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IT Jobs going to cheaper overseas workers

IT Jobs going to cheaper overseas workers

IT Jobs going to cheaper overseas workers


Listening to a feature on Radio 4 yesterday they were talking about IT Jobs in the uk going to cheaper overseas workers!

How can this be allowed to happen when the UK Economy is in such as mess... surely we need to look after ourselves first?

The report found that many UK IT Contractors were being layed off and the quickly replaced by cheaper overseas workers

It seems these companies have found some sort of loophole in the system allowing them to bring in these workers claiming that they have specialist skills not available from the UK Workforce.

Anyone know what these magical mystry IT Skill could be?

Sorry for the rant... just got my goat!

Replies continue below

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RE: IT Jobs going to cheaper overseas workers


.. surely we need to look after ourselves first?

Well, that is exactly what the companies are doing, right? So what is there to complain?

+++ Despite being wrong in every important aspect, that is a very good analogy +++
   Hex (in Darwin's Watch)

RE: IT Jobs going to cheaper overseas workers

I dont know where you live but in Ohio, this sort of activity has been happening for the last 5 years.  They dont have 'special' skills.  They just want cheaper labor.  I have found that Security related jobs like firewall admin are the jobs that do NOT get sent overseas.  Which is why I have been focused on Security for the past 3 years. A company would be foolish (IMO) to send the firewall jobs overseas...

---just my rant

RE: IT Jobs going to cheaper overseas workers

It surprises me that programming work is still sent overseas, even to the backside of the world (meaning that your partner is guaranteed to sleep if you are awake). Programming is a craft and I will gladly believe that there are good programmers in India. But the main problem for a programmer is communication.

I have worked in companies that outsourced work to the backside of the world (Russia in this case), and they built a system (a standard library) that the whole company should use without any contact with the people that should be using it. I quit before management dumped it over the wall.

In another company, the two owners were thinking of outsourcing work to India, but they could not even communicate with their own personnel at 10 meters distance.

You can only outsource programming work if you are interested in speed and not in quality. You can get speed with any number of programmers anywhere. You can only get quality with a motivated team.

+++ Despite being wrong in every important aspect, that is a very good analogy +++
   Hex (in Darwin's Watch)

RE: IT Jobs going to cheaper overseas workers

Welcome to the IT lifestyle.  Technology enables wonderful things like telecommuting, but then managers start wondering "instead of paying Bob $100k to telecommute across town, I can pay 3 people to telecommute from India."

Of course there's always language/cultural/time zone issues that complicate things, and the massive savings that are initially promised by outsourcing never materialize because of the extra management effort involved.

Some larger companies have started getting a little more clever though.  Instead of outsourcing to a firm on the other side of the world, they just open a branch office on the other side of the world and hire their own people.  It's mostly the same effect, but they get a higher level of control.

Of course, you can just as easily outsource to another firm in your own country, too.  It's just that the cost savings aren't as obvious.  But if you are a software company based in Seattle, San Jose, or Austin, it's expensive to hire workers.  If you can open a branch office in Iowa (or outsource to Iowa) you can get the same work for a much lower wage.  It's still not as cheap as shipping the work to Bangalore, but you'll get people who speak the same language, share similar culture, and the time zone difference is only a couple of hours.

The company I work for deals with a lot of larger companies that like to outsource their development jobs to companies overseas.  In order to compete with those, we instituted a new development group with a different model that is intended to compete with offshoring.  It offers a much lower cost than traditional on-shore development that keeps us very competitive with offshoring firms.  We still get the business and keep the jobs, they're just not quite as high paying as they were before.

It's a rough world.  I personally prefer working in an infrastructure role because it is very difficult to outsource your infrastructure work to another country.  Also, you can move towards more specialized skills that are harder to commoditize (SAP consultants make a ton of money, for example).

Of course, you may be referring to the UK equivalent of the H1B system here in the states, which allows companies to sponser workers from other countries to come to the USA and work for that company due to an alleged shortage of IT skills.  From what I understand, that's not going on quite as much as it used to.  For one, there are a ton of unemployed IT people in the states, so it's harder to justify a claim of unique skills.

CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, Security+
MCTS:System Center Virtual Machine Manager
MCSE:Security 2003
MCITP:Enterprise Administrator  

RE: IT Jobs going to cheaper overseas workers

This is why it's a good idea to have a job that requires your physical presence.

RE: IT Jobs going to cheaper overseas workers

I seriously looked into becoming a plumber, when I was struggling to find a contract.  You can't fix a dripping tap from India!

Sadly, when I did a real cost analysis of what I would have to charge as an hourly rate, the numbers didn't work out so well, and I stayed with my boring job that pays well.



