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Revisit the Job Market (US)

 
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Since the beginning of the spring, opportunities have increased drastically albeit from a very low (virtually near zero) base. I have received phone calls and e-mails from recruiters. The job requirements have also relaxed quite a lot. Occassionally, junior level positions appear.

Nonetheless, job openings, by and large, still typically demand around 5 years of experience. Some of them want at least 3 years of experience. According to my personal experience, it is still difficult to secure a junior position (with less than 2 years of experience).

On this forum, ranchers start talking about interviews and asking opinions about the offers that they recently received, which made me feel that I am left behind.

I do not know whether the recent hiring increase have exhausted the pool of unemployed but qualified and experienced developers quickly, or lots of people are still waiting and searching for employment. I would like to get a general feeling about the current job market.
 
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While the job market is looking up in the US at least (in Europe it's still down deep) that doesn't mean there are no experienced people without work.

Companies ask for 5+ years because they can, and offer junior pay for senior positions because they know they can get away with it.

Such is the market still, and likely will remain for a while yet as more and more experienced people are replaced with cheap labour from India.
 
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You are not let behind. At least you have me to step at your side.
I've been job-hunting for months and haven't got anything yet.
 
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Daniel, I don't know if this will make you feel any better, but in this market it's also easy to have too much experience.
 
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Well, I dont know how this would suit you but if you really want some work experience but dont mind living without the luxuries of a developed nation.. I would suggest you make a quick trip to B'lore. When I went there on vacation this year I was shocked to see the number of westerners I saw. When I used to work there 3 years ago the only foreigners used to be Russians who had gotten fed up with Russia and Arabs who had come there for an education. But today the place is filled with Americans and Europeans. Ofcourse, the infrastructure is unmistakably Indian but you can gain a quick year's worth of experience and return back to the US market.

Disclaimer: This isnt meant to trigger any offshoring / outsourcing debate but to simply provide a perspective the initial poster maynot have thought about.
 
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Hi,

I think you still can find employment in this period because some of the experiences people already and still create their startup businesses everyday. If you just learn how to walk the pavement and forget about the negativities people yap about startup, you could collect experiences here and there.


Do not ask for a handout. By that I meant do not ask for a job, learn to start from the operations side and work your ways into the development side or whatever suit your career goal at the moment.


The problem with majority American is that they have been ingrained or brainwashed since childhood such as get education, join the large corporation, and your life will be set. Your grandpa/grandma never have to deal with jobs offshore. They never deal the wonder of internet whether pro or con, internet is the major technology that change every facets of our lives. An interesting time.

Regards,
MCao
 
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Originally posted by Paul McKenna:
... you can gain a quick year's worth of experience and return back to the US market.



You mean that salaries have now risen to the point where a year's income can now buy a return ticket?

OK, forget the sarkiness. The current "ideal" hire in the U.S. has 3-5 years of experience. I.e., little enough to not be paid much but enough experience to be capable of functioning independently.

Of course, then they go and ruin it by demanding skills and product experiences that you wouldn't have if you'd been working in the field since 1940.


... Must .. resist .. sarcas.. OOOOH NOOOO!!!
 
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Originally posted by Paul McKenna:
But today the place is filled with Americans and Europeans. Ofcourse, the infrastructure is unmistakably Indian but you can gain a quick year's worth of experience and return back to the US market.

Disclaimer: This isnt meant to trigger any offshoring / outsourcing debate but to simply provide a perspective the initial poster maynot have thought about.



More than likely they are there to hand over off-shored projects. If you spot Aussies then it's a long-term trend.
 
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Originally posted by Helen Thomas:


More than likely they are there to hand over off-shored projects. If you spot Aussies then it's a long-term trend.



Not many care about Aussies anyways(let alone a long term trend that can be perceived out of it).
 
