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Worst Job: IT Director...What?

Forbes (by way of The Christian Science Monitor) last month released this nifty list on some the happiest jobs out there right now, where people are thriving, not just toiling. I was looking for the usual suspects: CIO, DBA, game programmer. But none of them were on the list. Instead, clergy topped all, with teachers, artists and firefighters some of the others.

At the bottom of the article was a link to the 10 most hated jobs. Oddly enough, four of the jobs were IT-related: IT director topped all, senior Web developer and tech specialist were 4 and 5, and tech support analyst was 8. It was then that I was thinking, "I'm being punked by this writer." Except, I couldn't find any evidence of such punking in the article. Tell me if read this wrong.

For some balance, here's a list from earlier this year, compliments of WSJ, showing software engineer topping all jobs in the best category, with computer systems analyst at the fifth spot. Happy or best, worst or burned out, working is probably better than not working. In any event, if you're interested in a more accurate job satisfaction survey for IT people, check out the salary surveys on our sites, starting with this one.

Do you find your work in IT to be satisfying? How happy are you to be working in IT? Gloats or gripes are welcome here.

Posted by Michael Domingo on 09/22/2011 at 11:59 AM

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Reader Comments:

Sun, Mar 25, 2012

I have been a web developer for some years now, and I have seen my base salary shrink as an ever growing bunch of hangers-on join the rank and file (such as project managers, QA, business analysts etc). I am getting out and going into teaching. It will be a better life. Hope those project managers can write code, or the company I am leaving is fucked.

Sun, Sep 25, 2011

I think the problem for IT directors is the fact that are IT people that don't have time to do IT work anymore. They're too busy managing people instead of computer once they reach the director level.

Fri, Sep 23, 2011 WS northwest US

The IT career is rated highly by some publications because of the opportunities (employment), not because it is appreciated or enjoyed. We are like dentists - everyone needs us and no one wants to need us. They only include us in projects at the last minute, because they have to, and so things go badly - and they blame us. Just like the dentist - they only go when the toothache is too much to bear, and then blame the dentist for the repair bill. IT is still not a mature job field, since it is open to people with various credentials (and lack thereof) to get the same title and different expectations of performance. This is not true of engineering - you know what to expect with a civil engineer, mechanical, electrical, etc. They have a specific degree, and they also have to take a PE - professional engineer - test to be able to sign off on designs as lead engineer. IT is not like this, and so we suffer the consequences of having good qualified workers side-by-side with incompetents. When you are competent, then they expect you to work miracles. After 20 years of doing this, I wish I had gone into finance - I'd probably be a vice president somewhere by now... Can't recommend this field as a career - only as a stepping stone to something else - and I know plenty other IT veterans that feel the same way. And now I need to go off to a yet another project (moving an office) where the tech portion has been ignored and I have to save the day, and lose my weekend.

Fri, Sep 23, 2011 janetorona oakpark

Unemployment numbers are comprised of those that are in the job market for the past 30 days. It does not include those that have not been in the job market in the last 30 days: people who have given up looking; those that have gone off unemployment because it has run out. One solution to unemployment is "High Speed University" check it out

Thu, Sep 22, 2011

I find it extremely stressful and hard. Probably not compensated enough for what I do vs. other professions, but I could not imagine doing anything else...

Thu, Sep 22, 2011 Joshua Cash Austin

A co-worker of mine introduced the Forbes article to me. I was a little taken back by the article. I personally love working in my healthcare IT position, because I enjoy helping people and I get to do what I'm good at on a daily basis. I work directly with my IT Director and I am in route to train towards this position myself. I can see that some people could get into this psotion based on a degree and some PM experience. This alone could be a recipe for disaster, because the individual could be interested in the pay, but not have what it takes to keep up with the expectations of the position. Not being familiar with IT tasks will cause you to not relate well with your staff or even fully understand the appropriate direction you should take IT for the sake of the company. Either way, I agree with Michael about who's to complain about a type of job when it can be hard to attain any job in some areas. Good Luck, Joshua Cash

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