A few days ago, I wrote an article about Information Technology jobs and detailing the hours, money, and why I would not recommend a career in Information Technology (IT). You can read that article here.
After feedback in comments, emails, texts etc., I am writing this article to clarify a couple of items, that apparently I did not make clear enough. First, in “
Information Technology (IT) Jobs (Is It For Me?) | RecreationalWriter.com” I was detailing specifically Information Technology (IT) support jobs. These Information Technology (IT) jobs include desktop (desk side) support, network support, peripheral support, server support.
Pretty much any position that is responsible for fixing anything that is broken. I was not speaking to development jobs.
Perhaps a further clarification is in order for that. Information Technology (IT) jobs are basically split into three basic categories: Support, Development, and Management. Support encompasses keeping the lights on so to speak. From desktop and laptop computers, smart and cell phones, printers, servers, network switches, firewalls, routers, fax machines, chairs, doors … okay, I may have gotten a bit carried away. Or did I? Not my JOB! says you? “Other duties as assigned” says otherwise. In my fifteen years in Information Technology (IT) jobs, I have delivered pizza to colleagues not in the Information Technology (IT) department, and done far more things normal people would deem “not my job.” Information Technology (IT) support personnel are the grunts, and are often reminded that there are many people that can, and will, fill their positions. I even had an experience of an Executive within a company saying to support staff, “I can get a trained monkey to do what you do.”
“Smile and wave boys. Smile and wave.” (courtesy of Madagascar.)
If you are looking for thank you’s, do not look to Information Technology (IT) support jobs. It is a thankless profession, constantly berated and yelled at for something not working, but never thanked for smooth operations, or High Availability (HA.) If you want gratitude, become a doctor or a nurse. What you get in Information Technology (IT) support jobs is “why did it take so long?!?” Believe me, the correct answer is not “because we do not have staff.”
At this point you may be asking why I have spent the better of fifteen years subjecting myself to these conditions. And that is a fair question. I got started on the cusp of the Information Technology (IT) jobs boom. Technology was in its infancy. There was unlimited potential, and unlimited Information Technology (IT) jobs out there. Computers were the future, and would be forever in demand, along with those that could fix them. At this point, it is hard to change a career that you have invested fifteen years in, and it’s virtually all that you have known since childhood.
Think long. Think hard.
A career lasts a lifetime. It’s hard to change once you have vested time, training, and education. It’s harder to change when you are expected to work 60 – 70 hours a week, holidays, weekends, nights, whenever and wherever. That is the growing expectation with Information Technology (IT) jobs. The world runs now on computers. And with that demand is the demand for always on. And someone has to be there to keep it on. But, as I pointed out in
Information Technology (IT) Jobs (Is It For Me?) | RecreationalWriter.com, CFO’s do not want to fund a department that does not make money (especially over those that do) regardless of the reliance on the technology. It seems that the direction in Information Technology (IT) jobs is to have one or two people, work them until they quit, die or retire, and then hire a replacement and repeat the process.
If you have ever considered blogging, and leaving the 8A – to 7:59A rat race, check this out.