Kishore Dandu
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Originally posted by Paul McKenna:
Well, I dont know how this would suit you but if you really want some work experience but dont mind living without the luxuries of a developed nation.. I would suggest you make a quick trip to B'lore. When I went there on vacation this year I was shocked to see the number of westerners I saw. When I used to work there 3 years ago the only foreigners used to be Russians who had gotten fed up with Russia and Arabs who had come there for an education. But today the place is filled with Americans and Europeans. Ofcourse, the infrastructure is unmistakably Indian but you can gain a quick year's worth of experience and return back to the US market.

Disclaimer: This isnt meant to trigger any offshoring / outsourcing debate but to simply provide a perspective the initial poster maynot have thought about.



I second this idea. It will sure give much needed initial experience & can be great in the future if you want to pursue MBA or something along the lines.
 
Helen Thomas
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Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:


Not many care about Aussies anyways(let alone a long term trend that can be perceived out of it).



Don't care much about the Pacific region then ?
 
Paul McKenna
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Originally posted by Tim Holloway:
You mean that salaries have now risen to the point where a year's income can now buy a return ticket?



Lets assume you get a starting salary of 350,000 Rupees. A return ticket to the US costs Rs.60,000. Isnt that possible?
[ May 20, 2004: Message edited by: Paul McKenna ]
 
Daniel Gee
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Go to India to gain one year of hands-on experience is not going to get me anywhere. All the openings these days typically require about 3 years of experience.

A technical interview will not be scheduled if hiring party does not hear the number "3" from a candidate's mouth.

I can only claim 9 months to one year of experience although I am SCJP, SCWCD, SCEA (Part I) and WebSphere certified. I also had 5 years experience working in the mainframe environment using Fortran, ...., etc.

So far, I ran into only one hiring manager who really appreciated my education, training, adaptability, dynamism. He wanted to put me on a fast promotion track. Unfortunately, he did not have enough confidence in that I could obtain a "top secret" clearance. He backed off after he learned that I am a naturalized US citizen and I had been cleared only at the "secret" level.

Six months ago, I could not even dream about receiving so many phone calls from hiring parties. Should I be patient and continue to work on my personal projects because the economic recovery is still at its early stage? I panic when I see hiring picks up but have no idea about when my turn will come by.
[ June 02, 2004: Message edited by: Daniel Gee ]
 
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Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:


Not many care about Aussies anyways(let alone a long term trend that can be perceived out of it).



As an Aussie, I feel the need to say...Oh thanks mate.

Seriously, given that the post you replied to was obviously tongue-in-cheek, was there a need for this?

Don't mean to sound petty, but I had to ask.



--Tim
 
Daniel Gee
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Why people want to talk about lots of other things and do not address my concern?

Let me repeat:

Six months ago, I could not even dream about receiving so many phone calls from hiring parties. Should I be patient and continue to work on my personal projects because the economic recovery is still at its early stage? I panic when I see hiring picks up but have no idea about when my turn will come by.
 
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Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:


Not many care about Aussies anyways(let alone a long term trend that can be perceived out of it).



Dont know about that , but obviously they do about Australia, it must be one of the most preferred countries for migrating to India, and in fact in many other places.
 
Daniel Gee
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People just do not want to address my concerns.
 
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Well, speaking from my experience, the online job hunt is an exercise in futility for many folks...wasted hours drafting custom resumes, travelling to strange places to wait in line for an interview where you have to take a battery of tests, compete against countless other code monkies, and leave with a generally bad taste in your mouth and the parting salutation, don't call us, we'll call you. If you're lucky you can steal a handful of mints from the secretary's desk on the way out and give her your best, thanks for nothing grin.
Every job I've ever had, including my current career in software engineering, has been the result of networking--knowing the right people. Getting hired does not necessarily revolve around your experience. If you have talent, and you can market yourself effectively, headhunters will come after you. You just have to get out there and make yourself known.
 
