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Techies Keen to Keep Jobs In the Family 260

Posted by timothy
from the do-you-feel-the-same-way dept.
Stony Stevenson writes "IT staff are 'overwhelmingly' happy to recommend their profession to their children, a survey has found. Three-quarters of nearly 1,000 IT professionals surveyed said that they would 'definitely recommend' a career in the business to their offspring. Around 70 percent also felt that their jobs are secure, and that they are expecting a salary increase next year. The survey also found that 86 per cent of respondents expect to move jobs voluntarily in the next three years."
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Techies Keen to Keep Jobs In the Family

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  • Rebellion (Score:5, Funny)

    by peipas (809350) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:42PM (#23408500)
    You have this idea of how your child should be and what they should like, and then they shatter your dreams when they start playing sports and getting girlfriends.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      To hell with the tech industry.

      Being a professional artist is where it's at. You all laugh, but know that automation will replace you all much sooner than it will replace the artist.

      Muah ha ha.
      • Re:Rebellion (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CogDissident (951207) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:46PM (#23408554)
        Sure it will. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal_art [wikipedia.org]
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Being a professional artist is where it's at. You all laugh, but know that automation will replace you all much sooner than it will replace the artist.

        Uh, don't laugh. Entire classes of 'professional artists' have had their chosen profession eliminated before.

        Ever heard of a 'sign painter'? Chances are, if you're much under 30, you haven't. That's because about 25 years ago, sign painters were replaced with computer-aided manufacturing technologies. Those who failed to learn computers and vinyl-cuttin

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by VeNoM0619 (1058216)
        To be honest, he may be right.

        At least when it comes to graphics/games, I have noticed that half of the work is making the engine (physics/game) and the other half is the actual graphics nowadays (from textures - models). Story-writers/musicians fall far behind in the necessity for these jobs, since a game tends be based off a story already as is (so fine tuning it is all that's left), and musicians can be a dime a dozen believe it or not.

        Kudos to you being an artist, and good luck.
      • by nomadic (141991)
        Being a professional artist is where it's at. You all laugh, but know that automation will replace you all much sooner than it will replace the artist.

        If you want a job with no job security, pick "professional artist." Painter, sculptor, web designer, graphics designer, you pick it, you will have hell of a time finding work. Unless you're independently wealthy, I'd do it as a hobby.
      • Ironically I work in IT, and I just wrote the automation to outsource a bunch of artists.

        Computers can be done overseas, but it requires all kinds of infrastructure and education. Art though? There are good artists all over the world.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by johnlcallaway (165670)
        Provided the starving artists don't starve to death (or run out of grant money for the overpriced crap that passes as art) before then.
      • by gobbo (567674) <wrewrite AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @06:45PM (#23411786) Journal
        In the spirit of 'work to live' I have avoided careerism. Ten years ago I wondered if I was shiftless or a novelty addict. Now that I'm middle aged with kids, I realize that I'm just a stereotype gen-Xer and I hope they will be influenced by my dilettante ways.

        I've been: a landscaper, fisher, youth care worker, performance poet (yah, for real), factory worker, journalist, university instructor, tutor, warehouse grunt, retail sales manager, documentary producer-director, web designer, database programmer, substitute teacher, administrator, driver, and IT hack at various startups, plus odd jobs and 'hobbies that pay.' Right now I'm carrying various IT contracts and getting ready to open a computer service and home theatre business in a small but underserved market.

        Naturally, I'm better at some of those things than others, but I only suck at a couple of them and do well at most. Mostly, though, the kids have seen me with computers and cameras, and hear these strange stories about my past. Hopefully, what they'll get from it all at the least is a sense of independence and adaptability, and to focus hard on what is at hand.

        What I really want them to get, though, is the ability to combine creative insight with technical facility, for I think you're partly right: in a mass-produced world, what is in short supply is well-executed creative expression.

        Teach your kids to think clearly, to keep playing, and to adapt--because you can't predict the job market at this rate of change.
    • Tell me about it.

      and he's only 3.

