DiceTV: There May Be A Shortage of Cyber Security Professionals

The good news: There may be more jobs in cyber-security than there are professionals to fill them. The challenge: It’s a new field that requires you to know a number of disciplines, and be familiar with some relatively new credentials. Watch our video, or click here for more.

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46 Responses to “DiceTV: There May Be A Shortage of Cyber Security Professionals”

January 14, 2010 at 9:03 am, Bill said:

What disturbs me is that Homeland Security doesn’t want you to apply if you’re 40 years or older. Why is the government allowed to perform age discrimination when hiring?

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January 21, 2010 at 12:10 am, Mark Feffer said:

We did some looking around, and it looks like the age restrictions apply to Customs/Border Protection Officers, though possibly other jobs as well). This might be because of the job’s physical requirements, but some federal law enforcement agencies also don’t hire above age 37 because of pension rules.

Here’s some documentation: http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/foia/chco_maximum%20age%20for%20appointment_md%20252-08.pdf

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January 21, 2010 at 12:19 am, Agatha Brew said:

i am sick and tired of competing with people in their retiement age. Please look for a part time job and allow the 20-30 group to work.Please allow us the
opportunity to grow like you have done. Govt is right
to limit the age group for Cyber Security.Please understand.

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January 21, 2010 at 12:24 am, Elizabeth Meyers said:

CJ has hit nail directly on head….Tara, you should be ashamed of yourself!! At 51, I am – and have been – a very dedicated employee with the knowledge and wisdom to realize that growth and experience is lifelong!! Physical demands are different then brain demands – and thank you CJ !!

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January 21, 2010 at 12:40 am, Gary said:

Interesting proposition on the age discrimination, and that is exactly what it is. Not all older people over 40 have an attitude against good ethical work practices, in fact I have personally witnessed the opposite of older workers where they usually practice better ethics and are more reliable, not including CEO’s of course.

If the government continues to discriminate against the older workers, then we need a government to represent us. Do the math science people.

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January 21, 2010 at 12:42 am, Marc McDonald said:

So if they don’t want to pay more for experienced workers, does that mean younger hires don’t have any hope for advancement/raises?

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January 21, 2010 at 1:45 am, S C said:

I’m somewhere in between. I’m 34, with a background in Electronics and RF Communications. I officially crossed into IT over 3 years ago, and have been going to college ever since. When I was first looking for my current position – the search took 18 months – I was told by a colleague in corporate recruiting that they were not allowed to look at anyone over 38. Yes it sucks. Yes it’s not fair. But unfortunately it’s currently a fact of life that some employers partake in the practice.

The hardest part for me since the crossover has been finding a niche. I wear a total of four hats in my job – tech support, systems engineering, network analysis and business development. What I’ve noticed in searching for positions is there seems to be nothing that requires my particular skillset. Which is troubling because while I like my job, the travel is unpredictable. When I took the position, travel was advertised at 5%. Last year I traveled more than I had since being in the military. Most of that was with between 16 hours and a week notice. I don’t mind travel – but predictability would be nice. I guess what I’m asking is, what is the best focus for someone my age? If I have to specialize, it doesn’t make sense to obtain skills for an area that won’t be hiring a 36 year-old in a few years.

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January 21, 2010 at 1:53 am, Charles said:

There is a lot of pitiful bleating and whining in this thread. Lets sum things up:-
1. Discrimination of any kind is WRONG. Solution:- do not tolerate it, ever.
2. Information Technology is a field where experience is of significantly greater value than pieces of paper that say you might be able to do the job.
3. If the government is stupid enough to limit their pool of applicants to the inexperienced (and they clearly are) then either sue for age discrimination (you can’t lose) or stay in private enterprise.
The bottom line for me is this:- don’t try and justify something that is not only morally and ethically wrong but is also illegal and more than a little stupid.

