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Tech Employment Drops Sharply In 2004

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the statistics-are-what-they-are dept.

United States 557

Cryofan writes "According to Information Week, the lastest Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that the number of Americans calling themselves IT professionals has decreased by nearly 160,000 in the last 3 years, and the number of programmers, analysts, and support specialists has fallen 15% since the first six months of 2004. According to IT World, the number of employed Software Engineers fell by 15% from April to July of 2004 (from 856,000 to 725,000)."

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technology ruins lives (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912670)

and we think it makes life easier

Re:technology ruins lives (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912697)

No, the practice of trying to make every quarterly financial report add up to the right number by either firing half your work force or doulbing their numbers is what ruins lives. Sometimes it's so blatant the two above acts are only a single quarter apart.

First Post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912672)

From India. (But not the last)

It's Open Source's Fault (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912673)

This is what happens when you people give away the fruits of your labor for free. You can't blame anyone but yourselves for this.

Microsoft and others were right about OSS. It destroys jobs and is flatly Un-American.

You people have reaped what you sowed.

Darl (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912688)

Relax!

Re:It's Open Source's Fault (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912732)

Yes, FOSS has been around for years, but suddenly it is the cause of job losses - not institutional corruption that has gone unchecked, manipulation of energy market prices which can easily cause the economy to tank (1972 US, or more recently the California economy trashed so that Enron could make some fast money), not downsizing and outsourcing in the financial section after 9/11 and the sector wide corruption at the top of those businesses from the S&L "crisis" to the only partially told truth about illegal trading now.

Was there a big loss in jobs when Sun came into existence and decided to make cheap (compared to the rest of the players in that market at the time) workstations and small servers with off the shelf parts instead of proprietary, custom stuff?

Did the release of perl 5 cause the numbers of programmers to drop signficantly?

New versions of BLAST cause a sudden drop in programmers doing genetic work?

LLNL releasing some mathematics libraries tank the engineering software market?

Re:It's Open Source's Fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912738)

Oh please! I hope you were trying to be funny, because that's a load of rubbish! Microsoft employs about (I'm guessing) 50,000 people world wide? Most of them are sales associates and market reasearchers. If you were to count up all the actual IT people in the worlds leading software company, you'd find they probably don't (and never did) employ but a tiny fraction of the total number of IT professionals.

And really... How many other "Closed Source" companies are out there? A few anti-virus and utility companies like McAfee's and Norton's, Adobe type places, game developers, etc... etc... Their sales ain't hurting!

Let's face it: Thanks to Microsoft and other closed source companies, computers are so easy to use that there's really no more need for a bunch of IT professionals after the product leaves the sales floor. People just plug it in, install it, and use it.

If anything (Free) OSS would increase IT jobs, but sadly there is so much FUD around that no one wants to use it even though it is good enough for anyone and everyone!

thats rubbish, now shut up (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912676)


before i replace you with a very small shell script....oh wait

Software Engineers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912677)

Not "IT Professionals". That was the old term.

Re:Software Engineers (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912686)

Not "IT Professionals". That was the old term.


In many states, including Texas, you can't legally call yourself an "engineer" unless you have a degree in engineering. We had some articles here on /. regarding that. I would imagine Texas is not alone in that regard. The purpose is to protect the public from dubious claims of someone being and engineer without a degree, and is not geared toward programmers specifically. (its an old law)

Re:Software Engineers (4, Interesting)

Proud like a god (656928) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912721)

My Computer Science degree in the UK is accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS), which is a Chartered Engineering Institution, so I would be classed as an engineer upon graduation, though my degree isn't a typical degree in engineering.

Re:Software Engineers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912773)

If you follow the etymological root of the word 'engineer', it has never had anything to do with qualifications in any language although it does differ slightly through translation. A degree will never make a thinking-by-numbers dullard ingenious; yet these people are quite capable of attaining such degrees. If I were in Texas or anywhere else with such a foolish law, I would challange it for conflicting with the meaning attributed to this word by the world at large.

OR... (3, Interesting)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912679)

Could it be that IT professionals have moved up in organizations, and are now VPs, and such, thus they may not consider themselves IT when in fact they are, just with better titles? This is the case for me, where I started out being the only IT guy 10 years ago, and now considered more, but still doing IT work as well.

I don't really call myself an "IT Professional", even though I run the network, and in the middle of producing new applications for the business. I am sure this is not all of it, but I can't help but think its not all doom and gloom.

Of course, that must be it (4, Insightful)

NigelJohnstone (242811) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912716)

A company that sacks 500 programmers needs 500 more VPs to manage all those progra... oh wait that doesn't make sense at all!

I think you'll find the CIO calls himself an IT professional too, and that you are the exception rather than the rule in calling yourself non "IT Professional".

Even if it does represent people climbimg the corporate ladder, its not a ladder, its a pyramid with fewer jobs higher up than lower down.

So even then, it would represent fewer jobs.

Re:OR... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912756)

You're on crack. Or you really are a manager. 160,000 are now in management? Are now clerks? Are now some other shit-shuffling position?

Or maybe they went back to school. Or they went to other fields after management racheted up the IT industry to insane levels during the Boom and then vomited them out saying it was "a normal business cycle" whilst giving themselves bigger and bigger corporate bonuses.

AND (4, Interesting)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912822)


I've noticed that IT skills are now necessary requirements for roles in other areas. Employers are less often looking for just a programmer, but a statistician who can program, or a physics graduate who can program, or a graphic designer who...

Where once you would have hired a programmer to implement the specialist's work, you now expect the specialist to comprise the IT specialist's role as well.

I'm currently doing some work in data analysis, but they want me to do the SQL work on the databases myself (the cheek of it!)

That point made though, I don't think this accounts for major falls in IT work availability. I think if there are such falls then they are more a result the market being flooded with muppets who think they can program (done the correspondence or the nightschool course) and that less and less work is needing to be done from scratch. We have MS Office, we have Postnuke, we have Dreamweaver templates and anything else you might want, requiring only the barest customization.

My advice is to get good at a supplementary field (maths is always good) and get yourself into something that requires more skill than the college course kid can fake in an interview. Go for jobs with people who take things seriously, not the ones who are looking for someone cheap and can't tell the difference between you and the muppet.

Thankfully... (5, Funny)

Treebiter1 (646407) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912680)

...everyone is losing their jobs in nice, whole numbers. Keeps the statistics nice and pretty that way.

