There might be another thread like this. I actually looked, but couldn't find one. That might be because I didn't look well enough. If there is a thread like this on the board already, please consider this a request for and update, a thread for 2011 - ?, something like Desktop Wallpapers 1, 2, and son on.
Pretty much every other field is saturated. It's even beginning to be difficult to find good work as a math/science teacher, and that was always one of the easy fall-backs, because there was always a math/science teacher shortage. Not anymore. Well, to qualify it a bit for Cremlian, who loves to dispute me, I'll just say that it's harder now than ever to find work as a teacher - even though it's still POSSIBLE - it's just harder. Also, with all due respect to GreatTeacherMacRoss, who would want to be a teacher? I have taught on and off at the high school and college levels at different points in my life, and rarely found it very rewarding.
Oh - this is info from a family member and other people who work in a state Dep of Ed, issuing teaching certificates. They say that there has been a FLIGHT of people from every walk of life (including all the unemployed from 2008 onwards), getting qualifications from quick programs designed to get a person ready for a teacher's certificate in one year, to online schools like University of Phoenix, and pretty much saturating the field. They say the only area left that looks safe for now is Special Ed.
Even things like nursing and healthcare seem to be drying up. I talked to a recent pharmacy grad a few weeks ago who said he really regretted going to Pharmacy School, because jobs for new Pharmacists are hard to get, and will be getting even more difficult to get in the future, because of automation and the whole "mail-order" pharmacy thing. He works at a Rite-Aid, says he hates his job, and that they're really pressuring him
to get more flu shot training because that's what they really need. He said, "If I wanted to give flu shots for a living, I could have gotten that type of certification in six months right after high school. I don't want to be a glorified phlebotomist."
I saw a few weeks ago an online school that said it could qualify a person to be a nurse. How could you do that online? Wouldn't you need to actually see some real-life stuff first? I know, I know - you don't have to tell me - they probably have some sort of set-up where the student nurses get to have at least some real-life experience, but the question is really meant to be rhetorical, farcical.
So: What's it like in IT/CS land? What's the best degree to get? Do you need an MS? A PhD? I know someone will answer, "It all depends on what you want to do"
My response to that is, I just want to know what area is the best, the hottest (by that I mean not necessarily the most glamourous - just something that imparts a skill that people need NOW, will always need, and will never be able to obtain from our friends overseas), the one that's not going to be saturated, the one that will be safest from outsourcing.
I know an IT person who told me recently that outsourcing was giving the industry some problems. However, he said that if you could get your security clearance, you'd be golden for a job in government, like Homeland or NSA or some such. Does that sound right?
The "It all depends on what you want to do" answer is fine and all, but for me (actually - I'm still employed, but I'm beginning to seriously think about jumping ship, because the state of employment in law sucks right now. Employers are starting to ask for people to work without pay.
Why? Because they can. There's an army of unemployed lawyers and new grads being licensed every year. The newer people will actually do actual work (not volunteer or pro bono) for free, just for experience. Now that employers know that, why would they pay for someone to do a legal job? You have a few years of experience? Well, I'm looking at a resume right here from a kid who went to a T10 school, was at the top of his class, was the editor of the law review, and who wants to do the job you can do for free. That, by the way, means I won't have to pay for all kinds of other things, like unemployment insurance, health benefits, and so on. Also, I can call him an independent contractor and fire him at a moment's notice. Your experience doesn't mean jack compared to all that, since I'm one of those corporate - always thinking in the short-term guys.), what I want to do is read a nice book by the fireside and maybe play a pinball game every now and then. Sadly, few people will pay for that.
NOTE - Except maybe this guy, who managed to con UMBC into paying him to teach ENG 243, Currents in American Literature. Here's the Course Description:
A look at comics and graphic novels from the 1930s to the present, with readings covering classic superheroes like Superman, Batman and Spider-Man as well as critically acclaimed works like Maus, Watchmen, Strangers in Paradise and Persepolis.
