Ten Reasons Why IT Is a Great Career Choice in 2010

Don Tennant
Slide Show

15 Tech Job Markets on the Rise

See the 15 hottest job markets, according to Dice.com.

To hear some technology professionals tell it, you'd think the IT career field was a vast wasteland of hopelessness, disappointment, injustice and a lack of opportunity. Blaming "cheap labor" in the form of non-U.S workers in this country and elsewhere, they contend that the profession has been stolen from them and that there's no future in IT. So when the CEO of a company that lives and breathes IT jobs argues that the exact opposite is the case-that the outlook for IT as a career is as bright as or brighter than it ever was-you have to wonder where the disconnect is.


I spoke yesterday with Scot Melland, CEO of Dice Holdings, whose Dice.com website serves as a resource to match IT workers with jobs and to provide information about the IT job market to recruiters, hiring companies and the technology work force. Melland couldn't have been more bullish on the market, and I came away from our conversation with 10 reasons why IT remains a great career path for people already in the field, and for those considering it. Here they are, in no particular order:


  • According to June Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, the IT unemployment rate was 5.5 percent, compared to an overall unemployment rate of 9.5 percent.
  • Technology is one of the strongest sectors of the economy. The long-term employment forecast released by the BLS shows that many of the fastest-growing occupations are technology-related.
  • A resurgence in technology recruiting is under way, as evidenced by steadily increasing demand for the services provided by Dice.
  • Seventy-five percent of HR managers and recruiters have at least one hard-to-fill technology position open, and there are thousands of vacancies going unfilled.
  • There is an acute shortage of workers with experience in such high-demand skills as virtualization, building secure databases and networks, Ruby on Rails development and SAP engineering.
  • There is ongoing demand for tech pros with expertise in core talents, including project management, Java development, network engineering and database administration.
  • Slide Show

    Ten Reasons Why the IT Job Market is Hot in 2010

    Find out why IT remains a great career path in 2010.

    The combination of a surge in projects getting the green light after being put on hold 18 months ago, and the fact that we're entering a technology upgrade cycle to refresh aging systems, is boosting demand for technology skills.
  • IT as an occupation pays considerably more in salary than the national average. The average salary on the Dice.com site is more than $70,000.
  • IT is a great career for women because the pay gap between men and women in technology is small in comparison to that found in other professions.
  • Technology positions are typically merit-based, and offer an opportunity for flexibility in terms of providing contract or full-time work.


I also came away from the conversation with this conclusion: There are way too many tech workers who need to spend a lot less time bemoaning their plight, wallowing in self pity and blaming perceived adversaries, and a lot more time taking proactive measures to get back in the game and stay competitive. The opportunity is there if they would just use their hands for something other than throwing them up in exasperation and pointing accusatory fingers.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jul 28, 2010 5:07 AM Brock Brock  says:

Capstone Consulting has great IT resources on their website that I recommend checking out! I agree that IT is a great field to go in right now because the industry is always expanding and changing with new technological advancements.

Jul 28, 2010 6:10 AM Chicken Hero Chicken Hero  says:

Here they go ! The propaganda machine is back on again... la blah blah.. Not enough tech workers we need more H-1B visas again..

Jul 28, 2010 10:49 AM Haha ! Haha !  says: in response to Chicken Hero

Hey Chicken Hero, does Rudy Torrent and co pay you in cash or kind for spamming all day?

Jul 28, 2010 10:52 AM The Countdown has begun !! The Countdown has begun !!  says:

for the Losers guild and insurgents to email/FB each other to fill up this page with orchestrated hate and BS

Let the BS begin

Jul 29, 2010 4:41 AM Sam Sam  says:

Seems time for corporates to go begging  with their bowls to DC to increase H1B's and Fraud L1 Visa holders...Kick out these outsources and offshore-rs who steam Americans of their livelihood ..Kick out InfoSys, Wipro, Patni, Syntel, HCL, Congnizat and thousands of other Indian fraud companies from USA

Jul 30, 2010 6:16 AM Mike Mike  says:

10 best reasons if you're not a white American IT worker, that is.