Re:Thankfully... (1)

Treebiter1 (646407) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912687)

Geez...flamebait already? It was a joke. I lost my job over 2 years ago and it it helps to have a sense of humor about it...

Re:Thankfully... (1)

Stephen H-B (771203) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912717)

Why is this flamebait? Parent is not insulting or inflamatory. I would have modded it funny or left it alone...but that's just me.

software industry lobbyists with mod points? (1)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912733)

Outsourcing consultants with mod points?

Your guess is as good as mine. But that sure was NOT flamebait!

On a side note (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912683)

I would be interested in the number of people that actually deserve to be called IT professionals.

Uh, I don't know, did you reboot your windows yet?

I don't have windows

Silence...

Disappearing IT jobs...Duuuuuhhhh!!!! (1, Insightful)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912684)

Well, the article should be about all the disappearing American jobs. Only a finite number of jobs exist in this economy. Once critical mass is reached - the number of jobs which have been offshored - cascading unemployment results - even those /.ers whose grasp of math (and arithmetic) is pretty weak should be able to comprehend that! (Neocons and NeoJacobins who read this column will, of course, respond in the negative to this - using that silly nonsense that offshoring of jobs magically creates more jobs - neurons not included with remarks like those!)

Re:Disappearing IT jobs...Duuuuuhhhh!!!! (4, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912693)

The number of jobs in any market is not finite. There is one "one pie" that once job is taken, is empty. People create their own jobs. People start new businesses and create new jobs all the time. You statement reflects "zero sum" economics, and sorry, but it doesn't fly in a capitalistic economy.

yeah, maybe in 50 years it creates more jobs (1, Interesting)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912711)

But while you wait for those wonderful free trade jobs to be created, you can get pretty skinny during 50 years of flipping burgers or being unemployed.

In the end we all die, so let's just ahead and keep the jobs we have now, instead of waiting for some magical free trade, lassiez faire, Ayn Rand, globalization outsourcing bonanza. Huh, whattaya say?

Re:yeah, maybe in 50 years it creates more jobs (2, Informative)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912744)

But while you wait for those wonderful free trade jobs to be created, you can get pretty skinny during 50 years of flipping burgers or being unemployed.

You see, that is exactly the problem. You want to wait for a great job to find YOU. It doesn't work that way for most people. This is pacivity, and avoids taking responsibility for your own employment.

I have been too busy finding ways to create my own opportunities, both within my job and by starting other businesses. Just sold one of the three businesses I had started over the last 7 years (other two about broke even) and employs a few people. No one "gave" me that opportunity, I created it with the help of the wife, WHILE I held a real job. Oh, the job I have, I have been at for over 10 years, and I started out as a low level tech. Suffice it to say there are a lot more zeros in my check now, as I am in a position now that did not exist, but I created.

Success is not a RIGHT. It is earned through taking risks and working your ass off. Not every plan pans out, but I would rather fail trying than sit around and wait for somebody to "give" me a good job.

Re:yeah, maybe in 50 years it creates more jobs (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912758)

what kind of home buisness can I start, Im 22 have very little college, and no capital or connections to capitol, I cant just start a buisness for free now can I? so methinks somebody here had more silver on their spoon than they think. pompous ass. oh wait, your really a 13 year old tub or lard that will only get laid if you count the dog.

Re:yeah, maybe in 50 years it creates more jobs (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912797)

what kind of home buisness can I start, Im 22 have very little college, and no capital or connections to capitol, I cant just start a buisness for free now can I?

Yes, a troll, but I will bite. I have no college, moved here 12 years ago with less than $500 in cash, and was screwed over by an employeer that had just transfered me 1500 miles. I was 28 and had no help from anyone since I didn't know anyone and didn't want to move back. I didn't have a choice, it was either succeed or drown in my own tears.

Its about the choices you make, not what you start with. You will find that people that ARE born with silver spoons in their mouth are much less likely to find their own success. People who have to struggle to make their own way are more resourceful and more appreciative of the success they find, and tend to hold on to it longer.

Either you have it within yourself to find success, or you don't. Success isn't just about money, its about getting paid at least enough, to do what you love. The difference is, most successful people don't sit and wait for other to help them, they make it happen, one way or another.

What kind of business can you start? Back then, I setup at a flea market buying and selling junk, literally. I started a job as a low level tech, and worked on the side building computers for people. I moved up to selling more expensive things rather than junk, including the occasional car and camper. I worked two jobs for many years, one for someone else, one self employeed. Many people would not choose this lifestyle, but people motivated to succeed often do.

This is a common topic for me here (thus, why I bite on this troll). But people have to realize that NO company will ever give you the success you want. You have to first want it, find a company where you can realize it, and work your ass off for it. Or start your own business on the side, and do a better job than others. It doesn't guarantee success, but sitting and whining does guarantee failure.

It's just "Turtles All The Way Down," huh? (2, Interesting)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912826)

You wrote:

>>>
Success is not a RIGHT. It is earned through taking risks and working your ass off. Not every plan pans out, but I would rather fail trying than sit around and wait for somebody to "give" me a good job.
>>>


OK, just suppose I was one of the 131K SW engs who got laid off this past 3 months, and I take your advice to just "work my ass off". But you seemt o forget that there are also 131K other Software Engineers also laid off, who you say should do the same thing--just work their ass off. That worldview of yours is the Achilles heel of globalization/neoliberalism: we are all just supposed to "work harder" each successive round of outsourcing. But you seem to forget we are all competing against each other! And the numbers of laid-off increase with each round of outsourcing! Hello?? Ponzi scheme, anyone?

Are you familiar with the "Turtles all the way down" anecdote that describes a certain logical fallacy? For the edification of those who have not heard it, here it is:
>>>>
A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a
public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the
sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the centre of a vast collection
of stars called our galaxy.

At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at
the back of the room got up and said: "What you have told us is rubbish.
The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant
tortoise."

The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, "What is
the tortoise standing on?"

"You're very clever, young man, very clever, but you can't fool me,"
said the old lady. "It's turtles all the way down!"

>>>>>>>>

That type of flawed logic is the basis of globalization/laisseiz fair/neoliberal/free trade economics; and it really just amounts to a system of concentrating as much wealth as possible in as few hands as possible.

Re:Disappearing IT jobs...Duuuuuhhhh!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912742)

Yeah, those new businesses and jobs are really flourishing. Why, look at them springing up left and right all over the map! Business is booming! Nobody is having a problem with insane business fees, laws, insurance and taxes and nobody minds risking their life savings to start a business in this disasterous economy...

