In-House IT Guy Vs Travelling IT Guy

vistalavistavistalavista Posts: 78Member ■■□□□□□□□□
If you guys had the choice, would you go for a cushy in-house IT gig where you are responsible for one companie's IT affairs or would you rather work for an IT outsourcing firm that has you on the road and working remotely for different clients? Let's say compensation would be equal.

Comments

  • rsuttonrsutton Posts: 1,029Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    If you guys had the choice, would you go for a cushy in-house IT gig where you are responsible for one companie's IT affairs or would you rather work for an IT outsourcing firm that has you on the road and working remotely for different clients? Let's say compensation would be equal.

    I've done both and currently am doing the latter. If I had to go back to the 1st option it would be painful. Life is good right now...
  • SteveLordSteveLord Posts: 1,717Member
    I have the cushy job with plenty of perks. Going to be here for a while.
    WGU B.S.IT - 9/1/2015 >>> ???
  • vistalavistavistalavista Posts: 78Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    rsutton wrote: »
    I've done both and currently am doing the latter. If I had to go back to the 1st option it would be painful. Life is good right now...

    I am in the same situation as you right now except for the being happy part. I made my company over $180,000 in the last fiscal year but I'm paid 65k with benefits. Knowing they are billing me out @ 120/hour, it's hard to be content until I get a 6 figure income. Am I expecting too much?
  • tallicaman99tallicaman99 Posts: 46Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I have the cushy in-house IT gig. My previous job was also the cushy in-house. My current job has a little more cush and is way closer to home. I always wondered if the grass is greener being on the go. I think it's best to know your IT environment, hardware, software, etc. I've been at my current place for 3+ years now and have grown a little bored. If you on on the road, at least it keeps it fresh. New faces, different environments, but the commuting has to suck. It's all about trade-offs I suppose.
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  • steve_fsteve_f Posts: 97Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I am in the same situation as you right now except for the being happy part. I made my company over $180,000 in the last fiscal year but I'm paid 65k with benefits. Knowing they are billing me out @ 120/hour, it's hard to be content until I get a 6 figure income. Am I expecting too much?

    That's quite a low return for your employer actually. I'd say you might get your 6 figure income when your billing comes closer to 400k per year.

    When I was earning £15 an hour, I was billed out at £120 an hour.
  • vistalavistavistalavista Posts: 78Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    steve_f wrote: »
    That's quite a low return for your employer actually. I'd say you might get your 6 figure income when your billing comes closer to 400k per year.

    When I was earning £15 an hour, I was billed out at £120 an hour.

    That seems absurdly low return on YOUR work. I did a contract a couple years ago where I was paid 50% of the bill out rate.
  • undomielundomiel Posts: 2,818Member
    Also done both and currently doing the latter. I've found pros and cons to both of them. What is great about the on-the-go job is that you can get an insane amount of exposure to all sorts of different systems, setups, and issues to resolve than you would get with just being an in-house guy. The downside is that the networks and systems you work with don't really get the planning and care that they need for a truly smoothly running system. So far I'm enjoying the on-the-go job a lot and all the great experience I'm getting. It is just frustrating sometimes to go in and find a network setup by monkeys and not really be given the free reign to bring things back into some semblance of order.
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  • forkvoidforkvoid Posts: 317Member
    I've done both, and am currently working for a managed service provider(aka, I'm doing the consultant life).

    undomiel hit the nail on the head with the con of being a consultant: you never get to properly fix things the way they deserve. Most fixes/project implementations are simply "good enough", where you may spend weeks or months simply planning the project if you were in-house, to make sure it's done right. There's no such thing as continuous improvement for your client sites as a consultant, as you rarely see their every-day problems(since it costs them money to call you).

    There are several upsides, though... if you're working for yourself, you get all the benefits(and cons) of being self-employed, mainly, being able to tell your boss to eff off as well as an extremely flexible schedule. If you're working for someone else, then about the only perk you get is an accelerated learning opportunity, since you're around a lot of different stuff all the time.

