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Non-Technical Entry Level Jobs These Days. - Page 3

post #31 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemagic View Post
I am a law student with middling grades at a "top" law school who is "exploring his options" (I have paid summer work, but do not have the traditional 2L summer job that would lead to permanent work).
ok...a few thoughts. I work in PR...which I am not saying is for everyone. In fact, some days, I am pretty sure it is not for anyone...but I will say that one of the things that has happened in my industry is that the competitive nature of the agencies has led to them looking toward forming dedicated practice groups. Essentially looking for doctors and pharmacologists and biology grads to work in health care practices (for example) because they speak the language of the client. I recently had lunch with the GM of a very large company in the milk industry, and learned that almost all of his marketing team were ex-doctors. I found this interesting. Anyhow, I don't know of PR firms with a legal practice, but there surely are. Probably a matter of where in the world you live, but the point isn't 'go work in PR' it's 'go find companies that sell services to law firms' so your legal training is an asset to them. You will find this training to be a key differentiator on your CV from the typical applicants that these firms get. Go look in the what did you study for thread at my post there, and you will see that this is basically what I did myself as a grad. Tweaked my study to the needs of the market, and sold it to the agencies as a differentiating factor from the legions of comms grads they were getting. Ponder that, but more importantly, on to this....
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I am very open-minded, probably too open-minded.
ya, no offence intended at all here mate, but I agree with this. If you are mid way through a law degree and pondering nursing, engineering, geology, and accounting, there is clearly an issue you face with direction. I know this is exactly not what you want to answer in this thread, given that you are just throwing the net out wide and seeing what comes in, but what do you actually enjoy doing? May be a good idea to start this dialogue with what's in you rather than what's out there. What would you do on the weekend even if it didn't pay you? As a borderline related side note, everyone should watch this video on human motivations by the way...the 'even if it didn't pay you thing reminded me of it. Watch it. Now...
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post #32 of 58
I think being a luxury magazine editor could be a fun position for a young person these days.
post #33 of 58
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Originally Posted by fathergll View Post
Thats a HUGE problem with the tech industry. Theres no protection and no standards. Its a complete and utter mess.

Agree there.

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Basically a Computer Science degree from India holds the same weight as one from the U.S. A Nursing degree from India is worthless here unless the international RN's training program at least meets the US"˜s minimum educational requirement for registered nursing.

But is that just because IT is the only major industry to have started during the first wave of globalization? The IT/tech industry is barely 30 years old - medicine, accounting, law have hundreds or thousands of years of precedent to build on, from a time where protectionism was not only acceptable but practical (no way to build an international standard for nursing when the only communication is via telegram).

Other professions are going to start looking more like IT, not the other way around.

There is no such thing as the "default middle class" option any more, where you can get a degree, show up to some office for 40 hours a week every 40 years, support a family and retire with a pension. That idea worked for maybe 2 generations during a huge post-war boom (with marginal tax rates of up to 90%), now it's gone forever. The boomers are freaking out about it because it was what they were promised, but the upcoming generation has never even considered it to be an option. If you want that, you need to work your ass off to create that position for yourself and maintain it. We are all entrepreneurs now, whether we like it or not.

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Another reason to get out. IT is viewed as purely an expense by management and they want to outsource it as much as can be. I sure as hell would be wary of trying to make a career as a programmer in this day and age when those jobs are going to be outbid by some hot shot programmer kid in eastern Europe making virtually nothing. Anything that can be done remotely will be in danger of being outsourced. DBAs, System Analysts, some Networking, Programmers...etc

Agree about programming. But then you wouldn't want to become a TV repairman either. Both are becoming more abstract and the low-level tech is becoming a black box (quite literally, there are no repairable components on a smartphone or netbook and the DMCA means it's now illegal to decompile software to figure out how it works).

The problem with outsourcing is communication. IT is already a highly technical field that most execs do not understand. Most of the execs I work with do not even know what it is they want and there's a long requirements eliciting process to figure that out. Just as important as finding out what execs really need is finding out what they think they want want that is unnecessary.

Add to that a large cultural/language barrier and successful outsourcing becomes very difficult. Where it does work is when there is someone in the middle who can speak to both worlds; the ability to elicit requirements from the executive level, communicate them to the technical team and then review the technical work to make sure it's not a total cock up.

