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Nearly 50,000 IT Jobs Lost In Past Year

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the but-you-knew-that dept.

The Almighty Buck 460

snydeq writes "Employment statistics from the US Department of Labor show what most IT people have already realized: IT jobs are getting harder to come by. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 13,000 jobs in the information industry were cut in July, bringing the total to 44,000 year over year. An additional 5,000 jobs were lost in telecom this past month. The statistics reinforce a recent survey of top CIOs who indicated that they will be reducing their IT staff over the coming year. According to a staffing research firm, some jobs have gone to outsourcers, while other jobs are simply going away, either due to cost-oriented automation efforts or due to increasing the remaining staff's workload."

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460 comments

Meanwhile... (5, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 5 years ago | (#24523929)

Meanwhile, CEOs continue to spout off about how there's a shortage of skilled IT people in the US. Gosh, I wonder why [slashdot.org] . If China is the "factory to the world," I guess that would make the US the Wal-Mart of the world. Give it a few years once we're all working as cashiers for Wal-Mart, and that will probably be literally true.

Of course, the rub of it all is that as long as companies are laying off people a few hundred here and a few hundred there, something that human resource departments have mastered, no one will really be that worried about it. "Whew, glad it wasn't MY job," we all say as a few of our friends and coworkers are being escorted out the door each month. It's death by a thousand cuts, and what companies are doing will result in this country's ultimate demise as a superpower.

The shortage myth (4, Insightful)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524021)

There has always been a myth, propagated by politicians, media and who knows who else that there is such a shortage. Anyone with a Ph.D. in physics can tell you that this is so.

So true. (2, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524773)

There isn't a shortage at all, in any industry - if you're willing to pay a fair and competitive wage.

This is true in IT, true in agriculture, true in housing, true anywhere.

Where the US worker is getting fucked over is by countries that lack our labor protections and environmental protections, that treat their people like slaves, who then sell "services" to fat-cat CEOs and undercut what ought to be a fair market wage. And of course, this actually amounts to the real inflation [msnbc.com] we've been feeling for years - instead of monetary, we get shit for services when jobs are moved to third-world crap countries.

Bought a new home and found that all sorts of repairs - roofing, supports, improperly laid foundation - were needed? Congratulations. An illegal mexican built your house, and you paid the price: money out of YOUR pocket on repairs, plus YOUR inflated tax bill to pay for his illegal family's medical bills in the emergency room, his anchor baby's birth in the local hospital, his illegal kids' schooling (stealing directly from YOUR kid's education), the crimes committed by his illegal friends and his kids in gangs [wikipedia.org] , and of course the fact that HE and HIS ILLEGAL FAMILY are stealing someone's social security number to run up debt in their name.

The person whose SSN he stole, who will have their lives and credit ruined when he skips out on the bills later? Congratulations - that could be YOU or YOUR kid. [msn.com] The kid killed by his friends or his kids in gangs? Congratulations - that could be YOUR friend or family member.

Tried to call tech support any time in the past few years? Got nothing but idiot Indians with accents thick enough to strangle a moose and who can't actually address the problem, just keep yammering from a script? Congratulations, you're a victim of this.

They're wasting your time, and giving you substandard service. Oftentimes, I call in for a warranty only to run into the cultural problem that the indians don't understand what a warranty is or, worse yet, they are simply instructed to ignore the warranty terms. And forget asking for a supervisor - they just hand you off to someone else from the cubicle next to them, who then hangs up. Getting their name? Good luck - they all give lying fake names, to avoid someone actually managing to complain about them specifically should someone get to the person in the US who's supposed to check up on customer service.

Similarly, instead of being able to get a human (or substandard indian variant thereof) at all, I usually spend 20 minutes on hold with a looped tape of "you can get self service on our website"... well guess what sherlock, if your website was any good, if my question was actually answered, I wouldn't be on the phone calling.

But remember - "open borders" and "free trade" are good things. And you can keep repeating that to yourself as YOUR job gets shipped out to trash heap india, communist china or mexshithole [businessweek.com] .

Re:So true. (5, Funny)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524887)

You appear to be channeling Lou Dobbs.

Re:So true. (5, Funny)

Fast Thick Pants (1081517) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524913)

Congratulations. An illegal mexican built your house, and you paid the price: money out of YOUR pocket on repairs, plus YOUR inflated tax bill to pay for his illegal family's medical bills in the emergency room, his anchor baby's birth in the local hospital, his illegal kids' schooling (stealing directly from YOUR kid's education), the crimes committed by his illegal friends and his kids in gangs, and of course the fact that HE and HIS ILLEGAL FAMILY are stealing someone's social security number to run up debt in their name.

The person whose SSN he stole, who will have their lives and credit ruined when he skips out on the bills later? Congratulations - that could be YOU or YOUR kid. The kid killed by his friends or his kids in gangs? Congratulations - that could be YOUR friend or family member.

Wow, this is one problematic Mexican! This guy is like the Dr. Evil of low-wage migrant labor!

Re:So true. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24524943)

"Similarly, instead of being able to get a human (or substandard indian variant thereof)"

See, there you go ruining a perfectly good rant with an unnecessary racist comment. Good for you.

Re:Meanwhile... (5, Insightful)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524027)

You do realize that there are two types of IT work done in the US: project and maintenance. Ongoing maintenance is easily outsourced and firms are not primed to continuously run IT project after IT project.
IT is basically landscaping but with computers instead of shrubbery. Maybe it's not seasonal but there's no rule saying EVERYONE has to do projects all the time or at the same time.
In fact, with money tightening, most orgs are content to limp through with what applications and systems they have until things turn better.