Oh wait, yes they do.

Re:Disappearing IT jobs...Duuuuuhhhh!!!! (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912769)

Nobody is having a problem with insane business fees, laws, insurance and taxes and nobody minds risking their life savings to start a business in this disasterous economy...

Again, I hear so many people say stuff like this, but they are sooo missing the point. Economies go up and down, but opportunity is where you find it. The last few years have been the most lucrative for me, perhaps because so many have been sitting on the sidelines crying about how bad the economy is. I haven't been whining about how unfair it is, I got off my ass and made my own opportunity.

It is amazing how many people with significantly more education than I have, are so confounded by something so simple. Every change in the economy brings opportunity. If you went to college to do "x" and insist only on doing "x" and will not take a job unless you are doing "x", then yes, you are screwed, but you are screwed by yourself, NOT the economy.

I could go on about finding opportunity, but some people don't really want success, they just want to bitch about how unfair life is, and how they are intitled to a better job they won't spend the effort to either create or find.

Re:Disappearing IT jobs...Duuuuuhhhh!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912804)

So why not tell us the name or at least the description of your great businesses?

"An oil change service that comes to you and changes the oil in the parking lot while you work" - give us something, come on otherwise I just pulled three businesses out of my ass, too.

Re:Disappearing IT jobs...Duuuuuhhhh!!!! (2, Funny)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912832)

Exactly. When a neighbor of mine became unemployed due this off-shoring phenomena, he opened up his own business selling used and small goods. Household stuff mostly. His computer, tv, the living room furniture. Unfortunately, he didn't have the business sense to roll that revenue back into buying more merchandise. He unwisely chose to pay his electric bill and mortgage instead. But even that didn't stop him, he then start leasing his own body to those that wanted quick sexual gratification.

So as you can see, it's a blessing in disguise when you lose your job to an Indian that can barely speak english, and gets paid 14 cents per 16 hour day.

Re:Disappearing IT jobs...Duuuuuhhhh!!!! (2, Insightful)

foidulus (743482) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912751)

Well, there are really 3 main reasons that jobs "dissapear":
1. Decreased demand for your product. Check!
2. Increased competetion from overseas. Check!
3. Changes in technology/methologies that make your job redundant(as Vonnegut reffered to it, aculturation). Check!
With modern tools the amount of work that actually has to be done by programmers has been drastically reduced both by new tools and by new methodologies(like agile/extreme programming) call for a smaller number of people to work on a project. IE you spend less of your time speccing out requirements that will change next week anyhow, and more time getting things done. This is why I think that Indian outsourcing is just a fad, throwing bodies at a problem is rarely the correct way to go about doing anything. Like in the Pacifici in WWII, the Japanese would go blindly charge at a few marines, but the highly specialised and mobile marines would wipe them all out with a few casualties.
The work done by Indian/Phillipine/whatever outsourcers has to be the menial boring work because they aren't close enough to the customer to do the highly challenging/creative stuff(for the US market anyway, in India they are closer to the customer). The work that most of them do(there are obvious exceptions such as certain embedded products where you don't really have to be close to a customer) will be done by something cheaper than Indians: computers. Automated software writers are still at least a decade away, but it's kind of naive to think they will never exist.....
So yeah, it does suck now, but I guess this should act as a warning, find something else to do, because you may be able to use politicians to fight outsourcing, but you can't use them to fight machines....

Great (2, Insightful)

hsoft (742011) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912685)

These 160 000 must have been people who were there for the money, and when they saw it didn't pay *that* much, they dropped.

Thus, the percentage of real enthusiasts among IT people must have raised.

a few remarks (4, Insightful)

selderrr (523988) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912689)

- during the dotcom, a lot of folks called themselves 'IT professionals' but were hardly anything like it at all.

- the number of it-pro's itself is completely irrelevant : maybe they learned something new and make a living now. What counts is the percentage of unemployed it-pros versus all it-pros, and the number of unemployed it-pro's versus the global unemployment percentage

summary : this article doesn't mean shit.

Re:a few remarks (5, Insightful)

tyrantnine (768028) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912728)

"and the number of programmers, analysts, and support specialists has fallen 15% since the first six months of 2004. According to IT World, the number of employed Software Engineers fell by 15% from April to July of 2004 (from 856,000 to 725,000)."

These numbers are regarding the first 6 months of 2004, and April-July 2004 respectively. Did pets.com just experience another layoff? The boom has been over for some time -- I'd surmise these lost jobs had zero to do with the boom being over. I think the self-reassuring comments about "Well these are all Devry grads" or "These were just holdovers from 2000" can be just about completely put to rest, sorry folks.

RTFA (3, Insightful)

AaronLuz (559686) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912821)

The answer to your question is in the second sentance of the article:

Despite fewer workers within the profession, the IT unemployment rate has nearly doubled since the beginning of the millennium.

Read further and you will see the breakdowns by job category. Some are in more demand. Others, such as systems analysts like me, are in less demand. The net effect is an increase in the number of unemployed who call themselves computer professionals. If they had learned another trade - or had jobs - they would have answered the Census Bureau survey differently.

I wonder if this happened during the depression (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912836)

in the 30's. After all, the majority of people did have work. Did they all go around thinking that all those unemployed people were that way due to their own faults.


I think a lot of this is just self denial, a way of psychologically dealing when bad things happen to other people that could just have well happened to you. You just tell yourself that you're different and that can't happen to you. Ask any outplacement counselor and they will tell you that one of the big problems is people going into shock because they all thought it wouldn't happen to them.

american software patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912690)

You'd think that software patent law would be a major cause of job loss in the USA. I'd be surprised if that wasn't a major contributing factor to this drop?

Wow (4, Funny)

Moth7 (699815) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912691)

According to Information Week, the lastest Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that the number of Americans calling themselves IT professionals has decreased by nearly 160,000 in the last 3 years.

In other news, the number of IT professionals getting laid has increased, mainly due to lying about their geek stereotyped profession ;-)

Changing courses (1)

Animekiksazz (653048) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912692)

I think I'm glad I'm changing courses at school, from a tech job route, to Commercial Pilot. I'm almost positive that when I got out of college/university following the tech sector route I'd have a harder time looking for work.

I feel sorry for all those people who've lost jobs. Perhaps there's not enough innovation going on? Nah probably the Economy.