      :D
      • by Gilmoure (18428) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:43PM (#23409412) Journal
        My daughter's seven and has already told us (wife and I work on same help desk) that fixing computers is boring and she wants to be an artist. Luckily, we're setting up a clay studio, wood and metal working shop and painting studio at home for all of us. I figure, around 12, she'll rebel from hippy artist life and become a programmer or dba.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gnick (1211984)
      It would be nice to see just how 'overwhelming' this statistic is. My dad was an engineer -> He encouraged me RE engineering -> I'm an engineer -> I'll encourage my kids in engineering. They're free to do what they want, but engineering is what I know, so they'll see a lot of it. And, there's also often a strong correlation between your profession and personality type (i.e. engineers often approach situations similarly, so do cops, so do scientists, etc.) So, I could really see growing up with
    • by BLAG-blast (302533) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:10PM (#23408922)
      I have this dream my child will play sports and have girlfriends (and/or boyfriends up to them which).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dashiznit (729963)
      As an IT professional, I see nothing but grief for anyone entering the IT world that is technical.

      All the technical jobs are being offshored to India, Brazil, Argentina, etc. and anyone who keeps their job will likely get their pay continually cut. I hate to put such a cynical view on this, but I am witnessing this first-hand working for one of the biggest strategic outsourcing companies in the World.

      Upper management prefers to invest as little as possible in brain and people capital and prefers to s
      • Re:Rebellion (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Red Flayer (890720) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:41PM (#23409380) Journal

        All the technical jobs are being offshored to India, Brazil, Argentina, etc. and anyone who keeps their job will likely get their pay continually cut.
        Pay will not be cut. Instead, those with a knack for managing offsite teams will be promoted (with or without a nominal raise) and others will be laid off. However, those laid off and looking for a new job will find that pay for equivalent positions will climb more slowly than inflation.

        So, in today's dollars, pay will shrink over time -- but cutting pay is a huge no-no in the business world. Wage freezes + inflation will create the same effect with much less impact on employee morale.
      • by Gilmoure (18428)
        Or get a gov't clearance and sign on with Uncle Sam. Folks who keep their noses clean and don't travel to Canadia are in demand.
        • by j-pimp (177072)

          Or get a gov't clearance and sign on with Uncle Sam. Folks who keep their noses clean and don't travel to Canadia are in demand.

          I didn't know traveling to Canada affected nes chances of citizenship.

          • by Gilmoure (18428)
            Recently, our security processes have changed. Used to be, if you were going to a sensitive foreign country, you had to check out a laptop that was set for travel. If you were going to non-sensitive foreign countries, you could take your regular work laptop. Now, all foreign travel requires special laptops. Soon, you have to check out one any time you leave the local area and go to D.C. From this, I've concluded that Canadia and Washington D.C. are filled with unscrupulous bad people who want to take my gun
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by avronius (689343) *

              Canadia and Washington D.C. are filled with unscrupulous bad people who want to take my guns, childrens, and beer from me
              Your guns? Sure, we'll take those.
              Your children? Yeah, what the heck - they're small so we'll take those too.
              But your beer? Not even at gunpoint...
      • Re:Rebellion (Score:5, Interesting)

        by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:11PM (#23409804) Homepage
        I'm in the same boat. Every time a young hopeful asks me about the tech industry, I give them my cold, hard version of the truth: run away, run like hell!

        In any career, you'll have fanatics at both ends of the spectrum. Me, I'm into computers because I was a computer freak for the first 25 years of my life, and now I'm stuck with no other milkable skills. Today I'm mostly indifferent. I like computers as toys and tools for scientific creativity, but the work has become old, repetitive and thankless. The pay sucks, job security is a laughing matter, everybody winds up hating you, and you hate all the ones that don't.

        I'd much rather tell someone about the negative aspects of a career, than to blindly glamorize it like religion. If they're tough enough to see the pessimistic points as challenges, then they're both insane and motivated, which is precisely what you need to work any client-facing job.

        It's one of those careers where you rarely ever get a compliment for a job well done, but everyone wants to rip off your head and fuck the wound when their email skips a beat. I'm not the most well adjusted fellow in the first place, so I tend to develop this explicitly vengeful distaste for the common whiney client. Homicidal fantasies are my way of coping with the daily stress. I'm perfectly fine with people who don't know or understand tech, but that patience flies out the window the moment they start arguing.

        Thing is, you get the same bullshit in any service-oriented career. Mechanics come to mind, as well as doctors, bureaucrats of all shapes and sizes. The sticky issue is that, at least in my experience, there are a LOT of morons in any industry, which means often times the client really is smarter or more competent than the service provider. That means for the remaining 20% that truly are experts, we take the flak for the other 80%.