In the long run, wages will reach parity - arbitrage is always temporary. This is already happening with India, where the wage gap is closing every year. Globalization is not the big issue in the long run. The big long term issues are that workers are becoming disposable short-term contractors across all industries, and that the bulk of the old middle class is being automated out of existence (file clerks? secretaries? typists?).

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I sure as hell don't know of any Oracle certs that are going to get me close to $200,000 a year. Maybe if Im a superstar contractor with 10+ years in every technology under the sun than I might bank around $120,000.

IT/tech's drawbacks are also it's strengths. If you're self-motivated, entrepreneurial and can sell yourself then there's almost unlimited potential.

You can potentially start a company in your garage and have it become the next Google or Facebook. Hard to do that with medicine unless you want to get arrested or have a few million in capital. Those may be the outliers but there are a large number of niche software businesses/web apps that make their owners a very livable income.

It is not difficult to make over six figures in IT/tech if you put in the same number of hours it takes to make that much in similar fields. I can't think of any industries with a lower barrier to entry where those earnings are possible.
post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing View Post
I think being a luxury magazine editor could be a fun position for a young person these days.

Those jobs are just SO easy to come by.
post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by v0rtex View Post
But is that just because IT is the only major industry to have started during the first wave of globalization? The IT/tech industry is barely 30 years old - medicine, accounting, law have hundreds or thousands of years of precedent to build on, from a time where protectionism was not only acceptable but practical (no way to build an international standard for nursing when the only communication is via telegram).
Well that exactly is the reason, theres no history to it. Its evolving at a incredible rate with no boundaries. As you pointed out it has its pros and cons. Theres a lot of cons for the typical kid who was brainwashed into thinking "I go to college, earn Bachelors in tech field and everything will fall into place for me neatly" Not the case. Biggest problem is simply "Temporary nature of knowledge capital" "It’s temporary because the powers that be keep changing the languages and tools that programmers need to do their jobs. In nearly all other professions, knowledge capital increases as you grow older because you keep learning more about your field. But in computer programming, the old knowledge becomes completely obsolete and useless. No one cares if you know how to program in COBOL for example. It’s completely useless knowledge. Because of the temporary nature of the knowledge capital, computer programmers quickly reach a stage in their career when their old knowledge capital becomes worthless at the same rate as they acquire knew knowledge capital. Their total knowledge capital is no longer increasing, so neither does their salary increase. They have reached the dead end plateau of their career, and it happens after less than ten years in the field. " http://www.halfsigma.com/2007/03/why_a_career_in.html
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Other professions are going to start looking more like IT, not the other way around.
Agreed. Thats typical as the world becomes a smaller place and the mighty U.S. empire continues to fall back down on par with the rest of the planet. But unfortunately for those in the tech industry they are experiencing this pretty hard now.
post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemagic View Post
IT (get a certification at the local community college/state u?)

IT is a constantly evolving field. It is important to get a bachelor's degree in CS, get an entry-level job and then keep upgrading your skills and getting certifications. Your certifications will become outdated almost as fast as the technologies they addressed. Unless you enjoy learning new things regularly, this is the wrong field for you. If you do enjoy regular upgrading of skills, this field offers almost unparalled opportunities to earn a very good living.
post #37 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by v0rtex View Post
There is no such thing as the "default middle class" option any more, where you can get a degree, show up to some office for 40 hours a week every 40 years, support a family and retire with a pension. That idea worked for maybe 2 generations during a huge post-war boom (with marginal tax rates of up to 90%), now it's gone forever. The boomers are freaking out about it because it was what they were promised, but the upcoming generation has never even considered it to be an option. If you want that, you need to work your ass off to create that position for yourself and maintain it. We are all entrepreneurs now, whether we like it or not.

The problem with outsourcing is communication. IT is already a highly technical field that most execs do not understand. Most of the execs I work with do not even know what it is they want and there's a long requirements eliciting process to figure that out. Just as important as finding out what execs really need is finding out what they think they want want that is unnecessary.

Add to that a large cultural/language barrier and successful outsourcing becomes very difficult. Where it does work is when there is someone in the middle who can speak to both worlds; the ability to elicit requirements from the executive level, communicate them to the technical team and then review the technical work to make sure it's not a total cock up.

IT/tech's drawbacks are also it's strengths. If you're self-motivated, entrepreneurial and can sell yourself then there's almost unlimited potential.

You can potentially start a company in your garage and have it become the next Google or Facebook. Hard to do that with medicine unless you want to get arrested or have a few million in capital. Those may be the outliers but there are a large number of niche software businesses/web apps that make their owners a very livable income.