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January 21, 2010 at 2:21 am, SC said:

I’m 34 with a background in Electronics & RF Comms. I crossed into IT 3 years ago & have been going to college since. When looking for my current position – the search took 18 months – I was told by a colleague in corporate HR that they were not allowed to look at anyone over 38. Yes it sucks & it’s not fair. Unfortunately it’s a fact of life that some employers practice AD. The hardest part for me since the crossover has been finding a niche. What I’ve noticed in searching for positions is there seems to be nothing that requires my particular skill set ¿ I wear 4 hats in my position. While I like my job, travel is unpredictable. When I took the position travel was advertised at 5%. Last year I traveled more than I had since the military, with little notice. I don’t mind travel – but predictability would be nice. What is the best focus for someone my age? If I have to specialize, it makes no sense to obtain skills for an area that won’t be hiring a 36 YO in a few years.

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January 21, 2010 at 7:28 am, Bob said:

because they can… and because they are looking to hire ppl that they’d be able to “steer their minds into a certain direction” moreover because we those over 40 might not have the desire to over work as most of us have families and therefore other priorities… simple isn’t it?

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January 21, 2010 at 7:45 am, Marceli Ludwik Firlej said:

Internet becomes more and more transparent and people inside the system. Security future direction is to uncover all activities and make selections to help one and stop other.

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January 21, 2010 at 8:01 am, Dan White said:

i think Bob hit the nail on the head. in addition, govt. is usually conscious of salaries and they have to pay someone with 15-20 years of experience significantly more than a 20 something.

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January 21, 2010 at 8:20 am, Tara said:

I disagree with all of you. The govt has learned in the past that grooming and growing specialists is an investment. And it’s not to the government’s advantage to take a 40+ someone who is prepared to take the training, experience, and exposure over a short term employment period to the next company and pit one against the other for the best pay and benefits. A younger person with a comp sci degree who enters the govt at a less experienced level will more likely stay and rise through the ranks, by the time they are 40 they have a lot invested in the govt (retirement, etc) and they are less likely to leave and take their corporate knowledge with them. Cybersecurity is one area the government will continue to play a reactive role until they are able to utilize the newest technologies available to counter the threat. They can’t afford to hire a workforce that has nothing to lose if they leave.

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January 21, 2010 at 8:21 am, Michael said:

If govt. has discrimination policies where these positions are concerned, then they are going to have to be changed and mainstream meda made aware of these offensive, archaic and reprensible practices that defy logical reasoning and runs contrary to progress made since the establishment of the Age Discrimination Act.

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January 21, 2010 at 8:33 am, Dave said:

I think that would be my strongest beef as well. Why are private companies and state agencies not allowed by law to discriminate against someone because they are over the age of 40, but the federal government is? I could see a possible argument if there were physical restrictions associated with the job (e.g. Air Marshall) however this position is mostly brain-work.

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January 21, 2010 at 8:36 am, mike ridout said:

The government tried to do that with the Border Patrol they used to say no one over 35 could apply. One of the applicants was over 45 and qualified for it as he was an ex Military Police told him was to old he filed a lawsuit and won now there is no age limit for border patrol at least they don’t list it as they use to say no one over 35,

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January 21, 2010 at 8:37 am, mike ridout said:

The government tried to do that with the Border Patrol they used to say no one over 35 could apply. One of the applicants was over 45 and qualified for it as he was an ex Military Police told him was to old he filed a lawsuit and won now there is no age limit for border patrol at least they don’t list it as they use to say no one over 35,

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January 21, 2010 at 8:39 am, Michael said:

Tara, if what you state were in fact accurate, then it would also be senssiclcal for a private firm to incorporate the same practices as govt. because as you point out, it would be detrimental to the bottom line of any firm to hire anyone above the age of 40, but that such twisted logic is the reason why the Age Discrimation Act was made law so as to prevent those thinly disguised practices which are really discrimination.

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January 21, 2010 at 8:40 am, Jeff said:

This is clearly age discrimination! I am 40+, and may already have more than enough qualifications! Since I’m being told I will be working until I’m 70 now, They can still get 20+ years out of me!! Still a great investment in any book! If this was any other type of job discrimination, I’m sure appropriate action would be taken.