Re:Meanwhile... (5, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524191)

IT is basically landscaping but with computers instead of shrubbery.

So *that's* why the Knights Who Say Ni! keep following me around...

Re:Meanwhile... (2)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524835)

So *that's* why the Knights Who Say Ni! keep following me around...

Actually they are henceforth known as the Knights who say Ekke Ekke Ekke Ekke Ptang Zoo Boing!

Re:Meanwhile... (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524551)

I wouldn't even call it project and maintenance. I would just call it what it is, skilled vs. unskilled. There's so many different jobs that get lumped into IT, that you can't really say how things are going one way or the other, and how it affects individuals working in "IT". IT includes everybody from the people who help out sys admins by re-imagining corporate laptops, and ISP call center people who just read from scripts, who don't even know what DNS is, all the way up to people writing file systems, and working on OS kernels, video games, and designing next generation databases. I don't think those of use doing skilled IT labour have to worry about.

Re:Meanwhile... (2, Interesting)

Grey_14 (570901) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524673)

The people writing stuff like file systems, OS kernels, and games are considered as being in the field of CS, not IT. more people understand that distinction nowadays than in the past but yeah, sometimes any job on involving a computer gets lumped under IT

Re:Meanwhile... (3, Insightful)

Richard Steiner (1585) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524759)

I don't think those of use doing skilled IT labour have to worry about.

Unless the company or (in some cases) entire industry that you work for goes into the tanker. Then all bets are off.

When I worked as a senior programmer/analyst for a major airline and 9/11 hit, almost half of the IT department was axed during one day, and it was normally done by project or team -- whole branches of the org chart were removed seemingly w/o much regard for the individuals/tasks/skills present in the branch.

If it was pure development or something not seen as operationally critical, it was gone.

I know a number of 25+ year developers who were highly skilled and (in some cases) were *the* subject matter experts in their areas who lost their jobs during those layoffs.

It doesn't always happen that way, but I know from firsthand experience that it can. :-(

Re:Meanwhile... (2, Informative)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524553)

You do realize that there are two types of IT work done in the US: project and maintenance.

As if to emphasize the project part: Where the jobs are [cnn.com] . Third full paragraph indicates that the tech industry is looking for management types in the South and Souteast.

This article is about management level jobs but where there's management needed, there are probably jobs there as well as they have to manage someone.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

nih (411096) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524685)

ni!

Re:Meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24524791)

Yep, and a lot of that maintenance/support work is little more than glorified call centre type work. That type of IT can be off-shored and the sooner the better so real IT work can be done within our own countries.

There IS a shortage (4, Insightful)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524231)

There is a shortage of the top level people who can come up with compelling new ideas and get industry to buy into them. There is a shortage of the people who can conceptualise at the level needed to architect systems that actually achieve real benefits. These are the people who create jobs, and they have always been in short supply. There is no shortage of mediocre people or not very good people. This isn't about ticking boxes on resumes, this is about the people who get interviewed at a level where nobody is ticking the boxes, they are talking large systems and strategy. Perhaps the really gifted engineers have already moved on to the next big thing.

Having said that, I suspect the same is true of gifted CEOs and business managers.

As for China, I don't see any difference there. Being cheap and accepting high scrap rates and the occasional scandal is not a long term strategy. The painful issue that we are not addressing is that we (including me, I am one of the guilty parties) are creating a world which is just too difficult and complex for most people to play an meaningful role.

Re:There IS a shortage (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24524655)

The painful issue that we are not addressing is that we (including me, I am one of the guilty parties) are creating a world which is just too difficult and complex for most people to play an meaningful role.

This implies that, at some point in time, it wasn't extremely difficult and complex for people to play a meaningful role.

you do realize (3, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524309)

that it is not the CEO's fault that you or other people have the wrong skills.

Our productivity is higher than ever before, our industry is earning more than ever before, and still our standard of living is crazy good.

The real fact is, too many people would rather bitch and moan, stay in a job they hate, or just do nothing, instead of trying to learn a valuable skill set. I know, it costs money. Well duh, its an investment. Got a super cell plan? Gee, guess it was important than your education. I can go on and on. Cars are more important investments too many people than an education.

Quit blaming companies. Small business employs more people than those companies you read about laying off people.

Re:you do realize (0)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524509)

The real fact is, too many people would rather bitch and moan, stay in a job they hate, or just do nothing, instead of trying to learn a valuable skill set. I know, it costs money. Well duh, its an investment.

An investment actually pays off. I've yet to see someone learning "a valuable new skill set" do better in life.

Re:you do realize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24524767)

I did.

And "do better in life" might just mean "not get laid off" in your case. Something to think about.

It's your attitude that counts (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24524375)

I work in a team of 8 programmers. Most are top notch, the rest are just plain good. All but one are above 35.

There is as usual the American sense of entitlement even within this group of so-called informed people who understand the global economy. They probably glossed over the employment contract they signed that says their employment is "at will" and they can be asked to leave at any time.

If you want the government to take care of you then you should move to some other country where the government "takes care of you".

