5 Tech Roles on the Endangered List

Danger SignCould your job be on the verge of extinction? As the cloud, offshoring and an influx of consumer devices transform or eliminate traditional IT roles, how can you remain relevant and employed?

The first step is to figure out whether you’re in a position that’s under pressure. Here are a few, plus some ideas to keep you working.

Systems Administrators

As companies outsource administrative and non-critical apps to public or private clouds, junior positions and email admin roles are disappearing. But several roles you might consider are flourishing: system architecture, engineering and network security, and data analytics.

Web Designers

Do-it-yourself Web design tools are eliminating the need for HTML and Flash experts. Next-generation designers need broader skills such as content writing, SEO optimization and artistic flair to create websites that are capable of supporting and enhancing sophisticated marketing campaigns.

Linux Systems Administrators

Linux expertise isn’t enough anymore. Now you’ll need experience with scripting languages, configuration management and virtualization software.

Data Center Specialists

Professionals who focus on a specific hardware, coding language or development methodology are being replaced by flexible generalists with a broader skill set. To avoid the ax, you’ll need hardware AND software knowledge. If you’re infrastructure-focused, you should learn about business and its applications to stay on track.

Repair Technicians

It’s cheaper to buy new hardware than to repair laptops and desktops. So to survive here, you’ll need more sophisticated skills so that you can diagnose and repair server problems and issues with more expensive equipment.

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60 Responses to “5 Tech Roles on the Endangered List”

  1. Computer Science Grad

    It doesn’t sound like most of these jobs are being eliminated. It sounds like a person will need to know their job plus a long list of other things to be or stay competitive. The jobs are still being performed, but performed in a different location.

    • Bobalicon

      CSG is on point! These days, the IT field is akin to the Wild West… every company uses different vendors, languages, domain-specific tool-sets and is looking for a one-person orchestra.

      Also, for some reason there is a major ‘division of labor’ aspect to IT where hiring managers do not think that a Developer can also be a QA or BA, for example.

      The twist, the electric slide, and the bump are all variations on the same theme – dance – so I don’t know what gives!

  2. If anything, these changes are creating more jobs for the IT industry. They’re not endangered at all more like hybrid with many other species. Like what CSG said, you need to know your job plus a lot of other stuff.

    • Computer Science Grad

      The truth is the jobs are still being performed. They’re just being performed in other areas. Under one title you will wear many hats. I read the article and initially I was annoyed that I had to register to read the entire article, but ended up on the floor laughing. I do have to wonder about the validity or lack of common sense of some of the statements made in the NETWORKWORLD article.

      John Reed, the executive director at Robert Half Technology said, “If you can afford to be selective and take your time, you are in a position to find that ideal candidate.”
      My response: If an American takes 4 or more years to earn a degree or degrees in a specific field he/she should be one of the many “ideal candidates.” Robert Half Technology, as many recruiting companies throughout the U.S., only endorse IT professionals with many years of experience to their clientele. While companies are selectively taking their time for that “ideal candidate”, new IT graduates who cannot afford to pay for certifications are drowning in debt and accepting jobs outside their field of study because no one will grant them an opportunity. There are also experienced IT professionals with certifications who do not have a job and are in the process of losing their homes they have lived in for years.

      Donald Roper with nearly 30 years in IT and many certifications still did not always have enough to land the job when he was in the job market earlier this year.
      My response: WHAT?! Are you kidding me? I don’t even know where to begin with this one. Maybe if he had 7 years in IT and 2 certifications he could be denied, but 30 years in IT with 7 or more certifications? What the hell were they looking for, a magician? Give me a break.

      Ripaldi said, “Mobile application development is one of the hottest skill sets out there, and employers just can’t find enough people with these skills.”
      My response: REALLY?! So what exactly does this statement mean? No higher learning institution or trade school in America is teaching a mobile application development skill? Mobile application development is the only skill that is not being outsourced? After acquiring years of hands-on training in a classroom setting no employer will hire a graduate with credentials, cultivate their skills and expand their knowledge with on the job training?

      The 1 commenter of the article said having a PMP may help PM’s to understand how to complete projects on-time and within budget but it is far from “proving” their competency, and that 17 PM’s out of 20 were eventually fired because they did not have the necessary skills & experience to complete their projects on-time and within budget.