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January 21, 2010 at 8:42 am, Scott A. Potter said:

[[“The govt has learned in the past that grooming and growing specialists is an investment. And it’s not to the government’s advantage to take a 40+ someone who is prepared to take the training, experience, and exposure over a short term employment period to the next company and pit one against the other for the best pay and benefits”]]

Tara, have you ever seen the old movie, Logan’s Run? In the 1970’s the filmmaker’s saw a future in which people had crystals implanted in their hands from birth. By the age of 30 the crystal would glow red, meaning they were to be terminated. Sci-fi has always been a means of making political commentary. We now live in a society in which both public and private organizations terminate employees based on age. So what do you do with a growing population of 40-somethings no one will employ?

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January 21, 2010 at 8:45 am, Isaac said:

Tara’s comment makes the most sense, not saying that the others didn’t have semi-valid points…

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January 21, 2010 at 8:50 am, Anon said:

I would submit that age discrimination is simply one effect in the larger employment problem in the US. We, in order to live here, reqiuire income of such level that we can not compete with the lower cost, bright alternative workers, plentiful from other countries, whether they work from abroad or are brought here. Capitalism demands lower costs and higher profits, so companies will make those “good business decisions” that will inexorably end by forcing US wages lower and reducing the standard of living for what was the US middle class. Lest someone misread my position in this comment , I began in the “IBM room” (really labeled that) in 1969, with CS degrees and several professional certs. I am now hoping to get a temp job as a census taker this spring. I am sorry for all of us.

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January 21, 2010 at 8:55 am, Scott A. Potter said:

I’m looking for charter members to enter into articles of incorporation. The business is value-added reselling of hardware and software to perform small business custom-configuring and installation of state-of-the-art computing environments. This new business will require a minimum critical mass of $50k from prospective investors for 1st year operating expenses. Contact me for details.

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January 21, 2010 at 9:02 am, Mike said:

Touchy subject….I have been in IT for decades and in a hiring capacity for years. I will typically will not even consider a person for hire under 40. I do not want to deal with burn out party fools that are in there 20 – 30’s. I know it sounds like a double standard because I was 20 somthing too!
Bottom line is work experience, qualifications and can work with people. Simple!

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January 21, 2010 at 9:06 am, will said:

Hate to pick on Tara but I need to put in my 2 cents. In reality, it is the opposite of what she purports. Look at the case of military personnel, we spend a million dollars to train and equip a soldier and, although the vast majority are dedicated to their service, the greedy ones leave and make more money working for Blackwater (who in turn, saves a lot of training expenses). What would entice someone, regardless of age, to stay with the gov’t if the corporate money came knocking. In fact, I’d wager that an older employee is MORE likely to stay because they know the fickleness of the corporate world and understand the importance of a steady, secure gov’t job. (I know I do.)

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January 21, 2010 at 9:08 am, Peter said:

To honest I find a range of ages works best and someone over 40 may well look at something different to someone who is 20. Experience can count for a lot, I have seen 20 yr olds running in circles like rabbits in springtime not going anywhere fast. I find that most 40+ take their work a lot more seriously than the 20 yr olds I have worked with.

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January 21, 2010 at 9:18 am, Jerry said:

So, I’ve got 30+ years IT experience, have a CISM and CISSP, have 10+ years of InfoSec experience, and I can’t get a job with one of the divisions of the DOD because 30 years ago when I went to college I didn’t take a statistics course. Idiotic.

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January 21, 2010 at 9:30 am, Steve said:

Tara, et al. – Just a little research will inform all that Tara has things upside down. I thought it was well known (certainly well published) that the majority of the “young” (20-40) in this discussion) job hope every 2 to 3 years (four at the most) ESPECIALLY within Hi-Tech since the late seventies and early eighties. While on the other hand, those of the “boomer” generation and older have a history of staying on the job long term. So, if the defensive posture here is companies (and the gov’t) do not want to invest training in an individual that will “rabbitt” in a few years, then their best bet is to hire boomers and older and avoid ANYONE below the age of 40. In either case, this is a classic example of age discrimination – regardless of which group is prefered. –Steve

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January 21, 2010 at 9:45 am, Adeoye Okusanya said:

Is this training available for those of us in Africa? As you know IT is also gaining ground in the continent.

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January 21, 2010 at 9:51 am, Isaac said:

Jerry, you should be working for yourself!

