IT as a Career Choice
Whether you’re fighting middle-of-the-night network assaults or simply burning through brain cells trying to build a new system, IT is a job that isn’t about banker’s hours. As a career choice, it’s draining and demanding, exhaustive and exhausting. And yet, you love it.
That’s not just my assessment — the recently released “Tech Appeal” report from Dice shows an overwhelming sense of career satisfaction among IT experts. For an industry beset by recession, threatened by outsourcing and plagued by a variety of challenges, that’s pretty remarkable.
According to Dice, 94 percent of IT professionals surveyed are satisfied with their positions. Contributing to that sense of satisfaction is job enjoyment (for 40 percent of respondents), good pay (for 34 percent) and the ability to be creative (for 23 percent).
Also according to the survey, 88 percent of respondents would recommend their field as a career choice to others. In terms of fearing the worst, only 37 percent are concerned about budget cuts leading to layoffs, while only 41 percent are outraged over outsourcing.
Enough good news — let’s look at the results from a half-empty-glass point of view:
When non-tech professionals were surveyed, Dice found that only 64 percent are likely to recommend IT as a career choice. Interestingly, 73 percent of respondents would recommend a career in health care instead, with 48 percent pushing for financial services. (I can hear the conversation now: “Mom, I want to be a Web developer.” “Gee, honey, wouldn’t you rather be a nurse? Or how about an estate planner?”)
As Scot Melland, Dice’s president and CEO, said, “The technology field seems to have lost some of the luster and appeal it had only a few years ago. It’s critical that the industry address this image problem immediately.”
Now there’s a conversation worth having: What should we, as an industry, do to shore up the IT field and better serve current and future tech pros? How can we earn more respect for the crucial work of IT experts and ensure an ongoing tech-savvy talent pipeline?
I urge you to e-mail your thoughts to me or better yet, take them to www.certmag.com/forums, where you can post your suggestions.
Patient, heal thyself? Well, you’ve seen the numbers. If we don’t fix things, who will?