In the United States, corporations plan to outsource many thousands of Information Technology (IT) jobs to outside firms. Most of these jobs will belong to so-called offshore organizations in India or Southeast Asia. The media buzz and corporate momentum around IT offshoring and outsourcing continues and shows no signs of abating.
As a current Information Technology professional in the U.S., or a student considering a future career in IT, outsourcing is a business trend you must fully understand. Don’t expect the trend to reverse any time in the forseeable future, but don’t feel powerless to cope with the changes either.
Changes Coming with Information Technology Outsourcing
Ten years ago, workers were attracted to the Information Technology field given the challenging and rewarding work good pay numerous opportunities, the promise of future growth and long term job stability
Outsourcing will alter and is already altering each of these IT career fundamentals:
The nature of the work will change dramatically with offshoring; the future may be equally rewarding, or it may prove wholly undesirable depending on one’s individual interests and goals.
Information Technology salaries will increase in the countries that receive outsourcing contracts and may decrease in the U.S.
Likewise, the total number of IT jobs will increase in some countries and may decrease in the U.S, much future growth will happen outside the U.S, and job stability will remain unclear everywhere until the outsourcing business models mature.
How to Cope with Information Technology Outsourcing
IT workers in the U.S. are already witnessing some impacts of IT outsourcing, but the future impacts will possibly be even greater. What can you do to prepare? Consider the following ideas.
- Don’t Panic – The prospect of job searches or career changes can be quite stressful to Information Technology workers. IT students may understandably begin to question their choice of career. However, the more stress and worry a person takes on, paradoxically the more difficult it becomes to successfully reach their career goals.
- Don’t Wait for The Upturn – So-called experts predicted a sharp upturn in the U.S. economy and increase in IT jobs for several years, that largely did not happen. Expect that IT will operate in the current climate with respect to outsourcing for the foreseeable future.
- Become a Generalist – Years ago in Information Technology, specialization was king. Those with the heaviest technical backgrounds and loftiest job titles, like Enterprise Architects, commanded the highest salaries. Nowadays, a person is much better positioned if they are skilled in multiple areas of both technology and the business side of IT. Flexibility is king.
- Look to Smaller Organizations – Fortune 500 companies will primarily pursue offshoring ventures but smaller firms less so. Outsourcing creates a substantial amount of overhead before the gains kick in, and small companies can’t afford to pay that price for the foreseeable future.
- Start Your Own Business – Uncertain economic times, and occasions of industry change, are often the best ones for starting a new business, due to lower prices for capital, less competition, and the natural emergence of big new market opportunities. All it takes is an entrepenurial attitude and a few good ideas.
Above all, whatever your chosen career path, strive to find happiness in your work. Don’t fear the ongoing change in Information Technology just because others are afraid. Control your own destiny.