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January 21, 2010 at 10:12 am, The Hound said:

The age discrimination law isn’t worth the paper it’s scratched on, thanks to the Supreme Court. As a result of one of their rulings, it is OK to lay someone older off if the age reason is only a FACTOR in the decision not the MAIN reason for the layoff. Hence, companies can get away with laying off the older workers as long as they say it was part of a staff reduction or something similar.

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January 21, 2010 at 10:27 am, Jon said:

40+

I¿m 58! I am married with kids on their own with grandchildren, own a house with a reasonable mortgage, have lived in one place for 30+ years, and worked in one company for 30+ years until it closed its doors. I¿m a dedicated successful and loyal hard worker. I need to keep working for at least another 10 years. I¿m in great health, keep fit, have great credentials and experience. I¿m not about to jump to another position for more money. I just want a real job working with real people and working to solve real problems. That¿s what I do. I have seen the actions of the younger generation who percentage wise is not loyal or dedicated to their work and eager to go where the money is verses making a home in a business where they are appreciated rather than working for the ultimate buck with no friends in sight. Why am I being singled out as not dependable? I used to be!

40+

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January 21, 2010 at 10:57 am, C.J. said:

I am one out of 50 people in the world who happens to be a genius – there are more people in this category than you probably imagined (the top 2% of the population). Brains, biology and new scientific evidence very soundly support the following information:
1. Your brain stem is the part of your body creates new brain cells for everything new you learn. Your brain doesn’t just dump the cells with “older” information. It doesn’t stop functioning when you are an embryo or a young child. It continues throughout your life.
2. The more one is able to integrate knowledge, (for example, if a bike has handle bars, that would be very similar to the steering wheel of a car”) the more cause-effect and if-then statements the brain holds for the information and experience that each brain holds, and that information can be used to come to new, very valid, answers to questions and problems.
3. It may (but not necessarily) take a fraction of a second or two longer for an older person to come to an answer, but that can be due to the “bigger playing field” that person’s brain may have due to experience, knowledge and the number of neural connections that have been created. (An 18-year-old, due to age and experience, won’t have as many brain cells as a “more experienced” brain. This is current fact, by the way, not an assumption, and has nothing to do with how intelligent the 18-year-old is.) A young person might come up with a quick answer due to the more limited number of brain cells and connections s/he has accumulated to date, but it certainly doesn’t mean that the quickest answer is the best answer!
4. Scientists now know that when brain cells die of “old age” (usually within 5 years or less) they are replaced (neuron-by-neuron) and because of the body’s “cell memory,” the original memory held by the original cell that was created for that memory, goes directly to the “replaced” brain cell, neuron-by-neuron. (According to Dr. Oz, science has shown for quite a few years now that even if thousands of brain cells are destroyed by an alcoholic drink or two, they are always totally replaced – including the original memories attached to those cells. Yet public health forums continue to espouse that “when you drink your brain dies.”) Evidence of “cell memory” you may already know about? The “phantom pain” of a severed limb. The brain still knows the limb is there, though it is no long part of the body, and the brain responds to the “feeling” in the mind of what that part of the body would be doing.
5. There should be no age discrimination in any government or any business. The United States of America is well-documented as being behind the rest of the world in education; health care; new inventions; and bringing their economies back on their own (Canada hasn’t borrowed any money to offset the world’s current financial crisis)! Why would ANY company want to throw out the mentally “richest” part of its population because of an arbitrary age? Smart and savvy idea? I certainly don’t think so.

I am always delighted to work with someone who knows what I don’t know. I gain exponentially!

My “company favorite” in the United States is the Otis Elevator Company. (Yea for you, Otis employees!) I remember (brain-cell recall) a job posting the company had a few years ago, saying the candidate the company was seeking had to have 50 years of experience in order to apply. :O) I’m looking for Otis Elevators to ride in since then, thank you!

Give me the candidate with the most experience and the most cerebral “brain” options if you want a secured country. Other countries have different ways of sorting information, coupled with different demographics, and different uses for the same product / idea – so why throw out the best (only noted by a number called “age”) before you even see what that person can offer? Could it be that it’s the “seekers” of candidates who don’t understand how brains, knowledge and experience really work together?

