back to article Attention, CIOs: Stop outsourcing or YOU will never retire

Walk down the hall. Look into the IT room. How old are the people in there? How are they getting on? Or are they just getting on? Would you trust them to keep the server lights on in a couple of years? Is there anybody actually in there at all? If there isn’t, your company may be part of the problem that’s keeping John Harris …

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  1. Gordon Pryra
    Flame

    Full time?

    Why do people go full time? Half the money of the contractors surrounding them and zero training.

    Companies idea of training is never what the employee wants. The employee wants industry recognised, the employer wants something that gets the employee the basics but not enough to call themself trained and go contracting.

    hell, employeers dont even WANT full time staff, they want to be able to get rid of a person tomorrow, not in 6 months time after a legal battle they will loose.

    Outsource projects have never worked and only every provide work for those whose job it is to shift the estate to a different providor when the shit hits the fan.

    Employeers know this, but its less pain to have a shitty IT infrastucture than it is to have 20 court battles on the go

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Full time?

      I'm full time because I'm not so fussed about the money and prefer the social side but I am considering going back to contracting in part because of the lack of training.

      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.

      If someone won't employ me because I've never bothered acquiring the qualifications then that's fine - it's probably best for both of us that way.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Full time?

        "I'm full time because I'm not so fussed about the money and prefer the social side but I am considering going back to contracting in part because of the lack of training."

        Don't wait for your employer to train you, do it yourself.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Full time?

      "Outsource projects have never worked" Rubbish. The problem is that a working outsource project is not news, a failing one is. You have to have understanding and management skills in the company doing the outsourcing as well as the provider of services, if you do - and you don't go for the cheapest option - the chances are that your project will be ok.

      It's very much like the "All BMW drivers are idiots", they're not, you only remember the ones who are a meter away from you doing 80 on the motorway, not the ones who drive in a non-memorable manner.

      1. Chris Miller

        @AC 11:41

        I'm sure there have been successful outsourcing projects. I can't think of many that involve critical IT activities that have been running for longer than a couple of years. If you're an SME whose web site is marketing brochureware, by all means outsource its running. But if you outsource crucial elements of your business, you're in for a pretty torrid time when renewal comes up.

        Many outsourcing projects are undertaken because internal IT is out of control, to which my response is: if you can't manage your own staff, what on earth makes you think you can manage those belonging to a third party organisation that does not have your business's interests at heart.

    3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Full time?

      "Outsource projects have never worked"

      Citation needed.

      1. I think so I am?

        Re: Full time?

        NHS national DB

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Full time?

          There's huge parts of it working really well.

          What went wrong with the rest is cheap prices and scope creep. Governments keep picking the lowest quotes and changing their mind.

          You can't really compare a private company outsourcing normal business functions and services to a government organisation outsourcing *development* work to a contractor.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Full time?

        "Citation needed."

        Where do we stop?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is due to the industry’s woeful inability to convince young people that working with the insides of computers can be a satisfying, even well-paid, career

    That's because it isn't a well paid career. Spoke to a friend in the USA, similar experience / skills / position to me. His wage? Almost double mine.

    Average starting wage in the UK. 26k (I hate being in a holiday town.. . City prices for countryside wages... stupid 20k wage)

    Average wage in USA is apparently $86,000 (the friend I spoke about was on something like 56k)

    Getting less than half the wage to do the exact same work. Even worse, I went to london, heard somebody asking about getting work... shop assistants get paid more than some graduate developers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well i'm currently on £600 a day doing very little. You must be in the wrong market segment....

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Well i'm currently on £600 a day doing very little

        Whilst I suspect that many can boast about their daily rates, they are all largely meaningless without information on assignment duration and utilisation.

        By the way, you may want to brush up your negotiation skills, my standard day rate is plus expenses...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Well i'm currently on £600 a day doing very little

          6 months contract, likely 18 months run. Outside of M25. Not going to go into skillset, but lets just say i'm not kept very busy here...Mine is not plus expenses. As I only pay 10% total tax via a registered tax avoidance scheme, I don't have the option to deduct anything anyway.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Agree that money is part of the problem.

      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. Yes, you earn more as you learn more but you don't earn THAT much more in desktop support. Your skills have been scrapped and your job outsourced to India. Never mind that they don't do it well, they do it cheaper and that's all that matters to the Board. And if the Board need that specialist skill, they'll get a contractor in for 6 months.

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Agree that money is part of the problem.

        House prices have gone up by about 20% since 2000 (if my house in a desireable commuter belt to London area) is anything to go by. Most of the extra value on my house is my DIY.

        I couldn't tell you what the cost of living has gone up by, but I suspect it's similar, which means there is a 5% discrepancy, rather less than double or quadruple.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Agree that money is part of the problem.

          If only there had been just a 15% rise in the cost of living. Based upon CPI alone it's a 36% increase. CPI is a poor reflection of the cost of living.

          This useful PDF helps to outline some of the cost rises over the last decade:

          http://www.tullettprebon.com/Announcements/strategyinsights/notes/2010/SIN20130220.pdf

          Some examples from page 3 and 4:

          Vehicle tax and insurance: 108% rise since 2002

          Power and light: 142% rise since 2002

          Home insurance: 59% rise since 2002

          Food: 43% rise since 2002

          As for house prices, the BBC news link below gives a 10-year rise (1998-2008) from around £70,000 to around £170,000.

          http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7712590.stm

          And as someone who was, from 2004 until Sep 2011, chasing the housing market trying to buy, I can tell you that house prices have not risen by 20% in that time.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well said

      Not in UK, but I started my IT career in France, in the early 90s.

      Back then it was made very very clear that being a developer after a 3-5 years was a sure sign of LOSER and unable to progress in your career.

      You had to:

      - become a manager

      - becomes a salesman

      - become an IT architect

      Developer salaries reflected those priorities.

      Now, I like working with computers to code, debug and even admin. I would even do it for less pay, but that's not necessary and being a undervalued is both annoying and a red flag.

      None of the fields above hold any great attraction to me (too many useless architects encountered for #3).

      But most clever products, websites or inhouse programs require at least a small cadre of highly skilled devs and that takes education, and years of experience, drive and just plain old curiosity to achieve.

      How the heck do you attract clever folks if you make it very clear a given field is a dead end?

      Canada and USA salaries are quite comfortable, for higher end programmers. I was flabbergasted when I saw the pay differences with France back then (things may have changed, dunno).

      And, yes, we gotta compete with India, but... that's life, suck it up.

    4. collinsl

      As a starting graduate I feel that £26k is a decent starting wage, considering the difficulties that I would have in getting a starting job in the USA, as I don't have the requisite experience for a visa. I also think that £26k is not correct. I am currently job hunting before I finish uni this year, and most of the positions I am looking at as a junior network/systems administrator are more like £22k average.

      And I can confirm that the university course I have been on has taught me very little. I now know a bit about C, have learned and forgotten a bit about Java (useless flawed lump that it is), a fair bit about the very basics of networking, and a bit about configuring routers and switches using the CLI. I have not been taught, however, anything at all about almost any system or network administration task that you could mention, like how to properly make a backup plan or what backplane speed is, or how to configure a VoIP phone, or how PoE works, or how to configure any server other than apache or IIS (or the very basics of this is how you follow the Active Directory wizard). I have essentially spent about £13,000 (in tuition fees alone) paying a university to give me somewhere warm to be bored, not to mention the cost of feeding myself or having somewhere to live.

      I know the stuff I have learned is good grounding and may be useful, but most of the topics I have found out about through internet research have not been taught at university and likely won't be until years from now.

    5. David Hicks
      Stop

      "Average starting wage in the UK. 26k (I hate being in a holiday town.. . City prices for countryside wages... stupid 20k wage)"

      Yeah it's an insult isn't it? And it doesn't rise that much with experience. In the US it's comparatively easy to hit six figures as a software developer. Australia too. UK? Hell no. I'm seeing jobs come up all the time that want multiple years experience and they're offering less (inflation adjusted) cash than I earned as a graduate in 2000.

      UK industry has it so wrong. A combination of outsourcing and low pay is why there's a skills shortage. Low pay is why you can't find that tech guy you need to fill that job, you know, the one you said needed 4 years enterprise Java for 25K. Not to mention the ludicrous focus on domain experience, any decent programmer or IT guy can pick up new domain knowledge in a few hours.

      "Need someone with 10 years of Linux-on-ARM device driver development, will pay up to 30K for the right candidate, no timewasters"

      Yeah, good luck with that!

      (As a contractor I must admit I find the whole skills shortage idea really quite exciting...)