Jul 30, 2010 6:22 AM Mike Mike  says:

Here's how Asians play the game in the U.S. Note the names of the 2 email groups:


Original Message -

Subject: Sr. Electrical Engineer Position available @ Oplink

Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 10:40:35 -0700 (PDT)

From: Julie Koo <Julie.Koo@Sun.COM>

Reply-To: Julie Koo Julie.Koo@Sun.COM


Begin Forwarded Message -

Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 08:43:52 -0700

From: Sabrina Chan <Sabrina.Chan@Sun.COM>

Subject: Sr. Electrical Engineer Position available @ Oplink

To: chinatown2000@sun.com, indians_ca@sun.com

MIME-version: 1.0

X-Accept-Language: en

Original-recipient: rfc822;chinatown2000@sun.com


The company my friend works at is currently looking for a Senior Electrical

Engineer. If you know any qualified applicants, please have them send their

resume directly to:  trinal@oplink.com.

Attached below is a copy of the job description.  Oplink is a telecommunications



Jul 30, 2010 12:19 PM H-1B Lover H-1B Lover  says:

Your American parents are liars. Put your kids back to IT school as soon as possible because the field is so dam good.

American IT workers are a bunch liars. There is a major shortage of IT workers in the US.

Indians will rule the world ! Indians will take over USA  More H-1B please ! Thanks for Don Tennant to expose them all. Don Tennant is Indian hero..

Aug 1, 2010 3:49 AM michkel400 michkel400  says: in response to Chicken Hero

o       The above thought is smart and doesn't require any further addition.

It's perfect thought from my side.

Career Advice

Aug 1, 2010 3:55 AM michkel400 michkel400  says: in response to michkel400

The people are loosing their moral while becoming modern. The

society needs to be attentive that moral value.


Career Opportunities

Aug 2, 2010 11:59 AM griffen2011 griffen2011  says:

I always find it fascinating when people talk about subjects but never experience the truth.  Just to let you know I am currently working just looking for something better.

I have interviewed with several companies in the past  year now and found that there is an employee from Pakistan at each one minimally 2 of the larger companies are fully staffed with them.  All IT jobs.  I have worked with them in the past and I have seen them give references to those that have no real experience in the field of the position they are applying for.  Call any internet provider up with email issues once and I will say this it is very unlikely you will reach someone who speak English.  About the only company I know of that does hire Americans anymore is IBM. 

You ask any vendor be it HP, Oracle, EMC who ever all IT is being shifted to other countries to lower cost.  Unless they absolutely can no do so.  Which means oc course wages also take a hit here in America.

Aug 6, 2010 2:44 AM mataj mataj  says:

Yeah, IT is indeed a great career choice- for North Koreans




Aug 6, 2010 9:10 AM Beef Stew Beef Stew  says:

Yeah ! IT is a Great Career Choice in 2010 for the Indians and Chinese not the American.

BPOs see 12% rise in global transactions


BPOs see 12% rise in global transactions


Where does the government get the unemployment rate for IT at 5.7%.. I have no idea it must be fraud reporting. Companies cut cost everywhere from left to right by outsourcing and insourcing bunch of H-1B from India and China. My neighbors, friends, and relatives are axed. Some of them out of job since last year and year before. Some of them changed career and moving out of my neighborhood. We have nothing left just bear on the top pubic hair at the bottom. We need food and clothes to fit and cover ourself. All the Indians and Chinese can come and come take it and take it more. No kidding.. Things will be exploded soon or later.. 5.7% my @ss..

Aug 7, 2010 5:31 AM mataj mataj  says: in response to Beef Stew

Indians are slowly getting too expensive, Chinese probably too. Their jobs will move to Africa, North Korea, places like that. The crappier, the better. You better pray that movable IT jobs (the ones that are easily specifies, not necessarily unskilled) don't return back from the USA, because that would mean, that your living standard got lower than Nigerian or Rwandan.

Speaking of Rwanda... Hutus and Tutsis were very busy laying fiberoptic for the last couple of years



That's how Rwandan parliament looks like


They seem pretty determined to get a piece of the IT pie, don't you think?

Aug 11, 2010 3:27 AM Beef Stew Beef Stew  says: in response to Don Tennant

We American love to compete whatsoever brain to brain, idea to idea and ability to ability. H-1B workers are here to compete for price and we unable to do so due to the living standard here. Some of H-1B friend told me they are making 20-30K/year.. Man.. How can I survive with that salary, my house mortgage is around $1500/month. Everybody knows IT field is a great field to pursue but companies wont consider hiring local talents due to price competition. I have nothing to say it is very depressing...