I want to lead THAT winning think tank – with age having no barriers or limits.

Rhetoric without meaning and depth can be easily exploited by terrorists. Let’s change our country’s thinking so we finally “get smart” and “with it.” Okay?

P.S. And don’t believe all that your parents told you about “how much smarter you are than they are.” Parents have always been known to heartily brag about their children and to do almost anything to boost children’s self confidence — but it doesn’t mean what they said was really the truth. I TRULY BELIEVE they said it because they loved you.

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January 21, 2010 at 11:08 am, Steve G said:

I am sorry to say that Tara¿s comments are exactly why we have challenges in our workforce. How do you believe that the use of less experienced young people to look after our security is a benefit. They have exactly that ¿ no experience and many in the IT underworld love this. I had also been spun the line that a younger person with a Comp Sci degree is more up to date. You might be right, but why? My guess is that they were taught by 40+ professors who unlike me do not have Comp Sci degrees unlike me who was such a professor of networks and security who has two Comp Sci degrees. Worse still they come out with the attitude of being bullet proof and a right of entitlement. Comments I have heard from new hires with 2 years experience include testing is a time waste I get it right first time, experience doesn¿t matter it means you are out of date and my degree is 2 years old and that is why I should be the manager!

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January 21, 2010 at 11:51 am, Phil said:

Age discrimination in government hiring? What’s wrong here? It’s across the board in all sectors of our society! I am a computer systems professional that has been in the business for over 40 years. Most of that time was spent working on various government and military systems while holding a variety of different clearances. I am now 59, have been completely out of work for over three years, and have given up any hope of finding another position. At any age, once you let a security clearance go “cold”, you have great difficulty getting back into the game. When you’re over 50, it’s virtually impossible. But, it doesn’t just end there. It’s increasingly difficult to get any kind of job once you hit 50. My wife (also over 50), worked in aerospace most of her career. She went out on “Workman’s Comp” over 4 years ago to have two surgeries for job related problems. Once she was eligible to return to work, she was immediately laid off and has not had any luck finding any work at all, in a number of different fields that she hold qualifications for. It’s a sad state that we find our government and our society in today!

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January 22, 2010 at 6:15 am, Pam R said:

I think the age discrimination needs to be tested in a court of law. While every other organization must abide by the law, it is not right that our government consider themselves above it.

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January 22, 2010 at 6:36 am, Pam R said:

My husband has already experienced age discrimination by the government. Some years back, he was Chief of Security Police at an Air National Guard base the then President used to fly into upon occassion. In that role, he had opportunity to work with the Secret Service in advance preparation for the President’s arrival. They got so they trusted him to the extent that they stopped arriving three days in advance as they normally do, knowing he would make all the preparations exactly as they should be. They were so impressed with him, they decided to offer him a position with the Secret Service.

He was physically fit enough to pass the rigourous tests required to stay in the Air National Guard. Unfortunately, he was a year or two over the hiring age limit. Since he was already a federal employee, the Secret Service thought they would have no problem bypassing the age limit or be able to get a waiver. It went all the way to Washington, but was turned down. It was one of the major disappointments of his life, but I think it was their loss as well. People should be judged on their abilities, not their age.

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January 22, 2010 at 9:57 am, Tinnman said:

I beg to differ on the comments about being over 40 and not getting in with DHS. I am a govt contractor and I have direct contact with a network administrator at DHS. He is over 40, and has was hired based on his experience not his age.

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January 24, 2010 at 4:01 am, Shandra said:

I’m 31 and have been in IT for 4 years. I think the technical field should become more like the medical field and we need to start looking into how medical students are taught. Organizations need to keep the more experienced people on to teach the new recruits, which will take some time. The more experienced people need to act as attending physicians. Diagnosing problems, thought processes, and performing surgery on computers isn’t that different from the human body. Stop reinventing the wheel and keep the more experienced people to pass on their knowledge. The industry wouldn’t be in trouble if they did.

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January 25, 2010 at 8:24 am, Just Me said:

The resources under 40 are for the most part full of them selves and are in constant vigil to knockdown any senior resource for fear of their superior skills. It¿s not the pay because many of the young resources make more than their senior colleagues due to the demand for youth.

