far before the next step up the ladder, if there is one at all, means abandoning some or all of the technical work you (one hopes) enjoy and are suited to.
'Management (is) such that it is inconceivable that anyone in IT with IT skills could ever become head of IT. If there was a recognition that businesses would do better to have IT skills all the way up (and across) the organisational tree then the recruitment and management of IT staff would improve, as would the career prospects and it would been seen as less of a dead-end career for geeks and freaks."
When I started in IT in 2000 the typical salary for your 1st line desktop support monkey (outside London) was about 13k. It's now about 16k. That's a 15% rise in salary in 10 years when living costs have doubled and house prices have quadrupled.
I consider myself lucky for what I have but I am at the ceiling for the area. If ever I need to move on I'll probably be stuck having to go to London and work for some awful bank.
IT used to be the golden child with status in society, so what the hell happened? Now IT staff are perceived as The New Factory Workers...?!
"I was sitting in the pub the other day talking to my mate, a developer, and I said you realise that we're no different to people working on a factory floor? You turn out the code that makes the apps tick over, much like a stamp press. Me, being a systems admin, keep an eye on the machine temps and oil levels ensure they all stay oiled. Our factory might be a comfy place, with coffee, office chairs and computers but it's still a factory and we're still wage slaves. "
"Most of the rest of the company view IT as a necessary evil, but not one which needs to be highly skilled or paid well for it to work."
Why would a kid want to go into IT? You work long hours, people assume you're a socially retarded nerd and the pay is usually poor.
IT = Hype.
CEO to CIO / CTO: 'Yes-- I read it in the in-flight magazine...! The CLOUD is the new shiny thing... We don't need any of your hardware server infrastructure security guys anymore, bye bye to them'. CEO / CTO / CIO cost cuts = big bonus for them!