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Educational IT Jobs Thread, Is it still worth it? in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Originally Posted by Grommit depends on how old you are.... 35 and above is looked at as old men in ...
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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grommit View Post
    depends on how old you are.... 35 and above is looked at as old men in the ICT Industry and not really employable
    that's rubbish....and no amount of dubious anecdotal evidence from certain people is going to prove otherwise.

    Yes, for some positions an individual over 35 with many years of IT experience is perhaps going to be overqualified.....but then at over 35 and with a decades worth of IT experience i would hope that an IT pro is not going to still be an IT technician in a school or want to move into being a school IT tech.

    I can understand people in this age bracket being disillusioned with industry and some may look at IT tech positions as a way to cut down on the travelling, spend a bit more time with the kids etc. etc....as some on here have done. But i hardly think it's the fault of recuiters that they deem such people to be overqualfied, or that they are more willing to give the opportunity to a school or or college leaver. If personal circumstances dictate a change in career direction, then that can be explained at interview or on the AF.

    Being over 35 is hard for any kind of career change or career left-turn....but that hardly means this age group is on the scrapheap or unemployable in IT.

    I think it's too convenient an excuse for people who really don't understand the industry, and the opportunities available. IF there are skills shortages in a particular sector, i seriously doubt recruiters are going to be put off hiring someone who may need reskilling, but at the same time has a wealth of experience they can draw on. If these people can't sell themselves then it's their own fault - it's a bit pointless claiming to be unemployable.

    btw, serious recuiters would never have a bs AND illegal policy of no-over 35's.....

    How many Network Architects, IT Directors, SAP consultants are over 35 ? Absolutely loads, and make no mistake they are making a mint and getting lots of work. I know of one very well paid consultant....he is currently 33 years of age, but the thing is, becuase of the area in which he works is in such high demand he's not going to be short of work and his earnings potential will probably increase 5 years from now when he's 38!!! That's if he hasn't jacked it all in and retired to cyprus by then.

    There are many many IT operations in business which are relatively slow moving...this is because big orgs are very risk averse. Corporate IT will hold on to an application that is over a decade old because it does what it is supposed to and they will pay a LOT of money to maintain it, and when the time comes to 'upgrade' the new version will look and sound very similar to the old one.......

    So many times it's not about how many new things you can learn in the quickest time possible, it's about having a wealth of experience and understanding business practices. Even at 40 these people are extremely valuable.
    Last edited by torledo; 23rd August 2008 at 08:03 PM.

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    Torledo - While I'd agree that at 35 - you are probably OK to get an IT job - certainly at over 45 - it becomes very difficult to move on.

    Personally at 49, I rarely get even interviews anymore, and my CV is pretty good, plenty of experience in quite high powered roles. I share an office with another guy with 15 years of IT experience in manufacturing and until recently another with 30 years of project management and software development & testing in finance & banking. All of us had been out of work for around a year before we had scaled back our job searches to this sort of work.

    While the job is quite fun, the remuneration sucks given the level of responsibility you have to assume on a fairly limited budget.

    When kids come and ask about going into IT, I usually tell them to think about training as accountants or lawyers, where experience is seen as a positive thing, rather than a limiting factor, as it is in IT, where knowledge of older systems is seen as a hinderance to learning the latest whizz-bang, rather than a useful adjunct.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grommit View Post
    depends on how old you are.... 35 and above is looked at as old men in the ICT Industry and not really employable
    I disagree. I am 40 and don't have an MCSE or anything like. Last week I was offered a job as Head of IT in a large FE college based on experience and understanding of educational IT. As it happens I turned it down as I decided I actually quite like where I am. I think it largely depends on the person not the qualifications or age.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpuffMonkey View Post
    Torledo - While I'd agree that at 35 - you are probably OK to get an IT job - certainly at over 45 - it becomes very difficult to move on.

    Personally at 49, I rarely get even interviews anymore, and my CV is pretty good, plenty of experience in quite high powered roles. I share an office with another guy with 15 years of IT experience in manufacturing and until recently another with 30 years of project management and software development & testing in finance & banking. All of us had been out of work for around a year before we had scaled back our job searches to this sort of work.

    While the job is quite fun, the remuneration sucks given the level of responsibility you have to assume on a fairly limited budget.

    When kids come and ask about going into IT, I usually tell them to think about training as accountants or lawyers, where experience is seen as a positive thing, rather than a limiting factor, as it is in IT, where knowledge of older systems is seen as a hinderance to learning the latest whizz-bang, rather than a useful adjunct.
    I imagine there probably are a lot of negative stereotyping with the over 45's that makes it difficult for them to be recruited in certain instances.

    If you've been in the industry going back to the 80's you'll have had experience with a lot of technology that is now obsolete....but at the same time other technologies that were used by IT pros back then morph or get updated rather than just perish. Thinking specifically of the AS/400 which is still widely used, but the current iteration of the product perhaps fails to win enough new business to justify a recuitment explosion.