Don't assume that some entity will guarantee you a job then you'll be all right. People who are above 65 or who are immigrants know that instinctively. It's the native-born Americans who, like the proverbial frog in heated water, don't.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

rodney dill (631059) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524427)

That's cause they really mean 'cheap' skilled IT people

Re:Meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24524919)

Good thing it'll be Wal-Mart because with the death of the middle class that is all we'll be able to afford. I look forward to our new Middle Ages economy with a handful of extremely wealthy aristocratic elite and all the rest of us barely scraping by.

Does this include help desk? (5, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#24523971)

well does it? Because most help desk isn't really IT, but in many places it is under the IT umbrella. I'm primarily talking about the 1st contact people.

Re:Does this include help desk? (3, Interesting)

mh1997 (1065630) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524259)

Not just help desk, but what about the IT guys that are self-employed? Are they counted as gaining/losing jobs?

I know many self-employed developers that do contract work for large companies and wonder if they are are counted as employed by the company when they do a job and downsized by the company when the job is finished.

What's the Extent of This? (2, Interesting)

segedunum (883035) | more than 5 years ago | (#24523993)

Is this just a mark of the current climate, or is this a general trend that's been going on for a few years now?

Re:What's the Extent of This? (1)

spikenerd (642677) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524249)

The trend is that employers don't believe IT is really needed (*ducks). When the economy is booming, IT jobs are abundant and pay very well. When it's not, they're among the first to go. The barrier to entry in IT is lower than many other fields. There's an old saying "easy come, easy go". If you want both money and longterm stability, you need to be more than just an IT guy. You gotta get a real education and become a real expert at what you do. Economic busts don't touch the people that companies *really* can't survive without.

Re:What's the Extent of This? (1)

dontPanik (1296779) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524317)

[Janulaitis] expects the IT employment picture will stay the same until after the election, when everything gets "settled out."

Mostly short term. But there were some long term ideas expressed, for example outsourcing won't be going anywhere.

Re:What's the Extent of This? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24524557)

I tell ya when it hits 66,666 jobs lost, it's the mark of something else.

Why don't you elect Bush for a third term? (-1, Troll)

MSBob (307239) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524003)

When you have a borderline retard and a 'dr evil' wannabe at the helm this is the sort of outcome to expect. Most financial rags keep saying that we're not even in the thick of things as far as the financial meltdown is concerned. Expect lots more jobs to be lost over the coming years and not just in IT.

Re:Why don't you elect Bush for a third term? (-1, Troll)

Freeside1 (1140901) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524073)

"Why don't you elect Bush for a third term?" Dont' worry, there will probably be some sort of disaster before the election, and Bush won't need to be elected, he'll declare he needs to stay president for the safety of all Americans.

Re:Why don't you elect Bush for a third term? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24524185)

There already has been a disaster. It's just that everyone called it an "inauguration."

Re:Why don't you elect Bush for a third term? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24524337)

I assume you're parodying the crazy conspiracy theory people, but one of the mods appears to not have gotten the joke, unless it's some level of meta-irony, or..

actually, I don't care anymore.

Re:Why don't you elect Bush for a third term? (-1, Flamebait)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524407)

Jan 20 2009 - the end of an error

Re:Why don't you elect Bush for a third term? (1, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524173)

Hey, shithead, why don't you shove your political trolling up your ass and die of the infection?

Re:Why don't you elect Bush for a third term? (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524265)

WOW, you really don't know how the American political system works, do you? We have these little things called term limits. Bush even running for election a third time would violate the (already violated, but even so) Constitution.

Did they check the server room? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24524015)

It's a bit of a mess in there. They're probably just buried under some boxes and cables.

Meh... (5, Insightful)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524031)

That labor report seems to indicate that all jobs it's reporting on are declining. Think it's in line with the general trand these days, ie we're in a recession. Nothing unusual here...

No! (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524041)

What will become of those hordes of CS degree-seeking paycheck-hunters? I pity the fool.

=Smidge=

PS> I'm the real one, not the fake troll Smidge from Scotland. That guy's a bloody fag.

I have a hard time believing this ... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24524059)

In Ottawa Canada tech jobs are everywhere ... you can sneeze and find a job.

Re:I have a hard time believing this ... (2, Informative)

andy19 (1250844) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524435)

I sneezed in Ottawa and ended up with a web applications developer job.
Although I think this article is referring to US tech jobs (stat comes from US Dept. of Labour), you're absolutely right. Ottawa is the silicon valley of Canada. There are plenty of jobs available in Ottawa/Kanata/Gatineau.

Re:I have a hard time believing this ... (1)

Coraon (1080675) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524873)

Same goes for Toronto, the company I work for cant get enough IT people, we have a man power shortage on the help desk.

I lost my IT job in July! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24524099)

Cool, I'm a statistic.

Re:I lost my IT job in July! (1)

jdanton1 (1178389) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524215)

I lost a DBA gig in June and had two offers by the end of the month.

Re:I lost my IT job in July! (1)

triathlon4life (1052424) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524661)

I lost my job in April to a consultant..god that hurt..., and within 3 weeks I was contracting for a much better company. Now a full time employee.

I think in the end its just a big shuffle. 10 companies 'can' 100 people. In 3 weeks company A hires Company B's employees.... he is more talented ;-)

STRIKE! (4, Interesting)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524133)

I say IT workers have a national strike day/week where we all don't show up for work and instead protest the ridiculous pay of incompetent managers and executives.