        You'd think doing I.T. stuff in bars and clubs would be fun, right ? It stops being fun right around the 3rd time I have to repeat some basic immutable concept to the end-user like "No, you can't use a scanned image of your Visa card's magstrip to pay your tab". That's right folks, I had to explain the concept of magnetic storage to a cocky little martini-snorting iPhone-humping trendy douche. Three times I explained the facts, and he still complained that we were being uncooperative. As a rule, we don't do manual transactions (fraud is all too common in bars), and this guy's scanned image of his card gave new meaning to the term "Photoshopping." I mean, a physical card can be forged, but that at least requires skill, equipment and/or contacts. Photo editing requires a computer or a Kodak booth.

        Hell, if they accept that bullshit in stores, I could easily fabricate doctored images from the wealth of credit card data that goes through my business any given week. Hell I could write a short PHP script to cook up the image every time a transaction goes through, then email it to my iPhone! That's just plain ridiculous.
    • Re:Rebellion (Score:5, Insightful)

      by johnlcallaway (165670) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:36PM (#23409308)
      I did not encourage either of my kids to enter IT for one simple reason, neither had the skills. I introduced them both to programming, and neither one was really interested in it.

      My son became a anti-establishment hippie (for lack of a better word) and is very happy living a minimum-impact lifestyle outside of 'the system'. My daughter makes an obscene salary for someone her age as a pet groomer, she is extremely good at it and has many repeat customers with large pocketbooks for tips. She should be able to start her own business by the time she turns 25 and I've been encouraging her to get a business degree.

      A responsible parent will encourage their child to do whatever they are good at and enjoy, since job satisfaction is far more rewarding than a large paycheck. I took a 10% cut in pay to get my existing job, and never regretted it. Miss the larger paycheck, but don't regret it. Simply adjusted my lifestyle accordingly.

      Raman noodles rule!!!!
    • by syousef (465911)
      You have this idea of how your child should be and what they should like, and then they shatter your dreams when they start playing sports and getting girlfriends.

      Dude, don't worry. Wii Sports and virtual girl aren't real.
  • by nizo (81281) * on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:45PM (#23408528) Homepage Journal
    Though one advantage of IT is they can earn quite a bit of money to help me afford a retirement home, and then when they are a burned out husk of a person after 20 years of stress they will have more time to come take care of me.
  • In related news... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:45PM (#23408538) Homepage Journal
    In related news, 75% of all firefighters would recommend their profession to their children. 80% of all police officers would recommend their profession to their children.

    Duh. Everyone wants their kid to do what they do. My father (when he was still one himself) wanted me to be a sign maker.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by boris111 (837756)
      A lot of parents work difficult thankless jobs so their kids can have better opportunities. Your examples in particular you may find that. Their jobs are dangerous.
    • by asc99c (938635) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:54PM (#23408682) Homepage
      Dunno bout that. My mother warned me never to become a teacher - that is properly stressful because you're really affecting peoples lives, and the pay isn't good. My father warned me IT was boring and to do something else more interesting. My wife's parents warned her being a nurse was very hard work for not enough money and being in the police was too dangerous.

      Even so I went into IT, and my wife's sister is training to be a nurse. I think the main drive to follow in your parents footsteps comes from the children not the parents.
      • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:03PM (#23408830) Homepage Journal
        I wanted to follow in my father's footsteps and become a teacher until teaching became professional babysitting.
        • by xaxa (988988)
          I can't remember either of my parents (both teachers) every recommending the profession -- they regularly said things like "never be a teacher" though.
        • by Gilmoure (18428)
          My father's footsteps disappeared when I was three. I wanted to be a planetary geologist and explore the Jovian moons. But then then 70's started sucking. Closest I got was fixing printer issues for rocket scientists at Honeywell. Guess getting a college degree can be a good idea, for some things. Who knew?
        • by BarryJacobsen (526926) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:38PM (#23410254) Homepage

          I wanted to follow in my father's footsteps and become a teacher until teaching became professional babysitting.
          As someone who works for a school district and is actually in different classrooms hearing different teachers (K-12) teach all day long teaching is one thing and one thing only: what you make of it. It's like Project Mayhem - you determine your own level of involvement - and it's blisteringly obvious to any observer which category any given teacher is in. Those that want to make a difference in children's lives do so.
      • by FrozenFOXX (1048276) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:42PM (#23409392)
        I agree with you about children following willingly. My father seems to have done his best over the years to discourage me from IT. Nearly every day he'd come home and I'd ask about his job he'd tell me about how moronic most of his coworkers were, how he wasn't getting enough money, and so forth.

