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IT Job Market Recovering Faster Now Than After Dot-com Bubble Burst 242

Posted by Soulskill
from the certainly-caused-by-your-political-party's-fine-efforts dept.
tsamsoniw writes "More new tech jobs have emerged since the end of the past recession than during the same recovery timelines following the dot-com bubble burst and the early-1990s recession. What's more, the unemployment rate among technology professionals is now half that of the national average — with especially low unemployment rates for database administrators and network architects. What's not clear, though, is how many unemployed techies aren't being counted because they've abandoned job searches."
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IT Job Market Recovering Faster Now Than After Dot-com Bubble Burst

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  • At least one (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @06:39PM (#42597383) Homepage

    Well, I've pretty much stopped looking. I suppose what I'm doing now counts as a "tech job", but the IT job market sure has lost a lot of appeal to me. Who wants to get chewed up and spit out again?

    • Re:At least one (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @06:58PM (#42597597)

      I was (still am) out of work for a long, long time. spent 5 years at a big-name bay area company only to get rif'd when a huge org change happend.

      for the first 6 months, I looked and looked hard. companies were not hiring and those that were, were asking for god, himself. nothing you could do would be good enough and the rates were below market, taking advantage of the poor job market.

      I gave up, started my own one-man company in the hardware/software area and made some product prototypes. was hoping to bring them to manufacturing but was a bit outside my experience level (I did the hardware design, software/firmware, mechanicals, user interface, pretty much everything, all using home lab equip I bought used on ebay).

      FINALLY, once the year turned over, I started getting calls from companies and recruiters. like the flood gates opened! night and day. not sure why, exactly, but I'm not complaining!

      it was a very dry period for a few years. fwiw, I have 30+ years writing C code in the networking field and have spent the last 20 yrs in the bay area. yet I could not get anywhere during the dry-spell of the last few years.

      I hope this up-turn is going to stay. we have been at bottom long enough!

      (wish me luck, too; I have some onsites this and next week).

      • by Synerg1y (2169962)
        Sounds like you're an engineer, when your career single tracks on say C programming, you may have to expand your search to national to effectively land a job. Moving is good for you anyways, but it sounds like you proved / demonstrated your skills with your self-start project showing employers a side of you that was either missing or under-represented opening doors. A good example of how to re-enter the job market and demonstrate your value to an org.
        • Re:At least one (Score:4, Interesting)

          by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @07:17PM (#42597809)

          its double-edged, though! I was proud of my design and implementation and on some early interviews, I actually took my hardware with me and gave a demo of it if I was allowed. it never went well, for some reason. I think it put some employers off! they thought 'he's too hardware focused and this is a pure software job'. not realizing that there is over 10k lines of c/c++ code in my embedded project, not to mention the linux host side of things (the ip stack).

          I got tagged as 'too entreprenurial' and not enough of a team player. go figure! I worked on my own because I had to and I could not afford to hire anyone. that does not mean I avoid group work. but companies are very quick to summary judge you and there is such a thick stack of resumes waiting, they won't spend time with you to see that you are 'not just a hardware guy'.

          when I talked about my own company, some people were not sure I'd want to stick around at -their- company. that was not true, as I was (and am) fully ready to make the change back to the corp sw-eng job again, but most companies were not happy to take any chances. 'he might leave!'. gee, that applies to anyone, though.

          too much of something or too little. life is about finding the right quantity, I guess ;)

          • by CptNerd (455084)

            HR will always find something when you're actually too old (expensive) in their opinion.

            • Re:At least one (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Synerg1y (2169962) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @07:36PM (#42597975)
              I've never been "hired" by HR, have you? They just screen resumes, a wise career adviser once recommend to me to tailor my resume to the job description if I really want it and include a cover letter. In grateful's case I'd simply state I made this badass project and have all the skills necessary to do it for the potential company, I wouldn't mention the words "entrepreneur", or "own company" anywhere, they play the buzz word game, so should you, it's only fair after all.
              • a lot of the game is getting past the HR filter. you have to guess what will get you points and what would be something they don't like. I haven't really crafted different versions for different jobs; the same file was sent out to all the jobs I applied to. I did what I did during the times that I stated. all of the jobs were important to me and I could describe what I did at each place. its about 3 pages, though; and I know that's long, but I have worked at a lot of places during the past 35 or so yrs

                • Re:At least one (Score:4, Insightful)

                  by CptNerd (455084) <adiseker@lexonia.net> on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @10:22PM (#42599315) Homepage

                  Take the advice of another old fart: Lose the old experience, and don't date anything past the last three jobs, or 7 years, whichever is least. Like you, I used to feel that all of my experience was (or could be) important, since it was broad in scope and domain. However, I found that taking all the old experience, pulling out some keywords, and paraphrasing the rest into short paragraphs made all the difference. When I looked like an old geek, I got nothing from anyone, even when I regularly updated my resume online. Once I removed any indication of my age, I started getting 2-3 phone calls and at least 5 emails per day, wanting me to talk to them. Fortunately by then I had a reasonably good job, and had only updated my resume on a whim, but it shows just how bad the age bias is in the computer HR field.