  3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  4. Red Bren
    Facepalm

    Getting your foot in the door is the hard part.

    Business have always been looking for a shortcut to get quality staff without going to the trouble of training people. Why bother training people if you can head-hunt the finished product from a competitor, or worse than that, watch your investment walk out the door when a competitor head-hunts your staff.

    Sadly, this leads to the bizzare situation I found myself in where all the recently qualified were chasing the few entry-level roles available, while employers were struggling to fill roles requiring just a couple of years of industry experience. The job seekers went where the work was, be it another location or business sector, then the employers had to entice them back.

    Perhaps if more employers offered students meaningful opportunities during study through sandwich courses, tomorrow's graduates would have a better understanding of the real world?

    1. K

      Re: Getting your foot in the door is the hard part.

      Agreed - but much of the blame lies in Schools, Colleges and Universities.. They need to explain and teach what current requirements are, then the individual needs to have drive and commitment to learn it.

      I have people applying for a basic level IT role, many quote their experience as "building their own PC".. Well Sonny, guess what.. a 12 year old could do that these days.

      Don't get me wrong, I don't expect an applicant to be certified up to the eyeballs, understand Layer 3 routing or VPNs etc... But I do expect them to at least have an idea of what technology is, such as Virtualisation etc.

      1. K
        Trollface

        Re: Getting your foot in the door is the hard part.

        lol guess the students have a day off and reading El Reg... now go learn something that actually matters, and I may give you a job!

        Down vote if you think I'm right!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No brainer

    Why would anyone in the UK go into IT when they hear how much money people can make in banking/finance?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No brainer

      I don't want to work with a lot of bankers.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. jake Silver badge

        @AC11:27 (was: Re: No brainer)

        The collective noun for "bankers" is "wunch", not "lot".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No brainer

      Rephrase to "why would anyone in IT want to work in the UK?" ;)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No brainer

      Because IT also pays well in banking and finance? e.g. VP in IT in an investment bank - circa £100-£150K + circa 50%.

  6. lglethal Silver badge
    FAIL

    Here's the solution to UK IT

    If you want people to go into IT, solution is simple - PAY THEM A DECENT WAGE!!!!

    The majority of people will not do a job JUST because it is interesting. If you want to attract the best into your company/industry then you have to pay them top dollar. If you're not willing to do that, then please continue outsourcing now, and prepare to be screwed in the future...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UK Companies are getting exactly what they desrerve

    TBH this isn't so much because of outsourcing, which had an effect, but far more damaging was the Intra Company Transfer tax scam, these took jobs directly out of the UK job market.

    I contracted for 18 years in the UK and saw the market killed in 5 years by the wholesale importation of cheap labour, I was out of work for 6 months in 2009 and the Jobcentre was full of guys with 10-15 years experience, you could hear them at the next table signing on describing how their company had brought in cheap non EEC staff who they had to hand their jobs over to, has been happening a lot and I had a number of contracts at UK sites where the majority of the IT staff were non UK labour brought in on ICT

    http://www.computerweekly.com/blogs/inside-outsourcing/2011/03/offshore-it-workers-in-the.html

    I've got a perm job in Northern Europe now there are lots of experienced UK IT workers here, and I still get calls from agents desperate to find UK staff, but for the wages UK companies want to offer it's not worth the hassle, and I don't trust UK companies as far as I can throw them, they have the cheap young clueless foreign workforce they want now who they can bully to finish projects with threats of being sent home (saw one young team lead hospitalize himself staying up a full UK day, then on the phone till 3-4am to India every night trying to get his project working) they should sit back and enjoy their extreme cleverness, every time I read about another failed UK government IT project or screw up at a bank I just give thanks I don't have to deal with that kind of rubbish anymore.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: UK Companies are getting exactly what they desrerve

      Correct, seen this done wholesale in banks, port authorities, you name it. Whole squads of "indentured IT labourers" or, let's be honest, modern slaves, brough in by abusing Inter Company Transfers. Sooner or later there will be some kind of tragedy, like substandard overcrowded gangmaster-provided housing going up in flames, then it will really hit the fan.

    2. Simon Brown
      Holmes

      Re: UK Companies are getting exactly what they desrerve

      "they should sit back and enjoy their extreme cleverness" - couldn't agree more. They've brought it on themselves, then they whine about it and blame everyone else. The industry needs to pay people a realistic wage and needs to have realistic hiring policies. I'm not about to march down the UKIP "blame the immigrants" route - it's not the fault of people who are transferred in that they're transferred in. It is very much the fault of the companies who do that transferring. They have crapped down the necks of UK IT people and now that the decent ones have abandoned ship the companies are crying like toddlers who have wet themselves complaining that it's wet. It's pathetic that the companies who make up the forum who produced this report are the very companies who are complaining about the "lack of skills", while still shafting their employees by outsourcing and transferring in, even to this day. For what it's worth, there is no lack of skills. If you are willing to pay, there are skills. What there is, is a lack of willingness to pay the money that skills cost. Our collective response should be "well screw you, you don't pay, you don't get"

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: UK Companies are getting exactly what they desrerve

      The problem is that cheap overseas contractors are being brought in too late in the project.

      If we have a generation of youngsters un-interested in computer science, as the falling A-Level results suggest, then we should outsource them.

      In today's highly dynamic, cloud, mobile parenting environment 0 having permanent children on the payroll for 18years or so just doesn't offer the sort of flexibility that modern parental managers demand.

      We should follow the role model of people like Madonna + that actress with the tits and the lips, and outsource the children. Many SE asian economies can supply well qualified suitably cute children at a fraction of UK rates.

      Unfortunately government regulation and red tape has limited the international transfer market in this sector but we are sure people like the current leadership can look back to the example shown by their C18 ancestors and Britain will once more be a leader in the global human cargo supply business.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: UK Companies are getting exactly what they desrerve

      "I contracted for 18 years in the UK and saw the market killed in 5 years by the wholesale importation of cheap labour" - I do my best to work against this - as does pretty much everyone else I know. All CVs are thoroughly 'WASP' checked before we will even interview candidates, or pass on CVs. Any hint of foreign / non indigenous British = straight in the bin.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: UK Companies are getting exactly what they desrerve

        Ahh the race card, so predictable, so non "indiginous" Brits have only been in the UK for the last 5 years have they? and absolutely none of them have lost work or jobs due to ICT?

        The exploitation of imported workers, some paid less than the minimum wage, in companies using ICT and the loss of jobs to British IT workers of all races, creeds and colours is perfectly fine then so long as large multinationals can reap massive profits at their expense?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: UK Companies are getting exactly what they desrerve

          Look, it doesn't matter how long they have been here - it is their culture and that goes with it. Jesus was allegedly born in a stable - but that didn't make him a horse. I think 'WASP' makes it quite clear what non indigenous (nb - not "indiginous") means here....

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: UK Companies are getting exactly what they desrerve

            Doesn't alter the fact you are trying to take the wholesale destruction of an employment sector for people actually living in Britain (whatever their race) by large Companies for profit, and trying to make out anyone objecting to this is some kind of lunatic BNP racist .

            This is the fallback position of any corporate droid wanting to protect his little tax scam and bonus for "cost savings"

            By the way I am not a WASP!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: UK Companies are getting exactly what they desrerve

              Not at all. I'm trying to say its an entirely reasonable, sensible and very common way of fighting back against what is effectively a foreign invasion force that is taking local jobs and driving pay down. Have you tried advertising for an IT job lately? 90% of applicants could be straight out of the HSMP....

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: UK Companies are getting exactly what they desrerve

              "By the way I am not a WASP!" - never mind - you would probably fit right into the cleaning or catering teams...

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: UK Companies are getting exactly what they desrerve

                I'm white romanao/celtic pagan, and I wish those immigrant Anglo Saxons would stop taking our jobs and go home taking that weird god of there's nailed to a lump of wood with them

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: UK Companies are getting exactly what they desrerve

                  Just wait - a few years time and it will be the Islamic militia denying you access to the Sharia law controlled parts....

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: UK Companies are getting exactly what they desrerve

                    Not to worry, we have the legions and bladed wheel chariots on standby, when they see the line of crucifixions down Watling street, and the our collection of severed heads outside our huts they will swim the channel to escape their fate otherwise they will provide entertainment in the arenas ;)

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: UK Companies are getting exactly what they desrerve

                      Yes, that sort of medieval stuff will fit right in with the Islamic culture....I'm sure they will appreciate anything appropriately barbaric, although of course they draw the line at really unpleasant stuff like drawing pictures. They will lynch you for that sort of thing....

