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26-04-2012, 13:15   #1
moycullen14
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Shortage of IT staff?

I-Sean O'Sullivan of Dragon's Den fame was on Morning Ireland saying we should allow unrestricted access to IT workers (suitably qualified) as a help to boosting the economy.

Now I know we are constantly been told that there is a shortage of IT workers but is this scheme going to help or is it that there is only a shortage of cheap IT workers?
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26-04-2012, 13:25   #2
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In my own experience, given the unwillingness of firms to provide to spend money on training to skill up and relying on workers to enrol in outside courses at their own expense, I'd say the cheap part is the operative word
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26-04-2012, 13:30   #3
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Very true, In Ireland it seems everyone wants you to have five years experience and work for 28k a year, I heard a great on today on the radio, CPL wanted Oracle Admins / Developers with five years experience. They must also have experience in MS SQL. Sybase, DB2 and Infomix. Not looking for much then.

IT it seems is turning into a race to the bottom in terms of pay where young graduates cannot get a step on the ladder as few organisations are willing to hire and train them up to a highly skilled level that is required.

Yet we don't see such behaviour in the other professions, I believe this is down to "business" professionals still seeing IT as a cost and not a business enabler / requirement.
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26-04-2012, 13:57   #4
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Very true, In Ireland it seems everyone wants you to have five years experience and work for 28k a year,
I think IT is not viewed as an engineering skillset. "Sure I know some html, how hard can it be to make another Amazon?" This is possibly due to the high level of skills coming from enthusiast programmers in the 90s who learnt their skills from the new frontiers of the 80s. In other words, they were interested in IT work because it was interesting and they not so pushy on the pay. So companies got used to that.

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I heard a great on today on the radio, CPL wanted Oracle Admins / Developers with five years experience. They must also have experience in MS SQL. Sybase, DB2 and Infomix. Not looking for much then.
Wow. What are they paying? Sod all I guess in comparison with any other discipline like engineering or financials. I know guys with Oracle/DB2/SQl/C#/.NET/VB/PHP etc experience for 10 years+ but unable to secure anything better than 40k on 3-6 month contract only.

Young people going into college seem to be smarter than I was and see where the limits lie. It's like the 2000s where the smartest engineers could go into Engineering and get 25k or go into finance in the US and get 250k. No brainer really.

If we'd all charged legal rates per hour for formatting a floppy disk back when you had to type "format a: /F:1440 /U /S" then we'd be much better off now
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26-04-2012, 14:02   #5
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Dose the IT industry have any unions ..?
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26-04-2012, 14:04   #6
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Dose the IT industry have any unions ..?
Not really. The problem is its become so large, with so many different disciplines, that its hard for one union, to be able to protect all its members.

Besides, I personally don't believe in the need for unions anymore.
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26-04-2012, 14:07   #7
moycullen14
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My definition of a shortage is that your phone would be hopping off the hook with offers (assuming you had the skills!).

I'm sort of looking for contract Java work at the moment and am a bit horrified at the response - especially from agents - calls not returned, no follow up, usually stuff. The first - indeed only - question seems to 'What's your rate?' To which the only answer is 'As much as possible'.

I'm not complaining about the difficulty in getting work - it just doesn't seem consistent with the '000's of unfilled vacancies' mantra that I hear in the media.

Maybe I shouldn't believe all that I hear on the radio? Doh!
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26-04-2012, 14:13   #8
syklops
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Originally Posted by moycullen14 View Post
My definition of a shortage is that your phone would be hopping off the hook with offers (assuming you had the skills!).

I'm sort of looking for contract Java work at the moment and am a bit horrified at the response - especially from agents - calls not returned, no follow up, usually stuff. The first - indeed only - question seems to 'What's your rate?' To which the only answer is 'As much as possible'.

I'm not complaining about the difficulty in getting work - it just doesn't seem consistent with the '000's of unfilled vacancies' mantra that I hear in the media.

Maybe I shouldn't believe all that I hear on the radio? Doh!
I think the shortage is in specific roles, not all IT roles. There was a time when every IT student learnt some level of Java so I would say there is no shortage of Java devs, but maybe they are looking for other skillsets.
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26-04-2012, 14:14   #9
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I've been hearing all about the shortage of IT staff for a long time now, and since I'm losing my job in a few weeks I've started searching and cant see where all the jobs are hiding!

I have been a few years in my current IT software development/support role and got no further training, every course I've done is at my own expense and I've been payed buttons essentially.

I'm willing to take an entry level position despite having 7+ years experience in different roles I picked up no extra training from employers along the way, so every job has requirements for certs that I cant meet, despite having years of "on the job" experience.

Catch 22.

Last edited by big_heart_on; 26-04-2012 at 14:34. Reason: Clarity
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26-04-2012, 14:23   #10
peter_dublin
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Originally Posted by moycullen14 View Post
My definition of a shortage is that your phone would be hopping off the hook with offers (assuming you had the skills!).

I'm sort of looking for contract Java work at the moment and am a bit horrified at the response - especially from agents - calls not returned, no follow up, usually stuff. The first - indeed only - question seems to 'What's your rate?' To which the only answer is 'As much as possible'.