                  Hide your age, dye your hair, lose weight, and lie by omission on your resume. They'll lie to you about why they won't hire you, so feel free to "lie" to them about your age.

                  • I may give your method a try. I bet it works for a lot of people.

                    it just feels wrong to omit things that I did, spent years of my life doing it and I usually gained new skills (soft or tech) at each place.

                    I hear what you're saying, but its hard to pick which of your paragraphs and whole jobs must be thrown under the bus.

                    if the current round of interviews and onsites don't pan out, I will actually try your method. hack and chop things out, remove older jobs, I guess its worth a try.

                • by radish (98371)

                  I read a lot of resumes. 3 pages for 35 years is fine...it's the 6+ pages for less than 10 years which get me.

          • I actually took my hardware with me and gave a demo of it if I was allowed. it never went well, for some reason. I think it put some employers off! they thought 'he's too hardware focused and this is a pure software job'. not realizing that there is over 10k lines of c/c++ code in my embedded project, not to mention the linux host side of things (the ip stack).

            I've worked at firms where you can't bring any outside tech/inventions in - doing so puts the company at too much risk. So even in the interview, if you're not focused on solving their problems, hiring managers are not comfortable - they've been schooled by Legal to avoid these situations as bringing you onboard may be a career-limiting move.

            • that's probably a valid point.

              i've also seen the opposite. one place I was interviewing at, seemed to want to own my technology. we went back and forth many times on the contract and wording and could not agree on what would keep the stuff I 'invented' (hate using that word) mine and not theirs, even before I started the job!

              and so, some places may not want you if you have built and own some tech; and on the other side, some places want you so that they can -take- your stuff.

              there's all kinds of companies

          • by Lothsahn (221388)
            TheGratefulNet,

            I work for a great company in the Detroit, Michigan area. We are and have been hiring people who are like you--people who build stuff and get things done. Innovative? Awesome. Went and build your own hardware project? Awesome. I hired a guy a couple years who did just that, because his hardware project impressed me so much.

            Age doesn't deter us--we have plenty of people your age and older (and plenty younger too). I've been a developer with the company for a number of years and I
          • Hmm, I had something similar happen to me at a recent interview. I was tagged as spending too much time doing IT, and trying for a position outside my skill-level: in short, I was pegged as a hardware monkey, who suddenly wanted to jump into programming (never mind my CS degree, and so on). It probably didn't help that I wanted to move into more serious work (framework development), as opposed to continuing to do web development (glass-ceiling effect...once you do web app work, people are loathe to let you

          • 'he's too hardware focused and this is a pure software job'. not realizing that there is over 10k lines of c/c++ code in my embedded project, not to mention the linux host side of things (the ip stack).

            You're probably going to tell me to get off your lawn (I'm younger than your years of C experience), but anyways... My impression is that the kind of C code written for embedded systems is quite different from the C (or C++) code written for "full" applications. In embedded systems you write your own linked list, whereas in a modern non-embedded system you just #include <list> or something. Whereas the challenge in embedded systems is working with the limited feature set of the device, in non-embedded

            • in my code, on the embedded side, I have 4k of ram, 30k of program flash and I think its 512 or 1k of eeprom.

              linked lists? what's that? ;) not enough memory for pointers or speed to walk lists. nothing fancy (in data structs) is used, here.

              funny you mention LL's though. I have never had to write one from scratch. not once. I'll grab tailqueue (or similar) from the unix header files and start from there or just plain use it. and I would use that stuff a lot on higher level app code, but again, I neve

      • Re:At least one (Score:4, Interesting)

        by GodInHell (258915) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @07:10PM (#42597737) Homepage
        It's the clutch and hold phenomena. You don't spend a penny at the end of your fiscal year that can be saved and reported as additional net revenue as of 12/31. Once the arbitrary deadline is passed, you can start doing the job hunt that you should have started in October. Another example of the efficiency of the invisible hand of the market (i.e. short-term oriented corporate leadership gaming the numbers to increase the stock value, and thus their benefits and pay).

        This is mostly limited to publicly traded companies, but any company that emphasizes end of calendar year financials is open to this kind of manipulation. Spend less, make more, at least on paper, and you do better.
        • by khallow (566160)

          Once the arbitrary deadline is passed, you can start doing the job hunt that you should have started in October.