      At this point I was on the floor laughing. Someone has spent 100s of dollars to earn a certification, land a job as a Project Manager, milk a company out of 1000s of dollars, gets fired for not having the necessary skills & experience, the Department of Labor can add another unemployed IT Professional to the long list, and the company is still searching for a Project Manager. Does anyone else see the comedy in this article posted on NETWORKWORLD?

      • —–new IT graduates who cannot afford to pay for certifications are drowning in debt and accepting jobs outside their field of study because no one will grant them an opportunity.——-

        That’s exactly why I started a dog-walking business. There are no entry-level opportunities in IT. I was willing to work for minimum wage, but that wasn’t enough. I was advised to spend more money and time on certifications–all the while working for FREE–but I couldn’t afford to do that. Even if I could have, I feel it would have been a poor investment. Certifications are only a good idea if you already have an IT job and are looking to move up within the company; they are worthless if you have no IT experience.

        As far as working for free, I was willing to work for minimum wage…but not for nothing. Even illegal immigrants who do unskilled grunt labor expect to be paid SOMETHING.

        I’d rather walk dogs. At least I get paid for it, and frankly, I like dogs far better than most people.

        • Computer Science Grad

          Your funny, but I must admit I am starting to like dogs far better than most people myself. This economy is beyond ridiculous. I am glad you were able to go into business for yourself. I am thinking about a proprietary business myself, but incorporating my technology skills into it somehow.

      • Very good insight. I too find this article utterly ridiculous filled with employers wanting the perfect employee which is not possible. During this time other people on the team will have to endure longer hours and more work due to the fact managment is on lookout to find some super hero.

        In my case I am considering going the development route since my 6 yrs of experience and bach degree in computer network systems does not seem to be enough. I have some programming knowledege mostly web dev stuff. I am in the middle of going through the udacity program and see what happens after I complete it.

        I agree with you also on the fact that I cant really afford to go and take a cert test since I am already in a pile of debt from student loans so at this juncture I cant afford at least and I am turning to free classes to improve/learn new skills.

        Oh sure your employer says they’ll help you with it until 4Q comes along and there is no budget for it….


        • Computer Science Grad

          I use the Internet to learn more about Sharepoint and more, but of course I am limited in how much I can learn when I am just sitting and looking at a video demonstration. If you have some helpful information on free classes (online) where I can get some hands-on practice to improve and enhance my programming skills please share on this site, thanks.

  3. As info moves to the cloud legacy equipment is being discarded. This equipment may contain vital company information. Only On-Site Hard drive Destruction can guarantee the info will not fall into the wrong hands.

  4. Sure Computer Science Grad. Checkout http://www.udacity.com/, http://www.codecademy.com, udemy.com (although udemy you would have to pay for some courses a majority of them are really affordable the most expensive one is the their become a web developer only because they give you live lesson along code examples in just about every major web programming language).MIT course-ware has compsci and algrothem courses. There is a bunch of those of there as well.

    Hope this helps

    • Jim Brown

      there are web designers making less than 25k in the USA. Beware! If you’re a developer and are interested in web design…learn J2EE, and J2EE frameworks. Think front-end web designs for application like Amazon, and the US government (IRS,Healthcare) . Projects that require large scale thru-put. Not some web designer at a mom and pop.

  5. Quote:”Linux expertise isn’t enough any more. Now you’ll need experience with scripting languages, configuration management and virtualization software.”

    How the **** could you hold a “Linux System Admin” position and NOT be familiar with awk, sed, Bash, and a few other (according to wiki) scripting languages?


    Then again, this simply confirms my previously held belief that many so-called “System Administrators” are PC Techs.


    • Jim Brown

      you would be surprised. I know a few in tech with MS/PH’d from those Online schools and have Manager titles over system admins. They don’t know a thing. They could not write a script.

      The BullBleep out here is huge

      • I can’t speak for John Parker, but I think a lot of us are frustrated that Dice continues to pump out articles like this at least every few weeks, with link-baiting headlines and filled with several statements that most people that actually work in the industry find totally untrue. In fact, it happens so frequently, that I’m going to banish this junk from my inbox.