RE: IT Jobs going to cheaper overseas workers

There's nothing wrong with being a plumber, although I don't know any of them personally. I also figure that it's pretty recession proof. When the plumbing isn't working, people want it fixed.

RE: IT Jobs going to cheaper overseas workers

On the other hand, fewer people want a new en-suite bathroom installed ...

RE: IT Jobs going to cheaper overseas workers

The way i see it, it all depends on what sector you're in.

Most IT jobs nowdays can be done from other countries, all you need is an internet connection. I mean anything from designing, to coding, to online troubleshooting of software. I think the main reason why people are being contracted from overseas is because they are either cheaper or come from countries that aren't as developed as our own. (IMO) so maybe its not abt skilled labor per se, but cheaper labour.  

RE: IT Jobs going to cheaper overseas workers

Even better would be an HVAC tech (there's a 2-week to month lag time to get the services of one where I'm at right now).  They're busy as all get-out in the summer and winter.  Harder work, but won't be outsourced.  Then there's always the installs for new construction and for those who have their furnace/AC wear out that you can swing during better times.

Speaking of which, if I had advice to give after the fact of where I've gone, it would be this: it would be to primarily train in something essential like what we've been talking about (non-outsourcable, no one will likely scrap, etc), THEN go to college and follow your dreams, yadda yadda.  If that goes bust (as it has many in IT including myself), you always have the essential trade to fall back on to make money until you get another dream.

Measurement is not management.

RE: IT Jobs going to cheaper overseas workers

What always concerns me is where does it end? First it was the lower-paying labor-intensive industries. Then, accounting, bookeeping, customer service and call centers, now IT. They're already talking about how healthcare is being outsourced. I'll bet that some municipalities will start looking to outsource government services. My guess is that engineering and scientific jobs will be next. And I'll bet you cash money right now that somewhere along the way there will be a proposal to outsource our military. Where does that leave those who need those basic entry-level, non highly-skilled jobs? Are we all returning to those basic, labbor-intensive, backbreaking types of jobs that our ancestors managed to get away from? Will we all become plumbers, electricians, carpenters, farmers, heavy equipment operators, road builders, lumberjacks, etc.?  

RE: IT Jobs going to cheaper overseas workers

From your perspective everything seems to look bad, however, I still feel now is the best time to be in IT.  I have been responsible for hiring IT professionals for the past 10 years and haven't seen the demand for IT professionals go down.  If anything, IT professionals have more opportunity to thrive and profit.

The money is still out there, especially in IT or I would have stopped recruiting for IT professionals a long time ago.

Ivan Hurt,
IT Resume Writer

RE: IT Jobs going to cheaper overseas workers


There's nothing wrong with being a plumber or electrician or any of those other jobs you mentioned. They pay well and will always be in demand locally.

Competition for IT jobs is now global. You have to make yourself relevant to organizations. I know a COBOL programmer who has a hard time finding new work locally. Why? He never learned anything else. IT is a never ending learning experience.

Parts of health care may be outsouced such as reading and interpreting digital images of xrays and scans. I suppose a local Dr could be replaced by a nurse who takes the vitals and sends them off to a Dr in Asia. But, procedures such as colonoscopies need to be done locally. Or, you would need a very long hose... lol

RE: IT Jobs going to cheaper overseas workers


procedures such as colonoscopies need to be done locally. Or, you would need a very long hose
Maybe you could get the plumber to run the hose locally and the MD to read it from ____ (insert outsourced location here).


RE: IT Jobs going to cheaper overseas workers

Well, I don't see why they couldn't do practically anything medical-wise remotely, it seems.  They've already done at least 1 or 2 surgeries remotely via computers and robotics...  maybe now is the time to know now to build/fix robots, so you can be the local robot repair guy? wink

Who knows?  10 years from now, Robot repairs might be more common than Vet visits for pets.


"If to err is human, then I must be some kind of human!" -Me

RE: IT Jobs going to cheaper overseas workers

IT here in Houston, TX seems to only be at the two far ends of the pay spectrum.  
  Worked as a contract cable installer, ($1000/wk), while job hunting over the last year, and all I found were $12/hr hardware repair man jobs or all the high paying jobs were through the big companies like Haliburton, NASA, and a few other gov. contractors. Could not even get an initial interview for the good ones, the 30k or less called all the time trying to get me. Their salaries couldn't help pay my student loans.

Could not find a single, normal/stable IT job in the midrange of 40-60k. Over or under qualified for everything that came my way.surprise

  Found me a good stable job with a large company servicing medical lab equipment. Thought I would post this after reading about being a robot repairman, since these devices use alot of robotic arms and appears to be recession proof.
  Feel kind of a since-of-relief being out of the IT rat race and being a well paid repairman, like a plumber.


If the women don't find you handsome,
they should at least find you handy.
 (Red Green) www.redgreen.com

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