His class is held after work hours, so I actually went to it a couple of times - they actually discuss comics like Watchmen
, The Walking Dead
, Sin City
, and so on. How much would you love to have that job? The only problem is that he has it as an adjunct, not a full-time faculty member, so they probably pay him a couple of thousand dollars a semester. Also, the chance of getting a job like that are about like the chances of gaining the ability to turn things you touch into gold. I'm very happy for this guy's good fortune, but I don't think that many other people can reasonably expect to duplicate it.
Seriously, as long as you can code in a competent manner and know what the fuck you are doing, you can get a job in pretty much any tech sector.
And yes indeed the job market sucks. Really really bad.
One doesn't need any specific degree to work in IT land, unless one wants to teach. Demonstrated mastery of skills is the hot ticket, which yeah sometimes a degree helps with but it's not the only route.
Plus, in the circles I travel in, there's a a fairly desperate need for people with demonstrated CS skills (including but not limited to programming, and probably preferring people with CS or computer engineering degrees), who are US citizens and can pass the various criteria for secure access to national laboratories. The US isn't producing many CS degrees among its own citizens right now (note that I'm not commenting on whether this is good or bad, just true), and it's created one of the few places where recruiters are still jumping on new graduates pretty intensely.
You don't need a degree to get into this field. It doesn't hurt, and it can move you ahead, but all that really matters is that you can do it. If you can actually get the job done, someone will hire you with or without a piece of paper from an academic institution. If you learn on your own, and you actually produce results on your own, you can easily get hired. And if you produce an actual product you might be working for yourself, or getting bought instead of trying to get hired.
Also, designers and front-end people are just as in demand as developers. If you can make actual modern beautiful web sites or guis, or mobile guis, you can demand a lot of money on the job market.
Also, related to this, Emily does these Japanese lessons where she Skypes with a tutor one-on-one in Japan once a week. I was wondering if anyone would be willing to pay for me to tutor them one-on-one in computers once a week. Do you think anyone would actually want that? Perhaps it's not the best model for learning programming as opposed to learning a language.
co-worker - "What, something is already wired to this equipment? Hmmm... My order says to use this equipment so what's here must be an old no longer working service so I'll... just... rip it out and run my order!"
me (2 hours later) - "What, a circuit is down? Let me check... This isn't right... Oh, records screw up... Who the fuck did this shit without investigating???"
The other day I did some worker but didn't sign it off 100% in the system. Someone else got the work assignment because I was off in the morning and they redid EVERYTHING I did. Never once curious as to why all the equipment was already properly wired up. When I got in later I asked them to reassign it to me because it was done and they had already signed it off and proceeded to bitch at me because they did the work I had already done! It never dawned on them to stop and figure out why the wires were already in place???
Yeah.. I work with a lot of idiots. Don't know if idiots can still get jobs but as long as they know just enough to appear useful (or have lots of seniority) they can at least keep their jobs.
All right, rant over.
Oh yeah, don't go into telecom. There are no new telecom jobs and the industry is constantly shedding jobs.
Know your clearance, citizen! It could save your life.
I dont have a degree, and i managed to work my way up to senior software engineer pretty easily. But i did meander between majors for 7 years...
If you don't have a degree, how do you show that you have the skills you claim to have? Internet rep?
@Scott - Yes, I would pay for Skype tutoring. It wouldn't even need to be hourly. Right now, I just sometimes have some specific questions about Python syntax. How much are you wanting, though? I can't pay a billion gazillion dollars an hour.
Speaking of Python - I know this has been spoken of many times before, but could someone point me to a place (I've looked - and some of the places on the web I've found, I don't trust so much) that could show me how (taking into account that I'm very new to actually doing anything with computers other than to use Word) to safely partition a laptop so that it has Linux?
@Dave - At this point, just be grateful that your girlfriend can get a job in doc review. Most of that work has either gone overseas or requires demonstrated fluency in a foreign language. Actually, all of it could be automated now, but law firms don't want to do that for two reasons: partly because they are inherently untrusting and risk-averse, so they don't trust the tech, but mostly because, law is all about billable hours - if the firm can claim to have live people reading docs, even if the live people are in India, they can charge the client $$$$$ many times over for many human workers for many, many hours. If software reviewed the entire doc list in ten seconds and made zero errors, well, where's the benefit in that? How am I going to charge Amex $$$$$$ for ten seconds of work?