    5. JohnG

      Re: UK Companies are getting exactly what they desrerve

      AC @Thursday 14th March 2013 11:31 GMT

      That's exactly what I was going to say. The difference in my case was that I left the UK in 2001 after many months out of work. Despite the post Y2K slump (everyone had all new gear before Y2K) and telcos/networking companies making thousands of people redundant, the government started to bring in people from India to solve "the shortage of skilled people in the IT sector". I went to Germany and stayed.

      I still get emails from UK recruitment agencies, offering me daily rates which are about half that which I received in the UK in the 1990s and more importantly, considerably less than I make now in Germany.

  8. koolholio
    Facepalm

    Quality versus Quantity

    Is it more the quality of what is taught in the academic route?

    Is it the quantity of renumeration for a job (supposedly well done)...

    Is it just that some in these roles dont care, if they cant see it there? -- lacking quality

    I've at times read more in a book or online, or even seen on youtube... than whats probably been taught in academia!

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Quality versus Quantity

      >s it more the quality of what is taught in the academic route?

      The good places teach "computer science", the graduates wonder why they aren't earning the same as all the people who did other technical degrees (never mind the ones that did PPE or law)

      The employers want to know why their new Oxbridge First doesn't know the install procedure for Exchange-Server 2013 off by heart - and blame the universities.

      The crap universities who are "sympathetic to the needs of industry" churn out people who can just about manage to click on the right button in whatever Microsoft where pushing that year.

      The employers complain that they aren't able to independently master new skills on their own - and blame the universities.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oak ceilings and dead ends

    " the current cohort of IT bosses are kept in harness until they drop"

    Well they also choose to stay in harness.

    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.

    So there's an accumulation of managers who are either not particularly IT literate or not particularly suited to management and this creates a barrier between IT and the business.

    There are some enlightened places where it skills are rewarded without requiring a move to management and even some where good skilled workers are paid more than the people who manage them (as ought to happen when staff management skills are easier to come by than some of the technical specialities) but it's not the norm.

    The Civil Service (as of ten years ago when I worked there) treats IT as a blue collar activity (with time-and-a-half on Saturday and double time on a Sunday so guess when all the out-of-hours work happens) and there's no route up the tree, never mind a way of being involved in guiding the business.

    My current private sector employer treats it strategically but only involves anyone with any actual IT skills once all decisions have been made, with marketing more likely to have an input into new work. There's a huge gap between the people (reading the Register instead of) working on the various command lines and management 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.

    1. fixit_f
      Thumb Up

      Re: Oak ceilings and dead ends

      I almost jumped out of my chair, pointed at my screen and shouted "YES, EXACTLY" when I read your post.

      Next step up for me would be management. In fact I technically am management because that was the only way they could give me a pay rise, but I don't do any of it. I don't want to manage people, I have literally no interest in it, all I want is for you to pay me more to do the things I'm good at. I'm far happier coding or firefighting problems than I am managing people, I couldn't think of many things that interest me less to be honest.

      Which, like you say, means that where I work it's relatively easy to get yourself promoted to management - in fact not being IT literate is actually rather helpful because if it turns out you're not capable of doing anything useful it's a no brainer to ask you to manage people instead! Ridiculous system. People interested in remaining technical should be encouraged to do so, paid commensurately and sent on whatever training courses they want within reason - these are the useful people who are contributing to the bottom line, not the smarmy hot air shifter in the smart suit.

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: Oak ceilings and dead ends

        Hear hear! I'm fed up with the culture of: ah ha! you're an extremely talented designer and coder, we're now going to punish you by stopping you doing what you're good at and enjoy and force you to do something you have no interest or competence in.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oak ceilings and dead ends

      "There are some enlightened places where it skills are rewarded without requiring a move to management and even some where good skilled workers are paid more than the people who manage them (as ought to happen when staff management skills are easier to come by than some of the technical specialities) but it's not the norm."

      I think you've hit the nail on the head here; there's a parallel with football players and football managers here, the best managers weren't necessarily great players.

    3. OldDPM

      Re: Oak ceilings and dead ends

      It's a long time since I looked at an IT type thread. This is mainly because I'm retired.

      I'm genuinely surprised it seems that the industry has not moved forward at all, in fact I get the impression it's worse.

      At least when I was part of the industry there were opportunities. Still the same issues though. Bet the Head of IT still reports into Finance or Operations? No IT Director on the board?

      Can't blame it all on outsourcing though. Someone on the board has to make those decisions why isn't there someone there who understands IT (not necessarily the technical side but has a good understanding) & relates that to the business. Of course it is easy to save money and raise your personal status by doing so. If the person responsible for IT doesn't have much business nous then you get what you deserve.

      I also get the impression that female representation has fallen (they tend to be a bit sharper than males & won't waste their talents in organisations that are slow on the uptake).

      Sad but I wonder if the industry that's about change in organisations is slow to change itself?

    4. gromm
      Unhappy

      Re: Oak ceilings and dead ends

      "Well they also choose to stay in harness."

      Who wouldn't? The high salary beats retirement, and it's not like arthritis is going to prevent you from doing the work. It's this, or government office, and industry pays better.

    5. Lukin Brewer
      Thumb Up

      Re: Nothing new under the oak ceiling, I'm afraid.

      Laurence J Peter expounded on all of this in The Peter Principle back in 1968. The famous quote summing this up is the one about "every employee rising to his level of incompetence" - basically, an employee in a post they are competent in will be "rewarded" with promotion into another, "better" post, until eventually they find themselves in a post they are not competent in, whereupon promotion will be withheld from them as punishment for their incompetence. He also describes some of the steps he had to take to avoid such a fate himself: in one case, while a bunch of senior managers were trying to persuade him to accept a promotion, he paused, took out a cigarette and a magnifying glass, stood in the sunlight streaming through the office window, carefully focused the rays to light the cigarette... and then gave another polite but firm refusal, which the bemused bigwigs finally accepted.

  10. Why Not?
    FAIL

    Why bother

    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?

    Might seem arrogant but you will need to know as much about Tax as the accountant to configure the ERP, as much about manufacturing for MRP etc. I'm always amused when someone says 'oh I don't bother with computer stuff' yet tries to talk down to you about their 'expertise'.

    Until such a career has the same cachet as an Architect and similar pay not many parents will want little Johnny to pursue it as a career.

    Little Johnny if he has enough sense to do the job will see he is better off doing something that won't be offshored (though few jobs are immune) or onshored (thanks to successive governments subsidising big business by allowing ICT abuse).

    Anyone my experience in corporate is that CIO's come from the business not IT they then have a series of advisers that are IT competent. Something I call the parliament model. This is why outsourcing is so common, sometimes they listen to vendors with nice lunches more than their advisers.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Why bother

      Funnily enough surveyor is suffering the opposite problem.

      With fancy GPS and robotic theodolites many jobs are done either completely automatically by the plant or can be done by an unskilled worker. So except in a few high end projects you only need a surveyor in to sign off on something - rather than needing teams of them following every machine.

  11. Shasta McNasty
    Stop

    This isn't just an IT problem

    This has been happening in other industries for years and years. Businesses don't want to spend any money on training school leavers/grads so they look for already qualified staff. These staff get older and retire so then businesses moan about there not being qualified staff in the UK anymore.

    Guess what? If YOU want skilled staff, YOU have to help them get those skills. If you're worried about them leaving, then you're obviously paying them less than they are worth. It should be part of every companies strategic thinking, "where do we want to be in x years time? what new technologies do we want to use". Then train staff in those technologies and hey presto, in x years time you're where you want to be and have skilled staff that are the envy of other businesses.

    Its hardly rocket science.

    1. Boothy Silver badge

      Re: This isn't just an IT problem

      An IT company I worked for about 15 years back did exactly that, trained their staff, but put a clause into the contracts.

      They needed to bring people in for y2k work, had a skills gaps, so just created a training programme. Took in skilled technical people, but who had a different skill set to what was needed, did full time training for three months on various courses. Then put them to work afterwards.

      To make sure people didn't just run away after the training, they made everyone sign a three year contact to pay back the costs of the training. It basically said if you leave within year 1, you owe us the entire cost of the training, in year 2, 2/3 of the costs, in year 3, 1/3 of the costs, and after the 3 years there was no cost.

      So people were still free to leave, you just had to take into account the training bill depending on when you left..

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Go

        Re: This isn't just an IT problem

        I have had a company demand that I sign a contract to pay back the company for my training courses before. I refused to sign it (and so didnt do the training).