        I’ll close on with one more thought: back when I started in this business in 1982, many pundits were saying that programming was dead, and that computers would be developing all of their own complicated software, and customers would be writing everything else on their own with amazing forth-generation products. Ten years ago, the pundits said that programming was dead, and that all of the programming jobs were moving to India.

        I’m reminded of the old Arab proverb: The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.

      • Hey Mark,

        I have to agree with John and RCB…both have valid points…neither you, nor Leslie have any actual working experience with IT or IS…and yet you proffer your opinions in the vain attempt to justify your salaries. The entire Dice organization needs to examine the credentials of ther supposed expert writers and stop making a fool of themselves by publishing this garbage.

        I for one am going to roll the “dice” and perhaps “snake eyes” will tell me what the problem is with my Citrix server acting up….hahaha

        • Hi WLG –

          Well, for the record, it’s true I’ve never coded. But I have been a project manager on tech efforts that included database development, online multimedia (handling both the technical work, as well as the media part), and large websites. I’ve also been on teams for large networks and mainframe services. So, while it’s true I can’t claim expertise in a lot of aspects of the business, I do think I’ve been involved with it long enough — about 25 years, at this point — and in enough working roles to have a sense of how things work and evolve. We publish this kind of article because when we see information like this — whether it’s positive or negative — we think it’s important to share. I could certainly post nothing but articles on how much fun it is to look for a job and how everything in the job market is hunky dory, but that’s not the kind of package Dice wants to provide. We try to look at both sides, and give the good with the bad.



    • Jim Brown

      Good one John. What ever happened to doing what made you enjoy life? I got in this field because I enjoyed computers back in 1982, long before those who jumped in because that’s where the money at.

      You’re only good at things you enjoy and do not work for peanuts..

      • I disagree. It’s possible to be good at a task you do not enjoy. It’s equally possible to enjoy something you are not particularly adept at, and you must accept those limitations. The best combination is good at it, enjoy it, get paid for doing it.

  6. A completely inaccurate article. You can tell that the author is not and probably has never been in the IT/IS industry. I’m an IS executive with 25+ years of experience and I disagree with the entire article.

    Next time write about a topic of which you have real-world expertise.

    • I agree completely. The author has neither the explicit credentials, nor the apparent background to discuss any of this… Someone evidently forgot to tell the author that the tide is turning on “off-shoring”… I am continually amazed that people that write articles like this are actually paid for doing so… This is an “editorial” masquerading as an “article”…

      Answering Mr. Feffer… Want to know what’s wrong? People come to Dice for career advice, and Dice presents unsubstantiated drivel… Quoting the article… “Linux expertise isn’t enough any more. Now you’ll need experience with scripting languages, configuration management and virtualization software”… I feel pretty safe saying that the author has no idea what she’s talking about… This “article” is made up, and has no basis in fact… If I’m wrong, I’d challenge the author to take a homework assignment, do some actual research, and present a rebuttal to the accusation that the article is nothing more than editorial fluff… Prove it… Using recent data… Otherwise… Thanks for *your* opinion…

      • JW, thanks for your comment. I guess all I can tell you is we looked carefully at the article from InfoWorld and the report from Winter,Wyman. Even if you don’t agree with them, those are two credible sources. Plus, we regularly talk to people in different positions throughout tech, and hear many things like what the article says. For example, a lot of people who work at design shops tell me that traditional Web design is morphing into something else. Whether we like it or not, Leslie’s saying the role will require “broader skills, such as content writing, SEO optimization and artistic flair to create websites that are capable of supporting and enhancing sophisticated marketing campaigns” is an accurate view of what’s going on. Or, of course, the people we talk to — many of whom do the hiring — are wrong. But I’d rather give people who may be in these roles a heads up that they should take stock of what’s going on in their area. Maybe they’ll decide we’re wrong, and that’s fine. Or, maybe they’ll decide they need to look for ways to add new skills or bulk up their old ones. The point of any article like this is to share an interesting data point, if you will, and let people decide for themselves whether it’s valuable to them.

        Look, no one article is going to encompass every opinion, or every angle, or every topic. Obviously, people will disagree. I’ll be honest, though, and say I wish your disagreement here was more of a discussion than an attack.



