How often do you think about leaving IT?

wellnowwhatwellnowwhat Member Posts: 56 ■■□□□□□□□□
I'm just curious: How often do any of you think about leaving the IT field? It's been on my mind a lot, lately, seeing as the market where I am is pretty bad for entry- to mid-level IT folks at the moment. My problem is that I'm not sure what other jobs my skills might transfer to..

Sometimes I just find the job market and job search discouraging. Hence, my asking.


  • tpatt100tpatt100 Member Posts: 2,991 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I don't think about leaving IT totally but eventually going in a different direction where my experience helps rather than starting over.
  • drkatdrkat Banned Posts: 703
  • SteveLordSteveLord Member Posts: 1,717
    Professional Couch Tester and Bikini Model Oil Boy haven't appeared on Monster yet. So until then...IT it is.
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  • YuckTheFankeesYuckTheFankees Member Posts: 1,281 ■■■■■□□□□□

    If you ever find those jobs, put in a good word for me!
  • jmritenourjmritenour Member Posts: 565
    I can't even begin to imagine what else I would do for a living. So never, at least not seriously.
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  • spicy ahispicy ahi Member Posts: 413 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I think about it every day, but maybe not for quite the same reasons. I think about leaving IT to remind me what it is about the field that makes me go to work every day, that makes me take up valuable personal time to study for the next cert, that makes me work at home when others can leave work behind at the end of the day. I remind myself what are the good things about the field, and the parts I enjoy. It makes me remember why I like being a tech head. :D
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  • shodownshodown Member Posts: 2,271
    I almost did in 2009. I had a pretty heavy electronics background and the Strain on IT was getting to me. I applied, did a electronic test and got the job doing electrical distribution work and some PLC training. The only problem was the high end pay was just a few more dollars than I was getting in IT, and decided to gut it out. Since then I have more than tripled my salary which wouldn't have been possible in the other career.
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  • wellnowwhatwellnowwhat Member Posts: 56 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Don't get me wrong: I love the work of IT. I even love the customers, most of the time. But, the market in my area is dismal and I get extremely depressed when I think about how little I get paid for how much work I put in, and how few opportunities there are for growth.. I came into the field in the early 2000s and it seems like what I had hoped to accomplish has all but vanished into a puff of smoke.
  • NoercNoerc Member Posts: 20 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Never, the IT crowd is flipping fun to hang out with. Exept the whole working portion :P
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    IT is the only thing I know how to do, and I'm pretty good at it. Sometimes I wish I were doing something else, but a change for me would be very impractical at this point.
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  • HypntickHypntick Member Posts: 1,451 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I can't even conceive of doing anything else. I have entirely to much fun doing what I do, and knowing i've barely scratched the surface is an amazing prospect.
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  • EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I reckon you need to relocate to areas such as Austin/DFW/Raleigh/Boston/Seattle, that's where the jobs are, atleast from what I've read on here recently. I'm sure others can pitch in with more locations.
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  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    I'm in the position where I will most likely leave IT in the coming years, mainly for the same reason I started working in the first place: to go to school. The business has been good to me, and I truly do enjoy this work, but my first love's always going to be the physical sciences, particularly electrical and mechanical engineering. I've got a ways to go, thanks in large part to a couple of setbacks in the past few years, but I'm making my way through ye olde college and will transition out from fixing complex systems to designing complex systems for others to break.

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  • ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I think about leaving infrastructure and moving into development, project management, or business analysis. I've never considered leaving IT as a field, and before I began my career I only briefly considered other careers.
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  • QordQord Senior Member Member Posts: 632 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I think about it fairly often, but not very seriously. I left a $45 an hour spot in the Carpenters Union (scaffolding in NYC) for a $13 an hour entry-level IT position. Ever since I've been wondering if I did the right thing or not. To a certain degree I'm happier now, but I'm also a LOT poorer too. I've received a few raises since then, but still nowhere close to where I was doing scaffolding.
  • tprice5tprice5 Member Posts: 770
    I left software development for IT, which a lot of people will say is backwards I am sure. I doubt I will leave IT but hope to move into a more managerial role as my career progresses.
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  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I've done it before and it will have cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars in my lifetime.