I'm not complaining about the difficulty in getting work - it just doesn't seem consistent with the '000's of unfilled vacancies' mantra that I hear in the media.

Maybe I shouldn't believe all that I hear on the radio? Doh!
That's the nail on the head.. IT is a cost, your rate is a cost. In the eyes of the business world you are not a professional, sure don't you know you can now do your primary degree in say Archtecture and if it doesn't work out you can become a IT Professional by taking a one year transitional course under the jobs bridge scheme but strangely I can't seem to find the one year option to become an archchitech in one year or a structural engineer either.

Developement generally pays more I believe because you create wealth for the company against the staf in say a admin or support role. At a 3rd level I believe IT requires a restructuring so that we remove a lot of the generality from some IT degrees. Jack of all trades master of none comes to mind.

I have a BSC Hons in Computer Systems Management. Certs in Cisco, SAP, MS (OS specfic), ITIL and am taking a masters in Advanced Computer Networking with OU and I still get the responce about not having a specific still set at times. These guys want you to be a master in everything and that is not possibe.

As a programmer you specialise in Programming and sample several languages, in other IT degrees we need to move towards the same model I think, so instead of one module in Unix you should have several and instead of one or two in Networking (Which is normally C programming for a large part) you should be able to take a BSc in it which will provide the experts needed.

I once had the purchasing manager for a construction company tell me that he knew about IT because he bought three laptops. My response was I know about purchasing in a contruction enviroment because last week I bought a wheel barrow and shovel.

Last edited by peter_dublin; 26-04-2012 at 14:30.
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26-04-2012, 14:30   #11
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IT support is not the same as development. Also degrees+certs have little value compared to experience.
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26-04-2012, 14:32   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moycullen14 View Post
My definition of a shortage is that your phone would be hopping off the hook with offers (assuming you had the skills!).

I'm sort of looking for contract Java work at the moment and am a bit horrified at the response - especially from agents - calls not returned, no follow up, usually stuff. The first - indeed only - question seems to 'What's your rate?' To which the only answer is 'As much as possible'.

I'm not complaining about the difficulty in getting work - it just doesn't seem consistent with the '000's of unfilled vacancies' mantra that I hear in the media.

Maybe I shouldn't believe all that I hear on the radio? Doh!
I am constantly being hounded by agents and companys alike, happy where I am though.

This might be a little harsh but your experience with agents Could be(not saying it is) down to your skill set and experience. I wouldn't even think about contract work with anything less than 5-7 years under my belt.

The SDev community is also very small in Ireland(everyone knows everyone), It could also be that you have worked for the wrong place before without knowing it and people may think you've been tainted by bad practices from said place.

There is also Degree snobbery to contend with(more so if you are Junior), Many who are in a position to hire have notitions about which degrees are good and which are not worth the paper they are wrote upon. This opinion varies form person to person.

Ideally people should be hired on there own merits alone but unfortunatly, a fair few(not all) cases Irelands backward thinking culture will influence hiring decisions.


As has been stated already here though is Business people see IT as an expense not a company asset to be used to drive the Business. A smart few dont share this veiw and generally, their business is usually near the top in their market(funny that).

Unfortuantly the attitudes of the rest is what is driving this shortage with them Expecting 7+ years experience while only wishing to pay what would be graduate rates in any other less demnading field.

There is a shortage of IT people(read: idiots who don't understand their free market worth) who have vast amounts of desirable experience.

Likewise their is also a shortage to some degree of competant people as business are unwilling to invest in Grads / Juniors in order to make them competant in the skills that businesses require.

Colleges can only do so much.. it is up to businesses to take on the responsiblity of educating Graduates on the business in which they wish them to operate in.

</Novel>

Last edited by hobochris; 26-04-2012 at 14:36.
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26-04-2012, 14:39   #13
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IT support is not the same as development. Also degrees+certs have little value compared to experience.
Try telling HR that. Or an agency. Every decent job I ever got was when I happened to talk to a senior engineer directly.
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26-04-2012, 14:49   #14
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Most of the available roles seem to be in development. I did 6 months of development many years back and the area I'm in now is niche - there's not that many roles out there for me.

The idea that IT is full of empty roles is a bit of a false one - certain areas requiring certain skills sets have lots of demand for roles. It's almost impossible for me to get into these gaps now because in order to get the requisite experience you need the requisite experience...

There seems to be a bit of a blinkered attitude. Too many companies willing to let a role go fallow than up skill someone who has the basic groundings making it locked off for many IT people who might well be capable.
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26-04-2012, 14:52   #15
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IT it seems is turning into a race to the bottom in terms of pay where young graduates cannot get a step on the ladder as few organisations are willing to hire and train them up to a highly skilled level that is required.

Yet we don't see such behaviour in the other professions, I believe this is down to "business" professionals still seeing IT as a cost and not a business enabler / requirement.
I believe its more to do with over a decade of job hopping. IT staff in particular have a (well earned) reputation for joining a company, adding its various software / systems to their CV and then moving on to bigger and better paychecks within a year.

Not much incentive for a company to hire & train recent graduates.
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