By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-01-13 Print this article Print

-safe jobs"> According to Foote, the employment categories most susceptible to offshore outsourcing include application development and maintenance, some data-center tasks, help-desk jobs, and, recently, some business-processing work. The type of work thats being sent to countries with low salaries, such as Pakistan, India and China, is along the lines of rote implementations of higher-level infrastructure architecture. In other words, Foote observed, if youre the one doing the modeling or the systems-architecture work, your job is safe—for now. Those workers carrying out orders, may have either lost jobs, or should be worrying.
"A lot of this stuff isnt being outsourced," Foote said. "Project management, security, architecture, those arent being offshored. Systems and network administration isnt being offshored. Theyre still onshoring jobs that require in-depth knowledge of business processes."
Click here to read about slowing IT job cuts. Companies have been spending "a fortune" project-managing this stuff from afar, Foote said. Thats one reason why project-management certifications still demand a strong premium, with 6.7 percent growth in premium pay in 2003. But how long will it be before project management gets outsourced for lower wages, as well? Not too long, Foote said. "We talked to companies who said early on, Were not setting up operations in other countries. Were simply offshoring jobs. We said, At what point will you consider setting up an outpost in another country? Youre spending so much time there and your customers want you to do that. They feel safer. Their data is on computers in Pakistan, and they want you there, with your regular operations, with your internal checks and balances," he said. Now offshoring executives are now starting to tell him that the time to offshore entire operations is upon them, Foote explained. "Theyre saying, Youre right, its too risky. Its cost-effective. Were going to do this offshoring thing for a long time to come, so were going to set up operations there. Were going to house people there. Thats coming from customer pressure and the costs of managing from afar." Click here to read survival tales from pros who pursued alternate, non-IT careers. So whats still safe from getting offshored? Here are some bright spots from Foote Partners research that also reveal the current state of supply-and-demand and can point to relatively secure jobs in the U.S.:
  • Project management certifications premium pay was up 6.7 percent in 2003.
  • Security certifications were up 1.1 percent. Top performers were:
    • Certified Information Systems Auditor, up 25 percent in 2003 and 38 percent over the past two years;
    • Certified Information Systems Security Professional was up 20 percent in 2003 and 50 percent in the past two years;
    • GIAC Certified Windows Administrator was up 13 percent in 2003 and 29 percent in the past two years; and
    • GIAC Certified Unix Administrator was up 13 percent in 2003 and 29 percent in the past two years.
  • Systems administration and engineering/network certifications were up 0.4 percent.
  • Premium bonus pay for Citrix Certified Administrator went up 17 percent in 2003.
  • Citrix Certified Enterprise Administrators value was up 10 percent in 2003.
  • Red Hat Certified Engineer was up 14 percent in 2003.
  • Linux Professional Institute Certification Levels 1 and 2 were up 17 percent since late 2001.
  • Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert was up 11 percent in 2003.
  • These certifications were earning 10 to 11 percent of base pay in median premium bonus pay in 2003:
    • Microsoft Certified Trainer,
    • Microsoft Certified Solution Developer,
    • Oracle Certified Professional/DBA,
    • Cisco Certified Enterprise Administrator,
    • Cisco Certified Network Professional,
    • Master Certified Novell Engineer.

    Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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