Aug 11, 2010 12:34 PM thinkaboutit thinkaboutit  says:

I too am concerned about foreign workers, but competition is what America is all about?

Unfair, fair, legal, illegal, it seems that this hasn't matter in any other industry so why are we IT folks complaining when it finally happened to us? Some would say, that's why I got into IT instead of being a factory worker, but alas, change is the only constant.

I say get out there and compete!   Ideas and our ability to create them and turn them into something valuable can never to outsourced.  GIGO, so if u hire someone less qualified then u will get less in return.  As for cost, well I don't be smudge someone having the wear with all to leave their family and come here. < can u say Ellis Island?> We all got into IT because we thought we were smarter than everybody else, so I guess now is the time to prove it.

Aug 11, 2010 12:59 PM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to thinkaboutit

Thank you for expressing the point I was trying to make much better than I did.

Aug 12, 2010 2:46 AM walterbyrd walterbyrd  says:

Hype doesn't pay the bills.

Bottom line is: there is no way for Americans for compete with third world wages. The reality is that  offshore labor is a lot cheaper, therefore employers will offshore every possible job. And if the job can not offshored yet, it will be done by a foreign guest worker.

Sorry, that is just plain reality.

Aug 12, 2010 2:49 AM walterbyrd walterbyrd  says:

"About the only company I know of that does hire Americans anymore is IBM." 

WTF? Is that typo? In case you did not know, by IBM's own admission, less than  25% of IBM's workforce was born in the USA.

Aug 12, 2010 7:46 AM Octavian Cosma Octavian Cosma  says: in response to thinkaboutit

It's not the same thing. In '83, as you describe it, and until about 1997, there were changes, nobody's going to deny that, but they were local changes. It's like a sewing shop that changes its sewing machines and patterns, making it more complex to use the new machines, but maintaining the same workers (at least for as long they could cope up with the changes and increased complexity) and - most important -  their number. Right now, to stick to the fabrics example, the customer wants the cheapest shirt, totally ignorant whether it has been produced in the USA, Asia, or Eastern Europe. And since wages are like 5-10x lower (the discrepancy used to be much higher, but it's still high) in all those locales, the American worker will lose, no matter how much he works, how many courses he takes etc. - because we cannot all be the Larry Pages, Steve Jobses, Bill Gateses - there is no such society where all members contribute with something unique - there simply isn't.

Look at Apple. Successful company, but only the design is made in the USA. All of production goes to China. And who's their typical client? An American youngster, paying for the Ipod with money earned selling more Chinese stuff in the mighty Mall

Back to IT. You seem to ignore the shift from local workers to remote workers. To think Indians, Eastern Europeans, Russians are less smart than their American counterparts is delusional. They work for lower wages not because they are slaves, but rather because the living expenses are much lower where they live, and as a result they have the potential to live much better lives. And their much more sustainable, as they often live close to their workplaces, eat organic foods, and so on.

Bottom line: in a connected world, if ten people have the same skill set, be sure that in most cases it's best to be in the place with the lowest living expenses, especially if it's a stable country, and if it has good weather - even better. Corporations have moved to lower taxation and cheaper workers for decades, but we citizens can't move that easy.

Notice I haven't even touched cloud computing. That's another can of worms, at least in what system administrators, engineers, managers are concerned.

Aug 12, 2010 8:46 AM thinkaboutit thinkaboutit  says:

User1842895- Many of your points are valid, but most be looked at in the context history.

When I started in this field in 83', many hardcore IT folks were saying the same things?

'We have reached the pinnacle', 'we are just building on top everything else'.  Of course this was in the Main Frame World, the coding world of COBAL, FORTRAN, the world of Twinax. I remember hearing the 'old guys' talk about the 'good ole days' when nobody knew exactly how 'we' did all these things, they were just happy to give us what we wanted and stand back and wait for the magic to happen?. < Did you know that today is  the 71st anniversary of the Wizard of Oz' Then came the paradigm shift of all of the technologies you mentioned.  This created the 'Boom Time' you spoke of.  Now, look who the 'old guys' are??  I am not worried, a paradigm shift is coming, it always has in this field !