    Personally, I enjoyed being in-house. Standard hours, good benefits, little travel, and being able to think about the possibility of attaining a "perfect network".

    As an aside: undomiel, what part of Phoenix you in? I lived in N Phoenix around 101 and 7th St for seven years, having gone to high school there and working a couple places in N Phoenix/Scottsdale.
    The beginning of knowledge is understanding how little you actually know.
  • peanutnogginpeanutnoggin Posts: 1,096Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'd rather be on the road! As many have said... there's pros and cons to both! Personally, the in-house IT guy job becomes boring and mundane (maybe just in my environment). I like it when I travel to new sites or have to upgrade sites because it is refreshing to see new things, new people and different environments. The biggest downside of being a travelling IT guy in my opinion (the reason I'll remain an "in-house" IT guy) is the separation from the family. To me, no job is worth the money to be separated from my family!

    -Peanut
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  • PristonPriston Posts: 999Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    If you guys had the choice, would you go for a cushy in-house IT gig where you are responsible for one companie's IT affairs or would you rather work for an IT outsourcing firm that has you on the road and working remotely for different clients? Let's say compensation would be equal.

    I personnally think it all comes down to the company your working for and their benifits.

    Things to look at when considering IT outsourcing firms:

    Hotel / food budget - Is the employer giving you enough to sleep in a nice hotel and do you get to eat at a nice restaurant every week/day or are you eating fast food every meal and sleeping in nasty hotels?

    Paycheck Security - Does the company maintain a stable workload / is the company large enough for you to always have 40 hours a week? are you going to be on salary?
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  • azjagazjag Posts: 579Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Priston wrote: »
    I personally think it all comes down to the company your working for and their benefits.

    Things to look at when considering IT outsourcing firms:

    Paycheck Security - Does the company maintain a stable workload / is the company large enough for you to always have 40 hours a week? are you going to be on salary?

    I can't emphasize the above statement enough. I worked for small consulting firm that had had a hard time with steady work. Some weeks I had 20hrs billable others I had 65. They paid me $30hr salary and billed me out at $250. I left because I was tired of cleaning the owners garage in the slow months.

    I now have a cushy govt job and don't plan on changing anytime soon.

    Good luck.
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  • ajs1976ajs1976 Posts: 1,945Member
    I have done the outsource / consultant thing for the first 11 years of my career. Moving to the in-house IT position soon and looking forward to it.
    Andy

    2017 Goals: 1 of 5 courses complete, 0 of 2 exams complete
  • crazychrono100crazychrono100 Posts: 30Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'm doing desktop support for a company that have multiple sites that they have me going to. So i get to go to different places whenever they need help. So far I really enjoy doing that. It keeps things different where it doesn't get too repetitive and boring.
  • shodownshodown Posts: 2,271Member
    I've only worked service provider type IT jobs where i make money for the company I work for. I have noticed that its higher salaries than when I have applied for inhouse IT type jobs. I have also moved up the latter much faster due to the insane amount of exposure. I went from NOC type jobs to network engineer jobs, to senior network engineering jobs in less than 3 years. Now with that said. I usually have no say in the type of technology that gets implemented I'm usually told what I have to do and make due with whats available. Also some work is billable and other work is not. I had a customer who's routing was completely screwed up and they had asymmetric routing where they were only using 10 percent of a 10 meg circuit they bought and the rest was taking there Internet path out. I had to leave it as is since they only bought VOIP support.
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  • snokerpokersnokerpoker Posts: 661Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Interesting topic here. I have been going through the pro's and con's of this in my head for a little over two weeks.

    Mid-week, I am going to starting a new job with an IT consulting firm. All of my previous positions have been in-house. I am moving out of my "cushy" in house gig mainly because there is no advancement opportunities, no pay structure, and while my boss is definitely an easy laid back boss, he never wants to do anything as far as implementing new technologies. My manager hates our users so much, he has actually told me not to respond to requests right away and to delay pc deployments on purpose. Obviously, it makes sense for me to want to get out.

