Surveying Your Future

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It’s hard to predict what tomorrow will bring, at least with any certainty. I’ve heard more than one conference keynote from futurists, and it always amazes me how sure of themselves they sound. It’s an admirable trait, to be able to speculate with authority. I can pretty much tell you I’ll want a chocolate chip cookie sometime next week, but beyond that, I’d just be guessing.


If you’re wondering what started this line of thought, let me tell you: You did.


On the Web site, the companion piece to the printed magazine, we have a “Web Poll” feature. Each Monday, we post a new question for certified IT professionals to consider. The results may be “unscientific” to real pollsters, but we’ve found the feedback fairly representative when compared to more detailed reports we’ve seen on comparable topics.


The results of two recent polls, delivered on consecutive Mondays not at all by accident, really made me start thinking about what’s coming next.
According to the first, 45 percent of you work for companies that are increasing IT spending this year, while 23 percent of your employers are not. Another 32 percent of your companies are staying level. Do the math and you’ll get 77 percent saying things are staying static or getting better, not worse, which is always something to appreciate.


Then there was the other poll, asking if the job trends and slow economy have you looking outside IT. A closer mix on that yes/no question, with 46 percent planning on staying put, but 54 percent of you considering non-IT careers.


So one poll speaks of bleak tidings, the other shows optimistic outlooks. Let’s see a futurist crunch those numbers.


I’m not sure if there’s an overlying message to all this, except that despite the rosy reports of things getting better, I’ve no doubt the average IT professional is still a bit concerned about the future. The job market of today certainly isn’t the job market of 2000, and it logically follows there will be still another reality waiting for us in a few years. What that future will be is unclear, what it means to you is unsure, whether it’ll be brighter is unknown.


Change, the old saying goes, is the one constant. But at least it keeps things interesting.


Tim Sosbe
Editorial Director

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