        Thing was that I didn't care in retrospect. I latched onto the best parts I could and used them and my own curiosity to fuel my own desire to be in IT. While your parents having the same profession and encouraging it can have an impact, I don't think everyone just, "does what their parents do."
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cowscows (103644)
          Well, the reality of life is that most jobs suck, at least some of the time. Even if it's in a field that you like and you're working on something that you're passionate about, there's going to be plenty of times where it just plain sucks. Maybe it's all the overtime you have to work during the crunches, maybe it's the unavoidable paperwork, maybe it's all the phone calls you're constantly getting. Perhaps it's the dumbass marketing department you have to deal with from time to time, maybe it's the occasio
    • by corsec67 (627446)
      As a techie firefighter (wildland), yep, I would recommend that my hypothetical kids do... whatever they want. Wildland firefighting is a great summer job where you get paid to set stuff on fire [flickr.com], so I would push that.

      And then you bet I am going to teach them how to use *nix, which might predispose them to being a techie...
    • by mcmonkey (96054)

      Everyone wants their kid to do what they do. My father (when he was still one himself) wanted me to be a sign maker.

      Yeah, I don't think Laius was looking for his son to follow in his footsteps. Though he was more management than IT.

    • My father is a chartered management accountant. From the cradle, I have been urged ad nauseum to be either

      a) Self employed.
      b) A civil servant.

      Naturally, I am neither.
  • wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:46PM (#23408544) Homepage Journal
    They found 1,000 IT professionals that have offspring?
    • Re:wow (Score:5, Funny)

      by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:48PM (#23408582) Homepage Journal

      They found 1,000 IT professionals that have offspring?
      An interesting coincidence is that none of them have Slashdot accounts.
    • I'm guessing that it's more like 75% wished they had done the things necessary to have offspring, so that they could then have them go into IT.

      Maybe I've just worked at places with younger staff, but I've never seen more than 35% of the IT staff have children anywhere I've been, and if their kids are at the age to get career advice (ie, high school or after), the parents were jaded enough to not recommend it as a choice.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:46PM (#23408548)

    Three-quarters of nearly 1,000 IT professionals surveyed said that they would 'definitely recommend' a career in the business to their offspring.

    I'm part of that 75%.

    I would unhesitatingly recommend a career in IT to my offspring, were I having kids.

    Except that I don't want kids. So I would also unhesitatingly have a vasectomy, were I planning on having sex.

    Except that this is Slashdot... So even the sex part is a pretty big stretch.

    But if I were to hypothetically have sex, and if I were hypothetically not going to sterilize myself to prevent kids, and if I were hypothetically to have kids, then by all means, I'd be damned if I wasn't going to get at least some measure of revenge on 'em.

  • by suso (153703) * on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:51PM (#23408628) Homepage Journal
    Here is what I can see happening. Its kinda grim, but its probably reality. I base this opinion on looking at other technologies like the telephone, radio and TV and seeing what has happened to the technicians in those fields.

    When the technology is first new, you have the pioneers and the first maintainers who are paid a lot because the field is new and is in such a state of flux, it that you need the best and brightest people if you hope to hold you own in the industry. Eventually that field becomes more solid, easier to learn and there is a generation or two before you that are there for backup. Soon, management doesn't see the point of paying a lot (and probably rightfully so) to those technicians and everybody's mom and dad is capable of doing it. Its not something that you have to grow up knowing like a lot of us did, its something you can pick up out of high school. Its been said that being a system administrator is more of a lifestyle than a profession, but I think that will eventually change. Its unfortunate but I think we have to think about the future since a lot of us are young and will need to think about what will happen to the profession in our working lifetime. Programmers will probably be less commonitized to a degree, but still the value of the role will decrease a bit because software.

    I think to some degree, this has already all happened if you compare the 90s and before with this decade. I hope I'm wrong about this though. The thing that really keeps us all going though is that the computer industry keeps reinventing itself with every new groundbreaking technology. I wrote about this before in a comment.
    • by suso (153703) *
      There it is, where I talk about how the computer industry reinvents itself every 10 years or so to adapt to new environments.

      http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=371825&cid=21492415 [slashdot.org]
    • by garett_spencley (193892) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:16PM (#23409014) Journal
      The advice that I give most people who go into the "IT" field is to specialize as much as possible.

      Programmers are getting outsourced more and more but there will always be high demand for researchers, architects, DBAs, network administrators (referring to the physical local network) and other very specialized areas where it takes someone local with a special skill.

      If you get a general computer science degree and go looking for a position as an entry level Java programmer you're not going to be as valuable as someone who wrote their PHD thesis on searching and indexing algorithms, for example.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by codeMunky (647163)

      Programmers will probably be less commonitized to a degree, but still the value of the role will decrease a bit because software.

