Is It Time to Get Out of IT?


IT pros continue to gripe about the career landscape. Going out on your own is one option. But how easy is it? We've been writing a lot lately on IT careers. Most of it hasn't been very cheery.

Take this analysis of the current IT job market, and what it means for IT pros. The gist is that so many factors are in play, but most of them don't portend well for the U.S. IT worker's future.

An anonymous reader responds with this:

I left IT some years ago and, while a scary decision at the time, has turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. I'm finishing med school next year and can't wait to (re)start in a truly professional career.

I pity those of my friends that remained in IT—unfortunately most have ended on the scrapheap with very poor prospects for their futures. They and theirs have suffered terribly.

So, no matter what age/stage you are, LEAVE and don't look back.

We've heard that before. Ellen, a self-described "C-level IT manager," had this to say to our blog post about the disconnect around government IT jobs data and the realities of those in the field:

My advice is if you are young, get out of IT. My son is finishing engineering at university and I have actively discouraged him from going anywhere near IT. There are better options.

If you are older, like me, well you just have to hunker down and survive while recognizing that the industry the U.S. created is now going elsewhere and soon the U.S. will slip behind (though I doubt whether there will be much innovation offshore).

So what's a techie to do?

Noam Wasserman, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, touches on one potential choice: leaving the corporate ship and set out on your own.

That decision can be rife with trouble, particularly if corporate workers wait too long, he explains. Simply put, delaying an entrepreneurial shift can leave you too comfortable with a big-company infrastructure. And that won't bode well for your new enterprise.

While his piece doesn't focus specifically on IT pros, the lessons are the same.

With so many IT pros griping about their careers, is entrepreneurship an option many are considering?


9 Comments for "Is It Time to Get Out of IT?"

  • Vijay August 26, 2013 11:38 pm

    Doug, thanks for your coemmnt and linking to your original report. Gartner has been leading this discussion for quite a while now, and we’re increasingly seeing the reality of the 3V’s with our customers.

  • Sean Price October 19, 2011 7:59 pm

    2 years later(after this article) and IT seems to be the only "booming" industry after the recession..and even now as we head into what looks like a double dip recession.... so what say you now? looks like IT is and will always be around, right? oNe

  • HC September 29, 2011 11:08 am

    Hi Lost Lamb, I'm also a IT professional of 12 years and I've just been made redundant from the big corporate world. I also felt like I was banging my head off a brick wall. I paid thousands for my accreditations and certificates and where did it get me? - nowhere!! Like many I sat behind a desk every day or freezing cold in a data centre dreaming of another life, and thinking surely life wasn't meant to be this dull. Like you I'm thinking of the great outdoors and training in something within the natural environment - and running like hell from anything technical. I see you posted over 2 years ago. I'd love to hear from you again and how you got on with your new direction. Thanks HC

  • Lost Lamb February 20, 2009 12:13 pm

    I am planning to exit IT. I have been in the industry for 12 years and have lost faith in it. I am a professional, I have professional certifications, a 4.0 degree and a broad range of experience. The financial rewards are too low and do not adequately compensate for the time, personal energy and investment that you have to make into your career, your continuing education and future life plans. High level decision making in IT hardly ever makes any sense, so I get very frustrated with being unable to do the right thing. I feel trapped and unable to innovate, always having to meet excessive demands with inadequate resources. The creativity side is almost non-existent. I am thinking of re-training into working within the natural environment so I can experience more of life's real riches.

  • Joe Dobson October 16, 2008 2:42 pm

    IT runs just about everything in the U.S. Given this factoid, it is strange that the industry does not want to spend any money on such a critical function. I envision a situation where the offshore providers will not be able to communicate with the systems -- either willingly or unwillingly. Everything in the U.S. grinds to a halt. Why? Because we will have no local talent to manage and support the systems. Finally Wall Street's computers will crash and then maybe we will see some investment in IT. By then it will be too late, the U.S. will be a fourth-world country. My nephew wanted to go for IT. Given my experience I convinced him to go into a totally different profession. The heartburn is not worth it. Given Wall Street's love of money (LOL), it is better to take up something like plumbing rather than go into engineering or similar professions. After all it is difficult to outsource plumbing and my plumber makes a lot more than I do.

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