Re:STRIKE! (2, Insightful)

Major Blud (789630) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524269)

And follow the example of unionized U.S. auto-makers? That's a sure fire way to watch your job get outsourced if it already hasn't been.

Re:STRIKE! (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524567)

Apparently, you don't know the history of the U.S. auto-industry. And, you missed the part about doing it to protest over-paid, incompetent managers and not to get stupidly high pay and benefits.

Re:STRIKE! (4, Funny)

ActusReus (1162583) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524383)

Can I instead just spend the day reading Slashdot from my cube rather than working? If I get credit for that, then I've already been on strike for about 12 months now... you dirty SCABS!

Re:STRIKE! (2, Interesting)

Corbets (169101) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524819)

Knock yourself out. I'm more than happy to take your job. And I have a feeling that crossing a picket line of geeks won't be any near as dangerous as at an auto worker's strike. ;-)

Re:STRIKE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24524951)

I'm use my 20% time to strike. Everyone's happy.

I know the cause (1, Funny)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524145)

They're replacing Windows Server with Linux servers, thus reducing the necessity to always have an enormous team of somewhat competent IT guys taking care of the servers. Linux servers are like "boot and forget", while Windows servers are like "boot, and reboot, and reboot, and check the logs, and reboot, and check the filesystem, and reboot, and apply a patch, and reboot, and ..."

I always said that Linux was not such a good thing for us after all!

Re:I know the cause (1)

BigGerman (541312) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524489)

Come on, dont you people recognize humor no more?

Microsoft takeover of Slashdot (1)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524589)

Come on, dont you people recognize humor no more?

Nope. It seems like everyone making this joke here has been modded "Troll". I guess Bill Gates, being retired, has some spare time and has to use his mod points before they expire...

Re:I know the cause (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524577)

Nice attempt at a troll but I'll bite.

I work with about 25 Windows Servers and 4 Linux servers. They all work fine. I never have to reboot unless I apply a patch or something that requires it.

But regardless of the reboot, it's good to watch over the hardware that runs the servers. It's generally a good idea to make sure all the servers have green lights. Ensure there are no drive failures, check disk space, check the SANS for failed drives, etc....

But again I know you were just trolling.

Re:I know the cause (1)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524645)

But again I know you were just trolling.

No, I was just *Joking*. Have a good day too! ;-)

Not surprising (4, Interesting)

Cutie Pi (588366) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524165)

Let's face it... the definition of IT is going to continuously evolve as people get more computer savvy and applications and hardware get more sophisticated.

My hunch is that many of those jobs were low level and barely passable as "IT" anymore.

Remember that in the late 70's/early 80's, you could make $60K/year for doing data entry. Typing skills and knowledge of a key program like Lotus 123 made you a god. Now of course you could pick any random 12 year old off the street and have him perform that job to perfection.

Re:Not surprising (5, Funny)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524295)

If you think people are getting more literate, I'd like to move in with you. It sounds wonderful in fantasy land!

Re:Not surprising (1)

McNihil (612243) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524335)

Actually one can most likely make a short awk script do do it... ok ok with possibly some OCR but still... who needs humans to do tedious work... this is the reason computers exist in the first place... to do mindless and mindnumbing work for us humans.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24524933)

Now of course you could pick any random 12 year old off the street and have him perform that job to perfection.

Aw, I see you've heard of the company for which I work. We've gone from a technical group to call-centre environment in less than 1 year.

Industry finally deals with the 'skills shortage' (4, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524175)

By firing a load of qualified IT professionals!

Of course, those laid off don't have the *right* skills, because they aren't 19 year olds with PhDs who were programming in ASP.NET in kindergarten before it was even created...

Re:Industry finally deals with the 'skills shortag (2, Interesting)

technienerd (1121385) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524457)

I'm pretty sure one of my profs got his PhD in CS at age 20 so those ninjas do exist. I've been developing as a hobby since I was 7 years old myself as were at least 20% of my class. Never got into extremely theoretical stuff but yes, a guy who just has a couple of years experience and hadn't touched a computer until college is at a significant disadvantage because companies would prefer to hire those "whiz kids" for the same salary but get 10x the work done.

Re:Industry finally deals with the 'skills shortag (2, Funny)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524499)

they aren't 19 year olds with PhDs who were programming in ASP.NET in kindergarten before it was even created...

and yet, I still can't get hired ...

By the way (4, Informative)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524187)

Here in Quebec City, they're searching for senior IT consultants everywhere! We need a lot of them for governmental projects, especially for MS infrastructure. The salary went skyrocketing in the past 2 or 3 years...

Oh, great. (5, Funny)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524439)

You realize you have just slashdotted and entire city's economy?

Re:By the way (1)

Toffins (1069136) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524441)

A few years ago I saw a segment on network tv warning that Quebec has the world's highest concentration of white asbestos contaminated buildings in the world (with floating loose fibers too). I just wonder to what extent is that still true?

Re:By the way (1)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524747)

I just wonder to what extent is that still true?

Well I don't think it's still true. There have been governmental programs and help to eliminate it, and there's no more cancer cases per capita than anywhere in North America. The last time I heard about asbestos contamination in buildings was like in 1992, and it was because they were getting rid of it.

Re:By the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24524775)

Here in Quebec City, they're searching for senior IT consultants everywhere! We need a lot of them for governmental projects, especially for MS infrastructure. The salary went skyrocketing in the past 2 or 3 years...

