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.