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Is any IT job really secure?

 6:47 pm on Apr 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am trying to get into the world of IT especially website designing and I noticed that most jobs in london are more "Contract" based.

It does not really give much encouragement for future financial stability for an individual especially when it comes to purchasing your home etc. How do IT people really cope? The only usefulness of knowing IT is that perhaps you could start up your own business.

Surely, it must affect yourself esteem if you dont really have business initiative skills and need to work for a company of which their contract with another company is always brought into question about further renewal.

I would like some comments please

Flo from london.



 6:49 pm on Apr 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

If you're good at what you do and really skilled you'll have a job. The reason so much is so contracted is because when IT became the 'thing' and all those 'schools' opened to get you 'degrees' it degraded the industry technical people making it so the vast majority was not useful to companies.

I was at home on a weekday and all i saw on TV between the talkshows were advertisements for these 'colleges' which i've never heard of to get your degree to become a 'animationer' ;)

Paul in South Africa

 7:14 pm on Apr 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Maybe the title of the thread should read Is any job secure? I decided that working for a boss/company was not a good idea after being retrenched for the third time in four years about 15 years ago. I decided that if there was no security in being employed, I might as well take the risk and go on my own. It hasn't always been easy and to remain competitive you have to continually learn new skills, but I wouldn't change it for anything.


 12:01 am on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

"If you're good at what you do and really skilled you'll have a job"

I'm not convinced. As Flo pointed out, sometimes these things are influenced by external factors (Market demand, the skill of the sales/marketing team in the company you are in now (if you are in a delivery role), etc. I agree that "if you are good at what you do and really skilled" it improves your chances, however that is not enough, and sometimes that is not even the most important. What is sometimes more important are things such as your customer service, flexibility, commitment, how you work with customers or team mates, etc.

When it comes to contract vs permamnent, I don't think it really makes that much of a difference to job security in today's climate. If the company is doing well, and you do a good job, contracts get renewed. If the company is not doing well, then having a permanent job means nothing.

"...it must affect yourself esteem ..."
Before I had my own company, I never measured my self esteem based on the overall performance of the company I was working for; just based on my own performance. So if I or my team delivered high quality, and the customer was happy and we brought in lots of revenue, then I'd feel great. If I stuffed up and made a customer unhappy, I'd learn from it, try to fix it. But if the company was performing poorly because of stupid marketing strategies that I had no control over, no way would I let it affect my self esteem.



 12:25 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

In a word:


No additional comment necessary. If you think your job is secure your deluding yourself.


 12:27 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Some jobs are, but they are usually in a level of specialisation on the networking level, that they can explain why all Operating Systems are the same. And another thing they get paid ridiculous amounts of money - still.

Everybody underneath this is moving with the market forces that be.


 12:43 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

One problem with IT and website design and development in particular is the number of posers out there. Anybody can purchase a copy of FrontPage and suddenly delude themselves into thinking they can be website designers of the highest order simply by pointing and clicking.

I have had clients come to us with websites done for a six-pack of beer or simply for free because a brother in law or nephew told them it is so easy to make an excellent website. In looking at the code I just scrap everything and start over. Not to mention everything else that goes with a website such as SEO etc and etc.

Then there is the problem of so much work going overseas for 1/10th the pay and no benefits to asian programmers. Pretty hard to compete with that. I see the future of the american worker: it is living in mud huts like much of the rest of the world while the select few live in their mansions with overflowing bank accounts. Look around you. That is the basic trend over the last 25-years and it is only getting worse. These days, an excellent job in America often has barely a livable wage - and that is if you are a single person, never mind raising a family and buying a home. Did you know that right now 10% of Americans own 90% of the wealth? Its true!

Nope - If I were younger and just starting out I would not go into IT. You know what is hot? Its the medical field. With an aging population medical care will always be in growing demand. More importantly, it will be difficult to pimp out medical care to other countrys such as India or China or Mexico as happens to IT work. This means your medical related skills will always be in demand right here in the United States.


 5:33 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

What I am saying is IT is often a very difficult field to make a living at lately.


 12:40 am on Apr 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Did you know that right now 10% of Americans own 90% of the wealth? Its true!

How is this unusual? :)

I find there's a lot more security in working for a small but established company (they really depend on you and likely won't outsource overseas) than working for yourself or for a large corporation.

Frankly, I'm sick of working altogether.


 2:00 am on Apr 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm with Filipe, I just wasn't cut out to do work ;)

Seriously though... I think the discussions re "...the problem of so much work going overseas..." and "...the american worker ... living in mud huts..." is a bit out of place in this forum. Flo is describing her experiences in London, and my guess is Caine is from the UK too. I am from Sydney. Paul is from South Africa. I had a customer in the Philippines, an offshore outsourcer of software development, similar to the many Indian companies, and he has had to make a whole lot of his staff redundant. The down-turn in the economy is global, and is not limited to IT.



 2:46 am on Apr 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Gotta disagree with the "NO" crowd. Civil Service IT jobs are rare...but are VERY secure.


 5:48 am on Apr 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Civil Service IT jobs are rare...but are VERY secure"

As a career civil servant (27 years) I can confidently state that there is no longer any security in civil service. I have been forced to relocate to maintain a job 3 times in 5 years. I'm really getting too old for this. Ready to take a pension and do some contract work on the side for supplemental income.

NO job is secure, and no benefit package is guaranteed. But, if you are doing something that you enjoy, it is hard to consider it work. Choose your livelihood because you enjoy it, not because it offers wealth or security.



 6:56 am on Apr 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Success requires hard work. Better to enjoy and love the hard work you put in. Because once the money starts rollin' in, you get comfortable and may not want to be driven by other factors.


 8:30 am on Apr 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi Flo,

I'd been looking for web development/design work in London since January of this year, but didn't even get a look in for interviews until I started volunteering in the web department of an organisation. Once this practical experience was on my CV, I started getting interviews for every job I applied for. Now I've been offered a paid position. Volunteering shows commitment to the industry in uncertain times. Also, don't limit yourself to specific web DESIGN positions - try other roles that will give you a foot in the web door - such as web administrator, web editor, web marketer etc. Remember to check out the Guardian on Mondays and Thursdays, as well as online job sites eg Monster, Jobserve and Spring.

All the best,


 5:38 pm on Apr 21, 2003 (gmt 0)


Thanks for that comment. But can you tell me what sort of pay do they tend to pay webdesigners and/or web programmers. I understand that they dont earn as much as they used to.

Flo from London


 6:19 pm on Apr 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi Flo: Not sure specifically about web programmers/designers per se, but web managers/producers/editors/officers get anything from 20,000 to 30,000. The web officer who worked at my last job - a charity - was basically a web programmer and he earned 22,500. I saw an ad for Web Marketing Strategist offering 35,000. So, salaries are not much compared to 2 years ago, but they now seem to be in line with other non-web roles. Of course, web consultants probably earn 30,000+. Also, be aware that my salary knowledge is mainly based on the Public/SME/Education/NGO sectors - the private sector probably offers bigger salaries. Hope this helps. Best, O.


 6:33 pm on Apr 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi orissia

Thanks for that information.

Flo from London


 3:23 am on Apr 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

When i was doing interviews for developers etc, we where getting over 2000 applications for some jobs, the market is still horrible...

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