Funny, there was a company in the US looking for a senior IT manager. Fortunately they ignored credentials and hired my roommate who had done low-tier tech work for six months, because her daddy worked as a higher up in the company. She doesn't even think she can do the job, but she's taking it anyway because "there are others to pick up the slack".

Re:By the way (1)

agbinfo (186523) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524823)

Where do I apply?

not unexpected (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524195)

I only go to walmart about once a year or so, but last time I was there, I noticed something new. They had the same "made in China" shit, but this time it wasn't from an "American" company. That's the logical conclusion, of course, when a company is racing to the bottom with outsourced manufacturing and labor -- why not outsource the company and CxO too.

50 000? (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524219)

50 000?
THAT'S OVER NINETHOUSAAAAAND!!

Damned be, lameness filter, for spotting my lameitude.

IT is the goose that lays the golden eggs. (5, Interesting)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524237)

David Ogilvy (of Ogilvy and Mather) once said that when times were lean, companies cut advertising. This, he said, was foolish. It is advertising that brings in the money that is coming in.

IT is the same. IT increases worker productivity, making every dollar you spend on headcount outside of IT worth more. IT decreases costs and increases customer satisfaction (with things like order turnaround). In some companies, it's the IT department which makes new products possible. It is your operational IT staff which keeps disaster from striking.

When times are lean, it's a good time to look at your IT and figure out how to make it more effective. That might mean some cutting, but it more likely means project changes and staffing UP.

A badly-run, sprawling, over-staffed IT department is a prime space to cut, but I've seen few of those. Even in those, cutting needs to be done very carefully and needs to be accompanied by money injected on projects which will make cutting safe. Those projects take time must be nurtured well before cuts are made.

IT operations can be very expensive, in particular because it sometimes is lumped in with the desktop budget. But IT development is what makes IT operations cheaper, and just a few people can work miracles in IT development.

If you're cut from an IT department during lean times, and you weren't clearly dead weight, you have the very small satisfaction of knowing that your layoff proves that your company wasn't particularly clever.

Re:IT is the goose that lays the golden eggs. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524465)

The BLS link contains the text "Computer systems design and related services added 7,000 jobs in July."

It looks like information workers doesn't really include everyone that might get called IT.

Re:IT is the goose that lays the golden eggs. (5, Interesting)

cavtroop (859432) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524705)

The company I've been with for 3.5 years has done this, every year.

When I got here, the IT department was huge, bloated, and mostly useless. The company realized this, fired the CIO, and laid off hundreds, including outsourcing large parts (such as desktop support). Surprisingly (or not so), things didn't get better, they got worse. They had no idea who to layoff, or why they were doing it, they just knew they were 'too large'. Cue 2nd CIO getting fired.

3rd CIO comes on board. Another round of layoffs. Again, wrong people get let go. Now, we have a bloated (still) IT department, filled with mostly the wrong people. And the good people, at this point, are just keeping their heads down, hoping not to get the axe. So nothing productive is getting done, as everyone focuses on shoring up their jobs. Politics begin in earnest here, as everyone starts to panic.

This cycle repeats itself 3 more times - yes, in 3+ years, we're on CIO #5. They just had another round of layoffs (the 3rd). This time, they nailed a bunch of the useless middle management, and some 'cabal leaders' that really needed to go. Even a blind squirrel gets a nut every now and then, I guess.

I don't work for IT (I work closely with them), and I've had enough. I just found a new job, and am bailing out, while I can.

What does this show? CxO's know that IT can be bloated/useless - but I don't have any confidence that they have a clue how to fix that, other than blanket layoffs, and bringing in 'management consultants'.

It also shows that jobs are out there - I didn't have much trouble finding a job, once I got serious about my search. In one of the other comments in the thread (I can't find it at the moment), someone mentioned that the lower level IT jobs and maintenance jobs are the ones getting impacted. Thats OK, I think - it's the natural cycle. As the lower level stuff becomes routine, it can be done by lower and lower level people, or one person can do more of it. The trick here is growing your career at least as fast as the industry, so you can keep closer to the cutting edge, and have opportunities. I almost fell off that treadmill, glad to be back on.

Re:IT is the goose that lays the golden eggs. (3, Insightful)

lorax (2988) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524785)

Every one says that about their specialty

Advertising: Don't cut it, that's what brings the money in.

Support: Don't cut it, it's cheaper to keep a customer than get a new one

IT: Don't cut it, it improves productivity so you can cut elsewhere

R&D: Don't cut it or we won't be competitive tomorrow

HR: Don't cut it, now more than ever we need to attract and retain the best talent.

Re:IT is the goose that lays the golden eggs. (2, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524833)

Nobody in particular likes to cut costs. Apart from obvious fat which is rare all around, you have to cut on something.

Cut marketing? Less income.
Cut salesmen? Less income.
Cut production? WTF gotta deliver.
Cut R&D? Peeing in your pants.
Cut IT? They're your backbone.
Cut management? Unmanaged mess.

In reality, it's not that hard.
Cut marketing and push brand name and cost cuts - customers get a lot more price sensitive in bad times.
Cut sales where the market just doesn't carry, squeeze everything you can from the market.
Cut production and lower costs facing lower demand - it's better to be around at the upturn than bleeding to death waiting for good times to return.
Cut the "long shot" R&D and go with relatively trustworthy improvements
Cut back IT to maintenance - you keep saying Windows XP and Office 97/2k is all you need, well deal with it a bit longer
Cut management back to the size you cut everything else.

