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Systems & Information Technology Professionals

It May Be Time to Change Professions


The economy is down, real estate is in the dumpster, companies don't want experienced professionals, they just want cheap labor. Most don't care for quality of work, security or National Pride. Just cheap and quick; no matter what the long term consequences may be.


As seasoned computer professionals with 10's of years of experience sit on the sidelines, few companies will entertain the idea of working with or retaining them. They avoid Free Agents because these professionals have learned to think for themselves and know how businesses should operate. After years of learning from experience and professional training, Information Technology professionals sit at their workstations trying to find employment that will pay existing bills.


It is not just information technology professionals who are suffering from this short sighted business fixation with fast and cheap. Many professionals are in the same boat. These hard working and highly skilled talented workforce is suffering at the hands of short sighted business leaders who are just out for quick profits.


When these currently unemployed professionals were honing their skills, companies and business leaders focused on long term business objectives and employee retention. Organizations used to understand that the true value of any company is with the knowledge and dedication of the employee and work-staff. Companies planned strategic objectives years in advance and adjusted according to ongoing business demands. They utilized the skills and experience of their dedicated employees and business partners to make a profit in a highly competitive free marketplace.


Now, not so much. Experience and years of training are ignored for the sake of cheap local and off-shore workers who hardly understand a free market business environment. Barely able to speak English, offshore workers toil away, cranking out systems and processes with little or no quality assurance, security or readable documentation. There is a dramatic lack of oversight, testing and validation with systems developed and deployed outside of the USA. National security it appears is not an issue, just a quick deliverable that will function cheaply and garner the highest profit margin; or so companies believe.


Systems and security fail constantly. Operating systems are riddled with holes and are constantly compromised by hackers. Financial systems and Government systems are constantly being penetrated by thieves, foreign enemies and who knows who. Systems that used to be stable are now constantly failing, causing dramatic business losses (both financial and customer confidence). Few are actually reported or made public due to publicity factors and companies not wanting to appear as vulnerable as they really are.


Could these failure prone systems be the result of development by inexperienced, untrained and under-qualified workers? Could the failures of business systems have been prevented or otherwise losses mitigated by having had more experienced professionals involved with their development, validation and implementation? Could utilization of complex systems be implemented more cost effectively and more profitably by experienced professionals who have 'been there and done that' before?


There is a phrase, “Pay me now, or pay me later” that companies should heed. Unfortunately, because of high 'management' turnover, the managers responsible for the choice, selection, budget and staffing of large corporate systems very often don't stick around for the end result of months/years long implementation projects. They 'cash out' before the true results and returns can be measured accurately. Oftentimes, the individuals responsible for longer term failures have gone on to infect other companies before the end result of their project failures can be linked to them.


Information Technology has just been a business requirement for 50 years or so. There are many experienced business technologists who have been actively in the business for almost that long. Now that is experience! Yet, are they valued? Do they teach on campuses or universities? Again, not so much as they don't have advanced degrees or tenure with educational institutions; just decades of experience!

These highly skilled professionals are forced to take 'early retirement' due to lack of work. Our high schools and colleges crank out 'students' who have difficulty with reading, math and science. The USA is being quickly surpassed by educational systems of competing countries who value experience, training and technology. We are squandering our experienced professional resources by not utilizing them in education, business training and professional career building.


It may be time to switch professions. With longevity quickly approaching and surpassing 100 years, there is ample time for experienced professionals to develop new careers. Utilizing their decades of experience and wishing to see a more personally rewarding way of life, there are alternatives to be pursued. Some may not be as lucrative as past roles, but are certain to be more rewarding. Semi-retired seems to have a 'nice ring' to it.


Past hobbies or interests are now becoming new career paths. Combining avid interest with diverse experience, many professionals can now seek independent work in areas of environment, energy, technology, music, cooking and a host of other areas. Many individuals and small businesses still value experience and professionalism. It is unfortunate the the larger corporate business community does not.


Some will seek new careers because of financial need, while others to find meaningful work. Collect Social Security (well earned and paid for); develop an alternative 'semi-retirement' professional career. Enjoy another 50 years of life while working at a new rewarding career!


Visit our NewTimers4Life Site to get a new lease on Life!

Live Long and Prosper!