    I stand by what i say about big companies being risk averse. They do update the technology, but they also have years old investments in IT that they are loathe to rip out and replace....that's why middleware was and still is a big earner. Business needed to have old software talking to the newer whizz-bang stuff in the late 90's....they needed the As/400's to interconnect and place nice with newer technology - and that's still the case in 2008. So they still need people who have that experience with old stuff. But more increasingly they value people who have PM and business operations experience. The technical plumbing can be done by code monkeys...the higher level describing of business processes is very important and can command a premium (think business analysts and functional consultants), and that only comes with experience.

    I would say someone over the age of 45 is ideal for a project management or team lead role where they have business and organisational experience.... But i can see why it's hard to get a tech-focused role at that age. At 45 i'm amazed people still have the motivation and drive to learn and keep up to date with the latest skills. At that age i'm not sure i could do a tech focused role - i'd proably suffer from technology burnout by then....man managmeent at 45 would probably be a good age to do that kind of positon, do that role at a fat salary for a few years and then go part-time and do something completely different at 50....finances permitting ofcourse. As you can see i've got it all planned out...

    I'd never encourage people to become accountants or lawyers....simply because there's no enjoyment in the role - and if financial rewards were the primary motivation for a career choice, you can get financial rewards in the city or in IT if you know what training and experience is required.

    Accountancy may never change and may not age discriminate but whereas you'd struggle to land work in IT at 45, you'd probably feel like slitting your wrists if you were still an accountant at 45.

    An IT consultant in the right specialism can earn more than most accountants and can probably afford to retire at 40....before they've had the nervous breakdown.

    IF a young person was to come to me today asking for careers advice. I'd suggest they either go on a vocational collgee course and train to be a plumber or gas fitter. OR of that's not their bag, go to university and either train to become a dentist or if staring in peoples mouths for hours everyday is not their bag then i'd advise they get a 2:1 or 1 degree from a good uni and get onto a graduate training programme as an IT consultant.

    I'd never advise anyone to be a lawyer or accountant or an investment banker for that matter. Get a job that pays well and is mentally or physically challenging that can also be interesting. IT or a trade still fit the bill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcollings View Post
    I disagree. I am 40 and don't have an MCSE or anything like. Last week I was offered a job as Head of IT in a large FE college based on experience and understanding of educational IT. As it happens I turned it down as I decided I actually quite like where I am. I think it largely depends on the person not the qualifications or age.
    Head of IT at a college is an ideal role at that age....goes back to what i was saying that at 40-45 with the experience gained a team lead role or project management role is perfect, and a national progression imo. At 40 i'd like to be a semi excecutive role such as IT Manager or IT director...with Network Managers and Systems Managers underneath to manage the day-to-day operations of the department. I'd expect 40k minimum for that kind of role.

    That's if you were looking at it purely from a career progression POV.

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    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    Head of IT at a college is an ideal role at that age....goes back to what i was saying that at 40-45 with the experience gained a team lead role or project management role is perfect, and a national progression imo. At 40 i'd like to be a semi excecutive role such as IT Manager or IT director...with Network Managers and Systems Managers underneath to manage the day-to-day operations of the department. I'd expect 40k minimum for that kind of role.

    That's if you were looking at it purely from a career progression POV.
    I was head of IT in a college a while back before I downshifted and moved to the lakes and this school. Mind you I think I would be a better one now at 40 than I was at 27 when I did it last just because I have a more balanced view now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpuffMonkey View Post
    When kids come and ask about going into IT, I usually tell them to think about training as accountants or lawyers
    Fair enough advising them to avoid IT if you think they wouldn't fit it as a career, but couldn't you at least advise them to try something useful?

    --
    David Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Fair enough advising them to avoid IT if you think they wouldn't fit it as a career, but couldn't you at least advise them to try something useful?

    --
    David Hicks
    ...yes, like hedge fund managers or public relations account executives

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Fair enough advising them to avoid IT if you think they wouldn't fit it as a career, but couldn't you at least advise them to try something useful?

    --
    David Hicks
    *smile* but when I look around at friends & colleagues, if you're not directly in an ICT company, the chances are that you'll end up being managed by an accountant as part of corporate services. Very few ICT people manage to break through to senior management, and its not because of ability, but simply that the people who control the cash control the firm, and IT people are perceived as "difficult", mainly, I suspect, because our work needs things to be "right", rather than just "OK".

    If you want a career, rather than a job - unless you're in an IT firm, it isn't going to happen - which I think is worth considering, if you're in it for the long haul.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richard View Post
    Well that's interesting seeing as it was put together with help from a Recruitment Manager with over 20 years experience. I showed her my first CV which was just under 2 pages long and she threw it in the bin.
    Your CV should only have enough information to get you an interview so you can then sell yourself in person. It should be tailored to each job you apply for and irrellevant information ommitted or minimalised. I always go through the job specifications and fit my CV around it and as said before never any more than two pages as I have seen managers with lots of CV's in front of them disregard bulky ones having 'lost the will to live'!
    Good luck and chin up!

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    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    If you've been in the industry going back to the 80's you'll have had experience with a lot of technology that is now obsolete....but at the same time other technologies that were used by IT pros back then morph or get updated rather than just perish. Thinking specifically of the AS/400 which is still widely used, but the current iteration of the product perhaps fails to win enough new business to justify a recuitment explosion.