It is not difficult to make over six figures in IT/tech if you put in the same number of hours it takes to make that much in similar fields. I can't think of any industries with a lower barrier to entry where those earnings are possible.

+100. Well put.
post #38 of 58
High-tech Sales

out of college you can start an inside sales position with a large company: IBM, Oracle, Xerox, Pitney-Bowes and work your way up. Nowadays, depending on the company, ISS entry positions can pay $50K base with commission-able upside to $100K/yr. Once you've proven yourself you can work your way up to Acct Exec, etc.. and typical annual base salaries are in the $85K-$100K and with commissions your on-target earnings (OTE) can be $200K+/yr
post #39 of 58
There's a very large nursing shortage in the Twin Cities... nurses I know are getting just about anything they want... at the same time they say the hospitals cannot come close to filling the demand because they cannot afford to and there aren't enough applicants.
post #40 of 58
Quote:
here is no such thing as the "default middle class" option any more, where you can get a degree, show up to some office for 40 hours a week every 40 years, support a family and retire with a pension. That idea worked for maybe 2 generations during a huge post-war boom (with marginal tax rates of up to 90%), now it's gone forever. The boomers are freaking out about it because it was what they were promised, but the upcoming generation has never even considered it to be an option. If you want that, you need to work your ass off to create that position for yourself and maintain it. We are all entrepreneurs now, whether we like it or not.
Absolutely agree. The U.S. prospered as a result of the other superpowers being destroyed from war. The blue pill mentality of you have to go to college and everything will be fine has been exposed. People need to think for themselves and create their own path for life.
Quote:
Add to that a large cultural/language barrier and successful outsourcing becomes very difficult. Where it does work is when there is someone in the middle who can speak to both worlds; the ability to elicit requirements from the executive level, communicate them to the technical team and then review the technical work to make sure it's not a total cock up.
Communication is a problem but executives will at the end of the day will always focus on the $$$$. There is going to be a need for a middleman manager type to obvious coordinate everything. But at the end of the day it means entire teams being laid off(I personally know a Systems Analyst at a major company is facing this problem as we speak). He's training a team of Indians over the phone on their system.
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The big long term issues are that workers are becoming disposable short-term contractors across all industries, and that the bulk of the old middle class is being automated out of existence (file clerks? secretaries? typists?).
Yeah for obvious cost reasons I as well see the issue with contracting being spread to every industry. Its already plagued IT.
Quote:
IT/tech's drawbacks are also it's strengths. If you're self-motivated, entrepreneurial and can sell yourself then there's almost unlimited potential. You can potentially start a company in your garage and have it become the next Google or Facebook. Hard to do that with medicine unless you want to get arrested or have a few million in capital. Those may be the outliers but there are a large number of niche software businesses/web apps that make their owners a very livable income. It is not difficult to make over six figures in IT/tech if you put in the same number of hours it takes to make that much in similar fields. I can't think of any industries with a lower barrier to entry where those earnings are possible.
Agreed skys the limit with IT. The problem is the rules changed since the dot com bust and people in general weren't really aware of it. If you came out of college with a degree in Computer Science prior to 2000 you were on a golden parachute. As everything started to go to crap, a lot of people were under the assumption(still are, ive read other forums) that they do the typical college route that they are going to be fine. Basically handed a job. Its a rude awakening for some. Unless you actually truly love it, you're going to get eaten alive. Just like skys the limit with going into say acting.. Difference is people were always under the impression of the fact it is a self-motivated, entrepreneurial type of living as is anything in the entertainment industry. Obviously thats an extreme example but the point is the same. The obvious inherent problem is very few people actually love programming whereas a lot of people love to act or play music. So when one comes out of college thinking this piece of paper will grant him safety in a guaranteed job, they are in for a rude awakening. Then they come to the realization "Oh crap, I don't even like programming. I only majored in it because I heard I would be guaranteed a job starting at $55,000 year with great benefits. How the hell I am going to fake this?" You have to have a certain mindset with it now as you said, though its the same mindset with a lot of jobs future in general(entrepreneurial). At the end of the day majority of people are not self-motivated, thinking outside the box, entrepreneurials. Just a fact. The majority of humans have always historically had the factory worker type mentality. It will be those few who do find a way that prosper, the majority of middle class will just be wiped out. Hell even during the great depression their were people living great lifestyles.
post #41 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by v0rtex View Post
IT: Low level is drying up (outsourcing, shift to the cloud, automation) but the mid and upper ends are doing great. People skills and communication are way more valuable than implementation skills. There's major shortages of highly skilled people (both on the tech and management sides). Most of the knowledge is self-taught (as the industry moves so fast) but my compsci-related degree is definitely useful for getting a foot in the door, and the fundamentals help you learn and adapt very quickly. In some ways technology is getting easier, in many ways it's getting way more complex. Certs are OK for entry level jobs and for entry level clients but won't help with management positions or teach you anything you can't learn yourself. Certain high-end certs are highly valuable (SQL DBA ones and Cisco ones) but I'm guessing you're talking more about A+/MCSE.

