Are IT Pros to Blame for Low Wages



  • I was talking with one of the top posters on SW, a really good and knowledgeable guy, one day. I was surprised to find out how little he was making at his job, while we was literally solving problem after problem each day for others.

    I am not talking about @scottalanmiller , but somebody else that posts alot like he does. It was really shocking to me.

    Which leads me to another question, are IT pros at fault for low wages?


  • Service Provider

    @IRJ said in Salary:

    Which leads me to another question, are IT pros at fault for low wages?

    Certainly not entirely, but I'd say mostly. In the SMB range especially. I talk to so many people and it's the same stories of not fighting for higher wages, accepting low pay, not moving on when they need to. It's hard to tell, and I think that it should be its own thread as there is tons of good discussion to be had around this alone, but the industry doesn't have the power to suppress wages to the degree that has been done - it is only possible if the IT field is flooded with people willing to accept lower wages than are expected given the job needed to be done.

    But this is not heavily mirrored in the enterprise. To some degree, yes. But mostly the pay disparity creates an SMB to enterprise barrier, rather than a direct influence.



  • @IRJ said in Salary:

    Which leads me to another question, are IT pros at fault for low wages?

    No. The dedication that is required to become good in this field is much higher than most jobs. The problem is that SMB's hire people (like me) who don't know the job to the level that they actually need to in order to do the job well. This happens for two major reasons:

    1. They don't want to pay a competitive salary to bring in talent.
    2. They don't test the knowledge of the people that they interview--or if they do it isn't well enough.

    We have a flooded market of "IT people", the generic thing people outside of the field think we are, a lot of which can't do the job. How is an employer supposed to know whether a person can do the job or not? I definitely do not think I do my job well enough for what is required. It just so happens that I was completely honest in my interview and passed the test they gave me, so it really does fall on my employer at that point. I think you get what I'm trying to say though.


  • Service Provider

    @wirestyle22 said in Salary:

    @IRJ said in Salary:

    Which leads me to another question, are IT pros at fault for low wages?

    No. The dedication that is required to become good in this field is much higher than most jobs. The problem is that SMB's hire people (like me) who don't know the job to the level that they actually need to in order to do the job well.

    Hiring is always a two sided thing, though. Now sure employers can lie, and that can't be discounted. But very every time someone is hired, the company has to hire them AND the employee has to accept the job. It's a relationship. A company paying too little cannot simply acquire staff through existing, they have to entice them away from something else.


  • Service Provider

    @wirestyle22 said in Salary:

    We have a flooded market of "IT people",

    This i think is pretty huge. Almost everywhere I work or consult what I find is "too many IT people", often with huge numbers of them idle and having no idea what they are doing. Often many of them are just in the way of the others. I worked one place that had an IT team of 450, but I'm pretty sure they could have done a similar job with about 20!

    And it wasn't because the IT people were bad, but because of management overhead.


  • Service Provider

    @wirestyle22 said in Salary:

    How is an employer supposed to know whether a person can do the job or not?

    That's the job of an employer. Hire someone that knows what they are doing, or teach someone to do it. If you can do neither, you have no business hiring that position. That's what outsourcing is for.

    Ask this about any non-IT position. What if you can't figure out what a good manager, HR, finance or anything else is. What do you do? You hire a firm that does that, you would never just hire random people claiming to have those skills at the lowest price and hope for the best.


  • Service Provider

    Sadly, it is hard to blame IT people because lots of pseudo-IT people want to get IT jobs. It's low hanging fruit. Find a sucker business, claim to "know computers" and ta da, you have a career with zero effort and a good chance that the owner can't tell a good job from a bad one. It's the house of cards problem.

    At that point we have to consider three groups of actors instead of two... employers, IT employees and fake IT employees. That fake IT employees can get jobs at all is purely the fault of employers, of course.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Are IT Pros to Blame for Low Wages:

    Sadly, it is hard to blame IT people because lots of pseudo-IT people want to get IT jobs. It's low hanging fruit. Find a sucker business, claim to "know computers" and ta da, you have a career with zero effort and a good chance that the owner can't tell a good job from a bad one. It's the house of cards problem.

    At that point we have to consider three groups of actors instead of two... employers, IT employees and fake IT employees. That fake IT employees can get jobs at all is purely the fault of employers, of course.

    Ya sadly I've seen a lot of this. The owners brother-in-law "knows computers" or "used to work with a PDP-11." Which means his expertise is he comes in and shuts off Windows updates and charges them for it.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Are IT Pros to Blame for Low Wages:

    @wirestyle22 said in Salary:

    How is an employer supposed to know whether a person can do the job or not?

    That's the job of an employer. Hire someone that knows what they are doing, or teach someone to do it. If you can do neither, you have no business hiring that position. That's what outsourcing is for.

    Ask this about any non-IT position. What if you can't figure out what a good manager, HR, finance or anything else is. What do you do? You hire a firm that does that, you would never just hire random people claiming to have those skills at the lowest price and hope for the best.

    I think another big problem is in the SMB shops that have a "need" for more than one person. The existing guy doesn't know much but the company is trusting him to do the hiring, so you just get another bad employee. Which is why I put need in quotes because they really only need one person, the existing one just sucks so bad they "need" someone else. And if by chance they get a good employee, they're almost always held back by the person who doesn't know what they're doing.



  • I think the issue is that so many people come out of college without a real grasp on what they should be making.

    They have this idea from the college that they should be making 40-80K and they settle for the first offer that comes in. Its a back and forth.

    The college doesn't want you to be in debt, but it's your job to demand a fair wage.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Are IT Pros to Blame for Low Wages:

    I think the issue is that so many people come out of college without a real grasp on what they should be making.

    They have this idea from the college that they should be making 40-80K and they settle for the first offer that comes in. Its a back and forth.

    The college doesn't want you to be in debt, but it's your job to demand a fair wage.

    The college doesn't care, they already have their money. It used to be the bank that cared weather you make enough money to pay back the loans, I'm not exactly sure what the current system looks like other than the loving arm of government has gotten involved somehow.



  • @travisdh1 said in Are IT Pros to Blame for Low Wages:

    @DustinB3403 said in Are IT Pros to Blame for Low Wages:

    I think the issue is that so many people come out of college without a real grasp on what they should be making.

    They have this idea from the college that they should be making 40-80K and they settle for the first offer that comes in. Its a back and forth.

    The college doesn't want you to be in debt, but it's your job to demand a fair wage.

    The college doesn't care, they already have their money. It used to be the bank that cared weather you make enough money to pay back the loans, I'm not exactly sure what the current system looks like other than the loving arm of government has gotten involved somehow.

    Oh I agree, the college doesn't care, but they do put up numbers stating if you take this program you can expect to make X to Y.

    Which of course leaves out all kinds of details, like where that salary range is for, inflation etc etc.


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