I just want to have the intelligence to see it coming before everybody else

Aug 12, 2010 12:26 PM Octavian Cosma Octavian Cosma  says:

It's strange nobody here looks at the economics of IT, at the hard numbers. I suppose most of us comment posters have started their IT careers in the mid-to-late 90s. Back then, IT as we know it today (TCP networks, routing, the Internet, VPNs, later on remote access, VNC, RDP) was new, innovative, heck even HTML coders were rich. It was mandatory for companies to get the latest and the greatest, or risked to be left behind by much. Also the economy was better than today.

What happened in the meantime? Not much innovation. Just building on what was already there. Getting same things done faster. Streamlining. Automating. Outsourcing. Cutting costs. Working 24h. Foreign competition. Lately SAAS, hosted, cloud.

I won't deny there will be IT jobs in the near and distant future, but the pyramid will be narrower, and the lower 90% of it will have to put up with stress that together with falling incomes and job security will make it an unworthy profession.

I mean, there are executive assistants making more than Systems Engineers and even IT Managers...

Aug 14, 2010 10:24 AM Beef Stew Beef Stew  says: in response to walterbyrd

IBM - India Business Machine

Aug 16, 2010 5:58 AM Darkyosh Darkyosh  says:


Take a look at this. I started out a highly trained IT professional. I agree with what this man is saying, even if that's a line of work I can no longer follow.

Aug 16, 2010 9:04 AM Kit Peters Kit Peters  says:

Consider the source of this data: the CEO of an IT job search website.  It's in Mr. Melland's interest to talk up the IT job market, as that drives traffic to his site.

Aug 16, 2010 10:26 AM Octavian Cosma Octavian Cosma  says: in response to Kit Peters

Correct. If the job market for IT pros would be going well, we wouldn't get to read this kind of article. What this story does is it attempts to bring people, who are young and smart enough to switch careers, back to the IT treadmill. This kind of article puts them back into a wrongly perceived comfort zone, and keeps them visiting IT job market web sites (people like to hear good news), thus bringing traffic and revenue.

Aug 17, 2010 7:52 AM User71034 User71034  says: in response to Kit Peters

I agree with Kit Peters, times are booming for "IT Recruiting Firms."  I get a half-dozen emails a day from people wanting to know if I want to relocate to another state for 3-6 months of work - the work having nothing to do with what's on my resume.  On the flip side, IT workers are no different from auto workers, or railroad workers, or any of the dozens of manufacturing workers whose jobs have left the country over the past 40 years.  IT workers have become fancy day laborers, hiring out for short term gigs with few or no benefits.  As a consultant and tech trainer for the past 21 years, I've seen environments where a person had a career turn into a pool of 1099's.  As for staying current, it's a must, as anything we know today has a shelf life of 18-24 months.  The difference today is that instead of companies investing in current employees when new products or technologies are required, they cut the current staff loose, the VMO calls a dozen or so "trusted" recruiters and they replace 80-90% of the staff with lower cost resources.  By the way, to get placed, you've got to sign this non-compete so none of the other trusted recruiters can offer you more money.  I've pretty much quit teaching, because this can no longer be called a career.  A career implies job stability and room for advancement.  Can any of us say we've advanced in the past 8 years without changing jobs?  Would I allow any of my own children to entertain thoughts of an IT career?  No way.

We can't blame workers from other countries.  Unless you are a Native American, you or someone in your family tree displaced someone at some point in time.  I wish I had something profound to say, some solution, or at least something to give those people in operations that are working 60-70 hours a week hope, but all I can think of at this point is my new career plan - "Welcome to Walmart!"

Aug 18, 2010 10:54 AM thinkaboutit thinkaboutit  says: in response to Octavian Cosma

I like your 'bottom line' connected =accessible = available for use.

I see that in times gone by this may not have been possible, thus local resources were the only option?

As for a Career, well as we have both said we are no different than any one else.

If you want a career, get a federal government job, that's as close as you can get.

As there will always be someone cheaper; notice we are not talking about the Irish as they have started to price themselves out of the market. I am wondering where the line is currently being drawn?

As you can tell I work for a small mid-sized firm so I might lack the experiences of a larger organization, but I wonder??  Is the management of IT being off shored as you see it as well?

Aug 28, 2010 10:24 AM Dman Dman  says: in response to Mike


It's not about race but it is about corporate greed! It's also about IT change.