Really, none are immune in the bad times and nothing is something you want to cut. The question is just "where will it hurt the least?"

Re:IT is the goose that lays the golden eggs. (1)

agbinfo (186523) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524947)

I didn't RTFA but according to the summary

"... some jobs have gone to outsourcers, while other jobs are simply going away, either due to cost-oriented automation efforts or due to increasing the remaining staff's workload." (emphasis mine)

How do you automate the job of someone who's job is to automate?

H1B cap (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24524243)

So if this is true, why does the U.S need to raise the H1B cap, to get more IT workers into the U.S. Something is dodgy, here.

Re:H1B cap (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524473)

Somehow I doubt that the lower-level IT jobs are "specialized" enough to qualify for an H1B visa.

Layoffs by Attrition (5, Interesting)

ipoverscsi (523760) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524257)

Layoffs by Attrition. That's what I like to call it when management reduces staff and increases workload on the remaining employees. They're not laying off personnel -- they're quitting! I guess this looks better to the investors because they're reducing costs yet not reporting layoffs. Of course, the result is that you end up with an understaffed and incompetent organization because the best and the brightest end up leaving first. After all, the good ones can readily find gainful employment in other companies that know how to treat their staff better.

Then learn new skill sets! (5, Interesting)

aphexcoil2 (878167) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524277)

I've worked in the IT/IS field for approximately ten years and in that time I've learned a lot of important things. The best in the field will always have jobs because they have learned to expand their skill sets to encompass the entire business objective. IT/IS is a tool for business, not many businesses make IT critical to their business plan. If you're in IT/IS right now, get more proactive in participating in business discussions by suggesting how IT can add value to the goals of that business. Unfortunately, a lot of people who end up within IT usually have poor social skills and even poorer communication skills. I've seen help-desk employees get visibily upset because a user didn't understand the difference between "the CPU box" and "the hard-drive." Guess what? Guess what? They're still at the help-desk talking down to people making only $20 an hour.

Re:Then learn new skill sets! (5, Insightful)

swb (14022) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524799)

IT/IS is a tool for business, not many businesses make IT critical to their business plan. If you're in IT/IS right now, get more proactive in participating in business discussions by suggesting how IT can add value to the goals of that business.

The cynic in me wants to know how you're supposed to get "more proactive" when the same morons who don't understand the difference between "the cpu and the hard drive" announce unilateral IT decisions made without consultation like "we need to all get Blackberries" when they ignore information about other key systems with problems.

The problem is seldom lack of desire to participate, but decision makers who have no understanding of IT (besides wanting "shiny") and who choose to not include or consult with IT. Yes, you would think economic selection would filter out these kinds of executives, but we also thought economic selection wouldn't pay guys like Bob Nardelli $210 million in severance after ruining growth and depressing share prices.

As an IT consultant, I generally get a seat at the table (or at least invited into the room partway into the discussions) because they pay dearly for me on an hourly basis and I was hired because someone had half an idea that IT was something to pay attention to. But even then, good IT decision making plays second fiddle to a whole host of other concerns that are seldom considered business critical (eg, shiny toys, inconveniences that would be experienced by favored employees, etc).

The dipshit factor in IT I think has less to do with the inherent lack of social skills, but in the lack of respect the positions have within the organization. If you think it's not a valuable position, you don't pay for it and your don't hire for it as long as the job gets done to some minimal, keep-the-organization-going-standard.

"The Top 20 Most Recession-Proof Jobs" (5, Interesting)

FeatureBug (158235) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524307)

With the credit crunch, jobs and the economy still very much in the news, Network World [networkworld.com] is asking: Is it possible to have a recession-proof job? [networkworld.com] Perhaps surprisingly in the top slot is sales rep/business development.

Submitted July 17th

Well, on the upside (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524339)

India announced that it added 50,000 new jobs this year.

Linux is killing IT jobs (0, Troll)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524365)

As Linux takes over in the back rooms, the number of staff required to maintain the systems, reduces. This trend has been ongoing for years. Now that Linux is moving onto desktops and laptops, the trend is bound to accelerate. Microsoft types are doomed and need to upgrade their burger flipping skills.

Re:Linux is killing IT jobs (1)

TechJones (781168) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524495)

As Linux takes over in the back rooms, the number of staff required to maintain the systems, reduces. This trend has been ongoing for years. Now that Linux is moving onto desktops and laptops, the trend is bound to accelerate. Microsoft types are doomed and need to upgrade their burger flipping skills.

Yeah I'm sure those end users that can't figure out the difference between a left and right click will find linux easier to use. I'm not too worried about being out of a job because of linux, in fact it just gives me something else to maintain.

Re:Linux is killing IT jobs (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524623)

Keep telling yourself that kid.

Value of me? (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524423)

All I know is that I read Slashdot at work yet I'm still around. Maybe I really am worth something...

Re:Value of me? (1)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524493)

But if you spend too much time on /. at work, you may end reading Slashdot along with watching the job offers from home... ;-)

Re:Value of me? (2, Funny)

Lord_Frederick (642312) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524647)

You're probably not worth anything, but your PHB doesn't know enough about IT to realize this.

Misleading (1)

meras (1340989) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524445)

While I believe the numbers, I find the phrase "IT jobs are getting harder to come by" misleading. There is a definite shortage of IT workers in the industry. The shortage causes salaries to rise too high to maintain indefinetly. Jobs that are actually increasing are contract laborers. Think of the construction industry. Companies don't hire several construction workers to build an office, they contract a construction company to do it for them. The same goes for IT.

