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Job Opportunities in IT

  1. Sep 28, 2011 #1
    I have a son who is an Oracle data-base designer. He tells me that there is virtually no unemployment for Americans who have IT (Information Technology) skills. He has talked with many firms that do placement in the IT field, and they maintain that they can go more than a year without getting a resume from an American. Virtually all such job-seekers are Asian.

    Americans are in demand for their language skills. It is not enough for a technician to simply fix a problem. The company wants a report as to what the problem was, how it came about, how it was fixed, and what can be done to ensure that the problem won't reoccur in the future. This requires that the report be written in readable English. Many Asian technicians are whizzes at fixing problems, but less competent in writing readable reports in English.

    My son maintains that a simple BA in IT is all that is necessary to get employed. This assumes, of course, that: You have no major health problems, no criminal record, and no offensive personality quirks.

    It's worth thinking about. By the way, he works in southeastern Michigan.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 28, 2011 #2
    Interestingly enough my son is an Oracle data-base designer and he suggest that the company seems to be doing pretty well. There is a lot of work waiting.
  4. Sep 28, 2011 #3
    Yes, I know a lot of people who have IT degrees, many without any other credentials, and they seem to have no trouble finding jobs.
  5. Sep 28, 2011 #4


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    I reported on the very same thing in one of my threads the other day, https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=3516214&postcount=64".
    You can add careers in Finance and Medical Assistant to the list as well.

    Rhody... :smile:
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  6. Sep 28, 2011 #5
    That's a factor, but it's not the biggest factor in Texas and California. The biggest factor is that a lot of the high technology employers are in defense, and you need to be a US citizen to get security clearances. It doesn't matter how good an IT worker you are. If you are a Chinese national, the US military is just not going to let you work on the latest high performance fighters. One other good thing about defense jobs, is that they are basically non-outsourcable. It doesn't matter how much cheaper, you don't want crucial military parts made in China or India.

    The reason this is worrisome is that if we have start having massive cuts in defense spending that are being proposed, then the employment situation changes a lot.

    One thing about writing is that it's easier to learn to write without an accent than it is to speak without an accent. Also, in the case of Chinese, the situation changing very rapidly. What happened was that starting in the 1990's, English extremely important in China, so you had a lot of parents start sending their kids to English preschools. Those kids are now graduating college, and I've been seeing increasing numbers of Chinese with near-native levels of English.

    Something that is happening however is that fewer Chinese with technical skills are interested in moving to the United States because there are a ton of jobs in China. One other factor is currency. Chinese currency has been rising versus the US dollar and that increases salaries in China.

    In the case of people from India, English is even less of a problem since English is the defacto language among the educated there.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  7. Sep 28, 2011 #6
    The problem with this sort of information is that it tells you the job prospects right now. It doesn't tell you the job prospects in four years. If you have a major in the lucky field *right now* you win. If you decide to major in that field, then there is a good chance that everyone will go into that field, and you'll end up with a glut.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  8. Sep 29, 2011 #7


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    I agree with your point, up to a point. In the near future it will be more complex than that, I don't remember the video link that I watched that I believe that dlgoff posted in another thread about this. When I have more time I will find it and repost.

    In essence, it said that in the near future, by the time a student graduates with a technical degree, almost all if not all of the knowledge gained will be obsolete. If this predicted trend becomes reality, I suggest we need to re-examine when, how and how much education and of what type(s) are needed for people providing the foundation and skillset(s) needed to address the technological explosion that is happening at an ever increasing rate before our very eyes.

  9. Sep 29, 2011 #8
    That emphasizes certain types of knowledge and not others. For example if you want to teach computer programming, you don't want to teach a particular computer language, but rather general programming skills that will be applicable across a lot of different computers languages.

    Also math doesn't change much. The rules of math are the same today as they were 10 billion years ago, so if you learn how to do math, you can use them for different things, but the rules are the same. Also people haven't changed a lot over the last ten thousand years. One thing that has helped me a lot job-wise is to have studied a lot of history.

    One of the bad things that happened to American education happened around 1880 when someone got the idea that not requiring people to study Latin and Greek was a good idea. The fact that I studied Latin helped be a huge amount because I could read Cicero and Catullus, learn the history of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire and think about what it means to today's problems.

    This has relevance to undergraduate education. One very bad trend is that people are thinking of majors as lottery tickets. What do I major in, because if I choose the right numbers in the lottery, I'll win, and if I choose the wrong numbers then I'll lose. The trouble with this is that most people lose at a lottery. It's better to try to get a strong classical education, so that you can deal with whatever history throws at you. The internet makes this easier. With a few google key words, you can download Plato's Republic and the complete works of Thucycides.

    It's important to do this because the goal of a classical liberal arts education is so that you can live as a free man, and do what you can to change your environment. If you just learn what you need so that you can beg for more powerful people to give you want they are willing to give you, you shouldn't be surprised when they act in their interests and not in yours.

    This sounds like a committee meeting and I hate committees.

    People will disagree and if you have to get people to agree on what needs to be taught, you are going to be trapped in a committee room for months if not years. It's really a painful waste of time.

    It's faster and efficient if you figure out for yourself what you need to learn, and then go on the internet to find it. Just one place to start. If you haven't read the "History of the Peloponnesian War" go online right now and read that.
  10. Sep 30, 2011 #9


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    Does putting the responsibility directly back on the individual work for you then ? That was my original intent, although poorly worded.
    You make a valid point, not all of you educational experience should be geared toward the "technological de jour of the moment". There are subjects that make a person more well rounded and serve them well in as you refer to it, "and think about what it means to today's problems".

  11. Sep 30, 2011 #10
    It's in some ways an irrelevant discussion. Suppose we decide something is good or bad. Now what? Why does it matter whose responsibility it is?

    One other point is that if you put responsibility on the individual, then you have to ask the question how does that individual make decisions. In my case, I was lucky to have good parents and teachers.
  12. Oct 2, 2011 #11
    IT is nice for young kids, but not for the older professional. Basically, for a lot of people it is a field you need to get out of when your forty (not true for everyone, of course.)

    It isn't like chemistry where I expect that the more years you work, the more productive you become because of added knowledge and experience. The older people just get slower, though they might go to brighter pastures in the same field, like management, when they get old.

    That's also worth thinking about when you got kids. I personally would advise against it.
  13. Oct 3, 2011 #12
    When people say things like this, I'm sure they're correct in a way, but I'm not sure they're saying things that are terribly relevant.

    During my time in computer science, I've taken courses in fields like data structures, operating systems, computer architecture, etc. The courses were all very general and abstract focusing on problems like race conditions, pipelining, etc. I feel like a major principle I've learned during my computer science degree is this idea of abstraction and dealing with problems in general first (figuring out what kind of things do you need to do to get a system off the ground and running), then talking about the specific details needed to handle aspects of the problems.

    I'm sure most university degree programs are like this as well. Most math majors I knew in my program joked about not seeing a number after there freshman year, but it's reflective of approach in thinking universities take. No one cares if you can compute a single answer, but if you know how to approach a problem regardless of the conditions presented.
  14. Oct 3, 2011 #13


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    To all,

    Watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gqw-n0uAOpA&list=PLB40027BA5F69C2F4&index=4", and then refute or reinforce what is presented. I hunted this video down. I can't say for sure if what is proposed will happen, however, the authors of the video claim it will. The gauntlet is being thrown at Great Britian, a wake up call if you will. In this context please construct your responses, although not directly stated in the video, the U.S. is potentially facing some of the same challenges.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
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