        If the company hires me knowing that I dont have the exact skills they need, then its up to them to put me on the course, because otherwise they cant make use of me. Additionally, if they are paying me a decent wage why would I be looking to leave? So unless they are planning to shaft me on pay rises in the next few years why on earth would they want me to sign something that might end up costing me a few grand?

        That may sound like a selfish point of view but having been shafted more than once over the last few years by different companies, I'm no longer willing to be the one left holding the can...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This isn't just an IT problem

      "Then train staff in those technologies and hey presto, in x years time you're where you want to be and have skilled staff that are the envy of other businesses."

      I'd rather make you redundant because you have not got the skills needed. The next person at my door with the right skills gets to eat your lunch. Your career and earning potential is in your hands, go do it and stop making excuses that your employer isn't offering training.

      Not a popular position, but it's dog eats dog out there and if I can gain better conditions/pay by skilling up and pinching someone elses job, then thats what I'll do.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: This isn't just an IT problem

        You can't make someone redundant and then hire someone to do their job - otherwise the job is evidently not redundant.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This isn't just an IT problem

          You can if you pretend it is a different job...

          1. Anonymous Cowerd
            Unhappy

            Re: You can if you pretend it is a different job...

            Exactly what is happening to me. Getting made redundant because my skills "won't be suitable for supporting the new application", even though it's just a rebadged clone of the original app. Same database, same languages, almost identical data model.

            Apparently some cowboys in India are going to do my job now...

      2. David Hicks
        Stop

        Re: This isn't just an IT problem

        "I'd rather make you redundant because you have not got the skills needed. The next person at my door with the right skills gets to eat your lunch. Your career and earning potential is in your hands, go do it and stop making excuses that your employer isn't offering training."

        Except that businesses are now complaining that, after following this path for a few years, nobody has the right skills any more, which is the obvious conclusion of the policy of not training anyone.

        Not a popular position, but it's dog eats dog out there and if I can gain better conditions/pay by skilling up and pinching someone elses job, then thats what I'll do.

        You absolutely should, but the rub is that you're just a drop in the ocean, and there are lots of positions where companies are scratching around (and failing) to find skilled people to do this. Expecting to be able to pay peanuts also plays into this.

    3. fajensen
      Flame

      Re: This isn't just an IT problem

      It should be part of every companies strategic thinking, "where do we want to be in x years time? ...

      It already is. The problem is that the answer to that question is: "On the beach, earning 20% on those stock options (hedged by credit default swaps on the company's bonds in an off-shore financial institution and a golden parachute)".

      The reality of business today is that Skilled Staff, Quality- Service and Products provided merely claims resources that could be much better applied on bonuses to the CEO!!

  12. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    FAIL

    It

    the same in the robot bashing industry

    All us older types are getting older and older, with 12 yrs left in my case, whats to replace us.... well nobody under the age of 35 because who wants to work in a smelly old factory for min wage, no job security, and maybe after 10 yrs of picking stuff up and learning computer/programming skills you can earn below what a McD branch manager does.

    Or you can poach staff from other companies.... which drives the current staff crazy when they find out the new guy is getting 1.5 times what they are for the same job

    But then it does'nt matter a s**t because your job has just been outsourced to save 0.0005p per part for a company that reports 3 billion in untaxable profits per year

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why is this news? It's exactly what the powers that be want.

    Do any of you really think our ruling elite would ever put themselves at the mercy of homegrown riff raff ? Of course not. Successive government have worked to ensure that they are not held to ransom by bolshie workers who could pull the plug.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Getting into Contracting

    Im a young professional, been working for large companies since leaving uni in 2010 and well I feel I could be doing far more interesting stuff abroad or contracting in the UK

    Looking to go into contracting because why the hell not but not sure what the first steps should be?

    1. AceRimmer
      Headmaster

      Re: Getting into Contracting

      1. Apply for contract positions

      2. Successfully land a contract position

      If you can't manage step 1 then contracting might not be for you

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Getting into Contracting

      Step 1. Get out of the country to somewhere where your IT skills are appreciated

      Step 2.See step one

      I don't recommend contracting in the UK unless you have niche skills, unless you enjoy long periods between contracts and taking countless poorly designed tests hastily cobbled together from MCSE/MCD exams (Even if the role is for UNIX/Linux!), followed by an interview by disillusioned jaded low level managers conducting the umpteenth interview that day.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Getting into Contracting

        The benefits of contracting are rather overblown, by the time you take into account the cost of accountants (and trust me you never know you have a bad one until it's too late), hassle from HMRC (even if you're a good boy or girl), insurance (including employers liability etc.), accommodation and travel (which is only partly re-imbursed) and if you have a partner, or God forbid kids, seeing them on edge every 3-6 months at renewal time the shine starts to wear off.

        Contracting in the 1990's wasn't so bad lot's of good rates and lots of contracts available, nowadays the situation is much tougher unless you have got a rare niche skill to exploit, or have a steady customer who likes you, add to which the Government needs money, if you're a high paid contractor who do you think they are going to target for more tax (HMRC have always looked at contracting as a scam anyway in my experience they would love us all on PAYE)

        At least with a perm job you are home every night, and your other half still has their sanity, even if you have to be careful with the pennies

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Getting into Contracting

          That's just bollox. For instance Boox.co.uk - does all accounts , paperwork, returns and pay - and even opens your bank accounts and a limited company for £65 a month. I pay less than £200 a year in total for public liability and employers liability.

          Accommodation and travel is fully reimbursed for 2 years as a 'temporary place of work'. And there is no need to take a contract that even involves travel if you have a family.

          HMRCs various attempts to extract more tax have failed dismally. Mostly because we can afford better QCs than they can ;-) Just look at the recent Rangers EBT case!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Getting into Contracting

          "The benefits of contracting are rather overblown, by the time you take into account the cost of accountants...."

          It's different abroad. I have been contracting in Germany for over a decade and now have a part time contract that pays about the same as an equivalent full time job in the City. Working as a sole trader, my accountant costs me about 350 euros per annum and I pay less tax than I would in the UK.

    4. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Getting into Contracting

      The question you need to ask yourself is whether you are interested in doing interesting stuff or getting paid significant amounts of money.

      Whilst these are not mutually exclusive, it will help focus both your decision to contract and your decision as to where in the world you may wish to work.

      Personally, when I was in your situation I decided on doing interesting stuff and so worked in start up companies for several years, before cashing in the experience and rejoining larger and more stable employers.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Getting into Contracting

      Contracting is good for certain types of people.

      No kids, no mortgage, no commitments, enjoy travelling, don't want 9-5/certainty/sick pay, yadda yadda yadda.

      Employment for those who do have kids.........yadda yadda yadda.

      It depends on the person. As a young person (with presumably little experience and no ties), a couple of year employment to build skills/experience/confidence is a good start, then take your skills sets and sell them to prospective marks. A few years of contracting and earn the bread. Later on in life, you marry have kids and go down the employment route.

      (Of course the majority of youngsters follow their parents by becoming parents of bastard children before they can be deemed an adult themselves)

    6. Vic

      Re: Getting into Contracting

      At the risk of sounding like a Grammar Nazi(tm)...

      > Im a young professional

      *I'm* a young professional

      > and well I feel I

      If you must, "and, well, I feel I ..."

      > why the hell not but not sure what the first steps should be?

      Learn to punctuate.

      I know this'll sound old and crusty, but if you can't put the effort into initial contact, there's a strong chance you won't put the effort into your work. Typos matter insource code...

      Vic.

    7. David Hicks
      Go

      Re: Getting into Contracting

      Step 1. Register a limited company (cost, 20 quid) and you'll probably want some related domains (another few quid)

      Step 2. Open a free business bank account somewhere.

      Step 3. Find contracts, apply for contracts, be nice to all the agents you speak to and ask them to keep you on file, make sure to tell them 'no, only interested in contracts'. Be prepared to take a few weeks over this.

      Step 3. Interview, land position.

      Step 4. Hire an accountant. There are specialist contractor accountancy firms that will do your company accounts for about £90 a month. They will handle all the tax registration stuff for you.

      --Edit--

      Step 4.5. - buy insurance. Public Liability, Professional Liability, Employer's Liability. Also probably join the PCG which is sort of like a professional group but really more like another form of insurance.

      --End Edit--

      Step 5. Do work, send invoices, get paid.