So frusterating (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524517)

It sucks because they try to squeeze the resources they have now but don't feel like dishing out the money to hire more talent. Then they wonder why the things that get done take so long, or why we can't handle all the silly requests our execs give us. They would rather spend that money on some useless project that will never get done, or benefit the company. /Network Admin

Where did we last see the jobs? (3, Interesting)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524549)

Start there and retrace your steps.

IT, or maybe computers in general, have a hidden goal of making itself obsolete. As operating systems, software and hardware become more stable, the need for IT workers declines. At my previous position, i set turned a gaggle of workgroups into a tidy domain. i installed a power AV system. As i helped users, i showed them how to solve problems on there own (reboot, try again). Soon, i had much less work to do. Being laid off in this case was a matter of economics, than obsolescence, but the trend remains. i was making myself less necessary.

IT depts are pretty much pure overhead. Companies have IT staff because they need a wizard to heal the sick computers. IT generally doesn't bring in money for the company (at least not directly).

- Waxing Sci-Fi -
Over a long enough time line, maybe we'll make machines that make us obsolete. Our technology could be a step of evolution. We might exist to bring create our replacements.

Freeloaders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24524605)

The IT department I work in consists of only 5 and I know 2 of them don't do jack shit. Maybe people are wising up to the fact that there are some types in IT who are only doing "computer work" because it fits their lazy, incompetent lifestyle.

The jobs they are a changin... (2, Informative)

zerofoo (262795) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524639)

A friend of mine is looking for a Network Admin for his company (he's having a hard time finding a candidate - even with a decent salary offering). He is their current Network Admin, and desktop support guy - but these are not his primary responsibilities. He is supposed to be on the road setting up equipment for clients - not managing servers and workstations.

He's been doing two jobs for years because he could do them, and the company didn't want to hire "another guy".

My friend finally had enough - he told top management to either double his salary, or hire another guy. They are finally looking for a network admin, but they also need the guy to be able to setup audio/video/computer gear for their large rental clients.

They want a guy with a wide skill set, not just a "server guy" that will lock himself in a server room and never participate in other parts of the business. I was actually offered the job, but I'm already in a good spot.

I see this a lot. Companies want technical people with more than one or two skills - and that is hard to find. Pure "IT" jobs are going away - they are being replaced with IT jobs that also include other tasks and responsibilities.

-ted

IT employment news summary: July 29th to Aug 7th (5, Informative)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524669)

Sorry if there any errors, or omissions, I am trying to be accurate. A lot has happend in a little over a week.

The following takes place between July 29th and August 7th:

August 07, 2008:
Judge rejects student visa injunction sought by H-1B opponents
Tech workers don't have standing to fight Bush administration visa move
http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9111963 [computerworld.com]

August 07, 2008:
Jobless claims surge to highest level in 6 years
http://money.cnn.com/2008/08/07/news/economy/jobless_benefits.ap/index.htm?cnn=yes [cnn.com]

August 06, 2008:
Bureau of Labor Statistics reports big drop in tech jobs
Almost 50,000 IT positions lost in last 12 months
http://money.cnn.com/2008/08/07/news/economy/jobless_benefits.ap/index.htm?cnn=yes [cnn.com]

Aug 06,2008:
Yet another visa, this one allows 5000 Koreans to work in the USA each year
http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200808/200808060014.html [chosun.com]

August 06, 2008:
Apple sued over treatment of it's tech workers
http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2008/08/06/apple-gets-sued-indentured [theinquirer.net]

August 05, 2008:
Bogus diploma ring busted
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/content/education/chi-diploma-mill-04-aug04,0,2164133.story [chicagotribune.com]

August 03, 2008:
July marks seventh consecutive month of job loses
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/46146.html [mcclatchydc.com]

August 02, 2008:
Sun to cut between 1000 to 2500 jobs
http://blogs.wsj.com/biztech/2008/08/01/sun-us-tech-market-wont-shine-soon/ [wsj.com]

August 01, 2008:
Gartner's grim IT hiring outlook
http://blogs.zdnet.com/careers/?p=140 [zdnet.com]

August 01, 2008:
Feds charges man for H1-B fraud
http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_S_visa01.47edb3e.html# [pe.com]

Jul 31, 2008:
More than 3.7 million Americans had full-time jobs chopped to part time
the largest figure since the government began tracking such data more than half a century ago.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/31/business/economy/31jobs.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin [nytimes.com]

July 31, 2008:
Layoffs set for 22,000 California state workers
http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_10046324 [mercurynews.com]

July 30, 2008:
WTO Doha talks collapse
India's backdoor attempt to allow more H-1Bs into the USA failed, for now
http://www.economicpopulist.org/?q=content/why-you-should-be-thrilled-wto-doha-talks-collapsed [economicpopulist.org]

July 30, 2008:
NY gov slashes spending; state said in "recession"
http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN3032764920080730?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0 [reuters.com]

July 30, 2008:
China trade has cost 2.3 million U.S. jobs
http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSN2935619520080730 [reuters.com]

July 29, 2008:
Immigration Subcommittee Votes Today on Foreign Worker Importation Bill
Approves Bill (H.R.5882) that would offer more than 500,000 additional permanent visas for foreign workers.
http://www.numbersusa.com/content/news/july-31-2008/emergency-immigration-subcommittee-votes.html [numbersusa.com]

July 29, 2008:
Tech Departments Cut Budgets, Stop Hiring
http://blogs.wsj.com/biztech/2008/07/29/tech-departments-cut-budgets-stop-hiring/?mod=djemTECH [wsj.com]

July 29, 2008:
15,000 Oregon computer and electronics industry workers lose jobs to China trade
http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/stories/2008/07/28/daily16.html [bizjournals.com]

Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24524687)

Most CFO's and associated PHB types see IT as a cost center. We need new servers, we pay salaries, it's just spend spend spend with the IT department. Because of that very narrow, and inaccurate, view IT is prime to be first on the chopping block.

