IT Pros Affected by Layoffs Broaden Career Focus

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Westport, Conn. — Oct. 14
Layoffs and hiring freezes are heightening competition for a dwindling number of IT jobs but, as IT professionals are learning from Debugging Your Information Technology Career, their computer knowledge can open doors to many offshore-resistant alternative tech-related careers.

A key advantage of these fields: They offer IT pros who feel pressured to change careers because of the weak IT job market the opportunity to leverage rather than “throw away” their investment in their education and experience.

Author Janice Weinberg is a career consultant formerly with IBM and GE, whose IT background enabled her to identify the 20 careers she describes in Debugging Your Information Technology Career. While most of them aren’t usually thought of as computer-related jobs, computer proficiency is a key qualification for success in each. For example:

  • A software architect’s knowledge of best practices in systems design would be a strong asset in a technology due diligence position.
  • A business analyst who guided manufacturing staff in defining their IT requirements should be a viable candidate for a strategic alliance management position at a company marketing manufacturing software.
  • A NOC manager who upgraded a change-management function would bring a valuable customer’s perspective to a product management position at a company marketing change-management software.
  • A network security administrator could become a broker or underwriter of cyberliability insurance.
  • A software engineer who supported financial applications could parlay that experience into a higher-paying position selling financial software.
  • Any IT professional who can assess the commercial potential of new computer technology could qualify for a position as an equity analyst covering the computer industry.

Most of the careers can be entered without further education beyond a BS in a computer-related discipline. Several — like a business continuity planner — require a certification. Some readers may be motivated to become information technology attorneys or healthcare administrators. Many of the fields can be springboards for new consulting practices.

As Weinberg describes each career, readers will:

  • Realize why computer expertise is an advantage in delivering top performance.
  • Be able to imagine themselves in the field by reading the hour-by-hour typical workday.
  • Understand how a recession could undermine job security, while learning career-planning strategies for minimizing or avoiding any negative impact.

Readers will learn job-hunting techniques tailored to specific fields, including guidance in identifying and approaching employers and in selecting those aspects of their experience to highlight in their resumes and interviews for greatest impact. Although most of the fields are highly insulated from offshoring, where vulnerability exists, Weinberg offers job-hunting techniques to minimize one’s exposure.

While there are many books providing IT career advice, Weinberg’s gives new meaning to the term “computer job,” demonstrating that an IT professional’s knowledge constitutes precious currency in a world dependent on computer technology.

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