Most tech people seem to start in tech support or freelance, then climb the ranks as an implementer before making a jump to management around the middle of their career. You can choose to stick at the implementation end if you enjoy it, but there's definitely a ceiling and it's tougher to make the big $$. Changing company every 2-3 years is a good way to jump up the ranks/pay grades.


Very true. People skills and communication are way more valuable than implementation skills, as is knowledge of the business process.
post #42 of 58
Quote:

High-tech Sales

out of college you can start an inside sales position with a large company: IBM, Oracle, Xerox, Pitney-Bowes and work your way up. Nowadays, depending on the company, ISS entry positions can pay $50K base with commission-able upside to $100K/yr. Once you've proven yourself you can work your way up to Acct Exec, etc.. and typical annual base salaries are in the $85K-$100K and with commissions your on-target earnings (OTE) can be $200K+/yr


+

Quote:
There's a very large nursing shortage in the Twin Cities... nurses I know are getting just about anything they want... at the same time they say the hospitals cannot come close to filling the demand because they cannot afford to and there aren't enough applicants.


If I were suggesting a career path to somebody who was totally open today, I'd suggest getting a nursing degree, an MBA and some sales experience. frankly, even a Respiratory Therapist would probably be enough. if you can get your degree, and work part time in some type of sales job - even selling cell phones or pretty much anything, just to get a little experience, then leverage the nursing degree to get a job selling medical equipment - not the drugs route, and try to avoid selling to doctors, you want to sell hardware to hospitals. that is where the money is.
post #43 of 58
My home city (Regina, SK, Canada) has been recruiting nurses from the Philipeans. The shortage has been so bad for so long their union has negotiated some wild overtime perks. There was 5 nurses last year that all cleared $100k, and one who made ~$250k. On top of that, they get very lucrative vacation time, and many have been known to use their vacation time to work in other regions with equally bad shortages. For example, many here will go down to Florida for their vacation time to work.
post #44 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by fathergll View Post
Biggest problem is simply "Temporary nature of knowledge capital"

Isn't this the case in all physical professions though - there's only so many years a builder can carry heavy loads until they're physically forced to move to foreman/general contractor roles, or get out of the game. Even in the world's oldest profession, workers eventually get old enough that they need to move to managing the front of the house or quit.

The specifics of IT are changing at a rate like nothing else in history, but there are a lot of abstract concepts that carry through the years (the canonical CS textbook, Knuth's Art of Computer Programming, was published in the 60s and hasn't changed much). The x86 architecture is decades old. Modern languages like PHP and Java use a C-style syntax that is 40+ years old. The last major revolution in programming was object orientation and that happened in the early 90s. Dealing with clients doesn't change much (probably the most important aspect of tech work).

Ultimately tech is about solving problems - clients generally don't care what you write in (or even how well you write it), just that their problems are solved. Instead of "writing COBOL in 1978", you "decreased transaction errors by 60%, saving $3m in fees". I didn't just "install a shopping cart I downloaded for free", I "implemented an e-commerce system that generated $300,000 in revenue in the first month and provided an X00% ROI".

This was the big step for my tech career; realizing that it wasn't the technically brilliant who were getting ahead but the people who were solving problems most effectively and going after problems that would provide a great deal of value when solved.

As another poster said though, I'd avoid this field unless you have a deep love for it. I would happily do most of the tech aspect of my work for free. The interacting with clients bit is the bit that I need payment for...
post #45 of 58
Interesting discussion about IT. In my experience, IT is just as booming as ever. The New York startup scene is absolutely starving for decent software engineers. The previous firm I worked at (not a startup) was always looking to hire and they were willing to *pay*. Keep in mind that current unemployment rates for software engineers are between 4 and 5%. On the coasts, this number is even lower.
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