    My new position will be with an IT consulting firm that has clients all over the area where I live. I look forward to getting a lot of exposure to different networks, implementing new technologies such as, VMWare, Citrix, and getting more knowledge with Server 2008. Overall, I think I will like being "on the road" as I love new challenges and I feel at my last job I got a bit bored as nothing ever changed. Another good aspect of my new job is that I like all the guys I have met, and I feel like I can lean from some of the senior personnel. With my current job, I usually end up showing my boss where things are, for example, he didn't even know how to force replication between DC'S. Oh, and with my new position, they allow up to 80 hours for further education opportunities ie- certs!!! They pay for all the training, materials and vouchers, so stocked!
  • it_consultantit_consultant Posts: 1,903Member
    I am an 'in house consultant' if you will with a couple of different clients during the week. Generally I spend all of one day at the client, so not much traveling unless the client has multiple sites. Its nice having my fingers in a bunch of different networks and having done this for a couple of years ago I can confidently say that I run circles around internal IT guys as far as breadth of knowledge.

    Use this as an example, your company probably uses one spam filter and they have used it for years. You probably know it very well. I have used Cisco, WG *which is surprisingly good*, Postini, MX Logic, Barracuda, Edge Transport servers, AND have migrated between them.

    I have done 6 exchange 2003 to exchange 2010 migrations and 6 exchange 2003 to 2007 conversions.

    I have put in Cisco and Meraki wireless networks in hotels and in enterprise environments.

    I did a large migration from a VPN hub and spoke network to a metro ethernet provider for a nine location medical practice.

    etc, etc, (a bunch of VMWare work too) and that (besides the 2003 to 2007 conversions) was only in the last year.

    If you are getting that amount of stimulation in internal IT than don't switch!
  • higherhohigherho Posts: 882Member
    I am an 'in house consultant' if you will with a couple of different clients during the week. Generally I spend all of one day at the client, so not much traveling unless the client has multiple sites. Its nice having my fingers in a bunch of different networks and having done this for a couple of years ago I can confidently say that I run circles around internal IT guys as far as breadth of knowledge.

    Use this as an example, your company probably uses one spam filter and they have used it for years. You probably know it very well. I have used Cisco, WG *which is surprisingly good*, Postini, MX Logic, Barracuda, Edge Transport servers, AND have migrated between them.

    I have done 6 exchange 2003 to exchange 2010 migrations and 6 exchange 2003 to 2007 conversions.

    I have put in Cisco and Meraki wireless networks in hotels and in enterprise environments.

    I did a large migration from a VPN hub and spoke network to a metro ethernet provider for a nine location medical practice.

    etc, etc, (a bunch of VMWare work too) and that (besides the 2003 to 2007 conversions) was only in the last year.

    If you are getting that amount of stimulation in internal IT than don't switch!

    Yea I currently work for the GOV and I am internal but we have many assets which range from Vmware, server 2003, Oracle databases, and much more. Quite a few things that we have 5 system administrators on the team each of us having specific tasks and we all learn the technologies.

    Though what I learned to get the big bucks people look for specialist more so than a jack of all trades individual.
  • it_consultantit_consultant Posts: 1,903Member
    Being specialized is nice (Mine would be Exchange) and it can bring you lots of money (it does for me) but it can also severely limit your employment opportunities down the road. I have worked for the government before and had my hand in a lot of technologies but not nearly as much as now. Especially when it comes to plans and projects. ITIL sends me into a special type of rage.

    In my very humble opinion its simply not good enough anymore to be a specialist. I could not work with other exchange admins who can't configure a firewall, they are simply noneffective in that roll. This is a topic for another thread though!
  • wheezwheez Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    If you guys had the choice, would you go for a cushy in-house IT gig where you are responsible for one companie's IT affairs or would you rather work for an IT outsourcing firm that has you on the road and working remotely for different clients? Let's say compensation would be equal.