    I went from reporting and analyzing to IT (Access Control and System Admin) to property management and sales. If I would of stayed put I would of been a system admin with 10 years+ experience. Those position for the DOD at the time paid 65+ and that was back in the early 2000's. I know 20-12 (I believe) job titles get paid a bit more now.

    The story isn't over yet we will see........
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Slowhand wrote: »
    I'm in the position where I will most likely leave IT in the coming years, mainly for the same reason I started working in the first place: to go to school. The business has been good to me, and I truly do enjoy this work, but my first love's always going to be the physical sciences, particularly electrical and mechanical engineering. I've got a ways to go, thanks in large part to a couple of setbacks in the past few years, but I'm making my way through ye olde college and will transition out from fixing complex systems to designing complex systems for others to break.
    The only thing that would get me out of IT is if I went back and got a BSEE/BSCE and went into that field. Otherwise I'm here for the long haul, however long that is.
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  • rensationalrensational Member Posts: 30 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I think about it almost every day for a couple of reasons. I don't love IT. I love certain things in the field, and I think this is true for everyone in it (networking is not for all of us, neither is security). I really love to repair, for example, and to do really basic things.

    But working in IT has made some things a lot clearer to me about myself, and it's starting to make me consider doing something else. I have known for a while that I love to write and that I don't like dealing with other people--I like working alone, which is one reason I love repairing. But working help desk is making me understand that I just need a job where dealing with people is at a minimum. I'm not really doing a bad job on the phones, but I am definitely finding myself gravitating towards the emails we get from clients requesting help and trying to avoid phone calls. If I could get a position in IT that was mainly writing articles, reviews, blogging and such, then I'd be fine. But I really don't know how to get those jobs.

    I also do a bit of sports writing in my spare time (and even at work since help desk is slow), and I can see that eventually taking off. Lately, I have been thinking that if I get offered something by a decent company or paper, or if I see an interesting ad, I'd go for it. I'd love to have a job where I just stay home and write or go to games. I know I'd still have to deal with people (athletes, coaches, journalists), but I could work at home and spend a lot of time writing. I will always be into technology and do something with it, but it just might not always be my official job.
  • tr1xtr1x Member Posts: 213
    Never. Why do something that you are having regrets about? I only do what I enjoy. The only time I would leave is if I hit a salary cap, then I would open my own IT business or obtain a management position in an IT company. So I'd still be in IT, technically.
  • RomBUSRomBUS Member Posts: 699 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I've never thought about it...maybe because I am still young and don't have a lot of years of experience

    But I really don't think I can ever change professions or career paths in my life unless IT somehow goes away for good
  • MAC_AddyMAC_Addy Member Posts: 1,740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I almost left mainstream IT for military IT. I left the US to return to England to join the Royal Marines - I was accepted as comms/networking. Joining the Royal Marines takes a long time. You have to do an interview, aptitude test, hearing test, eye sight test, medical, formal interview with someone high up in the Navy or RM, fitness test, and then a 3-day course. I had passed all of those and went on to the 32-week basic training. After 16 weeks I had a call from my mum in the US, telling me I should return due to my dad being diagnosed with cancer icon_sad.gif unfortunately he passed away 6 months after and I had no money to return to the UK.