  7. Jim Brown

    Face it guys, most IT jobs today are yesterday’s HVAC jobs. Anyone in Tech who thinks his job is safe is crazy. I’ve been in it since 1982…In the very early 1990’s I was informed by several Indian developers what the future was for me. They told me India would take over IT in the USA.

    The IT jobs will boom once the Government limits Foreign IT talent working in the United States.
    Secondly the US Gov should outlaw US citizens SSN and other personal Information to be accessible outside the US.

  8. You could not be more hopelessly wrong about “Web designers” automated tools are good for a mom and pop shop that wants a marketing Site. They write terrible code that is almost impossible to change. Anybody that would use those tools is already using them, and whoever isn’t needs a real client side developer for their e-commerce, or other online applications.

  9. Leslie Stevens-Huffman

    I’m glad to see that the article sparked a debate. The purpose of writing about roles that may be coming, going or morphing is to help IT professional like you take pause and stay abreast of changes in a dynamic industry. A survey conducted earlier this year by Dice and the Linux Foundation found that most employers were looking for mid-level candidates–specifically three to five years experience–and there are only 236 open positions posted on the board for junior systems administrators. It’s a given that some roles will change or diminish—so tell us which ones belong on the endangered list?

    • Your premise is that roles will “change or diminish”… Why is this a “given”? Your premise is critically flawed to begin with… Even if there is “change” this doesn’t imply that any positions will become extinct…

      • Leslie Stevens-Huffman

        So tech is static? What about mobile and the cloud or the impact of consumer devices in the workplace. And how about the emergence of analytics, healthcare IT and big data? Sorry, change is a given it’s just a matter of which roles will be impacted first and to what degree.

    • Leslie,
      If the offshoring practices continue, we won’t have to worry about any jobs in the US, because there won’t be any. The byproduct of this situation is that there won’t be any consumers in the US either because no one will have a job to pay for their purchases. This will, of course, cause the businesses that depend on the US consumer to eventually fail so the cycle will be complete.

      GM has taken a supposedly contrarian stand to bring offshored jobs back to the US. I’m hoping that they are doing this because they realize that their greatest market for cars and SUVs is right here in the US and, if no one has a job, they certainly won’t be buying cars.

      It also appears that the head of the Harvard Business School (I think) was right in apologizing to their graduates because they taught them to concentrate on the bottom line and the near term (6 – 12 months). He now realizes that the C level executives need to look outside of their little fiefdom and survey the whole country. You might be doing a bang up job taking care of the near term bottom line, but you are totally screwing up the future of the company and and all of the folks who depend on it. A bit of balance is required.

  10. Web Designers are more than coders.
    These jobs aren’t endangered, they’re misrepresented, and misunderstood.
    Too often the position is being handled by someone that doesn’t know what they SHOULD be doing because they know enough to be dangerous.
    It isn’t knowing HOW to write code and create the web Pages/Apps/Portals, it’s knowing the WHY behind it; like the purpose, intent, etc, and HOW to accomplish these things through design.

    Creating a site is easy, there are so many WYSIWYG programs and templates available, but knowing what layout, what format, the best arrangement, usability, etc, isn’t available in a software program or template.

    Really disappointed with the author….
    Obviously knows less than the people holding these positions IRL, and only hurts businesses that also don’t know the value in specifically skilled employees.

    • Totally agree, Jeff. Your comment speaks to the many who see website “design” as picking pretty pictures and colors~~ not an examination of the target audience, business goals or objectives. Instead, a lot of companies want to save money and somehow think “Developer/Designer” is the answer. It isn’t~~ chances are you will get somebody very talented in coding and fairly clueless about design and usability principles. Or else you will get somebody with limited CSS/HTML skills because it’s such a newly frequent job requirement for a website “design” position, and the designer will learn enough to get by. But they’ll never code like somebody who LOVES it and devotes the majority of their time to it.

      Plus, when you see the number of UX/UI positions exploding in the marketplace, these positions aren’t opening up at companies using generic website layouts… particularly in the ecommerce sphere, or SaaS world.

