IT Workers Second
-Guess Career Choice"> A recession seems to be looming for the U.S. economy this fall, and no matter how many glowing reports about the IT job market are released, the slipping economy will inevitably have its way with IT professionals. The view isnt much brighter from the top. A report released Aug. 30 by ExecuNet, an executive recruiting firm in Norwalk, Conn., evidenced the dovetailing of confidence in the executive employee market since the spring. The confidence rate is down to 55 percent from 80 percent in April.As user technology advances by leaps and bounds, logic stands that this would make the jobs of IT professionals easier. In reality, this is not the case: For IT pros, technology advances mean more security risks, more demands on their time and more to worry about.Driven by the consumerization of technology, the effectiveness of centralized IT has slipped, argued an Aug. 6 report by the Yankee Group, as 50 percent of employees reported that their personal technology was more advanced than their workplaces technology. The report reasoned that that IT could either ban employee technology, creating an endless game of whack-a-mole, or they could manage both the technology and the rogue employee. While analysts agreed that the latter had the potential to improve long-term internal customer satisfaction, there is little doubt that IT professionals know that the IT care co-op model is just more work for them. A July 30 article in the Wall Street Journal on the topic of IT limitations of employee technology took more of a guerrilla warfare approach, providing readers with a how-to manual to make an end-run around the IT department, and painting IT pros as control freaks. While IT professionals raged against the article, others took a more forward-reaching approach. This quieter minority reasoned that because users already know how to use Google to find out how to circumvent their technology regulations, smart IT departments should take steps to bridge the gap between what users want and what they knew is safe. If the dot-com bust was the first nail in the IT work forces coffin and offshore outsourcing the second, the decline in student enrollments in computer science programs and a dearth of qualified candidates may just be the third. Worse yet, many IT professionals admit that they dont feel comfortable ushering their own children down a career path so fraught with land mines. Recruiters facing difficulties finding the right IT candidate for a job bemoan the fact that after the dot-com boom parents told their kids not to go into technology and havent changed their message since. Yet the issue runs deeper than parents disregarding that IT may be back and healthier than ever. "The shine is off the apple," one told eWEEK. "Outsourcing H-1Bs the commoditization of the IT workforce. Other career paths seem a safer bet." Check out eWEEK.coms Careers Center for the latest news, analysis and commentary on careers for IT professionals.