      I find it stimulating to adapt to new codebases and new working environments every few months. The income I get from my daily rate would be hard to match in a perm job.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clueless

    I spoke to the Home Office a few years ago about why they allowed so many Intra Company Transfer staff to work in the UK in IT, the answer I got was from what I can remember :

    "The UK Government sees Intra Company Transfers as being a valuable tool to enable British companies to become more competitive"

    I see this same comment from the Government in the media whenever this subject come up, which explains why it is not included in the immigration cap (every time the suggestion comes up that it is included the IOD and the CBI start whining that they won't be able to bring in top class surgeons or world class ballerinas).

    I suspect the real reason is that the UK Government wants access to the BRIC countries markets (particularly India, but also Brazil is getting mentioned now more too), even though the value of these markets is very low compared to the Western economies and seems to be solely based on the fact that they are predicted be the "leading economies" in the future, ignoring the fact that the majority of their business relies on Western economies for survival

    I remember watching BBC News item about the UK embassy in Vietnam, they were organizing trips for UK businesses to see how they could reduce labour costs and "make British business more competitive"

    UK Governments have truly lost the plot, an economy where only small numbers of the population have work, and the rest have only benefits to spend doesn't stay a thriving economy for long, we are truly governed by idiots

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Clueless

      'Competitive' means 'more profitable for management and shareholders.'

      The UK has some of the worst board-level management in the developed world. Caste sclerosis and institutionalised arrogance and entitlement are a lethal combination.

      There are exceptions - some managers do still work their way up through the ranks - but too much upper management seems to hold the oiks who do useful stuff for them in infinite contempt.

      Rather than moaning at schools and colleges for not turning out oiks that are docile enough and smart enough - but not too smart - management could begin by admitting that most of the 'top talent' is parasitic and useless.

      Any moron can cut costs by spending less. Currently those morons often have the top jobs. What's needed is a clear-out of the top levels, which replaces those morons with people who know what strategy is and understand that actions have medium-and long-term consequences on profits, and short-term gains can create long-term disasters.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Clueless

        Well said, have an up vote!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Clueless

      "(every time the suggestion comes up that it is included the IOD and the CBI start whining that they won't be able to bring in top class surgeons or world class ballerinas)."

      Shame on Brit parents for allowing/raising their kids to not strive for more.

      Why do the Brits always fail? Never win at footy, prestige jobs go to foreigners, The doctor is 90% of the time not British.

      It’s embarrassing!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Clueless

        At least our kids when they have degrees they have genuine ones, not bought off the Internet or from some dodgy made up university

        UK kids are reasonably skilled, they are just not as cheap as 3rd world sweatshop slaves who allow companies to evade massive amounts of tax by employing them, and are happy to be mistreated and exploited by multinationals

      2. pabulum
        FAIL

        Re: Clueless

        "Why do the Brits always fail?"

        You didn't watch the Olympics last year then?

  16. Arrrggghh-otron

    I'll say it again... Bye Bye IT (support)

    I'm getting out because I'm getting paid less now in real terms than I did a decade ago when I graduated as a 20 something mature student with an Engineering degree in computing (that's a full blown engineering degree, not a science degree. The drop outs from the engineering course fell back into the Comp Sci degree because it was easier).

    I'm paid just under £24k.

    Stay away from IT support as a job.

    1. Charles Manning
      Thumb Down

      Re: I'll say it again... Bye Bye IT (support)

      So you get a Computer Engineering degree.

      Then for the next 20 years all you do is some shitty IT support job that pays GBP24k after 20 years.

      Then you blame the industry and have the audacity to call CS grads dropouts.

      You are a dropout from life. If you want someone to blame then look in the mirror. With such admirable qualifications you should have done something more than helpdesk.

      You only get paid for the value you add. If you had a PhD in chemistry and took some crappy job washing test tubes for 20 years do you expect to be paid as a PhD or just a step up from a restaurant dishwasher?

      Your 20 year old degree is worth nothing any more. People who succeed in this industry only need their degree to get a foot in the door. After that they keep learning.

      Sitting on your arse and your 20 year old degree is not going to get you anywhere. People like you disgust me.

      1. Arrrggghh-otron

        Re: I'll say it again... Bye Bye IT (support)

        And people like you make massive assumptions about what I have and haven't done. You don't disgust me, but I do feel sorry for you that you can't see things from more than one perspective.

        I've worked on some really interesting projects, coded games for set top boxes, managed a dev team yet because I like where I live and want to stay here my choices are limited. When the mortgage needs paying you do what you have do and in a depressed market where recruiters want 3 years experience in something I'm never going to get exposure to unless I am able to work with them then you take what you can.

        I also didn't say that all CS grads are drop outs, only that the ones that dropped out of the course I was doing fell back into the Comp Sci degree. They would only be drop outs if they dropped out of the Comp Sci as well (and some did). Not that that makes any odds to me. One of my best friends from Uni dropped out of the course and I can't recall a single incident where I ever made reference to his dropping out. I respect him and his technically and creative ability.

        We had 300 students in year 1, 50 in year two and 15 in year 3. Out of the ones who dropped out in year 1, about 70% transferred to Comp Sci.

        Also you assume that all I do is work on a help desk. I do everything from help desk to server and network design and troubleshooting and software development for a handful of small companies. The lack of training and potential for progression, coupled with a low salary and cost of living increases makes for a tricky situation to extract yourself from. That is what I am doing by getting out of IT support.

        My degree isn't 20 years old. Close to 10. Not that that makes any difference. I agree that Degrees have been devalued and that you need one to have most recruiters give your CV the time of day.

        Again you assume I have sat on my arse for 20 years when I have been learning as much as I can over the last few years in a bid to get back into software development.

        I've only been doing IT support as the main stay of my work for the last few years - basically since the recession/depression hit and I found myself out of work - when the chips are down you do what you have to - I hope it never happens to you. In my previous role it was a small part of my role and one I didn't mind doing as I was doing far more interesting work with better pay.

        If you have been lucky and worked somewhere that pays well, where you have had training and career progression opportunities then good on you. I wish you well. If on the other hand you have worked in several jobs that sounded promising but all the promises evaporated then I feel for you. It happened to me.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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.

    I don't really want my daughter working in a traditional IT job like me, if she wants to work in tech fine by me but to be honest I'd prefer she did something more creative with herself, design or publishing it may not pay tons but you'd feel like you're actually acheiving something useful.

    My wife works in a nursery school, she gets paid crap money but she loves it, each year a new set fo kids and she knows she's really making a difference to kids's lives. My daughter is only 11 so she has all these choices still to make. Me, I work in a code factory helping churn out the bytes and if it wasn't me it would be some other anonymous face.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "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."

      We are all wage slaves, £10,000 cleaner and the £100,000 CEO. Who works for nothing? (There are caveats, which I've no doubt will be highlighted, e.g. charitable work)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's the British way to do things on the cheap so not surprisingly wages are usually poor. I see offers in London for dev roles with a pay range of like 28k to 35k. That's peanuts given you're in the most expensive city in the world and there is probably still an expectation for you to do OT.

    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. 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.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Poor money and no prospects

    That's got to be a big reason. Ok, I work as developer for a rural district council and earn 26k a year. I have a software engineering degree, am CEng and CITP and no career prospects as it's a tiny IT department.

    I love where I live as it's where I was born and grew up and to be fair, it's a better wage than most of the IT jobs around here - I went for a job a couple of years ago as a Senior Developer in charge of a couple of other members of staff and on 24 hour a day call out. The salary was 18k - I actually laughed when the Managing Director said that.

    It could be worse, I could be an ICT Technician - here's a job advert for that post in Devon where I am:

    ICT Technician - Chulmleigh Academy Trust

    Salary details:Grade D £14,940 per annum

    Job term:Fixed Term,Full Time

    Hours:37 hours per week, 40 weeks per annum

    Based at:Chulmleigh Academy Trust, c/o Chulmleigh Community College, Chulmleigh, Devon EX18 7AA (Roll 570)

    "Our highly innovative ICT team are looking for a confident and suitably qualified/experienced ICT technician to become part of our Network Support Team. Your work will include supporting the ICT network infrastructure and PC hardware across our 5 schools, assisting in the management of the school's network, installing, configuring, upgrading and troubleshooting PC faults, and installing applications and systems software.

    It would be desirable for applicants to be able to demonstrate real experience of hardware maintenance, Windows and Windows Server software."

    So that's £7.77 an hour, minimum wage is £6.19.

    That might have something to do with why.

    I have a 7 week old son, unless things radically change in the next 20 years, I will not be recommending IT as a career for him.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Poor money and no prospects

      Civil Service + Schools = worst possible wages in IT unless you are a contractor. Move to London or somewhere else nearer civilisation and double your money.

    2. fajensen

      Re: Poor money and no prospects

      So that's £7.77 an hour, minimum wage is £6.19.