    I've done both as well.. and as much as I liked being on the road, after five years or so I really felt like getting out and settling down a bit.

    The good part of being on the road is all the people you get to meet and the various business and infrastructures you get to work with. The main downside for me.. I never felt like anything I did really mattered. I'd basically get in, do the job, and then get out.

    I've been in-house for about four years now, and I can see that what I do impacts people for days, weeks, months or years, obviously depending on the task or project. I really feel being part of the 'bigger picture' and that is what's keeping me motivated.

    Just my thoughts.. :)
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  • forkvoidforkvoid Posts: 317Member
    wheez wrote: »
    The main downside for me.. I never felt like anything I did really mattered. I'd basically get in, do the job, and then get out.

    I've been in-house for about four years now, and I can see that what I do impacts people for days, weeks, months or years, obviously depending on the task or project. I really feel being part of the 'bigger picture' and that is what's keeping me motivated.

    Just my thoughts.. :)

    110% agreed on this!
    The beginning of knowledge is understanding how little you actually know.
  • PaperlanternPaperlantern Posts: 352Member
    wheez wrote: »
    I've done both as well.. and as much as I liked being on the road, after five years or so I really felt like getting out and settling down a bit.

    The good part of being on the road is all the people you get to meet and the various business and infrastructures you get to work with. The main downside for me.. I never felt like anything I did really mattered. I'd basically get in, do the job, and then get out.

    I've been in-house for about four years now, and I can see that what I do impacts people for days, weeks, months or years, obviously depending on the task or project. I really feel being part of the 'bigger picture' and that is what's keeping me motivated.

    Just my thoughts.. :)

    This is almost me to a T. I was working the road life, well, not REALLY, i had about a 4 hour one way drive radius, and visited multiple local sites daily with the occasional outskirts of the state drive when a contract called for it but i was always home at night unless i was out of state training somewhere. But I did enjoy the onsite life on some level for the time I was there. The people, the never knowing whats coming that day, the experience on many differnet platforms and software... but like wheez it was unfulfilling. No one cared for the techs where i was, it was get in, get the job done, get out, get to the next one, number numbers numbers, go go go, sell sell sell. Yes the management tried to get US, the TECHS to upsell services while onsite, and would get frustrated with us when we couldn't. So I ultimately left of course.

    NOW i'm in the cushy in house gig for coming up on 3 years and like it very much, and even though this gig paid more then my last, given the choice at even pay scale i think id still opt for in house. The whole bigger picture thing is a good way of putting it.
  • aprillove20aprillove20 Posts: 6Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Well, I think it's best to know your IT environment, hardware, software.
  • pinkydapimppinkydapimp Posts: 732Member
    I work doing the traveling thing. My job is 100% travel anywhere in the country. Traveling this much is an extreme. However, i enjoy it right now since i am not married and have no kids. I dread going back to any traditional desk position.

    I think traveling, or at the very least visiting different sites is a huge benefit because you get exposure to many different infrastructures. An advantage many people don't have. You can see what works, what doesn't, how to and how not to do things.

    More importantly, i think the trends in IT are moving away from traditional in house tech staffs. More and more i think there will be less and less traditional in house IT people and more jobs will be consulting/traveling type positions. So i think gaining that experience now can only help down the road.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    I think field experience is very important. It will give you valuable insights about what is involved in actually deploying things at the physical layer. This can help you become a better support professional, project manager, infrastructure manager or designer in the future. Increasingly things are virtualised with plant located in massive datacenters. Far too many techs never get their hands on gear these days.

    Socially though it can be very disruptive and hard on families. So get a year or two of field experience and then go for site based roles with a bit of offsite work for variety sprinkled in and you are set.
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