      Hrm...I am not sure I agree or not with this statement. A few years ago, would've totally agreed (being a programmer myself). However now, as a software architect, I am not so sure. Everyday I am encountered with users that are unhappy with the home-grown systems due to performance, bugs, whatever. In almost all cases the root cause of the problem is that programmers are human. And like all people (although most won't outright admit it) they will make mistakes. So will the testers and the users. So

  • by corbettw (214229) <corbettw@[ ]oo.com ['yah' in gap]> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:51PM (#23408638) Journal
    75% of IT professionals hate their children.
  • by ZJVavrek (952066)
    Is it me, or is this an example of perfect Slashdot fodder? The article throws out a small handful of statistics, referencing a survey but not bothering to link the source (Since only five Slashdot readers would bother following the link) and performing no real analysis, leaving the dual tasks of Thinking and Putting Things Into Perspective in the hands of the readers.

    I'm not particularly approving of this, mind you. At least, tell me where I can get the survey, so that I and the other four guys can loo
  • by assertation (1255714) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:53PM (#23408658)
    I'm a programmer. My viewpoint is the opposite. I'm always feeling a bit worried in some part of my mind that H1-B visas or outsourcing will diminish the jobs in my field. At the least interesting and/or well paying ones. Even without that worry it seems like programming jobs last 1 - 2 years tops before something dries up at the company you are at. Not a career I would recommend to people unless they really loved tech and didn't feel that strongly about another career.

    I have to wonder what planet these people read their news on, but I hope they are right and I am wrong.

    • by BLAG-blast (302533) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:27PM (#23409160)

      I'm always feeling a bit worried in some part of my mind that H1-B visas or outsourcing will diminish the jobs in my field.

      Interesting, I guess it depends on what part of the field you play in. With H1Bs maxing out after a few months, I don't worry about loosing my job to any hack with a work visa. Out sourcing, well can't say I worry about that either, while there have been some success in a few areas, I hear far most negative stories.

      Also, if you're actually good at what you do then it's not hard to be in the top few percent of your field/company. If you've got plenty of experience and an ability to learn, there are almost always companies in need of your services. Always new techs emerging, always issues with older techs that need addressed. I'm pretty sure I can do a better job than a small team in India or China.

    • by Z34107 (925136) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:16PM (#23409896)

      I don't have the dead-tree source anymore, but I read some interesting statistics in the paper a while ago.

      There are only around 65,000 (IIRC) H-1B visas handed out each year. These are snapped up the day applications are accepted.

      There are millions of IT and programming jobs. Drop in the bucket.

      But, visas won't end programming work. Nobody needs to come here to do programming; it can be done in India (almost) as easily as it can be done here, and adding/removing visas won't change that. I'm personally more worried about those smart gentlemen from India.

      I actually like the H-1B visas; something about sucking talent from the rest of the world appeals to me. Like Einstein and all those rocket scientists we got from Germany.

  • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:53PM (#23408666)
    Is it really that they think their job is great and that they think their kids should so it or is it the ego effect?

    Father-to-son bonding and passing a trade down has been something that people have been doing for ages. Apart from keeping the job in the family (not really an issue any more), it really allows the parents to boast to their colleagues about their children. Fathers also like it that their kids take interest in their work as it gives the father a good feeling that his son admires him. Then there's always the hope that your kid will do great and you can get some of the ego-shine.

    • by Strange Ranger (454494) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:10PM (#23408926)
      Teaching your son a trade or profession at a young age is something that is time honored and good and well, have you heard the saying that a cynic is just an idealist with a broken heart?

      Teaching by example is the most important way to teach your children. How else do you show them a good work ethic; persistence and determination and also the ability to take joy in labor and it's fruits. You can't just read that out of a book. (Chores are not the same thing. Chore is just another word for all the good habits that aren't much fun.) So yes, I'd say if at some capacity you can bring your children into your profession then you're teaching them valuable skills and also a lot more than that. When you teach children you're doing the opposite of limiting them.
      • Note to self ...Preview!

        ^Teaching your son or daughter..."

        I have one of each and just think faster than I type.
    • I'm not trying to nitpick, as I know you're not singling out father/son and only using it as a device for your message.

      None the less I just feel the need to point out that I'm a father who has 2 daughters and it's no different to me in this regard than if I were to have sons. I would still love to teach them everything about my trade and to have them follow in my foot steps.