    I stand by what i say about big companies being risk averse. They do update the technology, but they also have years old investments in IT that they are loathe to rip out and replace....that's why middleware was and still is a big earner. Business needed to have old software talking to the newer whizz-bang stuff in the late 90's....they needed the As/400's to interconnect and place nice with newer technology - and that's still the case in 2008. So they still need people who have that experience with old stuff. But more increasingly they value people who have PM and business operations experience. The technical plumbing can be done by code monkeys...the higher level describing of business processes is very important and can command a premium (think business analysts and functional consultants), and that only comes with experience.

    I would say someone over the age of 45 is ideal for a project management or team lead role where they have business and organisational experience.... But i can see why it's hard to get a tech-focused role at that age. At 45 i'm amazed people still have the motivation and drive to learn and keep up to date with the latest skills. At that age i'm not sure i could do a tech focused role - i'd proably suffer from technology burnout by then....man managmeent at 45 would probably be a good age to do that kind of positon, do that role at a fat salary for a few years and then go part-time and do something completely different at 50....finances permitting ofcourse. As you can see i've got it all planned out...

    I'd never encourage people to become accountants or lawyers....simply because there's no enjoyment in the role - and if financial rewards were the primary motivation for a career choice, you can get financial rewards in the city or in IT if you know what training and experience is required.

    Accountancy may never change and may not age discriminate but whereas you'd struggle to land work in IT at 45, you'd probably feel like slitting your wrists if you were still an accountant at 45.

    An IT consultant in the right specialism can earn more than most accountants and can probably afford to retire at 40....before they've had the nervous breakdown.

    IF a young person was to come to me today asking for careers advice. I'd suggest they either go on a vocational collgee course and train to be a plumber or gas fitter. OR of that's not their bag, go to university and either train to become a dentist or if staring in peoples mouths for hours everyday is not their bag then i'd advise they get a 2:1 or 1 degree from a good uni and get onto a graduate training programme as an IT consultant.

    I'd never advise anyone to be a lawyer or accountant or an investment banker for that matter. Get a job that pays well and is mentally or physically challenging that can also be interesting. IT or a trade still fit the bill.
    I think you've misunderstood - myself and my colleagues tried to get management and leadership roles, but didn't get considered, we've taken techie roles because we need an income, not because we are desperate to stay "technical".

    Also you seem to make the same irritating assumptions that firms do - in that what I did 20 odd years ago is what I want to do now - I was Unix/Xenix, then Netware 3, 4 & 5 but now server 2003 etc - I can do the techie side, but I'd prefer something better paid and frankly more interesting - after the 15th or 16th OS version, it all becomes a bit tedious.

    Don't know why you've a big downer on accountants & lawyers - they are well paid professions that are generally well regarded within the corporate world. Not all accountancy work is boring, and a lot of legal work can be fascinating, and can be very well remunerated. As I say - at least there is a career structure to work around - whereas in IT - I don't think there is, as such.

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    CVs should be 2-3 pages long and also have a covering letter highlighting elements of your CV that meet the skillset for the job you are applying for.

    If someone wants more info they will ask.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    CVs should be 2-3 pages long and also have a covering letter highlighting elements of your CV that meet the skillset for the job you are applying for.

    If someone wants more info they will ask.
    Well you are certainly the first person ive EVER heard say that. Ive been told by many parties from many differant areas of work that CVs should be 1-2 pages max, straight to the point; who you are, what you've done, what you want to do and how you think you are th best man for the role (what makes you better)

    Even better, write a new CV especially for the job you are applying to.

    Shows how peoples opinions of what is correct varie and change over time and from place to place. But either way to state that a CV shoould be x pages long is obviously wrong.

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    CVs don't actually change that often if you are still looking for similar jobs in the same field. The covering letter is the thing that changes.

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    @spuffmonkey

    i was concerned that my statements would give the impression that i was assuming that people with 20-30 years IT experience were still stuck in the world of AS/400's, green screens, and shoulder pads - but that was not my intention at all. I don't make the assumption at all that people in your age bracket are behind the times....the assumption i do make is that i think people with your experience want something more than a tech-focused role.

    And that assumption appears to be correct based on what your saying about wanting to do senior mgmt roles but not getting the offers. I can't for the life of me understand why that is the case though.

    As you've said...the 13th or 14th iteration of an OS can be tiresome, and at your age a career progression into mgmt or project management would no doubt be a timely relief...

    As for accountants and the legal profession....perhaps i was being a little unfair, i'm sure they are rewarding and they have their moments. As for IT lacking structured progression....well i'm not sure about that, most IT depts. have recognised roles of Managers, directors, project management officers, and systems managers. If career progression is limited in a particular org there are plenty of opportunites in other companies. But without knowing what it's like to be looking for mgmt roles at your age, i can't fully appreciate the difficulties you face.

    I still wouldn't go out of my way to recommend young people look at accountancy as a career option....not when graduates have tremendous opportunities if they get in with the right company on the right IT development track.
    Last edited by torledo; 27th August 2008 at 01:19 PM.

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