Re:Changing courses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912753)

Too bad the airline industry is the one industry possibly in worse shape than high-tech. They're continuing to beg for even more government handouts lest they be forced to go under and the government is finally wising up and telling them to fuck off.

Get a Democratic President (4, Interesting)

jfern (115937) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912695)

Re:Get a Democratic President (4, Interesting)

Peter Cooper (660482) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912706)

But since economic factors can take years to drag out, maybe it was all the measures the Republican president put in place that improved things a few years later when a Democrat was in power?

Re:Get a Democratic President (2, Insightful)

jfern (115937) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912724)

FDR and Truman were in power for 20 years, and got pretty good job growth, so I'm not sure how long range you're thinking?

Re:Get a Democratic President (2, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912775)

FDR and Truman were wartime presidents during the biggest international conflict in which the US has ever been involved. The sheer vastness of the technological improvements brought about by the war were in large part responsible for economic strength at that time.

Re:Get a Democratic President (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912719)

There's no such thing as a "democratic president". Amberica is a democratic republic which means that regardless of the president, our form of government is still a republic.

Of course, I don't find it one bit comforting that the same week myself and thousands of coworkers were "laid off" from a company that has already suffered more than 12,000 layoffs in the last three years - bush and the rest of his administration have been going around talking about how great the economy is doing and how there are more jobs than ever. Ridiculous. Most of the employed people I know dig ditches, stock shelves at Target or flip burgers at McDonald's. The unemployed are those with professional skills and careers.

Economic outlook is fantastic if you don't intend to make a product or use your mind. If you're jsut looking to set a tray down with some fries in front of a customer, fill a gas tank or make change at a 7-11, you have a bright future ahead of you.

Re:Get a Democratic President (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912760)

Economic outlook is fantastic if you don't intend to make a product or use your mind. If you're jsut looking to set a tray down with some fries in front of a customer, fill a gas tank or make change at a 7-11, you have a bright future ahead of you.

Sad but VERY true. The place where I work right now is having difficulty getting people with any motivation in the door because most of them realize they can make more money working at Walmart. The upper management will not accept the simple truth of the matter that they cannot expect decent workers for such low pay, and disrespectful treatment for those who do try.

Most days, I fantasize about working for my company's competitors.

Re:Get a Democratic President (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912793)

Give us a hint or just tell us, please I'm dieing to know...

Re:Get a Democratic President (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912829)

One of the biggest results of this whole tech downturn will be a loss in motivation and work ethic.

I was thrilled to have a high paying career that I loved and had a passion for. I cared about my company and co-workers. I worked insane hours and weekends and was 100% motivated. I would have been happy to stay with the company for 20 or 30 years like many of my co-workers had been. You couldn't have asked for more dedication.

Then my nine year career ended with a 45 second phone call. The boss that had formerly treated my like his prized pupil and spoke highly of me and was always friendly toward me and enjoyed long conversations with me turned cold and curt and dismissed me over the telephone in under a minute.

What did I learn from this? That you can bust your ass and dedicate yourself and be a loyal employee and then get laid off - or you can slack off and do the minimum amount of work you can get away with and have the same chance of getting fired (but if you brown nose and play office politics right - your chance of being laid off is probably much less than the hard working employee).

So why would I have the same enthusiastic attitude with my next employer or the one after that? Every time an employer looks at me in my office, I'll know they're not seeing me, but some bugs-bunny cartoon style super-imposed image. But instead of seeing a ham or a lollipop where I sit - they'll be visualizing four cheap indian engineers and salivating at the potential to kick me out and bring those four "in" (well, overseas).

So fuck it. Hard work and loyalty is for suckers.

Re:Get a Democratic President (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912774)

You are confusing the name of the party and the name of the style of government - it would be easier of they had a truth in naming law for the parties.

Republicans - the "pave the planet, there is no global warming but if we are wrong "oops!" too bad for future generations suckers!, corporate citizens are better than meat puppets, fat old rich white guys and the people who aspire to be rich and old, too" party.

Democrats - the "we try to act like we care at least a little about poor people but still we could fuck up a wet dream, but at least we can stop "assault" weapons and bad words in CDs (like Chris says "White man make guns - great, white man sell guns - good for them, Nigger says the word gun iun a song - Congressional hearings)

And the spooks who really run the whole show - the "don't pay any attention to the man behind the curtain" party

Re:Get a Democratic President (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912729)

Of course Democratic presidents create more jobs - more government jobs. Thus the size of gov't increases, and so does the tax burden on those of us who don't have gov't jobs. Number 1 employer in the US - gov't. Number 1 employer in most socialist/communist countries - gov't. Can you see the correlation? Just don't try to get a gov't job unless you know someone, that's the only way in now, unless your female, minority, etc.. (Just my white male rant!).

Re:Get a Democratic President (4, Informative)

jfern (115937) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912746)

Private employment increased by 21.7 million under the Clinton adminstration.
Private employment has decreased 1.8 million under the Bush adminstration.

I can't figure out how to link to these other statistics directly, but go here [bls.gov] and choose "Total Private Employment - Seasonally Adjusted" or whatever.

Re:Get a Democratic President (0, Troll)

pitdingo (649676) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912798)

no kidding, he was president when the Internet took off, which incidently, was created from research funded by a Republican President, not that robot Al Gore. By the time Clinton left office, the dot com bubble had popped and jobs where being lost everywhere. What did Clinton do to keep things going? NOTHING!

Re:Get a Democratic President (5, Insightful)

jfern (115937) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912834)

I'll admit he got very lucky. The tech jobs graph looks like it was rigged for Clinton and against Bush. But the thing is

1. Even ignoring tech jobs, the job sitation was pretty good under Clinton, and still not break even under Bush
2. Eventually you have to come to the conclusion that either Democrats are all very lucky, or that they're doing something better.

As for the Internet, this seems to indicate that the bidding for the ARPANET contract started in 1968, under the LBJ adminstration.
Here [wordiq.com]

Re:Get a Democratic President (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912810)

You're looking at this all wrong. Despite war and terrorism, our wonderful president has maintained healthy employment for 19.9 million people in the private industry!

Re:Get a Democratic President (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912814)

Maybe b/c Clinton was running under the strength of Bush Sr. and then he managed to smash the growth. Thus leaving Bush Jr. looking like an ass.

