Why You Should Think Twice Before Pursuing a Career in "IT"

A few weeks ago, one of my cousins gave me a call asking for some advice. She has just done her A/L's in medicine and didn't get selected to the medical college. So, she decided to go after a different career and was seeking advice from me about suitable universities where she can pursue a career in IT and what kind of job roles she can fit into. I guess she got the motivation to do it  from her younger brother who is an IT fanatic.

At first, I was a bit skeptical on what advice to give. But I didn't  want to disappoint her. So, i told her about all the options she has and all the universities she can attend to follow an IT career and the best streams to follow in order to get a job in the IT market. But there is one thing I didn't tell her which could have broken her heart. I am going to share that with you.

Pursuing an IT career in the modern era is like joining the army. It has become one of the most sadistic job sectors that is there at the moment and could make an individual's life a living hell. If you are a  person who is planning to start a career in IT , you should be willing to give up a lot of things. This includes your freedom , your family life, your friends , your own well being. Others might say it depends on how an individual handle his job role and tasks. But overall, a majority will say that the aspects i mentioned of their lives are not so good when comparing to their friends who does something else.

You could be a programmer who writes awesome code and build new age applications, You could be a quality assurance engineer who test the systems the programmer made. Or, you could be the project manager himself  who manage several teams and make sure each project is going on according to plan.  Whatever you do, you won't be out of the cobweb called "Stress".  It is something that mutually gets attached to you from the first day you walk in to your job and rarely it is taken away from you . Some individuals do manage their  stress perfectly well for whom I do give my utmost respect. But the majority cannot do that and end up in arguments and conflicts. It's a cold war out there where peace can be seldomly seen . Also as a professional you need to keep on learning the new technologies , theories and concepts to keep ahead of your colleagues which is the case in any job. But here it is never ending and as the changes in the above aspects are always continuous . Further, decisions and conclusions are made using documents an artifacts while there is no room for common sense. This also brings up confusions among individuals and sometimes could be misleading which ends up the whole task in disaster.

Now you might ask me again , " this guy said he was an IT  professional right? why doesn't he practice what he preach ? and why he is telling us not to do it when he is already doing it ? "  well during the days I was doing my studies, the IT sector was far more than it was then. The boom for IT jobs was just starting and the people who were working then had good jobs and the working environments were not as bad as its now.  I realized that it all depends on how the individual handles the pressure (which I try to do by staying calm always) but lately from what I have seen , the new guys who does come to the IT sector cannot handle it. They com bust very quickly and hence, get in to trouble.

So think twice before you start a career in IT. It's not always the case of qualifications and knowledge. It's how you handle situations and handle yourself. Its not a job for the faint-hearted and with due respect not for people who are newly married ( you might think if I am crazy but its true).

The above applies to everyone and doesn't solely belong to any gender , the company you are working in or your job role.  Also, you need to remember the following which I am sharing with you from my personal experience. This applies to both who are planning to pursue the field and the ones who are already in the field.

IT at the moment is a very competitive industry and is always evolving. Organizations need to adapt to those situations and they must take care of their existing clientele since the risk of loosing clients to competitors can happen easily. So, they will take decisions which might hurt the individuals liking or aspects. But it's the individuals responsibility to take it as it comes or take a decision of moving away. Understand your goals and expectations and carry out your tasks according to that. Don't just complain, after all, you are the one who made the decision to make this a career. Not anyone else.

Cheers !!

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10:23 PM

I have to agree and disagree to what you say when it comes to IT jobs.

It is pathetic that some organizations base all decisions and conclusions based on documents without leaving room for common sense. And sometimes the even keep writing documents that no one will ever read. All you are doing is wasting time. I my experience one of the most important things is to always keep asking 'Do I really have to do this?'. 'If I have to then do I really have to do it this way?'. Once you taking out that thinking process all that is left is back breaking labor. Thank god I am not working for one of those places.

Also the other problem is that people look at IT jobs simply as a good source of income. Well it depends on where you work. But to my knowledge its the money and social hype that is driving young people for these jobs.

I have seen many people start up in IT jobs and move on to something else. Being the IT fanatic in the family I often get calls asking about IT careers from younger relatives. I often ask them two questions. Are you fascinated about IT?. Is there nothing else in on earth you would prefer to do?. If the answer to both questions is yes then go for it.

Problem with stress is that our ppl simply don't know about it until they are neck deep in it. And there is very little places that you can get real advice on how to deal with it.

Also our people have general misconception of 'working hard means working more time'. Which is not helping! We don't realize that most of the time, Best way to deal with a tough technical issue is to stop working on it today and look at it tomorrow with a fresh set of eyes.



10:51 PM

So true, compared to every other occupation IT has become the most stressful. in spite of getting a high salary they work you to hell.

also I learned from a few good friends who have been employed in the IT sector, that especially in SL, big and famous IT companies pay very much less compared to small places.
But sadly Small companies work you to death due to the lack of employees.

Only good side about the IT sector is that you can dress casually to work everyday. The downside is that you need to upgrade your skills once in a while else you become obsolete when new ppl come in.

This is a really good post, I wish had this when I was starting my career in IT :(


5:27 AM

Not the best thing to be heard by someone who spent four years on an ICT course and just months away from getting in to the waters.

I can already see my family life =/


11:36 PM

Is it more of the decision of where you select to work? I mean most people select companies that take in people for granted and squeeze up every bit of IT juice from them. And there are companies that don't do that, plus for someone who is working home based I don't think this would matter that much. But again I'm not someone from the industry, I'm just a student. May be the best way to go is to be a lecturer in CS or something..it's more on the better side of things and you are assured that your job is safe. May be it's because people want more money so they pursue carriers, because as I've found out there are less stressed jobs for less money -- may be its just greed that's driving IT professionals in to more stress.

  Chamindra H

9:35 AM

That's some great insights provided by you mate. I agree people in our country always wait till the last minute to get things done and when they get screwed up they try to blame it on someone else. and you are correct about IT and money. People think you can earn a lot by going to IT jobs but that's also not the case. Increments are hardly a benefit you get in this job sector and if you cannot sell your product, no matter how good the product is you are just screwed. Thank you checking out the post and Thank you for your invaluable insights.
Cheers !!

I understand your plight mate but I am a person who have experience in working for a small firm as a big firm but the situation is the same. Proper planning is not carried out very rarely and you get into trouble later. Salary of course is the same. Hang in there and always perform the task allocated to you to the best of your ability. if they are not repaying you. the best thing to do is move on and find a place that recognizes your
contribution. Thank your checking out the post and your comments. I Wish You All da Very Best !
Cheers !!

Don't worry mate, you have the knowledge so that means you got the chance to survive. If you feel that working for someone will be an issue for you. You can start something of your own. Freelance is becoming very popular these days so don't ignore that option. But do work for someone and get the experience. Sometimes that kind of experience helps you to understand how to deal with certain situations and also to handle stress. There is always light at the end of the tunnel so don't give up on your dream. All a Very Best and Thanks for checking out the post and for the comments.

I like the way you look at things mate and yes being a lecturer is the best option for IT students these days. But again you need that industry experience since you cannot get the practical knowledge from the place you study. Working as home is an option but you have to know what your learning really well since there is no one to help you out. There are companies where stress is less but again people don't show it off as deep inside they know its not easy for them. Overall as I told in the post, its how an individual handles it then they can survive. Thanks for checking out the post and the comment. I Wish You All da Very Best !!

Cheers !!


10:26 PM


Don't worry! No matter which career you choose professional life and the family life is a great balancing act. All you got to do is to be explicit about it to your self. Draw a clear line between those two at a place of your choosing and enforce it.

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