  11. I find it sad that so many people in the industry are having a hard time finding jobs. It makes me wonder if people aren’t looking hard enough. I got an entry level job before I even got my associates degree. Also there are tons of internship opportunities and jobs available in this area for people with IT experience ranging from 0-10 years and from degrees from associates on up into masters. Honestly I don’t know, I applied for over a 100 IT positions when to several interviews and eventually landed the job I wanted while continuing to go to school. Maybe people aren’t looking hard enough or maybe people really don’t have a passion for IT. If you don’t have a passion for this career field go into nursing or something else. If you are good at what you do you will get the job assuming you know how to sell yourself correctly which shouldn’t be too hard.

    • Curt Lehmwn

      I live in the Minneapolis are, and have been looking for work side June. I posted my resume and had well over a dozen recruiters come t me. Granted, they weren’t 30 to 50 dollar jobs, but they are definitely out there. If some lazy p***k can’t find a job by now,like you said, the should go onto another line of work. Just sayin’.

  12. Johnnie Brock

    I found the article extremely accurate. Service Delivery was going away at my last job. System Administrator jobs moving to the data centers in Hong Kong and India. Repair Technician positions, forget it. Hardware is so cheap why keep a staff on hand to fix laptops, repair work backs up too fast, all the data files should be kept on servers, so just grab a new laptop, put the correct build on it and hand it to the user. The comments on Web Designers is accurate also, your better off learning to create content than bothering with web design – just buy a good template and then hire a Web Designer on an as needed basis for customization, if you can’t do it yourself.
    Just because you may see good to high demand in some of these fields right now doesn’t mean there the positions are going to be there in ten years.

  13. Terence Tomes

    I have found some things in the article that dont quite match with current job postings. For example, there are a large number of systems administration and Linux administration jobs being advertised, so based on current data, the premises of the article dont quite match reality.

  14. Arno Callahan

    I did not read all of the comments here well enough to keep score of the people who agree vs the ones who disagree with these.

    I, for one, disagree most of what was stated here. This article only applies to lazy workers.

    If you take the approach that whatever job you have, you need to continue and grow, never stagnate in your skills, and you’ll always be competitive — you’ll not be one of these.

    Here’s why:

    System Administrators (including Linux ones, specifically called out separately, but for my comment, they’re the same) — If you’re a systems administrator, and you have been doing it for more than a year, and don’t yet know virtualization, don’t yet know scripting, or don’t yet know about systems design/architecture, the cloud, interoperability, orchestration and automation, then, yes, the article is correct. But, if you’re ambitious, you won’t become extinct. You may find yourself moving towards administering applications, rather than just faceless systems, but not extinct as the article implies.

    Web Designers — same sort of reply. If you’re a web designer, and all you do is design web pages, with no knowledge of PHP, scripting, CGI, SEO, marketing campaigns, how email works, how DNS and SSL work, then yes, you’ll be extinct. But, be ambitious, and keep up, and you won’t become extinct.

    Data Center Specialists – I think the author’s description (specific hardware, coding language, and development methodology) – is not what a data center specialist does. I think a datacenter specialist is someone who handles the in-room aspects of a datacenter – cooling, space allocation, hot/cold spots in the room, power plant, etc. And these guys are not going away, but as companies that can’t afford to run their own datacenters close them down and outsource, these workers can go work for one of the larger mega datacenter providers (Terremark, Savvis, AT&T, IBM… tons of them out there).

    Repair Techs — I gotta say “so what” on this one — electronics and computer repair is a non-specialized skill. Someone who can swap drives, take apart servers, and diagnose problems uses a very broad, yet very technical skill set to do these things. Someone who fixes laptops today can fix other things tomorrow. If this was my chosen skill, I would just make sure to keep my skills current. People in this role are typically “smart” people, and smart people don’t end up looking for jobs for too awfully long before they find something.

  15. Trotthar is back with dogs vs IT, he has a point about certs. My school claimed that all the companies hiring near there needed project management in the cns curriculum yet that course is gone this semester and if 2 year people believed the authors article then they would be committing career suicide by aquiring a two year diploma. Looking at available jobs for IT grads with an associates degree on the dice boards you can get an idea of how the authors article would make sense to the uninformed.