Re:Get a Democratic President (5, Interesting)

foidulus (743482) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912815)

Of course Democratic presidents create more jobs - more government jobs. Thus the size of gov't increases, and so does the tax burden on those of us who don't have gov't jobs. Number 1 employer in the US - gov't. Number 1 employer in most socialist/communist countries - gov't. Can you see the correlation? Just don't try to get a gov't job unless you know someone, that's the only way in now, unless your female, minority, etc.. (Just my white male rant!).
FYI: Government spending under Bush >> Government spending under Clinton(on both defense and non-defense)
To answer the grandparent, correlation does not necessarily imply causation. Economics is a still largely a mystery, we can measure a lot of things, and explain some others, but it's a lot more complicated than most people(such as yourself) make it out to be. I see a lot of people(and I myself have indulged in this on occaision) who really over-simplify economic theory(free trade is always good! All regulation is evil! We need to protect American jobs! etc)
That correlation should not be the reason you are voting for John Kerry. I am supporting Kerry because he will show fiscal responsibility(unlike our current president), put a lot of money into research for alternative fuel sources(though he hasn't mentioned making trains a replacement for domestic flights, but hey, you can't win 'em all), his willingness to volunteer to go to Vietnam(he inspired me to look into joining the Army), and his courage to protest the war after it, his plans to reduce health care costs, and the fact that he is respected in the rest of the world. I have traveled abroad and met a lot of people who like America, but loathe Bush. I do not want that man representing our country, and I think we have found a great replacement for him in John Kerry.
Now that I have stated my beliefs, I will don my flame retardant suit.

Re:Get a Democratic President (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912808)

The number of jobs is always created at a faster rateaverage annual percentage growth) under Democratic Presidents then Republican Presidents.

You are incredibly naive if you believe the President has anything at all to do with jobs,
other than a handful of appointees.

Re:Get a Democratic President (1)

pitdingo (649676) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912809)

yeah, Jimmy Carter sure created a lot of jobs.

Re:Get a Democratic President (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912835)

Duh! It's because Dems give better head!

I wish they would have broken down the numbers (5, Interesting)

foidulus (743482) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912702)

by education levels. Are the programmers who were laid off college educated or did they take, "ITT teaches you how to write a web page and use visual baisc" type programmers? Is there demand for a masters/phd? The numbers probably mean very little of themselves without a breakdown of who is employed/unemployed. Maybe demand for college graduates has increased, but demand for Devry/ITT flunkies has plummetted. Hard to tell.....

Re:I wish they would have broken down the numbers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912730)

Talk about a troll.

The best engineers and IT people I've ever worked with have had neither vocational-school certifications nor university-earned degrees (and if they did, it had nothing to do with technology).

In fact, the very best I've ever worked with have always been self-educated professional geeks you sometimes didn't even have a highschool diploma.

Education has very little to do with talent. Those who are truly gifted and intelligent learners don't need four years of sitting in a class room listening to lectures. They dig in and learn things on their own in the real world and easily adapt to any situation. They're the people you could throw into any level job in any tech field and they'll become proficient (if not exceedingly expert) in no time, while the almighty academics sit around scratching their heads trying to understand how to apply what they read in books or learned from teachers (who themselves teach rather than "do") to the job at hand.

Re:I wish they would have broken down the numbers (2, Informative)

foidulus (743482) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912763)

four years of sitting in a class room listening to lectures.
You obviously haven't been in college for a while/ever. Nowadays(at least at the good schools) that only describes the first half of your education. The 2nd half, while still involving some lectures, also involves a lot of different hands on problems, and usually doing internships/co-ops/whatever. Before I graduate with my bachelors, I will have had about 2 years experience. However, the base that my education has given me will help me throughout my career....

Re:I wish they would have broken down the numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912802)

Nope - never been to college. Ever. In fact, never been through highschool. Proud millionaire without a diploma and never had a single bit of trouble finding a job in my career.

Different people have different strengths. Some people do best when presented with a formal education and a strict structure of lessons while others do best living and breathing their passion and becoming an expert without taking the same steps other people have taken.

My resume will repeatedly land me a job against almost any ivy league graduate. It's nice to have a piece of paper and a history of some publications and fields of study but it's another to have solid experience, great reccommendations and a strong work ethic and charisma.

Exellence can be found in both camps, but I'm quite offended by academic elites who feel that they are superior just because they dished out six figures for an education and didn't have to worry about the real world like a lot of us had to - or somehow managed to have the oppertunity to go through college (which many simply don't have no matter how brilliant they are or hard they work). I work side by side with PhDs and Masters degrees, but while they're in their 30's and 40's, I got here in my early 20's, because the eight years years I'd have put into college and highschool was put into a career and I have far more to show for it than these "kids".

The point being that while you were learning through some "hands on problems" and "interns" - my "hands on problems" were real and had the weight of real money, real esteem and real contracts on them. Before you graduate with your bachelors, someone who has as much or more talent than you but took another path to their career will have had four, six or more years of experience and they'll have the base that hard work, self determination, self-education, tenacity, achievement has given them which will help them throughout their career.

Re:I wish they would have broken down the numbers (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912837)

That's nice and eloquently written. What I would ask you is how you gained the trust of the first person who gave you the real problem to work on that had the weight of "real money, real esteem, and real contracts" to it. The reason I ask is that there are many young people reading this who could benefit from cracking that problem--and for whom college is currently seen as the best way to crack it.

Re:I wish they would have broken down the numbers (2, Insightful)

foidulus (743482) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912843)

but I'm quite offended by academic elites who feel that they are superior just because they dished out six figures for an education and didn't have to worry about the real world like a lot of us had to
Guess what, my total education costs to go to Penn State for 4 years will be about $50,000, and guess what, I paid for about 90+% of it. I worked the crappy jobs thoughout high school and college, I worked 30 hours a week while going to school full time and about 60-70 during the summer. I also got scholarships to help out, and took out about $30k in loans, which if I join the armed forces after graduation, I can get the Army to pay for it. I'm not what you would call, "an academic elite", middle of 3 children of a single schoolteacher mother.
You may be tired of the academic elites, but I am tired of people like you who think school has, "no real world value", guess what, you are in your 20's, that means that you got a chance to get in while the getting was good. Doubtful that very many people like you can get away with that now. And the chance I had to go to Japan(paid for with my own money) to work for 6 months at an R&D lab is just as valuable as your, "real world experience"

Re:I wish they would have broken down the numbers (1)

Arimus (198136) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912803)

For four years before going to uni to get my CS degree I'd worked as database programmer for a smallish company using dBASE IV... also did alot of other programming/IT related work in my spare time.
After losing that job (the firm went bust) I went to uni... the next four years at uni I learned very little new (most new stuff was formal design methods etc).

