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Young IT Workers Disillusioned, Hard to Retain 853

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the your-special-just-like-everyone-else dept.
bednarz writes to mention that NetworkWorld has an interesting examination of young IT professionals and why many make unreasonable demands for their services. "'The issue managers are facing is with retention, not hiring. That means the work environment is not living up to the employee's expectation,' he says. For instance, many younger workers expect to get an office immediately or be paid at a rate higher than entry level."
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Young IT Workers Disillusioned, Hard to Retain

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  • by jroysdon (201893) on Friday January 11, 2008 @10:48PM (#22009746) Homepage
    Working for any government agency has other perks. You've got as many or more holidays as a bank and the same hours. The pay is lower, but the stress and time in the office is much lower. Short of committing a felony, you're pretty much guaranteed a job for life once past review periods.

    This is just my two cents working at IT companies who do work for government agencies and in my experience interfacing with their staff.
  • by coffee412 (787700) on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:10PM (#22009972)
    We do not go into large debt and spend years getting educated in order to start out at the bottom. ---- Yes you did. Its just no one told you that while in school. By the way,Welcome to the real world.
  • by Rix (54095) on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:12PM (#22009990)
    They're complaining that people are doing just that.
  • by Original Replica (908688) on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:12PM (#22009996) Journal
    Hell I'm a CPA with a Masters and 30 years experience and I still don't have an office.

    With 30 years experience I'm sure you know this, but for everyone new to the idea: Offices are only for people who have a business need to have private meetings. No one else needs an office, that's just a waste of space and roadblock to collaboration. I used to work on a production floor where some of the senior machinists made more that the managers in their offices. Skilled workers don't have a need for an office so they don't get one, while even very junior company infrastructure types (management, HR, etc.) frequently need to be able to shut the door and have a discussion with someone.
  • Re:BOOK SMART LOL (Score:3, Informative)

    by ChromaticDragon (1034458) on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:34PM (#22010190)
    That's not to say that recent graduates cannot immediately contribute significantly to their company.

    My first few months out of college were rather somewhat unproductive since they felt it more important to take weeks of training on their various products and such. However, when I was able to be mentored with the usual work of the group it wasn't long before I noticed something...

    "You mean whenever we start working on an issue we do these same series of steps on these same various servers in this particular order?"

    I had that automated in short order.

    Trouble is, people seem to forget the real lesson of college. What you learn in the university is nowhere near as important as learning how to learn. And sadly, if you don't capitalize on that lesson, it won't do you any good.

    (I can never forget that one "oldie" who literally told me to read man pages for breakfast, from A to Z. He also told me it was my mission to become superuser. Ah the days...)

    You can never and should never stop learning.

    The very best piece of advice someone gave me while interviewing before I got out of college was that you must work extremely hard your first few years. You want to work harder than your peers and as soon as possible to become the most productive in your team.

    I followed this advice and found it dovetailed just fine with continued learning. I just had to make certain not to fall into a treadmill routine. If I always made sure to allocate a fair chunk of time (10 to 20%) to trying to learn new things and trying to find faster ways of doing things, my productivity continued to grow. That's because the more productive I was, the more I could create free time to learn new things.

  • by DaveAtFraud (460127) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @12:00AM (#22010402) Homepage Journal
    I had four people with PhDs along with about twenty other folks with either an MS or BS working for me at one point (I have a MS in Math) doing software development. PhDs are actually really easy to manage if you aren't intimidated by managing people who are more intelligent than you. The trick is that you can't be into the "power trip" mode of managing where you tell subordinates what to do. The alternative is really simple. I'd get a "request" from my manager and I'd go to the person responsible and sit down with them and say, "This is what I've been asked to do..." At that point *we* would come up with the best approach to accomplishing or circumventing the request.

    The idea is to use their intelligence; not ignore it. They appreciate it and the job gets done. Most managers I've dealt with can't get around the not telling subordinates what to do. Sad.

    Cheers,
    Dave
  • Re:Spoiled (Score:3, Informative)

    by kestasjk (933987) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @12:21AM (#22010568) Homepage
    I'd be considered a young IT worker (and undergrad student), and I don't expect high wages or an office (and won't after finishing either), I do care very much about the technology (e.g stayed up all last night writing code for a hobby project), and I have never played WOW.

    But don't let me ruin your feeling of smug superiority
  • by Greg_D (138979) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @01:23AM (#22011124)
    You have obviously never been a successful recruiter.

    Any job that requires anything more than proof that you went to school after you've been out of it for more than 2 years is a job not worth interviewing for. The only thing that matters is practical experience. If candidate A has a 4.0 GPA in computer science and no experience and candidate B has a 2.8 in computer science and 2 years of practical experience in the workplace, candidate B wins every f'n time in any environment where common sense counts. No amount of sitting in a classroom and doing little assignments can possibly compare to developing applications in a real world environment. Even if candidate B is only average, he's still going to beat the shit out of candidate A in terms of productivity and getting up to speed for at least a year, and when you're hiring kids out of college, a year or two is really all you can expect to keep them for.
  • by blind biker (1066130) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @07:33AM (#22013022) Journal
    Exactamundo. Generally, publicly traded companies are the worst in tha the managers there feel completely at ease to sack you if it will save a buck or half. Hiding behind the "shareholder interest" while lining their own pockets while being incompetent, and preparing their own golden parachute, and a landing place (anothe company executive position - we know how these execs are good chums and supportive of each other) - now tell me how the hell is such a person going to appreciate your work and care for your position?

    If I try really hard, I might get a little raise, but it's not guaranteed. I am only guaranteed to increase the bottom line of that elite that has no talent to speak of but to land well-paying management jobs. The raise I would get wouldn't make a real difference in my life anyway.

    So I quit IT and the corporate world in general, and focus now on scientific work in academia. The salary is ridicolously low, but I enjoy it, and THAT makes the real difference in my life. Even if I had twice the pay, it wouldn't generally change how I live, but if I hated the environment, the job and the person I was making rich, that would.
  • Re:Unionize! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bluesman (104513) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @10:17AM (#22013958) Homepage
    I think the best part would be the immediate flush of jobs to India once the IT union tried to strike the first time.

    Unions are a pyramid scheme. It might work out great for the first few people on board, but it puts the company at a competitive disadvantage which in the long run will result in fewer jobs.

    You can't get something for nothing.

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @12:38PM (#22015262)
    > Your initial clients can come from contacts in professional societies (if you maintain memberships) or from conferences or other social gatherings.

    I assume you mean desktop support, or maybe simple web-sites? That's fine for getting started at an occasional $10 an hour, and maybe someday you can climb to $20 an hour, but that is about as far as you will ever go.

    To get anywhere in IT, you need enterprise-level experience: SAP, Java, Oracle, Solaris, Cisco, Checkpoint, etc. Your social contacts probably just run windows desktop.

    My opinion, based on 28 years in IT and a lot of research, is that desktop support will usually not lead to anything more. The reason is that you will be competing with people with much stronger credentials. Even if you try to go into windows admin, you will find yourself competing against hundreds of experienced MCSE admins.

    Or, did I mis-understand you?

It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65)

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