      Great: My teenage son was paid more working at McDonalds, they also had a free "meal" per shift, weekend/overtime pay and holidays.

      The guy delivering pizzas to the ICT Techies will earn more - that's before the tip!

  20. EvilGav 1
    Facepalm

    Another one . . .

    . . . for the "why would anyone want to work in IT for the current crap wages?"

    As of next week, I will be leaving my current employer and, most likely, walking away from IT as a career. That's after 20 years in the field working.

    Why? Because the wages have been depressed for successive years far too far. There are adverts for jobs today that would have attracted £50K+ not 5 years ago and required more than one person to do, the same job is now for one person for £30K+.

    We can point to lots of reasons as to why this has happened - the dot com boom didn't help, with every jonny who could make HTML flash across the screen claim they were a web developer; a generally depressed job market meaning university leavers accepting lower wages; out-sourcing/off-shoring of entry level technical positions; consolidation of IT on a global scale within large corporates. You get the idea, there are lots of reasons.

    By far the biggest one, is that the view of IT by anyone who has no idea, is that it's not "hard-work" or difficult. 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. That view is ingrained across all industries and helped by the media, who constantly portray IT guys as sloping off to play games all the time.

    I'm minded somewhat of an anecdote, told by the pilot of Concorde on it's maiden press flight, full of press monkey's from around the world. Once cruising at 65,000ft and a little over mach 2, the pilot did the old school walk through the plane to talk to the invited passengers. He was stopped by a Texan reporter, who said "what took so long, there's nothing to this breaking the sound barrier in a passenger plane". The pilot, in typically understated Britishness - "that's what took so long."

    Many years ago, I was penalised (lost a pay-rise) for a project over-running by 10-15% on time and cost. It took longer for various technical reasons around making the code as robust as possible. That code ran in production for 6 years, only stopping when they no longer needed. No maintenance was ever required.

    Delivery is king, as far as management are concerned. Which is why so many firms struggle with technical debt and expensive maintenance contracts.

    1. I think so I am?
      Coat

      Re: Another one . . .

      In IT there is this perception that all the work is click install, next, next, next , Finish.

  21. Corinne

    Not only are many employers expecting to pay very low salaries, but they want multiple skills for the pittance they are offering. School leaver type wages (not even Grad level in some cases) being offered with a requirement for at least 3 different skill sets that take a few years to get any experience in.

    Another issue is that with most companies you won't get a decent pay rise, and the only way to earn more is to leave & go somewhere else. I know one guy who was "promoted" 3 times by the company he worked for yet only received the standard company annual pay rise (back in the days when such things used to happen), no change at all top reflect his supposedly senior position except a slightly nicer company car. Of course the customers were being charged at the rates for the senior position. When they recruited other people to the same role, they were having to pay around £20k more than my friend was receiving - and yes I agree he was an idiot for staying there & not moving on.

    The disinclination to give pay rises to existing staff to keep parity with the market also leads to certifiable training being refused, as the assumption is that if the staff get qualified they will leave (to get the going rate for the job!).

    1. YetAnotherLocksmith
      FAIL

      That's true of nearly everywhere though, not just in IT.

      When I was in aerospace, the graduate track got me a £500 increase every 6 months. Once off that track, it was, well, 0.5% if you were lucky. The obvious result was that people who could build a plane or program a radar or do actual real stuff that was essential to the company were rapidly finding they were paid less than the inexperienced graduates, who were also rapidly out-stripping the slightly experienced graduates - who were surely worth more since they now had experience?

      I left after 6 years, by which time 90%+ of the grads who joined with me were already gone. Yet that company still says it can't get enough "quality" engineering graduates...

  22. Chris007
    Mushroom

    Contractors are a stop gap

    "Contractors are a stopgap, said Harris, but one that only postpones the day of reckoning - a view shared by 40 per cent of companies, the forum’s research suggested."

    I've spoken to guys who have been contracting for over 35+ years and they've often said they were told that "contracting won't last forever, give it a few years and the new blood will put you out of business". Given that contracting expanded massively even though universities were pumping out lots of IT graduates and this is now drying up, I think I can look forward to future contracts.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's an entire industry built upon preaching to UK business that it should constantly strive to reduce the cost of everything it has to pay for. That reducing costs whilst maintaining operations is always a good thing. That every pound saved makes the company better because it returns a better bottom line.

    There isn't a single company in the UK which hasn't had this preached at them by every source for years now. It's the basis of the current buzz industry "Cloud" the "you can do it cheaper by having someone else pay for the infrastructure/skills, and just renting the capacity/skills you need". Seriously the only reason for most businesses to put anything in the cloud is cost saving, not having to employ skilled IT staff to do the work themselves. We see it touted up here on El-Reg day after day. I'm sure it must be just me because I would have thought it was blatently bloody obvious what effect the drive to put everything it is possible to put into other peoples clouds would have upon the future of IT staff and skills in UK businesses.

    Managers see everything done inside their company as a cost, they are constantly preached at about how the best way to run a business is to reduce cost. IT is just another cost, staff are just another cost. They don't have to care about long term viability of the company, they'll always just be able to contract someone else to do "it", probably cheaper, so they can get an even better bonus...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Contractors are unlikely to be cheaper. The real reason is that most of the really good people are contractors, so if you want it done properly you need to stump up the cash....

      1. Vic

        > Contractors are unlikely to be cheaper.

        I always thought that, but I was assured by a manager for my current customer that when you cost the work produced against the cash paid for it, the current crop of contractors[1] work out quite a bit cheaper than the permies...

        Vic.

        [1] Including me :-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I guess I'm used to financial services and similar areas where the standard staff are reasonably effective.

          I expect that if you looked at say local government then yes contractors probably are far more cost effective as the only people that would work as a perm employee for the pay levels in local government are mostly totally useless and / or barely speak English....

  24. KierO

    Three things at play here:

    1) WIth the "iPod generation", they all think that using tech is the same thing as "technical knowledge" that you require to work in IT. Either that or they simply think that having knowledge more in depth then "I know how to manage my iTunes library" is simply not cool.

    2) UK companies almost always view IT as a "necessary evil" and will always treat it as such. Other countries treat IT engineers like the specialists they are.

    3) A push to be a "Jack-of-all". You need to know almost everything, it's not exceptable to UK companies to be a "Network Specialist" or a "DB Specialist" you are expected to simply be a "Computer Specialist". Not to mention that as others have pointed out here you are also expected to have in-depth knowledge of the industry sector you work in (Be it finance, law, engineering etc...)

    I have even been told by a bunch of bigoted individuals that I was not allowed to call myself an IT "Engineer" because I did not have a degree! To which I responded...."No I should be called a saint...because keeping this network running with the shoestring budget I have, is not short of miraculous!!". He soon stopped talking.

    In conclusion, IT is not respected in this country.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We’ve outsourced too much. Outsourcing became an end in itself.”

    Too right. CFO's listen to the sales men telling them they can save £££'s and still keep SLAs in place. It's all bull!

    Put in shite and you get shite out.

  26. Oldgoat

    The next generation

    I doubt I'm alone in trying to convince the sproggs *not* to go into the profession, for all the reasons stated in the article and other commenters' posts. For at least the last decade it's looked far more secure to go into pretty much anything else: marketeering, creative arts, haidressing ...

    As to training, when I were a lad there were all sorts of sub-graduate routes: aprenticeships, TOPS courses, OND/HND, etc. Many very competent colleagues came in via these programmes. There doesn't seem to be anything out there now and what there is is more and more expensive. When I did a masters with the OU in the 90s, it cost less than half what they are charging today. That's no incentive for people who might look at changing careers or topping up a degree in something else.

  27. Peladon

    Is it the sand...

    ... or the desert?

    There is, or may appear to be, a current trend among governments to extend 'working life'. To push back ages at which pensions can be taken, at which workers can retire.

    Whether in IT or anything else, the job Person A is doing is not available to Person B, who sits under them on the employment ladder, or Person C who isn't yet employed. So if Person A has to work longer - because it is, apparently 'for their own good', then soemwhere there's a Person C who can't get a job. A young, just starting out Person C.

    However attractive an industry may or may not be, the longer sad old gits like me are required to work, encouraged to work or simply can't afford _not_ working - the more Person Cs there are. Person Cs _not_ getting the qualifications or more importantly the experience and battle scars to _become_ sad old gits themselves.

    Enhancing an industry's attractiveness is one thing. Having opportunities, and avoiding discouraging the creation of opportunities, to grow sad old gits is not likely to be conducive to having an extensive, skilled and sustainable 'new crop'.

