Readers Respond: IT Work Force Gap Looming

Readers respond to the eWEEK editorial, "IT Work Force Gap Looming."

In his Dec. 5 column, "IT Work Force Gap Looming," Stan Gibson [quoted a Forrester analyst as saying], "One utility company has 460 vacancies they cant fill."

Why cant the company fill the 460 jobs? Is it because:
• It had a hiring freeze for several years?
• It had massive layoffs or downsizing or did outsourcing prior to this?
• It wont pay a decent wage?
• It expects everyone to work 80 hours a week?
• It requires 20 years experience for some archaic piece of hardware?
• It is in Chapter 11 or other financial trouble?

For that matter, are all 460 jobs in the IT field, or is this all the open jobs for the company? When a company has that many open positions with todays number of unemployed IT workers looking for work, you have to ask why.

Gregory Reinert Sr.
Systems Administrator
Eastern Mountain Sports
Peterborough, N.H.

The following letter is in response to Stan Gibsons Dec. 5 Outsourcing & Services column, "IT Work Force Gap Looming", which focused on a panel discussion titled "The Changing IT Workforce" held at the recent Forrester Research Executive Strategy Forum in Boston.

IT is a golden opportunity? How golden is it when I make half of what I used to and cant even find a contract job? (There are no regular full-time jobs anymore.) How golden is it when there are no health insurance or benefits of any kind, and Im expected to provide free overtime?

I lucked out and finally got a contract gig the week my unemployment was to end; the job is only supposed to last two months. Every week, I receive a few calls from headhunters, and they all ask the same question before they will even explain what the job is: "What is your best rate?" All they care about is how cheaply Ill work.

The column quotes John Rockart, a professor in the field of IT education, as saying, "Less than 2 percent of IT jobs are outsourced, and IT salaries are actually terrific." Terrific for employers. Funny, the jobs eliminated by outsourcing never are discussed.

Gibson writes in the column: "If what these experts say is true, get ready for a buyers market for IT jobs." Companies are shedding white-collar positions like theyre going out of style. Employers are getting hundreds of résumés for every position they open up. Do you really think anyone is buying this?

Mark A. Reinertson
Comptia Security+, Network+, Server+, A+, I-Net+
Novell Cna 5.X, Cna 4.X CIW Associate, Professional Brainbench-Certified Information Security Administrator, Network Administrator, Network Support Specialist and Web Administrator