          You mean in November. That's after the US election and its uncertainty are over (for example, whether or not Obamacare was going to survive the next four years). The people hiring now have some idea of what the business environment is going to be like in the US.

          As to end of calendar year financials, I think we don't need to look any further than taxes to find a reason there for hiring practices.I doubt many places are going to want to deal with employing someone for two weeks and dealing with all that pa

          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            Once the arbitrary deadline is passed, you can start doing the job hunt that you should have started in October.

            You mean in November. That's after the US election and its uncertainty are over (for example, whether or not Obamacare was going to survive the next four years). The people hiring now have some idea of what the business environment is going to be like in the US.

            As to end of calendar year financials, I think we don't need to look any further than taxes to find a reason there for hiring practices.I

    • by Synerg1y (2169962)
      *shrug* so be smarter than a sheep and get out as the high tide starts to recede (2-3y is the trend I believe), you only have yourself to blame for outstaying your usefulness. It's just how IT is nowadays, the days when knowing html could net you 6 figures are long gone. If employers start to see their workers rotate themselves, it just might motivate them to improve conditions in IT and offer incentives. Live to work man, live to work...
    • by GodInHell (258915)
      I'm out. Changed careers after the .com bubble.
    • I love my job, although the beginning of the year is always a bit stressful. We're always looking for people, just not people with you're attitude. ;-) No offense, just trying to point out something that's probably been obvious in a lot of your job interviews. A positive, upbeat person not only outperforms those with a negative outlook, they usually help those around them perform better as well. My one job is to make my boss happy, everything else are just means to that end. Look at it like that, be ok with

    • by crazyjj (2598719) *

      Well, I've pretty much stopped looking.

      Try China or India.

  • Well, doh! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kaz Kylheku (1484) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @06:46PM (#42597449) Homepage

    The dot com bust hit the IT sectory specifically, and followed a huge bubble in which tons of people were found in unnecessary jobs fueled by the gush of easy start-up money.

    How can you even compare.

  • by Jonah Hex (651948) <hexdotmsNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @06:50PM (#42597485) Homepage Journal
    Welcome to Detroit, or really, most of Michigan. The same tech jobs posted over and over by the same recruiters... sorting through positions that say "Michigan" but are really redirects to another state... More invective and frustration... While there are a few good recruiting firms local the international recruiters spam the boards and inbox. Unfortunately the market doesn't support many of us who have skills and can't move out of state for whatever reason(s). I'm looking at taking a position and moving to the area it's located in since most commutes to the few "tech hubs" we have left are 1 to 2 hour drives, ironically I'm 20 minutes away from downtown Detroit but decent tech jobs there are few and far between. - HEX
    • by tompaulco (629533)
      I have had the same job in Pittsburgh (I don't live there) spammed at me about 6 times, all by Indian recruiting firms. I don't even bother to respond because they won't present me to the client because I am not an Indian on H1b.
    • by Lothsahn (221388)
      Jonah,

      See my post here: http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3384553&cid=42600051 [slashdot.org]

      We're looking for people in the local area. No redirects, false postings, etc. Livonia, MI. Not a recruiter--I work at the company and I know we have open positions.
  • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @06:53PM (#42597525)

    The dot-com burst was a tech sector bubble.

    The current burst is a finance sector bubble.

    How's that finance job market recovery going?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @07:06PM (#42597701)

      Great. They just announced another round of executive bonuses.

    • How's that finance job market recovery going?

      "Will calculate derivative interest for food"

    • by thammoud (193905)

      In the financial software industry. We hire both software developers and financial operational support and have job openings for both. For every 50 support resumes we get, less than a handful of Java developer applies. There is a huge demand for Java developers in Chicago. I would assume the same applies to other parts of the US.

    • Although the finance sector bubble may have burst (well for many companies it was a very soft kind of bursting) we now have a new Web 2.0 bubble in which companies without a business model (i.e. Instagram) are suddenly worth _lots_ of money.
      So in a few years/months (who knows) this new web 2.0 bubble will burst, and just like we had lots of useless unemployed untalented web designers after that, we'll have lots of useless unemployed app designers then.

  • by fermion (181285) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @06:53PM (#42597531) Homepage Journal
    If one is going to work for a lifetime, I think it is important to flexible. This is why I prefer a good general education rather than have a two year degree where they teach you to use MS Office or configure a windows network. At some point that work is going away, and it sucks to have to look for a job that is becoming obsolete, or at least not as desperate for worker as it one was.