    Or at least - that's my view. But then I'm an Idiot :-). Or :-( - take your pick.

  28. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Given...

    ... The absolutley shitty way skilled IT workers have come to be treated in the last 2 decades, the advice I give my children about entering IT fields is: "Don't"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Given...

      "Given...

      ... The absolutley shitty way skilled IT workers have come to be treated in the last 2 decades, the advice I give my children about entering IT fields is: "Don't""

      And my advice; get skilled up, start at the bottom and earn respect from your peers. Be ahead of the game and steal someone else’s lunch. Don't just put up with being treated poorly, you are worth more. Take your skill sets to an employer with the best conditions, money will follow.

  29. Scrote

    I used to work for a company who made a software product. They decided to cut costs by offshoring the development to Poland. That was a disaster in many ways. To fix the problem they moved the offshoring to Vietnam. That also was a disaster. Now they offshore to India. Amazing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And the Indians probably outsourced it to Bradford....

  30. The Grump
    IT Angle

    So you want a raise ?

    [Manager quickly closes the office door.]

    Look, I know it's been years since you had a raise, and I understand why you want one. But there's something you need to understand. [Pulls chair closer, shoots a quick glance at the door]

    I am not officially telling you this, but the head of the accounting dept has been given the task of "developing alternative IT resources". That means they're looking at OUR budget for the whole IT dept, versus "contracting offshore IT resources". We're talking about India here. [Chill runs through the room, as all IT professionals know what "India" means].

    This is a really bad time to ask for a raise, is all I'm saying. And as the IT manager for the company, MY neck is on the line, too. So if it's OK with you, we can pretend this conversation never happened, and walk away with both our jobs intact. Good seeing you too - have a nice day.

    ------------------------

    This is the unfortunate reality, in both the queen's realm, and here in the colonies, too. Any wired job (IT, hell desk, etc) is a prime target for outsourcing. Until foreign labor is tarriffed, equal to the cost of domestic IT labor, IT jobs will continue to be sucked overseas. And IT trainees will have to deliver pizza and bag groceries for a living. Sad, and so easily fixed, if the political class has some backbone.

  31. Stuart Halliday
    Megaphone

    I once actually saved a small million pound Law business from a serious IT problem that could have made the company go bust if their hardware had failed.

    At one business I worked for my boss had the cheek to tell me to my face that my job doesn't generate any profit for the company. Odd how they forget that as well as keeping them running, I actually saved the company £20,000 on buying volume licences earlier that year...

    Been an electronic engineer, followed by computing. So I think I'm pretty damn good with hardware and software. But Plumbers get paid better in the UK and work shorter hours.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Interesting you would post that.

      I once worked in IT at a law firm, and was made redundant. Many years later, I was asked to come back on a contract basis to retrieve some data from a system that they needed desperately and nobody could figure out how to use. After meditating on the remembrance of decade old passwords, I logged into the old database and did an SQL query for the data, at which point job done.

      While I was on site, they lost the leased line due to an intimate encounter with a digger and utterly lost all internet connectivity. They rang their outsourced IT peeps who told them tough luck, and that they wouldn't even bother to come and have a look. I pointed out that they should have a backup ADSL line running, outsourced people didn't care.

      Investigation discovered that the POTS line the backup ADSL line was on had been connected to a new telephone system some years before. After a trip back home for some cabling tools, the line was unceremoniously ripped out of the telephone system and restored to it's intended purpose, at which point their backup internet connection was restored and I came in the next morning to find that an email had gone around from the senior partner saying that I should be congratulated for saving the firm from being sued out of existence by £40 million worth of claims they would have faced if they had another day with no internet connection.

      Logging into the domain with the backup account password that hadn't been changed, I discovered that:-

      1) The backups weren't backing up the case management/accounts database.

      2) The last patch management was done about a week after we left.

      3) The server WSUS was running on was dead, and updates were disabled (!) via GPO.

      4) The above server also had Sophos's management server running on it. No functioning AV software.

      5) That server provably died via enough drives failing in it's RAID array.

      6) The RAID array in the Case management/ accounts database had lost one drive, and another was blinking indicating a SMART error. This on a server effectively without backups.

      I documented everything carefully, and then handed a list of defects to the senior partner, with notes explaining the severity of the issues involved and advising him to insist they were remedied.

      A month later, with nothing having changed the upshot was that the company now has an inhouse IT Manager again. Me.

      Personally, I feel that the service provided was so negligently poor that the company involved should be shut down, however quite sadly there are no requirements on an outsourcing provider to actually run a system competently.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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) :-

    #10.

    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...

    #9.

    OVERTIME

    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?!

    #8.

    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!

    #7.

    JOB SECURITY

    How many other jobs do you know where everything you know is obsolete every three to five years...

    Flatpackhamster 12:46:

    "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."

    #6.

    TRAINING

    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!

    AC 11:26:

    "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."

    #5.

    SALARY

    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."

    #4.

    GOLDEN PARACHUTES

    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!

    #3.

    CAREER PROGRESSION

    AC 11:42:

    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.

    AC 11:42:

    '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."

    Flatpackhamster 12:46:

    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.

    AC 12:54:

    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.

    #2.

    STATUS?

    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...?!

    AC 12:44:

    "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. "

    EvilGav1 13:27:

    "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."

    AC 12:54:

    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.

    #1.

    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!

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Top 10 reasons an IT job sucks...

      "Perhaps you're working for the wrong company" is a phrase spread around by friends when you explain what you have to do.

      Since this is my first week back in 3&1/2 months(bit ill) I thought some nice easy bits and get back into the swing of things.... nope... run a backup on all the robots because nobody else can manage to plug a zarking network lead in and press the 3 buttons to run the backup software followed by 2 hours on the phone to various tooling companies because all the expensive good stuff we use has been broken/worn out and no one has re-ordered.

      Followed by the boss going "you have'nt done much all morning apart from wander around with a laptop"

      Then the depression sets in.... and the mind wanders to just how much money I've saved the company over the years (anywhere from £2000-£4000/yr for 8 yrs, not to mention no sickpay.... not even a £1000 taxable bonus for earning the co a shed load more cash), the free DNC comms software I wrote for the company, and think....... £22K/yr for this crud... Lets add engineering to IT for the jobs to tell your kids/nephews/nieces never to apply for.

      Boris , Recieved an 11% payrise, spread over the period 2002-2012 ... and wheres the icon for hanging myself?

  33. randomHandle
    Childcatcher

    randomHandle & Sons

    How about an old fashioned approach? Train our own children and become 'randomHandle & Sons. A family run consultancy since 2013'.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: randomHandle & Sons

      While perhaps you suggest in jest... I've been thinking recently that maybe its not such a crazy idea...

      1. Truly free education in the EU is slowly disappearing or becoming privatised and therefore more costly.

      2. The USA its so expensive only the elite can really afford good colleges.

      3. The quality of teaching and courses is hit and miss anyway especially in IT related areas.

      4. There are more free online courses coming on-stream...They are general sometimes basic but worthwhile!

      So I think you have a point. Also when you think of all the completely useless stuff we are taught at school. Although in the UK one can study fewer subjects and specialize earlier, which in a world of globalisation offers an edge IMHO.

  34. ecofeco Silver badge
    Windows

    You do realize...

    We control the world? So we are getting what we deserve for not standing up for ourselves.

    Vote me down... and prove my point.

  35. GT66

    Fathers

    "while there were no role models in the industry, teens look to their fathers." You mean the UK still has these? In the US, women have had fatherhood outsourced to the government and the prison system.

  36. Charles Manning

    Having hired many grads...

    Most companies want someone with some real world experience and street cred. Most grads lack that. Gone are the days when people signed up for a 30 year career with one company, so naturally the companies are reluctant to make the investment of a year or so while grad is only very slightly productive.

    When I hired grads I always looked for people who had done something extra and had exposed themselves to the real world. This shows some real passion for the industry as well as demonstrating that they have actually done something.

    If you are a grad wanting to increase your chances of getting a good job, then do something noteworthy. Join an open source project, sort out the networking for a church/charity.... just prove you are capable.

    Far too often I saw people who just focussed on getting good grades and didn't explore outside of their assigned coursework. I never hired them.

    I hunch that those 17% of grads that didn't get employed are either crap, or just lack passion.

    1. Why Not?
      Facepalm

      Re: Having hired many grads...

      Gone are the days when a 30 year career was available with most large companies having annual clear outs of whole sites because the management team are unable to make a profit. This is despite other sites with the same offering doing very well. No shut the site sack hundreds of people and keep the senior management to wreck more sites. Combine that with getting rid of a few people each year to encourage the others. Most intelligent employees run away after that.