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Originally posted by Daniel Gee:

Since the beginning of the spring, opportunities have increased drastically albeit from a very low (virtually near zero) base. I have received phone calls and e-mails from recruiters. The job requirements have also relaxed quite a lot. Occassionally, junior level positions appear.

Nonetheless, job openings, by and large, still typically demand around 5 years of experience. Some of them want at least 3 years of experience. According to my personal experience, it is still difficult to secure a junior position (with less than 2 years of experience).



It works from the top-down. Many of the most obviously qualified candidates (not always the best) get scooped up first. When they are not easily available (or too expensive) the lesson takes a little time to penetrate, then the 'requirements' get loosened.

Originally posted by Daniel Gee:

I do not know whether the recent hiring increase have exhausted the pool of unemployed but qualified and experienced developers quickly, or lots of people are still waiting and searching for employment. I would like to get a general feeling about the current job market.



Some of both, I think. Last week I was off the market (employed). This week I'm back on the market. But far from hopeless. Shaky finances at my ex-employer. I'm taking a week to solidify some valuable experience from my last project (Hibernate, Maven, Cruise Control) and then going out full-throttle. I expect to be out a month or so.

Lots of people are out there looking but it's far from as nasty as it was a year ago. I'd encourage you to keep on truckin'. It's a numbers game in part at this point. Look at it like you have a 10% chance to hit on any interview. Your job is to:

1) Generate as many interviews as you can.

2) Learn something from each interview and raise your chances at the next one.

Last year at the depths of the lousy market I went from few interviews to potching interviews to mediocre interviews to getting into the last 2-3 every time. Well, I landed two gigs that fell through during that time, but that was the general flow over my eight months down.

The learning is pretty key, I find. I usually have a good idea what went wrong when I walk out of an interview. That is if I didn't make the final cut. If I made the final cut it's a different story, I was good enough but lost a coin flip or something. Let's say I blew a servlet life cycle question (an actual example from an interview 14 months ago). Well I go out an learn it. In fact I did a serious review of Servlets generally at that point. The next time I did better but blew something else and then worked on that. And so it goes. I finally landed a real job which didn't fall through....
 
Tim Holloway
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Originally posted by Daniel Gee:
Why people want to talk about lots of other things and do not address my concern?

Let me repeat:

Six months ago, I could not even dream about receiving so many phone calls from hiring parties. Should I be patient and continue to work on my personal projects because the economic recovery is still at its early stage? I panic when I see hiring picks up but have no idea about when my turn will come by.



I wouldn't sit around. I could be wrong, but I think that we're back to "normal" on hiring now. Barring some new tech-crazed fad.

I worked on personal projects AND tried to get hired. Eventually it paid off.
 
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Daniel Gee ---------------------------
Unfortunately, he did not have enough confidence in that I could obtain a "top secret" clearance. He backed off after he learned that I am a naturalized US citizen and I had been cleared only at the "secret" level.
------------------------------------

From your post, I understand that it is possible for a naturalized citizen to clear the 'secret level' but impossible (or almost impossible) to clear the 'top-secret' level. So what are the different levels of secret clearances and what do they mean?

Just a thought- can you apply for those levels yourself? Since the manager wanted to put you on a fast promotion track.

edit: Ok I got some answers from
here
[ June 03, 2004: Message edited by: Bhau Mhatre ]
 
Daniel Gee
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originally posted by Tim Holloway:
I think that we're back to "normal" on hiring now.



This is exactly what makes me worried now. All the openings these days typically require about 3 years of experience. A technical interview will not be scheduled if hiring party does not hear the number "3" from a candidate's mouth.

Will my turn eventually come when there are less and less developers in the market with 3 or more years of experience? Do I have reasons to panic?

Meanwhile, I keep studying and working on my personal projects.

Hi, Mumbai. Thanks for your concern. It is still possible for naturalized citizens to get cleared at the "top secret" level; however, the risk of failing to obtain one is relatively high if the person has families living overseas. Employers simply cannot afford this kind of risk.
 
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