    On hopes that people have found other jobs rather than being forced to exist on unemployment until someone gives them back what is essentially their old job. That is what recovery is. People finding work and the economy moving forward. I think it would be better if we educated ourselves for a flexible work load rather than a specific and narrow trade. That is why so many PhD students have trouble finding positions.

  • by mrheckman (939480) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @06:55PM (#42597555)

    Employment in high tech is cyclical - boom to bust, followed by boom again. It seems to happen roughly every 10 years (1991, 2001, 2009 come to mind, but there was another boom around 1980). When employment booms, there's a shortage of skilled engineers and programmers, so companies look to off-shore. Meanwhile, the number of CS students in the US skyrockets. Then those students graduate, and not long after, the industry tanks, the job market softens, and there's a local surplus of skilled workers who are suddenly more affordable vis-a-vis off-shore workers. Seeing the surplus of skilled on-shore workers, companies start "re-shoring" -- bringing jobs back to the US. But lots of unemployed engineers and programmers go on to other things and, seeing so many engineers and programmers out of work, CS enrollments plummet. When the next boom hits, there's a shortage of workers again and the cycle continues.

  • by gentryx (759438) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @07:00PM (#42597629) Homepage Journal
    Did anyone else read the title and thought "Megaupload's downfall wasn't that bad, wasn't it?" Or did Kim's extensive physique just lose structural integrity?
  • by Bramlet Abercrombie (1435537) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @07:12PM (#42597751)
    I've got A+, Network+ and MCP and it's still not enough to get the first job in IT? What gives?
    • what worked for me (decades ago) was to go to a co-op school where you spend some of your college time working at a real company. often doing nothing or nothing much (you are a tax wrote-off, mostly; realize that but be ok with it).

      but it gets you work experience on your resume! I think that really helped me out.

      if you are not yet in school, DO consider one of the co-op schools. I was at northeastern (boston area) and even with zero work experience, they were able to find some company to take you on and

  • In California the developer job market was really rough after the dot-com crash. For family reasons it was not practical to move out of state. I even started asking for minimum wage, but no takers*. It was brutal. I ran into some sleazebags who wanted me to lie, cheat, and steal for $. Sleazebags sure know how to find the desperate.

    Between that and the offshoring trend, I started looking for an entire new field to go into. I considered 3D animated graphics for presentation to judges and juries in court case

    • Re:Local differences (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @07:50PM (#42598127)

      I went for an interview (really well known company, everyone wants to work there, or so they think) and when they told me that the job was paying about half of what I made 10 yrs ago (!!), I did not balk. it would have covered the rent, at least, and employment is honorable even if its way below your last several jobs' rates.

      they would have no part of me, though. too old, way too overqualified (they said so) and they didn't want to risk taking me on. I did not (at all!) act above-the-job. I honestly would have been fine working there, even for that rate. maybe it would lead to other things or I could establish myself in that company. but no, they never even called back to give closure. (this company is known to be rude to prospective employees, and people still put up with it, too).

      employers, please don't turn down those who are 'overqualified' in a tough market. get a feeling for whether they'll stay or jump; but don't just -assume- they'll jump. those who have been out of work would really appreciate the chance and they'd likely be loyal and glad to have the chance to come aboard. if they're older, they'll likely be more stable, too, and not be a job-hopper. believe me, the job-hopping days ended 10 yrs ago or even more.

      the tough part is staying positive when you see the ugliness and greed that companies have, when they know its an employer's market. its soul crushing to see the lack of humanity and lack of compassion. it was a learning experience for me and I'm going to try never to do that to anyone, if I'm on the other side of the interview table.

      • The company you describe sounds like Google. I almost got a job there back in 2007. I did the interviews, everything went really well. They told me they were going to make me an offer. I made it all the way to the executive committee, and then, nothing. Not a peep from the HR dept. For me the sound of the financial bubble bursting was the silence of my cell phone, waiting for them to call me and tell me that the position I was being hired for had been cut. When I finally got one of them on the phone,
      • by CAIMLAS (41445)

        I've been in situations like this, though I've gotten the job(s). The employer has a decent position but at below market rates - but with promises of improvement "after 6 months', "when the company is doing better", "before we hire someone else".

        Invariably, it's all been lies just to get a cheap employee (even when it's in writing - at will means at will, and they'll change the terms of the agreement out from underneath you).

        Older, more experienced workers have the benefit of being able to jump ship to anot

      • It has been my observation that "overqualified" means something quite specific.

        "Overqualified" means that they know the working conditions are poor, and that you have enough experience to pretty much find another job the minute they start pushing the boundaries of employment to "unreasonable" limits (and they are expecting to). "Overqualified" means you won't put up with a lot of 60-hour work weeks salaried without overtime, you'll actually expect to be able to take sick leave and vacation time (and will c

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