      There is allegedly a shortage of IT people which is why we are shipping in ICT people by the boatload.

      If you have good grades why would becoming Mother Theresa have any effect? Its about costs stupid.

      Oh yes its needed for those exceptional people that the big corporates hire, its now a necessity. Don't worry sooner or later their site management will agree a loss leading contract that consumes the output from the whole site then run it so badly you will end up out of a job. HP, Microsoft & IBM have all laid off highly performing & high grade staff because of business reasons.

      I have a hunch that those 17% grads that don't get hired are supplanted by cheap labour not paying tax in the UK.

      The 20 -30% who now don't take the degree are actually no hopers, they should take the course get excellent grades and run an international charity at the weekend so they can earn £13k instead of voting with their feet and choosing a different direction to earn £25k out of university and going home early on Friday night..

  37. jake Silver badge

    Whatever.

    I taught my daughter what assembly language was, and how the various CPU architectures worked, along with the various bits & pieces of how to wire it all together. 27 years on, she's the Sr. Member of the Technical Staff for a Fortune 150 (100? Close, I can't be arsed to look). So I guess the "father" thingie might have merit.

    My nieces & nephews are about a decade behind my daughter, but most of them "speak" DEC. They will be amongst the kids that pick up the pieces that the Nintendo & iFad generations are dropping on the floor.

    I can not believe how much glitter is valued over content these days ... Sad, really.

  38. Bhoy
    IT Angle

    No Chance

    My son wants to follow me into IT (software development), I am doing all I can to discourage him, due to the fact I don't believe there will be the job opportunities around. I have seen too much work off shored, then other companies fast tracking other nationalities (cheaper ) in to do software development citing that there are not enough developers in this country... what a big pile of steaming sh1 t, and Business / Government wonder why there are a falling number of people doing IT courses? This mess is down to them!.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No Chance

      It's not all doom and gloom, if they choose IT get your kids to leave the UK once they have done the customary couple of years and consider it yourself, there are lots of other countries to choose (not all of them half way around the world) with a range of climates, and your lifestyle can improve significantly.

      I consider my life started once I left the UK, Britain has nice countryside, and history and some good people but totally economically and sociologically ruined by the muppets of all parties in the loony bin on the Thames playing with social and economic engineering

    2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: No Chance

      Software Development is not IT. IT is "driving a car", software development is "automotive design and development".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No Chance

        No Software development is being shown a beautiful vision, and then see it slowly murdered over a series of months by "death of a thousand feature cuts" and "the go-live date can't slip so we'll cut the testing down"

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't forget pay...

    The article forgets to mention pay. I left the UK many years ago as jobs and pay in embedded software is so poor in the UK.

    I get between 30% and 100% more as a consultant in Germany, compared to what I could expect as a consultant in the UK. I continue to receive mail shots from UK agencies, but they all seem to think that my expectation of rate is unrealistic. I just tell them that is what I get in Germany and communication stops!

    This fact alone would prevent me from recommending IT or software engineering as a career path for any UK youngsters.

    OK, UK teaching must be world class, but the first thing to do is make sure that pay rates in IT attract newcomers.

    1. Vic

      Re: Don't forget pay...

      I continue to receive mail shots from UK agencies, but they all seem to think that my expectation of rate is unrealistic. I just tell them that is what I get in Germany

      I get similar mail shots, and I also consider them to be hopelessly under-remunerated. And I'm still working in the UK.

      These agencies are the *cause* of many of our problems. They repeatedly fail to match the skills available with the skills required, yet they want their cut whenever anyone is placed.

      I keep thinking about setting up my own agency, staffed with *engineers* to do the matching...

      Vic.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Don't forget pay...

        In fairness to agents (I am not one) they want us to have high rates/salaries too as they are often paid on a percentage, the issue is employers either "trying it on cos there's a recession" or "we need x number of cheap wage slaves from some third world hell hole, but the regulations say the vacancy must be advertised for a month in the UK to make sure we're not displacing UK workers".

        Don't know if it's still the case but the Jobcentre website a few years ago had roles for Oracle database administrators and project managers, with salaries quoted "at or near the minimum wage"!!, and you wonder why rates/salaries are dropping!

        1. J.G.Harston Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Don't forget pay...

          I'm currently working as a subcontractor for a subcontractor for a subcontractor for my local council. I've no idea how much money is leaking out of all those layers.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Don't forget pay...

        That because it is only the jobs with crappy rates that they have to mailshot. The highly paid ones get swamped with applicants.

        When I get sent stupidly low job offers e.g £18K when my last perm package was circa £150K I say, I cant help you but these guys probably can: http://www.newtechusa.com/ppi/talent.asp

  40. Steady Eddy

    Sod graduates

    You've spent four years drinking and sleeping around and you wrote a dissertation on the sex life of an ant or something stupid.

    Sod off.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sod graduates

      In my experience that makes them an ideal candidate for a life in IT, at my company anyway! (a non graduate)

  41. linasz10

    Why no ones looking into IT? Simple. IT is a painfest.

    I agree with the general premiss of the article. The school systems for me in the US did not address current technology when I was learning. Forcing studies of token ring networks when my current employer had just ripped out the ring and install 10mb Ethernet (wow, the future). I ended up dropping and being self taught for my IT skills. 20 some years later, I'm a network engineer at a very large data-center for a large international company.

    My children (boy/girl 10/8) love the technology in the house and aren't timid in the least. They asked why they had to keep lugging the Mac-books home from school when they could do all the same work on the 7-inch Nexus fondle-slabs. Really annoyed the in-house IT guy for the school that he now has to charge these two MACs himself at night.

    Having said that..... I do hope that my children do NOT follow in my IT footsteps. The pay is marginal for the quality AND quantity of work demanded. No compensation and 60+hour work-weeks AND an on-call rotation where you're the dumping ground for all things that do not concern you, does not make for a fulfilling life/career. It chews you up and spits you out. AND they've just said the DC going to close to save money. I haven't had a stable place to work since I've been with these guys. Constantly under threat of jobs loss.

    Kids aren't going into IT because they are not excited by it. They aren't doing this because they see how bad it can be and don't want any part of it. Neither do I. But, with a family to feed, I'm stuck here. So, let management outsource it all to the cheap labor countries. Let the servers crash and networks tangle. When they are on the phone, in and SRT and there is no one available to resolve the issue because they are all on the other side of the planet and the local guy (prolly be down to 1 at this point) is on vacation and can't be reached. We might see a change. When there is no one to walk thru the server room to notice the puddle of water on the floor indicating a flooded floor because of a stopped chiller drain..... we might see a change.

    Until the money starts looking bad from outages and such, there will be no change. As long as the bottom line shows an advantage to the off-shore support model, the pain goes on. My son told me he wants a trucking company when he grows up. I'm looking into my CDL. Right now. IT is not a happy place and I do not wish this career on anyone.

  42. Rogue Jedi

    School IT

    I am a school ICT Technician, working in a school with about 1000 students aged between 13 and 19

    I started at the school with an NVQ level 2, as an ICT Technician. at first I was part time, earning 6.30 an hour, doing 16-30 hours a week during term time but that was fine as I was inexperienced in the field.

    18 months later I was told if I signed up as an apprentice I could be employed "full time" ( 6.30 an hour, 38 hours a week, 39 weeks a year, paid for 42). as I had been unable to find alternative employment I agreed, so at 32 I was an apprentice, who had already been doing the job role f with minimal supervision for 18 months.

    I have recently finished the apprenticeship and no pay rise is forthcoming, so at 33, with 3 years experience working as first line support, domain administrator and all jobs in between, supporting 1200 users and 700 machines I am earning £10,500 a year, most people working for minimum wage in a factory are £2000+ a year better off, but again hopefully I will be able to get a much better paid job soon.

    when students ask about my job I am honest, I do enjoy my job, despite the low pay, I point out that I am low paid now, but should have good prospects when the economy picks up. I also if asked give my honest opinion about ICT.

    as IT related subjects the school only offers ICT. It teaches students how to use the basic Microsoft office programs, as well as a few other programs for office work. it is, from my perspective (and that of several of the teachers), incredibly boring.

    out of about 1000 students there seem to be about 10 who have a real interest in IT, however they all took ICT, and seem to be a bit disillusioned. I have worked to keep them interested, by teaching those who are interested a limited amount of real IT, but this is still just 1% of the school population will 1% of the population be enough for the future of British IT?

    I doubt it

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