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TOPIC: A question to those actually in the IT field...

A question to those actually in the IT field... 12 years 1 month ago #19366

OK, I am currently a student and have been learning/hands-on with networks for the past 3-4 years and I am happy with it. I enjoy the challenge, but also the rewards for the work. Lately I have been noticing more and more that the pay is just slipping on some of the IT jobs and company demand almost seems outrageous. Being that I am young, I am only 18 and this spring I will be graduating with a degree in network technology and then on to my BA for networking. Now I know school is all good and well, but that alone won't get you into the work force.

To me it seems that companies are shifting their ideas on IT and moving it towards a smaller staff. I am looking at job postings and seeing requirements of Microsoft certs, Cisco certs, security, back end data baseing, Linux administration, Sun Solaris systems and more and more black berry servers along with 5+ yrs exp. in high availability networks. This is a little exaggerated but honestly that's a lot and the salary doesn't seem to be matching it. Now don't get me wrong, I love to learn and I love the field, but what is IT becoming. When I first started out I was all about being a network admin, but of course you work in the field and you see there are better things. I am seeing network admin jobs at 50-60k with expectations to not only be familiar with almost all those the things listed above, but in fact have years of exp. with them.

I recently read that IT was one of the most stressful jobs and even though I am not in the field I can agree with that in a way because I know several people in the field. My buddy works at cisco and has been there long enough to know the ins and outs. He has been there years and is stuck at close to 75K doing project managing of IPT. He is short staffed and completely mistreated. Yet when new employees come in they are paid almost the same amount. I know my ideas are a little jumbled considering I am trying to fit a lot into a little. But to me it just seems like IT people are not being appreciated like they used to be.

SO, my question. To the people in the field...
Do you like what you do?
What is it that you do?
Do you feel you get paid enough for what you do?
Is it enough to live comfortably?

( I know some things people may consider personal, but answer what you can just to give me an idea and/or elaborate on a topic)

I live in Baltimore, Maryland so I am close to DC which has ample amounts of opportunity's but I am curious to hear it right from the horses mouth per say. Like I said I started wanting to be a network admin but now I am thinking more and more towards security when I got for my BA. Thanks guys, sorry for the long post.

Re: A question to those actually in the IT field... 12 years 1 month ago #19368

  • mew
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At "only 18" you can't expect the big bucks experience draws. Education will get you in the door. If your true concern is entering a dead end job then just keep this in mind. In IT the job is only dead end if you let become that. This is an ever changing field requiring life long learning. Quit learning and you become obsolete. Learn only what is necessary for your “job” and you stand still. Strive to learn as much as you can and you will go far. :wink:

Security is in high demand. However unified communications (the direction IP telephony has gone) is in even bigger demand. Looking for the big bucks opportunities then check out these specialties, but don’t get stuck in just one specialized occupation. Continually expand your horizons (keep in mind some clichés are also truisms). :lol:

Cisco is releasing CCNP courses that represent 25% change in two of the current CCNP courses and complete rewrites in the other two. You may want to give them a read. Also, note the speed of change. If your Cisco (CCNA) education is more than 3 years old and you have failed to keep up you are in the obsolete category. In 3 years the CCNA has gone from 2.X to 3.0 to 3.1.1 and two new CCNA paths will be offered next fall. :)

Pick your wave and don’t fall off. A little luck and lots of perseverance will satisfy both your pocket book and a desire for an exciting and ever growing/changing career. :D

Re: A question to those actually in the IT field... 12 years 1 month ago #19378

In IT the job is only dead end if you let become that. This is an ever changing field requiring life long learning. Quit learning and you become obsolete. Learn only what is necessary for your “job” and you stand still. Strive to learn as much as you can and you will go far.

That's absolutely true. It's very easy to settle for what you have got, especially when you are young and the money seems adequate at the time. Remember though, eventually you may start having a family and/or want to get your own place, have nice holidays, etc, etc.

For many years IT have always been the funny little geeks in the basement that you call on whenever you need them. When things go wrong, IT are normally the ones who get it in the neck. The organisation never seem to realise what they get from their IT dept and continue to expand and demand better services but usually put in very little in the way of extra resources, training, better pay. That is the way of IT Support and you either love it or you hate it. Personally, I really enjoy meeting all sorts of different people and helping them out with their problems on a daily basis. That and I am really crap at everything else I have tried. I tried being a mechanic once. I am really really bad at being a mechaninc.

Recently, many more people have been flooding into IT support from other sectors and have caused the lower end jobs to become oversubscribed and hence, the employers can ask for more and more qualifications so they get the most for their money. Don't get me started on the support jobs going overseas to places like India, etc. They have te same qualifications and will do the work for a tenth of what the organisation would pay locally.

As the knowledge level grows higher, the number of people with the knowledge to do those jobs becoes less and less and so the pay rates get higher and higher.

With your current education you will be off to a good head start when you finally jump into the workplace but you would do yourself a lot of favours if you also get certifications at the same time as your formal education where you are already in the mindset of studying and have the time on your hands. Trying to get time whilst your working can be a pain and even studying in the evening is hard as your knackered from the days work.

If you put all the main effort in now, you will not only be applying for jobs with your academic qualies but with industry certifications as well. You wil still have the problem of no work experience but a lot of that will be negated and theoretically, you should get snapped up for having that much foresight for planning ahead in what you want to do.
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