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A Quarter of IT Pros Find Their Job Very Stressful (itproportal.com) 108

An anonymous reader writes: A new report from Spiceworks, entitled A Portrait of IT Workers, says 41 per cent of IT pros in the UK consider themselves "accidental" -- and that they ended up in their career via a "non-traditional" route. The report, which covers areas including the career plans and education levels of IT professionals, found that a third (33 per cent) of the UK's IT job force don't have a college or a university degree. [...] When it comes to working, British IT bods work 41 hours a week, "far above" the 31 hour average across all industries. Almost all (89 per cent) see themselves as "somewhat stressed" at work, with a quarter (26 per cent) reported being extremely stressed.
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A Quarter of IT Pros Find Their Job Very Stressful

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  • Ha! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dragon-file ( 2241656 ) on Thursday May 18, 2017 @04:45PM (#54444551)
    "British IT bods work 41 hours a week, "far above" the 31 hour average across all industries." That's funny because I would consider a 41 hour week fairly laid back compared to the 50 or so hours I currently work. But I'm American so I won't pretend to understand how things are done in the UK.
    • Dragon-file - We are totally workaholics, compared to much of Europe. It's a hold over from our roots in the Industrial Age, and our need to feel like we need more, More, MORE!

      However, I would be curious what percentage of US IT workers don't have a college or university degree. Just last night, someone I've worked with for 12 years asked me why I didn't have some additional sashes for presiding over a graduation ceremony, I replied that I only had a 2-year degree. He look surprised and nodded, "Good for

      • ... I would be curious what percentage of US IT workers don't have a college or university degree.

        I can't offer statistics but your comment piqued my interest, and I can offer you my personal experience.
        I live in the US, and don't have a "traditional" 4-year degree. I've been in the IT industry for more than 10 years and get mixed reactions when I tell people that I don't have a degree. I went to a 2 year college for a while but didn't finish that either.

        For me, this actually contributes to my work ethic - pretty similar to what you described - to prove I'm not "less than" everyone else , I feel l

        • Re:Ha! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by gfxguy ( 98788 ) on Thursday May 18, 2017 @05:25PM (#54444893)
          I have a graduate degree (and never had any student debt), but I will say that some of the best programmers I've worked with either had no degree, or a degree in something completely different. Experience is king.
        • I don't have a computer related degree but I've worked in IT forever....
           

        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
          I managed to get an MBA (with no student debt), and when I tell people that I have 20 years of very technical experience, and an MBA (in addition to a CS), they assume I'm an idiot that went into IT because I was chasing money. So the degrees doen't seem to help, and most "real" iniversities don't have a good IT program, but have CS, which, when I got it was about building CPUs and programming OSs for them, which is 100% irrelevant to IT (yes, we built CPUs, as the CS degree was conferred by the College of
        • I can one-up you on this. I never even finished high school (though I did get my GED). Now I am working as a data scientist. Of course, by the time I reached those critical years when I would have been receiving an education in my craft, I had already been ravenously learning programming since the age of 12. While I admit, I missed some of the fundamentals by not going the formal education route, and had to work twice as hard to catch myself up, I console myself by remembering that the skills I use toda
      • Dropped out of college in 94, went to Microsoft during the 95 launch and have had a rewarding career over the last 23 years. I'm at the top of my field, making money I could have only hoped for if I had followed my original goal of being a lawyer, and I never picked up any college debt. The point of college if you expect to do technical work is to get your foot in the door the summer after graduation. After that first job, your on your own with your skills and work ethic. The joke we used to make many many
      • Re:Ha! (Score:4, Informative)

        by allcoolnameswheretak ( 1102727 ) on Friday May 19, 2017 @05:38AM (#54447273)

        Dragon-file - We are totally workaholics, compared to much of Europe.

        A 31h work week is relaxed by any standards, even European ones. Not sure how that average came to be in the UK.
        Most of Europe works 40h weeks, IT pros probably average at 40-50h weeks. France works 35h weeks.

        What we do have in Europe is the luxury of payed vacation (about 30 days) plus an average of about 5 bank holidays per year.

        Of course this varies a lot depending on the industry and EU country. The lower you are on the social ladder and the poorer the EU country, the less payed leave.

        • by mjwx ( 966435 )

          Dragon-file - We are totally workaholics, compared to much of Europe.

          A 31h work week is relaxed by any standards, even European ones. Not sure how that average came to be in the UK.
          Most of Europe works 40h weeks, IT pros probably average at 40-50h weeks. France works 35h weeks.

          What we do have in Europe is the luxury of payed vacation (about 30 days) plus an average of about 5 bank holidays per year.

          Of course this varies a lot depending on the industry and EU country. The lower you are on the social ladder and the poorer the EU country, the less payed leave.

          In the UK, you get 22 days of paid leave and 8 bank holidays (30 in total). many employers offer additional leave as part of the package.

