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IT...A dying profession in US/Europe?

 
#1 IT...A dying profession in US/Europe?
19/05/2008 14:01

Anon

Hello everyone,

the last months or so I have taken an active interest in understanding the underlying factors of outsourcing and the general implications for business/society ("Outsourcing America" good book!).

I have to say that I am worried. Looking at what is happening in the US and the upcoming "IT Services" merger mania (HP/EDS - others like IBM, CG and the Indian players SWITCH may follow suit) I am wondering if I should prepare myself for a career change.

I have got a solid understanding of the system development lifecycle and project management experience (certified PMP..for whatever it is worth..), but can see already some worrying trends.

Contrary to the latest assurances that PMs will be needed in the UK and that "just" technical work will be outsourced, I have seen on many instances PMs from overseas (Mainly India - nothing against the people) coming to the UK for "Knowledge transfer" and then going back and taking over the project management. On some other instances companies find it more cost effective to bring someone here on a business visa for the whole duration of the project...Taken into consideration travel expenses, accomodation but Indian salaries it is cheaper to hire someone from India working in the UK rather then opting for a UK PM.....

The above is manifested also by some other trends. E&Y for example plans to create a single operating unit of 87 countries (FT article), in order to ensure that staff can move freely....

I can see that the next big wave will be in finance/financial services...so I was wondering if I should try to get a finance related qualification and jump onto that "Transformation" bandwagon or opt doing an MBA and change direction completely (No consultancy or banks, maybe own business/Not-for profit or industry)...

Is anyone of you chaps feeling similar about the aforementioned thoughts? What you intend to do...?

Or do you thing that I am panicking unnecessarily? Maybe it is because of the weak economy, which I personally think will collapse and we'll be in a recession till 2010..

Cheers

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#2 RE: IT...A dying profession in US/Europe?
19/05/2008 14:43

Anon to Anon (#1)

I think 90% of IT work will go overseas and also agree Fiancial Services will be the next thing to go overseas. The banks are firing in the West yet still hiring in the East. So I'm a bit concerned that there will be nothing left in the UK!

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#3 RE: IT...A dying profession in US/Europe?
19/05/2008 17:52

rollercoaster to Anon (#2)

The UK economy will bomb. the East economies are rising. Wait a few years and we will be outsourcing for the new global elite. Start writing the call centre guide to India now....

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#4 RE: IT...A dying profession in US/Europe?
20/05/2008 12:40

dutchconsultant.baywords.com to Anon (#2)

Offshoring (not Outsourcing!) Financial Services is not as easy/simple/straightforward as outsourcing IT (for example different (financial) regulations).

Also the driver for offshoring (better bang for the buck) might not be applicable. I have seen offshoring projects been reversed into onshoring again. A lot needs to happen before offshoring, let alone outsourcing, will make IT a dying profession in US/Europe (and in the meantime price (e.g. loan) will go up in those offshore countries).

To the original poster; unless you are crap at your current job you are panicking unnecessarily. About the recession prediction: basicly you are saying maybe some day soon we will be in a real recession and then it will be a bad period for maybe 1.5 years? Hardly a reason to change your career path unless there are other motives.

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#5 RE: IT...A dying profession in US/Europe?
20/05/2008 13:25

anon to dutchconsultant.baywords.com (#4)

I would say that salaries in the "IT profession" will definitely stagnate due to oversupply of labor. In the future I can see less rather than more people following an IT career path...in terms of recessions..even experts have difficulties to derive to a consensus on very simple things (When the recession kicked in - usually 2 consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth - How long it is going to last, etc). However, I would say that even when a recession lasts for 1-2 years, usually a "jobless" recovery follows (Economists call that "productivity adjustments") that lasts another 1-2 years.

I would not worry very much. There is no right career path as such. IT, Finance, HR, Supply Chain, Manufacturing processes are being offshored/outsourced. however, it would be hard to believe that there would be no need for good technologists in the UK. probably you would have to make sure to have client facing/sales experience, industry expertise etc

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#6 RE: IT...A dying profession in US/Europe?
20/05/2008 14:07

Nic to anon (#5)

Couple of thoughts:

* Offshoring is about gaining value from conducting 'repeatable' activities with cheaper resource ie people. There is actually a resonable cost to setting up an offshoring operation, and ROI only comes from running a succession of projects 'through the same mill'. Hence the need to be in the 'thinking/non repeatable end' of a problem ie client engagement, design, not the 'handle turning' end ie development, testing - although this is still a bit of a simplification.

* Finance moving overseas needs the same understanding; sure if you run a call centre operation renewing domestic insurance (and turning down customer claims!) this can more or less be done by a web service now - so why pay someone in the UK £12k pa, however at the 'deal end' its still about complex negotiations, track records, and importantly relationships - so I don't see how this can happen offshore for some time yet.

Happy to be challenged on this view though.

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