Also, I feel like there will be an increasing demand for people who have skills and can code. For every pharmaceutical job that will replaced by automation, there will be a few more job openings for people with experience in both fields. I know someone who did not go to college after high school, and instead got a job installing HVaC systems in new buildings. After a year of hard work, someone asked him to learn some form of BASIC that needs to be configured in every building. They paid for training (which all of the other workers were reluctant to take), and now he's got some serious job security and a solid salary.
Finally, HungryJoe, what is the market for computers and technology educators? Are they in demand, or is that position being fulfilled by this flood of wannabes?
To clarify the last point. I say "I have a, b and c, and I need to do x, y, and z. I don't know what tools I need to connect these."
I get a reply saying "That's easy, just do k, l, and m, and you'll be fine."
I don't have a fucking clue what k, l, and m have to do with anything I asked, but the person I want to help me exists on such a high nerd plane of existence that they think listing obscure technologies and assuming everyone can run their machine exclusively via terminal is the right way to go about it.
No. Assume I know nothing. Assume I can learn everything you can teach, but assume I'm starting at such a low level it is embarrassing. Don't assume it is easy for me to google this or that, as with obscure subjects google brings up forum posts that are so full of jargon they might as well be in a different subject.
So it's really hard to find someone who I can say "I will pay you Ã¢Â‚Â¬1000, and you provide me with a complete solution and teach me how to use it." It's tricky to even find someone who will give me a quote. I say "How much?" and they say "What is your budget?" Does it matter what my budget might be? If you are a professional you'll immediately give me an answer, and I'll either say yes or no or try to make a deal.
This rant isn't about teaching programming, as you can see. I just have trouble working with nerds.
1) Are people actually seriously going to pay me moneys for this, or are they just saying it, but not actually willing to commit?
2) I think I have to narrow the focus and specifically offer one or two things. Probably programming, emphasis on Python, and *nix administration.
3) I know how I want to teach things, but it might not be what people want. Would they be upset and quit on me if I teach the material I want to teach the way I want to teach it as opposed to jumping right into the good stuff they want to learn? I mean, they are theoretically paying real moneys.
4) Need to setup some sort of go to meeting or other collaborative screen-sharing software to go with the Skype. However, I want it to be secure and not put my computer at risk. Maybe use Amazon Web Services?
5) I know a lot about computers, but nothing about teaching. I think what would naturally happen is I would teach like I do panels at conventions. The main difference would be that there would be constant Q&A, and interactivity. Do I need to come up with lessons and homework and shit?
6) Other than my ability to ask questions and help directly, what can I really offer that the MIT Open Courseware or books can not offer?
7) I need guinea pigs. Anyone want to schedule some free learning? Anyone got an hour early Sunday morning (before footballs) eastern time?
2) I have zero interest in *nix admin, but python is a great place to focus.
3) Personally I would want to say what kind of things I want to do, and then you teach any concepts and material that you want, as long as it is one step towards the goal. It doesn't matter how long it takes to get to that final project completed, as long as it feels like it is moving forward. When learning German, I make most progress when I've got a project to work on, and lectures at the pace and topic of the teacher didn't always work. I don't want to learn how to talk about clothes and cars, I want to talk about juggling in my show.
4) No idea.
5) Probably best to prerecord a 10 minute lecture type thing, get the student to watch it, and then have the same material in front of you when you go through it with the student. Maybe they have no questions, and want to build on what they already know. Maybe they want to break it apart bit by bit.
6) Offer to work at the level and speed of your student. My last classroom learning experience was full of some people who were bored by the slow speed, and others who couldn't keep up. A set of lectures like MIT course is fine, but I watched the first one, it took an hour, and I learned very little. How many more hours will I need to watch before I really start learning? No idea. Maybe there will be 2 minutes of crucial stuff in an hour, but I'd phased out by that point and missed it.
7) I'd be up for it, but I don't have a lot of free time when you also have free time, due to work and time zone issues.