          The problem with UK IT is that we're constantly getting pressured to do more with less. Companies don't want to spend money to replace or upgrade equipment and opex budgets are slashed but the same C-levels will baulk if you tell them that you have to cut services because they cut the budget. In many cases, you're spending man hours to keep systems from falling apart wh

      • Like so many others, I've worked in IT my entire adult life (I'm 57) and have only attended two university classes, and those were paid for by my employer at the time. I've attended many vendor classes, also paid for by my employer.

        As others have noted, I have run into many great IT professionals with and without degrees, and many not so great with and without degrees. I remember an MIT PhD (supposedly, I didn't verify) that couldn't program her way out of a paper bag and refused to learn new things. I also

    • by Anonymous Coward

      According to the UK Government [ons.gov.uk] the average working week for the UK is ~37.5 hours, so I'm not sure where that 31 is coming from.

    • and without a pointless race to the bottom. And I'm an American, and I look on with envy at people who don't treat being overworked and underpaid as a badge of honor.
      • Exactly. It's scary to see how deep the banksters and their corporations have their claws sunk into the hides of modern Americans.

    • WTF!

      I'm more used to 60hrs as the usual, more in a crit-sit.

      Somehow though I've seen a lot of people who sit around not generally doing much work. True, they're often (but not always) the highly experienced ones. Maybe they're the 3/4 who aren't stressed.

    • My employment contracts for the past 10+ years have prohibited me from working more than 40 hours per week. Fortune 500 companies or the government just don't want to pay overtime anymore.
    • Those are 'metric' hours....

  • I do my job without needing a degree. Ability is more important than a bit of paper
    • Re:As a UK IT pro (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ma1wrbu5tr ( 1066262 ) on Thursday May 18, 2017 @04:59PM (#54444661) Journal
      I'm an "accidental" geek myself having gone to trade school for welding; only to have a serious back injury on the job. During my recovery, I broke out my old 286 to give me something to do while I was bored and quickly found it couldn't really do much for me (1990s) anymore and decided to upgrade. From there, it was all about the desktop, then the network, and then on to Linux by 1998. After nearly 20 years in the biz, I've hit burnout and left my job recently. If it had only required 41 hours a week, I might not have.
      • Fell into it myself. Used to be an accountant now I'm part of an IT department supporting specialised hardware and software all over the world for a French based multinational company.
      • by TWX ( 665546 )

        Heh. I did it as a hobby as an adolescent and teenager and then made a career out of it.

        Now my hobbies are working on cars, woodworking, working on machinery, etc.

        Suffice it to say, I do not agree with those that maintain making your hobby into a career will make you happy in your career. It may simply ruin your hobby.

    • Ability is more important than a bit of paper

      You go ahead and keep saying that...

      • To get you first job, the piece of paper is important than your actual ability. After that, it hardly matters at all.

        You can still get by in IT fine without a degree, but you'll probably need to start at a small place that doesn't really care about a degree (or perhaps even know such a thing exists) and have some good references, but after a while the degree doesn't matter as in the IT world after 10 or 20 years anything they would have taught you in college is probably useless anyway.

        That a full thir
        • My internship after getting a two-year degree was with a Fortune 500 company. That was 20 years ago. I've been pigeon-holed by recruiters and hiring managers as an enterprise-level tech from the beginning that I'm only considered for Fortune 500 or government IT positions. If I try to interview at a small- or medium-sized company, I'm told that I'm "too big" for them. I'm sure that's in reference to my experience and not my weight.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      If all you get from a degree is a bit of paper, you're doing it wrong.
      • by TWX ( 665546 )

        This may be so, but on the other hand I have worked for or with far too many people in this field that have plenty of credentials but have no ability. Fortunately many of them end up eventually running afoul of management when in a crisis they fail to perform, but until that time they chiefly seem to increase the stress in the workplace through bad decisions and an inability to contribute their fair share of the workload.

        A lot of these kinds of IT workers seem to have forgotten the KISS principle too, and

        • There's money to be made in cleaning my up other people's tech messes. I've cleaned up quite a few over the years.
  • In the UK sure, they are all stressed out over Brexit.
  • 75% of British IT workers do not see their jobs as very stressful.

  • Stressful.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by oakgrove ( 845019 ) on Thursday May 18, 2017 @05:09PM (#54444763)

    Before getting into IT, I busted my ass roofing, landscaping, framing, and pouring concrete. My feet hurt so bad at the end of the day I'd have to walk on the sides of them and don't even ask how much money I was making. Now I sit on my ass all day typing shit in on a computer. If one finds IT "stressful", I assure there's a world of opportunity waiting in the trades. Let me know how wonderful and carefree your life becomes.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      That's just physical stress. Some people do that to relax.
      • That's just physical stress. Some people do that to relax.

        They don't do it for ten hours a day, 5 days a week, 48 weeks of the year.

    • Re:Stressful.. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Fire_Wraith ( 1460385 ) on Thursday May 18, 2017 @05:43PM (#54445041)
      The problem, both in your response and the article itself, is that neither focus on why a job is, or could be, stressful.