The fact is I have been on many assignments all over the world and it is always the case that the 20 something¿s and most of thirty something¿s longing to be 20 something¿s perform at the mediocre level while leaving the real technical and functional work to the senior resource. Those of you in this age group know that I am speaking the truth even though you feel the visceral need to protest.

It is the best held secret that the old or uninformed administration in the corporate world has been duped into believing that youth has more technology skill. Nothing could be less true and is insidious to their bottom line because young resources at the helm only cause chaos and delays in their attempts to outdo the senior resource or to prove an obscure point.

When will the corporate world wake up and realize the folly of depending on young resources as their leads. How can they lead when they have very little history other than their academic experience? The skill and the work ethic of the senior resource (40 and above) are far superior and their skills are forged with experience.

I overheard a 20 something resource last week say that she has been on an assignment making a six figure income and she just now understands what she is doing. The one she was talking to replied, yes, I know but we are here to make as much money as we can while we learn what they know and have fun in the process at their expense.

I’m on assignment and the young resources are off skiing somewhere today.

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January 25, 2010 at 8:26 am, Just Me said:

The resources under 40 are for the most part full of them selves and are in constant vigil to knockdown any senior resource for fear of their superior skills. It¿s not the pay because many of the young resources make more than their senior colleagues due to the demand for youth.

The fact is I have been on many assignments all over the world and it is always the case that the 20 something¿s and most of thirty something¿s longing to be 20 something¿s perform at the mediocre level while leaving the real technical and functional work to the senior resource. Those of you in this age group know that I am speaking the truth even though you feel the visceral need to protest.

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January 25, 2010 at 8:28 am, Just Me said:

It is the best held secret that the old or uninformed administration in the corporate world has been duped into believing that youth has more technology skill. Nothing could be less true and is insidious to their bottom line because young resources at the helm only cause chaos and delays in their attempts to outdo the senior resource or to prove an obscure point.

When will the corporate world wake up and realize the folly of depending on young resources as their leads. How can they lead when they have very little history other than their academic experience? The skill and the work ethic of the senior resource (40 and above) are far superior and their skills are forged with experience.

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January 25, 2010 at 8:30 am, Just Me said:

I overheard a 20 something resource last week say that she has been on an assignment making a six figure income and she just now understands what she is doing. The one she was talking to replied, yes, I know but we are here to make as much money as we can while we learn what they know and have fun in the process at their expense.

Enough said!

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January 27, 2010 at 2:25 am, Roger said:

I find this all very discouraging. I am 43, don’t really care about government work. However I have spent many years as a sheetmetal mechanic and as a corrections officer. I find now that I can no longer do these things at 100% due to on the job injuries mostly so I am now retraining. Cyber security is an intrest of mine but it would appear that by the time I am able just to get through the technical schooling needed it will be time for retirement. I have extensive expirience as far as security. No longer have an active clearence but it wouldn’t hard to get again as up to a few years ago I was still in pocession of a top secret federal clearence. What good would it do though. Guess I’ll just finish my schooling and get into computer repair and networking.

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March 03, 2010 at 2:54 am, Boe Var said:

Come guys! Let’s get over with. AGE DOESN’T MATTER AS LONG AS THAT MATTER DOESN’T AGE. Let me borrow that statement from Carlos P Romulo, a former UN president. If someone who is willing to work and a maverick, productive, and still innovative, by heaven’s sake, what is wrong with that guy then? Can anyone please answer my question???

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March 03, 2010 at 3:00 am, Boe Var said:

I find this all very discouraging. I am 43, don’t really care about government work. However I have spent many years as a sheet metal mechanic and as a corrections officer. I find now that I can no longer do these things at 100% due to on the job injuries mostly so I am now retraining. Cybersecurity is an interest of mine but it would appear that by the time I am able just to get through the technical schooling needed it will be time for retirement. I have extensive experience as far as security. No longer have an active clearance but it wouldn’t hard to get again as up to a few years ago I was still in possession of a top secret federal clearance. — I like this statement.

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