      Of course it's balanced by my desire to see them shine in whatever they chose to do. I'm careful not to push anything on them and to en
  • Steve Jobs? (Score:5, Funny)

    by rackrent (160690) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:54PM (#23408676)
    Well, if I were related to a guy with that much money, I'd like to keep him in the family as well!
  • The survey also found that 86 per cent of respondents expect to move jobs voluntarily in the next three years.

    86% sounds high. Is this really true? Given the expertise needed to competently manage customized server and network configurations, I would think that an enterprise would be very willing to meet the salary demands of the best IT staff to prevent them from jumping ship.

    Neither would I think it is a good thing from an employers perspective for an employee to have in the back of his mind that he *wants* to leave in the near future.

    What gives? Why are 860 people out of 1,000 reporting the desire to le

    • You must not work in the IT industry. You don't get promoted up the ranks, you get hired at another company for higher wages.
      • by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:48PM (#23409492)
        You must not work in the IT industry. You don't get promoted up the ranks, you get hired at another company for higher wages.

        There's a lot of truth to this.

        Further, businesses have gotten pretty good at providing advancement tracks for non-technical people (maybe you start as an administrative assistant or working on a production floor, transition into some kind of more advanced office job, transition into some kind of middle management, etc.) but are generally much less good at or able to provide the same thing for technical people. For example, imagine a manufacturing business that has some internally-developed software that runs some aspects of their business and has a constant need for 2-3 developers to improve/maintain it. There really isn't an advancement track for those developers within IT in that company -- they either need to transition to non-technical middle management (probably not a good fit for them) or change jobs completely to get better pay or more challenging work.
      • You must not work in the IT industry. You don't get promoted up the ranks, you get hired at another company for higher wages.

        This is dead on.

        The HR ppl have been told not to counter offer at most companies,
        because they believe that new job fear, and being on probation
        at another company will keep the sheep inline.

        Apparently with 86% considering moving on up, they are wrong.

        Imagine HR being wrong about something as hard and as fast as
        they work, the blinding speed, and diligence, *gag* *puke*

        Ok, couldn't stoma
    • From what I've seen and read, 1.5 years is the average stay for a programmer at a job, so if anything I think 86% is too low. It seems like employers are willing to give existing employees a 5% raise when that employee is able to get a 10% raise to go to another company. Companies are willing to pay more for the employee the don't have than for the one they do.
    • by mcmonkey (96054)

      What gives? Why are 860 people out of 1,000 reporting the desire to leave their current employers?

      I think the keys phrases you are missing are "expect" and "three years".

      Many people mumble about burning down the building. How many people actually do it? Out of the 860 people planning on moving in the next three years, many will not make the move, just as many will be moved by their employers before they can do so voluntarily.

      But still, that number represents reality. The lifetime career with a sin

      • "Irreplaceable is a synonym for unpromotable."

        That's a smart way to look at things but I'm not sure I would agree that it's completely accurate. You can train your replacement when you're promoted but not when you've been fired.
    • 86% sounds high. Is this really true? Given the expertise needed to competently manage customized server and network configurations, I would think that an enterprise would be very willing to meet the salary demands of the best IT staff to prevent them from jumping ship.

      IT is a lot more than actually managing customized server and network configurations. There are plenty of code monkeys out there, and they're as easily replaced these days as burger flippers. Sure, some of them are more talented and harder to replace with competent people...but have fun convincing management of that.

      Neither would I think it is a good thing from an employers perspective for an employee to have in the back of his mind that he *wants* to leave in the near future.

      What gives? Why are 860 people out of 1,000 reporting the desire to leave their current employers?

      Job security and job loyalty are, at least in IT, a thing of the past. Folks rarely get promoted within the same company. If you want a raise, a change of duties, different responsibilitie

  • Hell No! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:56PM (#23408710) Journal
    I hope my kids come nowhere near IT. The difficulties caused by the dot-com-bust in conjunction with excess H1B's at the same time left a bad taste in my mouth. I had a coworker get replaced by an H1B, and it was one of the saddest work-related moments of my life.

    Maybe all professions have boom-and-bust cycles, but I would prefer my kids focus on something that is a bit more general so that they can flex during hard-times or fad-cycle speed-bumps.
         
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SatanicPuppy (611928) *
      IT is plenty general. The worlds not going to stop using computers any time soon. You got to experience the birth pangs of an industry, and it sucks, but there is no industry where there is no foreign competition and no industry that doesn't have boom/bust cycles.