      For instance, constantly living in fear that management is going to ax or outsource your department/your job could be pretty stressful for most people. Having a terrible boss is stressful regardless of where you work or what you do. Having coworkers that are annoying, bad, lazy, backstabbing, etc can be pretty stressful regardless of the physical conditions.

      Were pay/benefits not an issue, I'd much prefer a job that involved lots of hard physical labor but had a team with strong camaraderie, a decent boss, and a sense of accomplishment/value at what I did, to one that lacked those things but was in an air conditioned office at a desk.

      And yes, I've worked at jobs like that, as well as in IT. I've even worked in jobs where I was getting shot at as a part of job (military). Certainly that was stressful too, but that's hardly the only thing worth considering, and it sure doesn't mean that there aren't other situations that are also stressful to some degree.
    • Entry level, apprentice trade salary is literally 2.5*entry level IT salary where I am.
      Cry me a river.
    • IT Pros such as myself actually suffer PTSD. I've almost admittedly lost my shit working on a project that took well over 60s in a week, and hundreds of people depended on it. Wasn't my fault. It was a fucked up situation that I walked into as was tasked to deal with it. But yeah, now with this ransomworm going around, how would you like to deal with people literally dying on you as it ravages the medical industry?

      As for the PTSD, it's grown worse. I can't tell you how many times I'm interrupted when trying

      • IT Pros such as myself actually suffer PTSD. I've almost admittedly lost my shit working on a project that took well over 60s in a week, and hundreds of people depended on it. Wasn't my fault. It was a fucked up situation that I walked into as was tasked to deal with it. But yeah, now with this ransomworm going around, how would you like to deal with people literally dying on you as it ravages the medical industry?

        As for the PTSD, it's grown worse. I can't tell you how many times I'm interrupted when trying to perform deep analytical troubleshooting in a complex environment. I love the work. Can't fucking stand the interruptions! I want to be placed in a box with just my computer, coffee, and NO FUCKING PHONE!!! I'll get the work done faster, and with less stress. But nooo, us IT Pros are getting constantly hounded. As for my boss, yeah, he has it worse. Somehow drinking helps him cope....

        Having to work to strict deadlines, on intellectually demanding tasks, with frequent interruptions and conflicting tasks to prioritise is not unique to the IT industry.

        It's basically the definition of a professional job.

    • Then you must have one of the easy IT jobs. The job I work for does not do a great job at managing its limited resources very well so basically we are always really stressed out either by the long hours we work, the amount of never ending work and projects we are tasked with where every one of them is "priority #1" and then since this place is 24/7 they live with the rule that nothing can ever go down at any time and when something does you are basically being called every 5 minutes with status updates on
      • Sounds almost like he has data entry or reception work confused with IT.
        Working with a computer = IT whiz? Sure, I bet he can write a vba script to catch the killer's IP address.
  • by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Thursday May 18, 2017 @07:56PM (#54445713)
    You have the responsibility to keep the email up 105% of the time. You have to use Office 365 in Azure on a single instance without failover, with authentication/DNS being done over a VPN done with the free tools in Azure and the 400 year old Firewall that came with the office building when they moved in.

    You don't have a budget to improve the VPN (which dies daily, causing user auth issues). You have no control over the AD environment which has 10% of the users in the wrong groups, causing mailing list and other problems. You don't have the authority to increase the Azure cost to deploy the service across multiple datacenters.

    But you have the responsibility to keep a 105% uptime.

    That's the source of the stress in my job. Being given sub-standard tools to do a job, then being required to use those tools, and no others.

    Usually the problem lays in inefficient middle management. They are so busy trying to make their bosses see how much they do with so little, they don't appreciate what those below them do to make it work.
  • ...seeing a person go in to VFIB on the monitor and finding them pulseless when you go into their room. Stressful is knowing that if you do not perform your job right that person may very well not live. IT does not have even an inkling of what stressful is.

    • by kretara ( 771245 )

      As someone who worked as a provider in a Level 3/4 NICU and worked trauma at THE trauma center for an entire State, I have to disagree with you.

      In my experience, healthcare is spurts of (sometimes intense) stress followed by lots of busy with some not so busy thrown in. Very rarely are you under intense stress for your 8-12 hours shift (barring a weekend working the ER).

      I had far more downtime as a health care provider than as an IT professional.

      Much of that is down to management. Hospital Admins/Nurse Mgr

      • You said: >But, I no longer feel like I have to sit in a rocking chair, rocking a baby (if the >parents are not there) as it takes its last breath, just so the baby can have >some human contact before death You were a better healthcare provider than many I have known. Burnout hits a lot of them, they don't care, and become less than human. My hat is off to you.
  • A Quarter of IT Pros Find Their Job Very Stressful

    And what branch of work doesn't have a good share of stressed workers? 25%? I would find that a very low bar in stress given that 75% do not find it stressful.

    • by malkavian ( 9512 )

      That would be 'extremely stressful', you know, burnout level stress, not your ordinary every day stressor that makes you work better and gives you that bit of get up and go.. This is more the 'lie down and weep' kind.

  • You just have to read https://www.reddit.com/r/tales... [reddit.com] to know why this is true

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