Since I finished in 98 I've not been out of work other than 2 months off after Marconi did it's thing... (those 2 months where my own choice - got 6 months pay so thought may as well enjoy it a while).

So its not so much what you know as what bit of paper you have that confirms you know what you say you know.

Re:I wish they would have broken down the numbers (2, Insightful)

Shisha (145964) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912747)

I'm amazed! The first comment I expected see on /. was that this is all due to outsourcing to India!

I have to agree with the parent. Lot of people who were never qualified to do tech jobs aren't doing them anymore because the companies realised that they aren't value for money.

I wouldn't expect great demand for MSc./PhD. qualifications, just because I think that 3 years of CS theory is more than enough for any IT job. What you then need is experience. This not to say that PhD. is not useful for R&D people, but such jobs are few and far apart.

Also how many people don't call themselves IT professionals because it's no longer "chic"?

Re:I wish they would have broken down the numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912819)

I will be getting my Bachelors next year and I'm looking at these numbers and wondering the same thing. How does a graduate with a CSBS compare to someone who has just got their degree from ITT, Devry or whatever other IT schools that are "hot" right now? To me it's not the choice between being a Software Engineer or a Machanical Engineer, it's more between working at a desk and taking orders at a drive-through. Maybe I should be looking at more schooling and get a Masters?

Consolidating markets (2, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912703)

It doesn't really surpise me. Y2k is long gone and, frankly, there's been no huge advances in desktop IT in the entire period.

Most computers are being used in offices and in homes. These are folk who, three years ago could get a PIII 700 running Win2k and Office. What reason do thy have to upgrade? What new features are on offer?

Hardware may be moving with leaps and bound, but at the desktop application level we aren't seeing that sort of progress. Nonetheless, things like 64bit computing with faster processors and obscene quantities of RAM will open up real-time desktop video editing to the masses - that might see a whole wave of upgrades. VOIP might see some big changes to POTS, but only if it can offer something new to encourage folk to upgrade. And, of course, we still haven't seen reliable speech processing, possibly the killer app but is there really a huge improvement from ViaVoice of 1999 to the software on the market today.

Frankly there's no reason to upgrade, and unless there is there's going to be a dwindling source of jobs in a consolidated market.

Re:Consolidating markets (4, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912723)

What reason do thy have to upgrade? What new features are on offer?

Some of the new viruses require at least a 1.5ghz processor ;)

But yea, my mom doesn't need anything faster for email and web surfing. She has a 2.0 Celeron box from Dell that I bought her (live 1300 miles away, wanted the support for her) so she is not likely to need anything faster until it dies. The only reason "regular" people upgrade is for games. Hell, I went and upgraded my video card yesterday just to play Doom3.

The problem with computers isn't speed, its software. I setup a webserver to talk to my X10 modules here at the house, so I can turn lights on and off from anywhere in the world. I had to patch together all kinds of software to make this happen, as I haven't seen any packages that could do everything my kludge of packages can do. Home automation doesn't need powerful computers, it needs software. We are underutilizing the hardware we already have.

Part of this problem, of course, is the fact that manufacturers will not agree on standards for appliances to talk to each other. Each demanding a proprietary system, thinking it will protect them, when it only makes the irrelevent. This is one of the reasons I am pro-OSS, as open standards are what will bring us the really cool software that we could have run on P3/500s had it existed at the time.

Am I unreasonable... (4, Insightful)

fpga_guy (753888) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912705)

Am I unreasonable to see a lot of this as an overdue correction in the IT labour market? For a while here in Australia at least it seemed that someone with a 6 week vocational computing course could earn $50K+ doing front-line support. That wasn't a realistic or sustainable situation, and is certainly not reflected in any other industry I can think of.

Re:Am I unreasonable... (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912761)

No that is part of the problem. Back in the 90's IT Professionals got greedy. And they scared managers with buzz words like e-business, http, Y2k, and a bunch of other stuff. A lot of stuff with very easy to do and could be done by anyone with a 2 week course. So as time went on and people learned how to do these things with out the help of an IT staff. And started laying off IT staff unfortunately they grouped all IT into (same with the internet businesses they labeled them all as tech companies, I am sorry pets.com is a pet store not a tech company!) one area. So even if you are a system administrator and have been keeping the place running for 30 years you got laid off with Mr. HTML only programmer. So now the the economy is starting to turn a bit they realized that they cut all the fat and a bit to much of the lean as well, Unfortunately some companies don't realize this and that is why they are getting problems left and right combined with aging hardware and no real IT support to help with long term management of the IT. But a lot of them are starting to realize this now and letting some of the IT people back. It wont be like in the 90s with a programmer can get 100k a year or 50k out of collage. It will balance with the rest of the other industries out of collage a good job at 30k-35k and maybe you can get up to 50k after 5 years or so. which is a honest wage. The 90s were a blip in the economy and some people knew it so the took advantage of it while it was there but a lot figures that this will be there for ever (Kida like I told them what they said back in the 1920s) and they took advantage of the economy too but they didn't plan for slow times and then they just fell off the face of the earth.

abandoned by traitors (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912712)

Thanks for outsourcing your countrymans job, i had no idea so many companies would be traitors to their origin

or perhaps they are just fleeing a sinking ship, thanks George

A lot of people weren't qualified to be IT... (4, Informative)

tgd (2822) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912714)

I know a lot of former coworkers who have lost their job in the last year or two, and almost half of them are no longer doing tech work. Is it because the market is that bad? No, its because they were hired into technology even though they were underqualified during the tech boom, and now that its over and there isn't insane market pressure to hire anyone who can string lines of code together they've moved on.

I'd suspect thats the biggest group of people no longer in IT. I have most visibility in design and software development these days, but I'm sure the same is true for network/system administration.

There's not necessarily anything wrong with it, either. Most of the people I've known who did the major career shift after being layed off are much happier now. In a market where the people getting the jobs are reasonably qualified, its got to be hard to go to work knowing you can't really do what you need to well.

Here's the BLS Information job statistics (1)

jfern (115937) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912720)

This is seaonally adjusted.