      You want a sad work experience? I just coded the infrastructure to outsource ~100 graphic artists, some of whom were my friends. Life sucks, wear a helmet.
    • by pembo13 (770295)
      You may or may not know this, but the people who get H1B Visas are humans too. With families, feelings, etc. And as far as I know, they are no less worthy of a job than you are.
      • by xaxa (988988)
        But Indians don't count as humans as much as Americans do. (Apparently [treehugger.com]. I think that's awful, and I'm going to hit submit before ranting about it.)
      • by Rycross (836649)
        I don't see how he was implying that they weren't human. The fact that they are worthy of the job does not change the fact that you are likely to be replaced with that person. Being concerned about H1-B workers doesn't mean that you're bigoted, just that you recognize that the possibility of being replaced by one makes IT work less attractive. Now if he'd launched into a diatribe about foreign workers "stealing" jobs from Americans, that would be another thing, but he didn't.

        For example, if I were to say
      • You may or may not know this, but the people who get H1B Visas are humans too. With families, feelings, etc. And as far as I know, they are no less worthy of a job than you are.

        I guarantee you if I came to your country and the politicians
        started favoring me over you and your family due to bribes
        paid to them you'd be upset.

        I also say that if you truly are a citizen of your own country
        you would stay there and work to make conditions better there
        instead of running away from it.

        The grass is often greener elsewh
        • by pembo13 (770295)

          I also say that if you truly are a citizen of your own country you would stay there and work to make conditions better there instead of running away from it.

          I could not agree with this more, and I say that in all honesty. However, you have to admit, America has largely benefited from people _not_ doing this.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ex-MislTech (557759)
      I hope my kids come nowhere near IT. The difficulties caused by the dot-com-bust in conjunction with excess H1B's at the same time left a bad taste in my mouth. I had a coworker get replaced by an H1B, and it was one of the saddest work-related moments of my life.

      Yeah I worked at Crisco *cough* I mean Cisco and about 6 months
      before the bubble burst the vast majority of new hires were
      visa holders. I got canned 6 months after the bubble burst,
      and most of the Visa holders kept their jobs.

      Most were NOT H1-b th
  • by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <`Satanicpuppy' `at' `gmail.com'> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:56PM (#23408712) Journal
    Jesus. Get a job where people give you respect, where you're not asked to rectify other people's idiocy 24 hours a day, and where you get to get a little exercise, see the sun occasionally.

    Why would I want to pass that down to my kids?
  • I've been in IT for 12 years now and I certainly would not recommend it to either of my boys. I'll suggest that they learn how to use computers effectively and maybe go as far as learn some languages if it makes sense for their career choice.

    Sure there is good money and benefits and job security but I don't think it is very rewarding, especially early on in your career. My eldest wants to be an architect and I'm going to support him in that goal. If he ever were to ask me what I think he should do with his
  • That they found 700 techies who were kidding themselves about where the economy is going and what their place in it was. Fish, meet barrel.

    I think that some advice from The Woz [woz.org] needs to be brought in here:

    "f my son wants to be a pimp when he grows up, that's fine with me. I hope he's a good one and enjoys it and doesn't get caught. I'll support him in this. But if he wants to be a network administrator, he's out of the house and not part of my family."

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:05PM (#23408854)
    I have been in IT for an embarrassingly long 28 years. I have seen shortages, and gluts, of IT workers. I have seen strong economies and recessions, I have seen technologies and products come and go.

    But one thing never changes, those with a clear agenda: dice, msft, ibm, robert half, tech schools, etc. always claim that IT is great field, and now is a great time to get into IT. These claims are often backed up with some sort of dubious numbers. Speaking as somebody with a degree in math, who has worked on credit scoring systems, and the like, I can assure you that there are people who can make the numbers say whatever somebody wants the numbers to say. Did you know that every time a company requests an h1b, another 5 US jobs are created? It's true, it was in a think-tank report, and bill gates quoted those statistics before the US congress. But, you never seem to see these "happy happy joy joy" surveys from those who don't have an obvious agenda.

    Often the claim is that there is some new technology, that will take over the world, and in the near future there will be desperate shortages of people who are qualified to support that technology.

    IMO: unless something unforeseen, and unforeseeable, happens, stick a fork in the US IT job market - it's done.