What will happen is that the remaining staff will be overworked and the quality of work will drop and staff will leave. Systems will start to fail because there is not enough staff to maintain them and do all the projects and it will end up costing companies more down the line.

I never trust government job reports (3, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524743)

When they release unemployment figures, there are a variety of reasons those numbers are just false. I know quite a few people who "lost their jobs" only to incorporate a small sole proprietorship, and they're considered unemployed, even though they're earning more money.

Also, when it comes to IT downsizing, a very large corporation in my neck of the woods fired a handful of their IT staff (cutting their department in half). All those guys jumped into business for themselves, some uniting together to start a larger shop. They've even gone back to their old job as contractors.

Yes, IT is more competitive than ever, but it is also a field that has matured greatly. When I started my IT shop at the age of 15ish, I had very little work since the field was young (1989) in terms of what I was strong at. By 18, our business grew in leaps and bounds. Recently, we've seen some work slow down, but we've opened new fields to manage and the company is stronger than ever. I'd love to hire more people, but our business model works better with subcontractors than it does employees. Some people here know me as the guy who pays employees minimum wage, and that is still the case. I'd pay them $2 per hour if I could, and I know my employees would rather earn $2 per hour and a 70% job bonus than earn $31 per hour with no bonus. The cream rises to the top.

We did a small market survey in a new market about 50 miles north of our current one, and the response was surprising: nearly 30% of the people we contacted wanted more information. In the IT field, this is equal to "We'll hire you, what's the price?" I then did a quick survey of competition, and found very little. There is a HUGE amount of IT work available, if you're ready and willing to shrug off the old way of doing things.

Like the horse-shoer, we may be in an industry where the demand is not as great, which means one thing: lower your prices. It sucks, I know. I know many people who still are burdened with college debt who see the writing on the wall and are scared. I feel bad for them, but that's how the free market operates. When supply (of labor) goes up and demand (for labor) goes down, prices tend to fall.

Yet in the top tiers of the IT market, the pay rates for contractors has gone way up in the last 3 years, if you have a good amount of experience, many positive references, and a strong marketing budget. For us, marketing accounts for close to 8% of our gross expenses. If you're not branding your company, you're not going far. If you're not working on FIRING customers who are slow pay or complainers, and REPLACING them with decent customers, you're dead.

Here's a little clue for those in IT who are fearing their jobs: get people skills. Rebrand yourself as a confident business consultant rather than a geek. I know it sucks, but it helps acquire the confidence of current and future customers if you're business-oriented rather than tech-oriented. No one who pays your bill, generally, cares about tech. They care about efficiency, profitability, longevity, and stability. The tech backend means nothing, it's the eyewash you provide that gets you repeat business.

First off... (2, Informative)

bragolach (855994) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524809)

Unless I am mistaken, or the NEW new-Math states otherwise, "44,000" is closer to "40,000" than "50,000". The article seems to be a scare tactic right off the bat. NEARLY 50,000 IT JOBS LOST!!! It's NEARLY 45,000... but that is not as sensational as a big round 50,000! Is this the normal ebb and flow? Or is this a net loss for the year? U.S. IT Jobs have been CLIMBING steadily since 2004. From a low of around 3,250,000 IT Jobs in 2004, to around 4,100,000 IT Jobs in 2008. This is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, page 30 of the July 2008 issue of InformationWeek. So how does a delta of 44,000 jobs make front page news? Because it causes Geeks to lose their minds? IT unemployment in the United States is at 2.2%, let's all just thank God for that. India's unemployment rate is 7.2%

Something so-called free trade advocates overlook (3, Insightful)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 5 years ago | (#24524925)

We have all heard the same so-called "free trade" arguments hundreds of times: off-shore IT workers are needed to make up for labor shortages, and that is how free trade works. Anybody who disputes that is called anti-capitalism, and therefore anti-American.

Thing is, in truly free market place, such sustained labor shortages can not possibly exist. In fact, the very idea does not even make sense. In a truly free market: if demand starts to exceed supply, then prices will go up, which will cause supply will go up with the prices, thereby leveling out the equation.

For example: if there were a shortage of PHP developers, then wages for PHP developers would go, thereby attracting more PHP developers. A long term shortage would be impossible.

If something drastic, sudden, and unexpected, were to happen, then there could be a short-term shortage. But, let me emphasize that such occurrences would be extremely rare, and very short-term. A flood of six year visas, year after year, would certainly not be needed.

Also, McCain's claim that Americans would not pick lettuce for $50 an hour is unbelivably stupid, and verifiable untrue - put an ad on craigslist if you don't believe me. Americans will do almost anything if you pay them enough, watch that "Dirty Jobs" series if you don't believe me.

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