Defense Contractor vs. DoD Civilian vs. Private Sector

TheSweetnessTheSweetness Posts: 27Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Anyone have any experience in levels of job satisfaction between these different employers? Opportunities for career advancement? Raises?

I've been working for a defense contractor for the last year as a Sys Admin. For the most part, it's a reactive position. If something breaks, fix it. If a security vulnerability becomes known, patch it. I have learned quite a bit, but there isn't much challenge presented on a daily basis. As a result -- not a lot of job satisfaction. I am bored a lot. Which sucks, a lot.

Anyone else have a similar experience? dissimilar?

This is my first official full time job in the work force, so I am trying to determine if it's worth putting in more time with this job/employer. If I stick with it, will better opportunities become available in the future? Overall I would consider myself fairly ambitious. Enjoy challenges, learning, etc.

I've been working with my supervisor as of late to get transferred abroad, looking mostly at Germany. Sound exciting, but am wondering if I am going to be just as bored there. Anyone had the chance to work abroad?

Any input would be appreciated.

Comments

  • shodownshodown Posts: 2,271Member
    Anyone have any experience in levels of job satisfaction between these different employers? Opportunities for career advancement? Raises?

    I've been working for a defense contractor for the last year as a Sys Admin. For the most part, it's a reactive position. If something breaks, fix it. If a security vulnerability becomes known, patch it. I have learned quite a bit, but there isn't much challenge presented on a daily basis. As a result -- not a lot of job satisfaction. I am bored a lot. Which sucks, a lot.

    Anyone else have a similar experience? dissimilar?

    This is my first official full time job in the work force, so I am trying to determine if it's worth putting in more time with this job/employer. If I stick with it, will better opportunities become available in the future? Overall I would consider myself fairly ambitious. Enjoy challenges, learning, etc.

    I've been working with my supervisor as of late to get transferred abroad, looking mostly at Germany. Sound exciting, but am wondering if I am going to be just as bored there. Anyone had the chance to work abroad?

    Any input would be appreciated.



    My 2 Cents I have worked both


    Defence Contractor.

    Good Stability once u move into the high cleared area. You might get layed off, but u will be working again in less than 2 weeks if you choose.

    Easy work flow. They dont like to spend much on staying at the forefront, so no need to always be up to the latest and greatest of technology. This can be good for a person who enjoys his time with his family as all he has to do is his/her 40 hours and be done.


    Money

    You can be payed way over your skill level. I have seen people make 90K at the help desk here in DC. Private sector in DC makes around 45-60K at the help desk if u want to do number comparrisons.


    Easy to move around
    If your company doesen't promote you go find one who will


    BAD

    Some of the worst engineers I have ever seen holding high level positions. I have saw senior engineers who should be NOC technicians. The ranking system comes off how well your resume is and how they can show it to the govt for pay purposes. I have taken advantage of this as well after being played by it.


    Slow to move
    It takes forever to get simple request done. There are so many things that they do that are far beyond the times it makes me want to scream


    Private sector

    Forefront of technology. Working for a telecom I was exposed to several different verisions of technology before they were being deployed and I have several different customers so several differnt network topolgies to learn and better interaction as I enjoy customer service as much as I do designing there networks.

    Perks

    Golfing, Free stuff out the ying yang, larger bonues as a consultant. Ready to tackle much harder jobs than working the defence sector and much more confidence.

    Bad

    end users customers always come 1st which can but a strain on personal life

    Layoffs even when u are doing everything right

    Politics

    Politics of the office are worse here than in the defence world. U can easily just go find another job if its too much BS in defence world, private sector you have to tough it out longer.



    Just a quick run through I'm sure there are several things I missed that others will add onto.
    Currently Reading

    CUCM SRND 9x/10, UCCX SRND 10x, QOS SRND, SIP Trunking Guide, anything contact center related
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,309Admin Admin
    As someone who works for a major defense contractor, I would like to point out that the recent economic downturn has also hit the DoD world as well. Programs have been scaled-back, postponed, or canceled, budgets have been slashed, and lay-offs are a common way of putting money back on the books--just like in the commercial business world. In some cases, retirement plans are no longer offered to new employees, (re)training and education has been severely slashed, and reimbursement for relocation no longer offered.

    This all will change when the world economy becomes more stable and prosperous, but in the mean time I didn't want people to think that gov'ment work is recession proof. icon_wink.gif
  • TheSweetnessTheSweetness Posts: 27Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    JDMurray wrote: »
    As someone who works for a major defense contractor, I would like to point out that the recent economic downturn has also hit the DoD world as well. Programs have been scaled-back, postponed, or canceled, budgets have been slashed, and lay-offs are a common way of putting money back on the books--just like in the commercial business world. In some cases, retirement plans are no longer offered to new employees, (re)training and education has been severely slashed, and reimbursement for relocation no longer offered.

    This all will change when the world economy becomes more stable and prosperous, but in the mean time I didn't want people to think that gov'ment work is recession proof. icon_wink.gif

    Good point. When I first signed on w/my defense contractor, their pension plan was slowly going away. My vaca time/educational assistance isn't the best, but it does still exist.

    Another thing to point out -- the govt. likes to save money by just reallocating funds. Where I work, a bunch of money has been saved by cutting back on contractors. Bravo! It's besides the point that 95% of those contractors were converted to DoD civilians and are currently performing the exact same function for the organization (sense the bitterness that I wasn't converted? icon_wink.gif ).

    So is there a consensus that private sector is a bit more exciting/deals with more exciting/cutting edge technology?

    Edit: I think part of being unable to judge how IT differs between public/private sector is being out on this island. Public sector dominates.
  • tpatt100tpatt100 Posts: 2,989Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    JDMurray wrote: »
    As someone who works for a major defense contractor, I would like to point out that the recent economic downturn has also hit the DoD world as well. Programs have been scaled-back, postponed, or canceled, budgets have been slashed, and lay-offs are a common way of putting money back on the books--just like in the commercial business world. In some cases, retirement plans are no longer offered to new employees, (re)training and education has been severely slashed, and reimbursement for relocation no longer offered.

    This all will change when the world economy becomes more stable and prosperous, but in the mean time I didn't want people to think that gov'ment work is recession proof. icon_wink.gif

    Yup, where I work the Army killed a big defense program and there were a ton of lay offs. They got rid of a ton of the contractors and moved the direct hires around to different projects.
  • L0gicB0mb508L0gicB0mb508 Posts: 538Member
    I personally prefer to be a contractor. The pay is almost always higher, the benefits are usually good, and you'll find them doing the real technical work. If you are in the security/intelligence field there probably has never been a better time to be a contractor. Look outside of the DoD too. There are plenty of gigs contracting with other three letter agencies. Of course your clearance level being a TS or higher would help too.
    I bring nothing useful to the table...
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