It peaked March 2001 at 3,718,000
It's now 3,170,000.

Data [bls.gov]

Microsoft? (1)

Sidicas (691633) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912726)

the number of Americans calling themselves IT professionals has decreased by nearly 160,000 in the last 3 years, and the number of programmers, analysts, and support specialists has fallen 15% since the first six months of 2004.

Wow! That explains a lot!! I wonder what Microsoft is going to now that they know that many of their programmers were really Art History Majors.

People grow in experience. (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912727)

Every script kiddie will call himself "IT professional". A real pro knows how much knowledge is ahead of him and how little they posess, so they don't dare to say "I know it all"...

opensource (1, Interesting)

animaal (183055) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912736)

Here goes the last of my karma...

I think the whole open source movement is part of the cause.

What other industry would provide its services for free, then act surprised when that industry no longer generates enough money to justify lots of workers and high salaries?

In the long run, I suppose things are cyclical. The industry will shrink to a level small enough to support itself in a "free products" environment. This will probably lead to somewhat fewer people working on opensource products, thus increasing demand for IT people again... and so the sysle will continue.

Not so (1)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912781)

Just because there are these excellent software packages and tools available freely doesn't mean there is any less need for skilled IT professionals to implement them for companies. No company is going to just take Cyrus IMAP server and stick it on a server without a sysadmin to make sure it's installed properly and is functioning the way they want it to, and in many instances they will also have developers customising it to their own needs.

Also, I don't think that software companies are doing any less development. IBM, Novell and others have thousands of developers working on Open Source projects, and they aren't working for free. Plus, Sage and other proprietary software isn't going away, and it never will.

The rates sound low ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912739)

I wonder if the US counts unemployment differently than everybody else. In some markets, 3% unemployment would be classed as overemployment.

Can anyone enlighten me?

Re:The rates sound low ... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912776)

My state's current unemployment rate is about 7%. It was recently at 9% and is still probably considered the worst unemployment rate in the country.

One of the problems with government and politics is that they don't count unemployment accurately. For instance, if you make $90k/yr in some tech-field and are laid off and the only job you can find is as a secretarial admin for $28k/yr, you're still considered fully-employed.

If you are on unemployment and it runs out before you find an appropriate job oppertunity, you do not count as unemployed (even though you very much ARE unemployed!).

Overall, this administration has overseen a greater job LOSS in the last four years combined than they have in jobs CREATED. And we're still seeing something like 300,000 immigrants into this country per month - so who knows how many of the 32,000 jobs created in the last month were actually filled by American workers?

The whole thing is frustrating. It's most incredibly frustrating to dedicate your life to a company for many years and then have them lay you off in a heartbeat and toss you aside like you are a rotton slice of lunch meat. Even more so when your politicians are gloating about how great the economy and job market is. The job market is never good when you're unemployed and having a hard time finding oppertunities. I've been in the same company fully employed for a decade and I've never been through anything like this before. The world is a very different place than it was in the 90's and while some are used to this cycle, many of us are not. And many of us wonder if it's still part of a cycle or an entirely new behavior since a lot of things changed after 9/11.

Unemployment numbers (3, Insightful)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912743)

They are really baffled by the drop in unemployment concurrent with a drop in jobs. I think that quite a few people simply said: "Do I want to make lousy wages working 80 hour weeks in a high-stress deadline-driven environment? Or I could work 40 hours a week as a plumber and make more money? Hmm..."

Just another reason not to vote for Bush (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912768)

The argument that "not voting for Bush" is negative is incorrect. He makes it easy to hate him.

Vote for change.

A related note. (1)

mruizsie (721695) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912778)

See "What global sourcing means for U.S. IT workers and for the U.S. economy", by Catherine L. Mann, in Communications of the ACM, July, 2004.

According to the article:
"Meanwhile, U.S. IT jobs continue to move up the IT skills ladder. Demand increases for workers with the skills needed to design, customize, and utilize IT applications, particularly in the lagging sectors and among SMEs. Some of the transformation in types of IT jobs in response to global sourcing of software can be seen in detailed occupation data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. From 1999 to 2002 (last available data), the number of "programming" jobs in the U.S. earning on average $64,000 fell by some 71,000. But jobs held by application and system software engineers earning on average $74,000 increased by 115,000. Thus, even as it increases the number of IT jobs, global sourcing of software and services changes the nature of IT jobs, moving them up the skills ladder and diffusing them throughout the U.S. economy."

Yes. And I am one of those. (1)

tufflove (580300) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912782)

This is what you get for shipping jobs overseas for the lowest bidder. Paying your own citizens an honest wage may cost your company more money, but it also is an investment in the nations present and future. I am not fucking kidding, so don't mod this as funny because its not. I would love to get my hands around the neck of people like Dell, who used the hard work and ingenuity of Americans and then shipped away 30000 jobs so he could make EVEN MORE MONEY. I call bullshit on all these assholes. I live in Austin, Texas and you can't find a job to save your life. Sure you can probably get a job at Wendys, but not one that will pay a living wage. Pure capitalism is no better than pure communism or facism. 32000 jobs were "added" in July. They won't say how many were lost, will they? And there is a very good reason for that.

Some of this is probably reinvention (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912786)

I consider myself a geek, but have taken a functional title in my workplace. The work I do is still quite technical, but I now supervise a (tiny) staff and have some management responsibilities. I am more involved in the "line of business" but definitely not divorced from geekly things. This gives me the two important things: knowledge of this business and of my workplace I wouldn't have as a "strict" geek, and the abandonment of a title that carries the stench of death associated with the fact that at any time, the job could be sent to India.

Re: Some of this is probably reinvention (0, Flamebait)

mcpkaaos (449561) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912838)

That's fantastic. However, next time just sum up what you have to say with "I'm a corporate whore".

Thanks,

Everyone

Re: Some of this is probably reinvention (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912847)

One time, I felt the same way. But I consider providing financial security for myself and my family to be above my requirement for allegiance to geekdom above "teh dumb MBAs."

BTW, I work for a non-profit, not that would make me less of a whore in any way.

The inevitability of it all... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912788)

.... is that bits and bytes don't deteriorate, but only can be made obsolete with newer hardware technology and that has a limit to, as far as the consumer market goes (typically the gaming industry is where to look for advancements)

There is also programming techniques, languages etc. that make things easier and easier to develop. The dot net core technology for example is a sum of the majority of programming concepts and data types put together in a non-conflicting manner, so that any language created to be compatable with the intermediate language (the point of translation from human based to machine based) can make use of the dot net run time engine. Point being: the field of programming is stablising in concepts and datatypes.