    You can probably find a dozen of these types of optimistic articles on any given day. Here is another one from exec at dice.com:

    http://searchcio-midmarket.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid183_gci1313503,00.html?track=NL-973&ad=639083&asrc=EM_NLN_3643525&uid=1339323 [techtarget.com]
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ojustgiveitup (869923)
      Ok I'll bite. I'm considering the source of your post, which is you. You, that is, a person who has been employed in the industry he claims is "done" for a, not embarrassingly long, but fortunately long, 28 years. What am I missing? It's hard to find employment in one field for nearly three decades. How does this demonstrate that the field is dying? Just because people with an agenda say something doesn't make it untrue (or true). You have to look around and see for yourself, and when I do that I see a whol
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Redbaran (918344)
      You make a lot of valid points in your post, but I wonder if those "long 28 years" have left you somewhat jaded. As a programmer, I've not had a hard time keeping a job, finding a new job, or advancing in my career at all. On the other hand, I've seen people who have had problems in all those areas. Why, you ask? I think the IT market is a good market for non-idiots.

      Let me clarify "non-idiot". A non-idiot is someone who:
      1. Knows that people-skills are as important as technical skills
      2. Is flexible with respe
  • by Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:13PM (#23408962) Homepage
    If you asked American techies, you'd probably find that more of them would tell their kids that IT is a thankless job and should be avoided in favor of work that isn't so easily outsourced.
  • by justinlee37 (993373) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:19PM (#23409058)

    Three-quarters of nearly 1,000 IT professionals surveyed said that they would 'definitely recommend' a career in the business to their offspring

    You'd get very different results if you interviewed nearly 1,000 laid off IT professionals. It is really no surprise that people who already have a steady job in the field are under the impression that there are plenty of jobs to be had.

    I thought this was /., don't you fools know jack about statistics?

  • child abuse (Score:3, Funny)

    by mytrip (940886) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:31PM (#23409222) Homepage Journal
    Convincing your kids to go into IT is kind of telling them to run out in front of a bus. Except the pain from the bus will not last as long.
  • I don't think the article mentions where the survey was conducted.

    BTW: here is quick photo of India - you know the place with all "best and brightest" computer geniuses?

    http://techtoil.org/ [techtoil.org]
  • by beadfulthings (975812) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:36PM (#23409304) Journal
    I'm very proud of the son who followed me into IT. When he got his first "real" job, the joke was that he handed them a copy of my resume and said, "You have to hire me. This woman is my mother, and I have her DNA." (He didn't actually do that, but it's become a tradition to say so.) The other joke, which is actually true, is that people in his shop do not refer to side cutters as "dikes," out of deference to my gender if not my inclination. They're always called "side cutters" or "diagonals" in my honor.

    Since then he has far surpassed me in knowledge and skill. I listen to him with great care, ask his opinions, and often follow his advice. Above all, I delighted with him and of all he's accomplished. I do worry a little bit about the twitch he's developed in one eye...

    If he's reading, I'll just add: Son, I'm really, really sorry I bought the DLink router. I was in a hurry that day. Next time, I'll buy the one you suggested. Oh. And, grandchildren???
  • I'm not sure if he still plans on doing so, but at one point my friend was insisting that his two children both have a tech support job for one year as their first job, specifically customer-support at an ISP. It was two-pronged reasoning: Get them used to being crapped on (it is something everyone should learn to deal with), and developing communication skills to use in later careers.

    I dismissed his idea at first, but the more I thought about it, my in-person and over-the-phone communication skills have
  • By the time people reach the age of 18, they should have some ideas of what they want to do for living. My only recommendations to my future kids are:

    Do not be an asshole.

    Try to do something to benefit this world.

    Do whatever you like as long as you're financially independent and not a burden on anybody.

    If they ask me about IT, it would not say anything except for the fact that it worked for me and that I did not mind it because with my character (work to live) and a decent income I was able to enjoy

  • ...and what I'd like my son to learn (a late ultrasound means we know the sex with great certainty) is problem solving skills, and logic. If he doesn't end up a computer programmer, or in IT, I don't mind. These skills will put him in good stead for a job that doesn't involve manual labour. Even if he wants a job that's labour intensive that's something to fall back on if your body folds up on you early.

    What I'd really love would be to be able to give the boy a revenue stream that doesn't make him a wage sl
  • Let me also recommend to "you young whippersnappers" that you check out careers in the mainframe world. The mainframe's far from dead, some young people have noticed [znextgen.org], and as we older people retire from our system administration posts, there will be a demand for people with the foresight to acquire the skills. Where there's a demand for skill sets and a shortage of people with those skills, salaries go up.
  • ... If you can't keep IT in your pants, keep IT in the family?

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