    • I graduate this December with just an associates and I have been hitting the market but when I started no one said an associates would not be enough. My goal was to go to work in IT with my degree and find a company willing to help pay for my bachelors

      • You may get a job for a third or less than the postings that you see on the boards Chris. Desk or tickets depending on your field, the big money comes with 5-7 years lead or better with high level certs and an advanced degree and you will need PM with security as well. The 2 year mills don’t mention this during the school tour.

  16. All but the web developer is history. Don’t really need them anymore. All you need is someone at the location that can plug the pc in and turn it on. Admin work is now being done in india. Coding can be done in India, only your small companies will have an it guy. The guy that knows a little bit about printers,computers and networking

  17. Louis Perlman

    Repair technicians are not going away so fast either. Most companies will not throw out a computer just because ‘something’ is broken. A business class notebook computer, i.e. one that will not grind to a halt two years down the road from now, is easily $500, and maybe more. Desktop machines cost a bit less and can have often their life extended with nothing more than a memory upgrade. We’re talking about computers used for business, not gaming.

    Of course you can spend less on almost obsolete technology. But I find it hard to believe that a company too cheap to buy decent hardware is also going replace them at the drop of a hat. There are also costs associated with recyling electronics, not to mention the depreciation cycle.

    • Johnnie Brock

      Just to give you context. I worked at a “too big to fail” financial firm and they were finishing a project to convert everyone over to laptops exclusively. Once a laptop fails, if its not a simple fix, they just pack it up and get a new or refurbished one out. If it takes more than a couple of hours, they don’t want to waste the time and lost productivity. The staff is to do quick fixes.

  18. Michael Getachew

    I repair laptops for a living, company closing down in a few weeks but I have to say I am mixed about the “repair technicians” part. I can fix any computer or tablet easily even some component level repair on main boards. but that just isn’t enough!! you need to know windows,AD,etc… like the back of your hand to get any corporate role. the only places that would hire me are repair depots (which are very few) or local repair shops.
    not only that you need certification, not having an a+ is hurting me. in a few years everyone would be pretty much ok (and it’d be very feasible ) to have all repairs done in mexico (or even china in the distant future ,wtih faster shipping ) . my point is in IT you have to have diverse skills, I know linux,finished CCNA course with good grades ,know a bit of programming and PHP/html/css but that’s not enough not only do I need to have a wider set of skills I need to have certifications to back it up . and all of this is to just get a job and keep it ,we are not talking about having a nice career or making higher salary.

    • Completely agree with you. I am in the same boat. I repair desktops and laptops part time as I am a full time student. I have 5 years of experience and just got my a+ to validate those skills, however it doesn’t seem like that is enough to even secure an entry level corp. job now a days. Just started looking for a job last month and I have to pass up applying to a lot of jobs because I lack the experience with servers most employers are looking for. “the only places that would hire me are repair depots (which are very few) or local repair shops”. This is a very true statement for me as well and I believe a lot of repair techs. would agree with you also. “you’ll need more sophisticated skills you can diagnose and repair server problems and issues with more expensive equipment”. Leslie hit the nail on the head with that statement(minus the typo 😉 ). Good article.

    • The do this to stir the pot and get you to feel insecure so you will be more active on their website. Never heard of social engineering?
      Anyways, I would say it’s about 25% true all around. Jobs are shifting but they don’t all just go into a black hole.

  19. I’m sorry, but the Web Designer one is simply untrue. It doesn’t matter how many of those “do-it-yourself” kits are out there, they can never replace real knowledge and experience. Anyone who has (or does) worked in this field, such as myself, knows that those programs are VERY limited, VERY cookie cutter and usually VERY broken (on a semantic level). Let me also bring up time. Most companies do not have the time to sit and “draw” a website or maintain it and still perform daily operations. Finally, there is a WHOLE other aspect that programs hardly touch – and that’s mobile web and application design. Maybe traditional “desktop” web design is hurting more than it has in the past…but that’s because things are moving mobile. If you keep up with the times, you will be more than fine. This whole “web design is in danger” is like saying doctors will go out of style.

  20. Tech has just gone to hell. I never would advise any college kid to go into tech. The upside id limited, the tenure is short, and the downside is unlimited. You’ll be out at the first sign of a grey hair. If you go on vacation human resources will assume that you have forgotten everything you ever knew.