Then there is the point of programming, to make complexity easy to use and reuse by the users of that complexity, via automation of the complexity, and this is recursive from the assembly programer to the end user putting some script (VB?) to automate sme task of theirs.. Where the essence of this "make easy to use and reuse" will most certainly lead to a "working oneself out of a job" result. (NOTE: Unless you take the MS attitude of "making people need you" and accept the resulting manifestation of the "user frustration function" in teh sum product)

The field of computer technology and programming are very young still, younger than still many who helped get it going. And it will grow up beyond the sand box bully of MS mentality.

From a technology point of view, there is a limit as to how complexicated you can make this "abstraction calculator" where the rest is really up to the end users to decide what all they want to figure out with it or use it for.

SO, where all this is leading is to the REAL and GENUINE "New Economy" where the market is not of IT or programming (though there will allways be a genuine profession of software engineering -- not the more popular psuedo coding) .... But where the market is in better using this abstraction calculator within the industry and field of your non-IT position, so as to improve your own productivity.

To draw a picture:

What would the many industries and fields of, do with computer technology of such ease of programming and depth of complexity as one might consider the holodeck (star trek).

The new market is not in reinvention or psuedo coding, but found beyond this. The virtual reality integration of all we have, in detail, so as to go beyond the limits of our IT/programming methodologies of today. Like how we went beyond teh limits of roman numeral accounting when we adopted the hindu-arabic decimal system with teh zero place holder.

Statistics are like bikinis. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912794)

"Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they hide is vital."
- unknown

Blame Win2K? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912795)

It is a lot more stable than NT4 and - shudder - Win95/98/ME.

And the drop in "IT" jobs coincides nicely with the release of Win2K.

I'm sure the increased used of Linux in the last two or three years hasn't helped keep the "I'm an MCSE. I'm here to reboot your server" crowd employed, either.

Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912806)

In other news India has a growth of 160,000 in the last 3 years, and the number of programmers, analysts, and support specialists has risen 15% since the first six months of 2004. According to IT World, the number of employed Software Engineers increased by 15% from April to July of 2004 (from 725,000 to 856,000)."

RE: Tech employment drops.... (2, Insightful)

12_West (615382) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912812)

How odd to see posts that try to blame the open source movement for this decline! Surely the outsourcing to overseas concerns of some of these jobs is having more of an impact? My perception, however flawed it may be, is that people need to decide whether or not they like the idea of allowing the less developed countries to draw work away from the more developed ones and if they do not, find ways to put the pressure on those making the outsourcing decisions. Perhaps in this regard the open source developers are more of a solution than a problem. Even Microsoft can't compete with "free" and we in the west get to maintain a ready pool of IT professionals bad economy or not.

Early Retired out of IT - Jobs moving offshore (1)

dmobrien_2001 (731198) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912813)

I was forced out of programming by early retirement offer from LU. The jobs that were left were sent to Poland, China, and India.

In one case, a friend of mine was laid off at Lucent two years after I was ER'ed. She along with 29 other people in their department. 5 were retained an extra two months to train exactly 30 folks from Poland how to do their old jobs. Programmers in Poland are as cheap as programmers in India. China programmers are even cheaper!

I'm currently way underemployed as an sysadmin and customer service rep ("hello, may I take your problem report"), paid to work only a few days a week, but it's a job (which will likely die off this year).

I don't plan on ever getting back into a real paid programming job. 4 years of BSCS, two years MSCS, and 25 years of experience worth nothing, well, maybe worth "Welcome to WalMart!"

Can it get more stupid then this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9912816)

"Offshore development is the best way to prevent going to war," he said.

IT growth predictions from 2000 (1)

jebiester (589234) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912820)

It's quite amazing what people were predicting back in the year 2000, and what a contrast is from now.

There's a particlarly interesting old news article here [itnews.com.au] .My favorite part is:
By 2004, IT professionals will interview employers so stringently that 40 per cent of employers will substantially miss recruitment goals

(link was taken from Brainbox article [brainbox.com.au] )

That can't be right. . . (2, Funny)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912823)

Something must be wrong with the data. . .

The economy is doing wonderfully since the big tax cut. All those wealthy people who recieved thousands or even millions of dollars from the government went out and created jobs with that money, right?

I'm sure there are tech jobs being created, because there's a new McDonald's going up near my house. The new fryers are pretty high tech, so the fry cooks must be qualified IT professionals right?

And never mind the jobs report. Thirtythree thousand jobs is a shitload of jobs when you think about it. Besides, it was just a blip. The overall trend line is definitely on the upside, and we're sure to see some positive gains in the second half.

And I'm sure we'll see real cheap oil any day now. Just as soon as that Yukos thingie resolves itself. Or when we drill in ANWAR, as God intended.

You're all a bunch of pessimists, especially those of you that have been unemployed for longer than six months. And it's your pessimism that is dragging the economy down. So cheer up. Got that unemployed people? You're the problem and the American people aren't going to put up with it much longer. Get a job, hippy.

Oh, yeah, I'd blame it on Open Source, but it should be obvious from the above that I'm too ignorant to know what Open Source is.

Stupid stats - read the articles yourselves (4, Insightful)

ggruschow (78300) | more than 10 years ago | (#9912842)

The articles themselves seem excessively alarmist, and the slashdot summary is of course much worse.

The plausible stats I saw were:

  • A 4.5% decline in the IT labor force since the peak in 2001. (IW article)
  • IT unemployment currently around 5.5%, down from 6% recently, and up from 3% in 2000-2001. (IW article)
  • "The overall number of people employed in computer-related occupations in the U.S. dropped by about 9,000 people from the first to second quarter." (IT article)
A lot of the other stats are based on random labelling of people (e.g. "computer programmer" vs "computer analyst" vs "software engineer".. the IW articles cites an 8% increase in the latter), and a relatively small sample. If nothing else, the reported 60% increase in IT managers should tell you something about these surveys.

If we're just going for shock-the-readers headlines based on these stats, try this one:

InformationWeek reports that according to recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data, there's now one manager to every 1.85 computer programmers. At current rates, managers will outnumber programmers in a few years.

(InformationWeek reports 341k managers vs 632k computer programmers.. but that report based upon those numbers is obviously misleading.)

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