Five Tips for Staying Employed in IT Through 2010: Page 2

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4) By 2010, ten to fifteen percent of IT professionals will drop out of the IT occupation.

Working in IT is tough because companies merge, splinter, downsize and reconfigure on a regular basis. And that’s not counting the technical revolutions that occur on a regular basis, reshaping the knowledge base needed to hang on to a job. Staying employed in turbulent waters can wear down even the most resilient soul. Some give up and change careers.

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“I think a lot of people lost stamina or morale with the profession because many companies continue to treat IT as a cost-efficiency mechanism and have no problem with disposing of them,” Morello says.

Moreover, “Issues around global sourcing have hit people very strongly in this area. And when companies move services to another part of the globe, the people whose jobs are affected don’t have anyplace to go within that company.”

5) By 2011, seventy percent of leading-edge companies will seek and develop “versatilists” while de-emphasizing specialists.

Notes Morello: “We’ve predicted that the demand for pure technicians will shrink by 40 percent by 2010.”

In their place will be worker-analysts, a group she dubs “versatilists.” A versatilist is a staffer with enough multi-faceted expertise – across business, technology and inter-personal skills – to handle several areas of responsibility at once.

If, for instance, a company’s strategic agenda is intellectually taxing enough to comprise SOA as well global communication and worldwide process orientation, then it must extract plenty of mental firepower from its staff. Business leaders in this case, Morello notes, will say: “I’m hard-pressed – and can’t afford – to have 90% of my people be experts on something when so much of the other activity I’m doing requires people to be able to move across teams and projects.”

This need for versatilists, however, certainly doesn’t mean the specialist is dead. It means that companies will start asking: “How do we increase the likelihood that the people we hire can move into different types of programs and projects based on the level of business dynamics we’re facing?”

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