[nycbug-talk] MSNBC on the decline of technology jobs

alex at pilosoft.com alex
Wed Jun 22 15:11:48 EDT 2005

On Wed, 22 Jun 2005, George R. wrote:

> There was a massive contraction among technical jobs, and it was so
> drastic, that it went far beyond those not interested or unqualified.  
> Alex, there are some people we know in common who you would agree are
> more than qualified and driven who were hit hard. . . we can talk at
> some point about that. ..
I think I'll disagree. Yes, there was contraction in 2001-2002. But, don't
forget about the insane expansion from 1997 to 1999. I submit that after 
the cycle, there were *still* more people employed in 2003 than there were 
in 1996.

Asking salary plays a huge role. If someone was on the street cause they
were still looking for 120k base in 2002 while the going rate for their
skills was 80k, well, that's their own problem.

I'll be honest - the entire group at Lazard where I was consulting was
laid off including our manager and I've had to accept a fulltime job at
less than half I was making consulting in order to keep money coming in.  
But, I was on the street for about 3 weeks, and I think I've made the
right choice then.

> Anybody who doesn't see the very real trajectory from 1999 until today
> is missing something. . . too isolated from the larger picture.  Which
> is probably good.
And if you are looking only from 1999, you are missing larger picture too. 
Look at 1995-2005 for perspective. It is classic boom-bust cycle. You make 
lots of $$$ at the peak, that should tide you during the bust. If you were 
making 100$/hr consulting in 1999 and didn't save anything for rainy day - 
again, too bad for you ;)

> I had seven or so in my IT department.  And the most talented just left 
> the industry.  Of the others, only one is still in technology.  Were the 
> others meant to be there?  Maybe, maybe not. Some didn't have the 
> passion or drive, but we're not paratroopers.
> On the individual level, we should learn the clear lessons about
> continuing to improve skills and experience, personal networking, etc.
> But the fact remains, technical people created neither the dot com boom
> nor the bust.  It was the speculation of the investors and the relevant
> industries that did.  Nevertheless, it was technical people who were hit
> disproportionately hard in terms of employment.  Of course, I'm not
> talking about the millions whose retirement equity disappeared, usually
> through no fault of their own, as they had invested in mutual funds,
> 401k's and union pension funds. . .
Again, my opinion is that technology people are better off in 2005 
compared to 1995. So, yeah, boom-bust cycle sucked, but altogether, it 
ain't that bad.


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