ITs Enduring Image Crisis

Despite an overwhelming amount of techies expressing satisfaction with their jobs, outsiders are wary of the field. Can IT restore its once-pristine image?

There are no shortages of pronouncements of a full economic recovery from the post-boom recession years. Tech job cuts are at a six-year low, IT operational budgets are at the highest levels since 1997, and tech wages are at a five-year high, and this is just a gathering from reports issued this week.

Yet, IT still struggles to disengage from the forlorn image of thousands of layoff victims after the tech bubbles collapse in 2001. A report issued this week highlighted some outmoded views of the field, as well as the schism that still exists between insiders and outsiders perception of the occupation.

Despite an overwhelming amount of techies expressing satisfaction with their jobs, outsiders dont recommend the field to others, according to a report issued July 25 by, a New York-based career site for tech professionals.

/zimages/2/28571.gifWhile tech pros may feel more secure about their jobs than the workforce as a whole, ongoing concerns keep their exuberance in check. Click here to read more.

In the survey, 94 percent of IT professionals reported satisfaction with their current positions, citing job enjoyment (40 percent), good pay (34 percent), liking their field (34 percent) and the ability to be creative (23 percent). Eighty-eight percent of tech pros said they would recommend a career in technology to others.

Yet, outside the tech industry, the survey painted a different picture. Sixty-four percent of nontech professionals said they were likely to recommend a career in technology. In addition, when asked why they were not very likely to apply for an IT job, 6 percent cited lack of job security, 4 percent said a lack of creativity, and 3 percent said they view IT as having few opportunities for professional growth.

"We wanted to find out how tech professionals see their career path versus people from the outside," President and CEO Scott Melland told eWEEK. "Not surprisingly, tech people like what theyre doing, though three or four years ago they may have responded differently. Yet, [from the] outside the [IT] career seems to have an image problem. People outside the field dont rate it as having any more appeal than other fields."

Melland said ITs average salary is 8 percent more than the national average, the field is known to be more of a meritocracy than others and jobs often come with more schedule flexibility.

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