There has been major changes in IT. Back in the mid 80's I worked on the command line or CLI. There was no MS Windows except for Macintosh. Evetually there was of course. Do you guys remember the very stable Novell Netware (ran for years without a reboot) , 1200 baud modems, AT&T Unix, etc. And I can go on and on all day with IT changes since the 80's and 90's thru current trends. Change is good sometimes right?

Aug 28, 2010 10:38 AM Dman Dman  says: in response to Dman

The trend now and for many years to come is Cloud Computering and Virtualization. And believe it or not Linux. Get these certs and experience and you're all good ganranteed! The IT world will shift to these technologies and companies will migrate to this new way of IT services. Security will improve greatly and actally it already has with security appliances. The data center will be consolidated with Hypervisors. 

Sep 4, 2010 9:27 AM Queen of Hearts Queen of Hearts  says: in response to thinkaboutit

>>Ideas and our ability to create them and turn them into something valuable can never to outsourced.

Sadly, these are exactly the things that are being outsourced

Most of innovation - especially in IT - comes from America, but America does not benefit from their implementation. Foreigners, especially the Indians are exceptional at picking-up the ideas and cookie-cutting in a massive scale to create jobs for their own labor forces. Tell me the last time you walked into a sw shop and saw a label "Made in India"; 99% of World's sw is American - but guess who knows how to use them best - by the hundreds of thousands?

PeopleSoft - American made - Indians know how to use it best

SAP - German made - Indians know how to use it best

SQL - American made - Indians know how to use it best

Oracle - American made - Indians know how to use it best

I can go on and on and on! You get the point: "innovation" and creativity have little to do with what is happening in the real streets of IT labor markets.

Americans like Tennant thinks that foreigners too - like Indians and the Chinese - also play by the same rules as do most Americans: fairness, decency, INTEGRITY, honesty etc. This is a NAIVE view! With 1.15 billion people in India and 1.4 billion in China (combined that is nearly 10 US's and myriad of other problems) they simply cannot AFFORD TO play by the rules of decency and integrity. For most of them, it is survival, and they will resort to whatever means to exploit any situation to their advantage. And that is what has been happening with in-sourcing and outsourcing since 1990.

I know - I am an American IT worker from the Indian sub-continent who has been in IT in the US since 1972. I know the games played by my fellow Asian friends that exploit my dear - though terribly gullible - American friends! Unless those in power protect the American workers - expect America to become a 2nd rate nation within 10 years! America has become a victim of its own excesses, greed, and mostly naivette. It is time for a collective soul-search and to take care of ourselves before being gobbled-up.

I would love to see what Tennant would say when his job is outsourced, it is only a matter of time.

An Asian-American software veteran

Sep 5, 2010 1:10 AM Conrad Law Conrad Law  says: in response to Queen of Hearts

Wow. I just got through the whole thread. Very though provoking. I retired a year ago after working for 28 years with the federal government in the DC area. I started as a clerk with a degree in Social Science, became a Research Economist, switched to Total Quality Management (TQM) when it was hot, got a Tandy 1000 at home when our agency announced that they were going to put PCs on everyone's desk in the next year or two and switched to IT when the opportunity arose because there would be greater opportunities there.

My unique skills and abilities put me at the forefront because I kept pace with new skills and technologies. (Client-Server, CD-Publishing, Fax-On-Demand, etc.)

I took an early retirement because I realized that only by becoming an entrepreneur could I possibly continue the growth that I had gotten used to. I realize that my entrepreneurial spirit has been more important than my technical skills all along.

I also realize that in order to compete globally, as is my intention, I must look at services such as ODesk and Elance to get cost effective workers that are hungry. Most American workers, especially those that work for the Federal Government think that all they need to do is there job to survive. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As far as trends are concerned, my last 10 years in the government, I witnessed many government IT job going away being replaced by contractors, and most of the contractors became foreigners with visas; often with very little command of the English language.

Sorry my first post is so long. The bottom line, the only way we can compete is through entrepreneurship.


Jan 28, 2011 4:16 AM mo mo  says: in response to Conrad Law

Yes, as father would say after immigration to the US,"Go to school, study hard, and you will have house, white picket fence, not work with hands but with brain."

Now, I wish I had become a "Sub Zero Guy", or a plumber. You can't outsource these and the topic is still the same -- especially the plumber and 20-something computer management.

Please note the references made in a book stating that Russia was not the long term concern. The book: "Die Gelbe Gefahr."


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