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Career in IT is it possible anymore?

 
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Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

...the compensation is excellent.
Most universities have generous benefits (especially with 401ks and tuition assistance). They also give you access to campus resources (including gym, pool, groups with which to network). Typically they offer great vacation, many holidays, and a 40 hour work week. The pressure felt in most companies is unheard of in the ivory tower.
Per unit of work, its hard to beat a university. But if you evaluate only in terms dollars at the end of the day, then they're only medicore.
--Mark


I worked at university for several years, mostly in academic field. Pressure was absolutely unbearable. No kidding. Jerks are common in university settings. Some people are ok though but a little bit cranky: rat race won't let go for a second. Of course it depends on a particular university. For example, Northwestern university in Chicago is considered to be human-friendlier than University of Chicago. Some people who moved from UoC to univerities in South or North Carolina, feel like they are already in their golden retirment days so relaxing atmosphere can be in those regions.
Probably I was not quite correct salary-wise for computer-people. They are paid much better than science people who are living mostly on grants. So, salaries for programmers are not that bad but still lower than in companies. Of course it is compensated with a lot of sick days, persnal holidays etc. It's ok with me. I sense that it easier for me to put my foot into university especially that i know very well such as UoC. There is also a possibility to stalk somebody and skip hr guardians. I am not very good at it though. OK, I had an interview for very very junior web part-time developer posision ($11-12 per hr) and we liked each other and stuff and itlooked very well but boss, whom I haven't seen, even did not give this pitiful money because in summer work is very slow. I even could start to write front-end for them for free (they are still using filemaker) but they kicked me saying that they will "keep me in mind". This episode is very dicouraging, is it not?
Well, will try to find any breaches in the university's stronghold...
Gotta be optimistic.
 
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Originally posted by Svetlana Koshkina:

I worked at university for several years, mostly in academic field. Pressure was absolutely unbearable. No kidding.


What were you doing that had so much pressure? I've never heard of any high-pressure staff position. Faculty are under pressure for publish, and may turn up the heat on their research staffs, but for staff positions, it's generally pretty laid back (your milage may vary).

Originally posted by Svetlana Koshkina:

Jerks are common in university settings.


Jerks are commoin everywhere. Realistically, because academia has tenure there's an overall longevity to people, even in non-tenrue positions. Office politics tend to brood for decades, making them much more ingrained and ferocious.
--Mark
 
Svetlana Koshkina
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I did a lot of experiments . Deadlines were very tight. Many times protocols were undeveloped.
Bosses are stomping their feet from frustration and go over their heads to get you to overwork significantly and can even yell. I had one such boss and watched a lot of other. As I say, burden of responsibilities is very heavy.
A lot of experiments are very expensive. If anything goes wrong all heads turn to you as a main saboteur of the lab. Some experiments are very prone to mistakes because of many steps you need to finish. Some experiments are very comlex and last for weeks. If at the end it did not come out the way boss wanted it you are quickly go on his/her bad side and your life is pretty much as hell.
I had one coworker who suffered from borderline personality disorder and was our boss's favorite. She traumatized our whole team by snitching on us, offending everybody etc. The boss was largely blind. Now when I talk about it I am getting angry. And to add to it all, salary is laughable.
Nothing even to to talk about. With this kind of qualification required to do this job. It's why only at UoC website about 40 announcements for position of research technologist. Thank you, was there, done that. I know the day I appear on this market, those employesr will tear me to pieces trying to lure me to work for them. As soon as they hear that there is research tech lying around available, they prick they ears and follow the smell.
But once you got into the lab
No lay-back attitude. Even close. Plus ocean of radioactive stuff and rats waiting to be killed - one of the reason I do not want to continue this career. I don't oppose to using animals in med. experiments, but I don't want to do it. It is not why I went to biology when I was young and stupid.
 
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Yes, it's what I'm trying to do. I am also scouring universities. Usually university's pay sucks but looks good on a resume and sometimes unis are having difficulties in attracting bearded programming folks because of this salary policy.


Keep on trying, that is all that I can say. The period from 1999-2000 was an exceptionally easy time to enter the profession, and I cannot honestly predict a return to that state for several years. But things will improve (and indeed are improving right now).
Last Friday I interviewed with a smallish consultantcy located in the City (London financial district). They have about 40 developers now and are looking to add 30 more over the next 6 months! This is solid, not blue-sky demand. The MD told me that he could hire 25 right now and still have no inactive people!
So demand is picking up at least in the City. I've also had feelers from a largeish mobile phone corporation and from an inventory control package vendor located in Wiltshire (near Bath). All good solid Java/J2ee senior development positions! No boom, but a definite quickening in demand, I think.
The problem is that you will not see this for a while, because the first people hired will be those with experience and long skills lists. People like Tim Holloway and myself. So I can only recommend that you take the path I took when I was in your shoes. Seek out the marginal jobs. Look at university bulletin boards for largely unadvertised jobs.
Call up your friends and colleagues you know and ask whether there is a coding job you can fill. The pay has to be enough to meet minimal living costs. Take what you have to, and get that year or two of experience! That will open the doors further for you.
[ July 16, 2003: Message edited by: Alfred Neumann ]
 
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Hi,
I am not so sure. The way he chewed them out, I afraid after a few screening process by HR links to here and you know what.
Regards,
MCao
 
With a little knowledge, a cast iron skillet is non-stick and lasts a lifetime.
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