  21. Bob Smith

    Let’s face facts. To management, we’re all just trained monkeys and are easily replaceable. Generally by someone halfway around the world (especially if it doesn’t involve hardware).

  22. It seems that the people complaining about the article are the very people who are being pushed out of IT. The writer hit a bullseye with “Linux expertise isn’t enough any more. Now you’ll need experience with scripting languages, configuration management and virtualization software.” Stop being lazy and stay ahead of the curve.

    Back in the day you couldn’t be a Sys Admin if you didn’t know how to code. That changed over the years but now more companies are reverting back to the old days. Nowadays not only do you have to be outstanding at Sys Admin, you have to be equally good at scripting, supporting application stacks, the application itself, and take on more of a dev/ops role.

    Also, don’t waste your time with a degree if you want to be a Sys Admin. I did, and I regret it. Most schools are funded by very big tech (Microsoft) and you will only learn their products. When you get into the real world, 80% of companies are using FOSS, of which you will know nothing about because they didn’t teach you that in school. IT is a rare field because you have to keep learning new things and advancing your career outside of your career.

    I’ve been told by some hiring managers that they won’t even bring a candidate in for an interview if they recently earned an IT degree. So the assessment that jr. and entry level roles are disappearing is correct. You might get lucky and land a job right out of school or get an internship that might pay you but for the majority of us, we learned the hardway. I worked in call centers with my associates degree and most of my co workers had far more advanced degrees in computer science.

    I’ve worked with a lot of people who got hired but then got let go of 3 months later. The reason being that they were very good in some Linux skills but horrible in everything else. They couldn’t even use sed, awk, perl, bash scripting, automation, etc.

    I can’t validate whether the information is accurate about the other fields but the writer is spot on for Sys Admin and data center work. As for the repair technician, a trained monkey could do that job, so it’s not surprising that those jobs are going away.

  23. Computer Science Grad

    I am not sure how accurate, in general, this article is, but I am sure most of the complaints are legitimate. There are many major problems in the IT industry in America. I am aware of some, but not all. More and more I am reading that System Administrators should know how to use sed, awk, perl, bash scripting, automation, and more. If a company refuses to honor a degree in IT, junior/entry level IT will never be hired unless he/she is lucky, and colleges/universities are not teaching students the skills the tech companies want/need, what will happen when the current IT employees retire and there is no one to replace them? I have also read American companies are hiring outside of America because the schools in America are not graduating quality students with the skills to proficiently perform a job in the IT industry, which really confuses me. The same people they are hiring outside of America were sitting right next to American students learning the same curriculum and earning grades equal to American students. If the tech companies in America have a problem with the curriculum American students are learning, or want to bridge the skills gap between higher learning and tech company wanted/needed skills then maybe they should get their heads out of their crack and begin some serious ongoing dialog with colleges and universities to improve student curriculum and stop making lame excuses for not hiring American graduates.

  24. No one specific article can be entirely perfect, but what I see in the industry, and Im a 17 year professional, is that virtualization will Definitely affect jobs, as more and more companies are placing critical computing aspects in the data center the internal guy is nothing more than an insurance policy that things go right. If the firm is approached by a managed services providor (MSP) then you can essentially outsource almost anything.
    Couple up VMWARE’s entry into Software Defined Networks (SDN) the CISCO guys will suddenly find themselves in danger since you only have so much control of your routing via IOS etc etc.
    At the end of the day an IT person has to diversify themselves as much as they can – nothing stays “hot” forever, no wherever you turn its cloud this and cloud that, funny how “renting” and borrowing computing cycles on hypervisors remonds me of the mainframe days lol

  25. I have a degree in MIS and have been in the field of Systems Administration and Network Engineering since ’05. I now work for 3 separate companies. 1 FT and 2 PT positions pulling in well over 120K per year. I still have recruiters and prespective employers calling and emailing. Hardware Techs should definitely move to a higher level skill set. Everyone else, enhance your skill set, but I am hard pressed to believe ANY of these positions will go away in the next 10 yrs.

  26. I’m not sure what technically you mean by “web designer” but the recommendations are horrible.
    How about focusing on JS patterns, CSS3, HTML5 API. We can’t even find enough people to fill those rolls on our team.