DEAR JOYCE: Maybe I worry too much as a mom, but my l5-year-old
son is a born geek. Reading about all the jobs going to Asia and
other low-paying spots, should he pursue an education in the
computer field or look into another profession? - M.G.
The information technology (IT) field is looking good, especially for its managers. The field's changed enormously in the past 10 years, as a new wave of innovation has shifted the field from pure computer science to finding ways to use technology for business or mission advantage.
IT professionals who don't want to see their jobs floating across oceans are continuously encouraged to take advantage of learning opportunities ranging from formal education to free webinars. An example of the latter is a recent webinar titled "The New IT Manager: How IT is Changing in the Age of Cloud, Consumerization and Mobile."
Caveat: Although IT managers enjoy more job security than computer operators, there are no guarantees that better educated people won't have to worry about future job loss.
Technology and globalization mean some kinds of high-level professional work - including IT - can be done anywhere in the world.
On the upside for those who are considering a career in IT, I like what information systems professor Robert St. Louis said in the online article and podcast, "What the New IT Manager Needs to Know":
"Virtually anybody who's in the computer industry says there's going to be more change in the next 25 years than there was in the last 100 years. Over the next 25 years, things that have been on the drawing board for years are going to become realities. ... Self- driving cars are a reality now, for instance. And this is true in every industry."
As another car innovator, Henry Ford II, said, "Nobody can really guarantee the future. The best we can do is size up the chances, calculate the risks involved, estimate our ability to deal with them and then make our plans with confidence."
DEAR JOYCE: Is it true that most jobs are obtained through social networking today? - V.V.S.
Nope. Job boards remain the leading source of candidates, according to recent studies in which job boards tied for first place with internal transfers as the leading source of all hires. You can get chapter and verse in an article appearing on TLNT.com: "Job Boards Are THE Leading Source of Candidates, But Who Believes It?" by John Zappe. As Zappe says:
"So often pronounced dying, dead, and all but useless for job seekers and employers alike that they're passing into legend, job boards somehow manage to rise phoenix-like from the ashes of their pyres to successfully deliver candidates and hires to employers worldwide.
The reason that boards remain popular with job seekers is simple: Job boards identify current job openings; social networking may lead to an actual job opening or a dead end.
DEAR JOYCE: I'm feeling more and more depressed after being laid off four months ago. Other than seeing a shrink, which I can't afford, how can I get out of this funk and become a more attractive job seeker? - F.J.S.
Start by sharing the uplifting experiences of a man who's walked in your shoes. Seasoned executive Rob Harper was laid off by a big bank on his 15th anniversary.
He wrote about his feelings and how he overcame the blues in his new book, "That Job Just Isn't Into You! Starting Over When It's Over." Find the book at online bookstores, available in paperback or ebook.
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