    Though I never had any intentions to leave IT. My first role as a Royal Marine was to serve my country and to defend when I had to. I was brought up in the military and that life-style had me fascinated. I still am, actually. This really was a blessing in disguise. After my father had passed away I met up with a girl that I had first met when I came to the US. She moved away after me living in the US for only 2 months. She came back and we got together. We're getting married in July of this year and I cannot wait. She's helped me through a lot and also lead me to the job that I have now. She also helps me study whenever I ask for assistance. She'll ask me questions that are in the book, it helps me get a visual of what they're asking. Sometimes while just reading the questions to myself I seem to memorize the answer as B, or A... this way it helps me learn what the actual answer is.
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  • htebazilehtebazile Member Posts: 52 ■■□□□□□□□□
    i left the rat race once... only 2 years after taking my first job out of college, programming Java, i was already burned out by 60+ hour weeks, always tethered to my laptop and cellphone.

    and so i took a 65% paycut to work at an animal shelter, not using my degree. (however, i did implement a computer based database system to replace their paper-based records system while i was there, and redesigned their website).

    at the time i thought it was somehow noble to choose to live on poverty wages and help the animals. i lived poor for several years before making my way back into the IT world, this time easing into the security realm. really, it was just too hard to live poor, and to not save for retirement seemed irresponsible.

    i probably won't leave IT again, only because it pays too well. my current salary is more than 5x what i was making when i stopped working at the animal shelter just 7 years ago.

    maybe i have sold out, but i don't really know what i would want to do instead that would make me happy. i do truly appreciate every opportunity i have been given. i am thankful for the success i have had in my career, particularly during a down economy. even if i don't love my work, i do love my paycheck! so i am probably in it for the long haul.
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  • TackleTackle Member Posts: 534
    If the IT field ever doesn't work out for me I will work in the automotive repair industry. It just comes natural. Some of my most memorable accomplishments come from repairing vehicles.
  • phoeneousphoeneous Go ping yourself... Member Posts: 2,333 ■■■■■■■□□□
    The only reason that I would leave IT is to be a p.r.0.n star. Serious.
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I almost left to become a nurse instead, but once I factored in all the classes I'd need as pre-reqs, then actually completing the degree, and the inability to pay loans and do school at the same time I knew I couldn't do it. Everyday I tend to think there is probably something else I could be doing, but when i look at it logically I know I really can't. I'm good at my job and while I find most people to be idiots and not care about what I do, I think you'll find that in most jobs. At this point I just need to buckle down, complete some certifications, and make the jump into a junior level security role. Might not equal more happiness, but the pay should be better and at least I can then practice my craft. And no more "the wireless mouse in the conference room isn't working!!"
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  • ChickenNuggetzChickenNuggetz Member Posts: 284
    This is an interesting thread. I'm on the other side of the spectrum (leaving a different career to start in IT) and its interesting to see the perspectives from people already in the industry I'm trying to break into. I think the general consensus here amongst folks seems to be "if you're unhappy, time to find greener pastures" Many have cited that they're simply just "good" at it and dont really give it much thought. I think the real question comes down to "does it make you happy?"

    In two weeks, I'll be leaving a career in education to try my hand at a career in IT. I would consider myself a great teacher. Kids liked me, faculty liked me, parents liked me. The job came naturally and there were aspects I did enjoy. At the end of the day, (often at the end of the school year) I found myself unfulfilled and unchallenged. I decided to start learning some new things in my free time and discovered the world of netwokring. 3 months later I had my first certification, was studying for the next one and I realized something: I enjoyed what I was learning and the challenges that came with that. I looked forward to leaving my day job only to come home and bury my nose in a networking book or to plug away at a lab scenario with my equipment until the wee hours of the morning, despite having to get up early for work!

    To get back to the OPs orginial predicament and to the point of my story, it comes down to "are you happy doing what you're doing?" Put money aside for a second and really think about if going to work every day and doing the things you are doing really makes you happy. If money and salary is really the ONLY issue, I dont think the problem is your chosen career, the issue might be your location. IT is in a lot of places, and I've found even moving an hour in one direction might yield better opportunites!
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  • tr1xtr1x Member Posts: 213
    Very well said, ChickenNuggetz. If I stopped liking IT, I'd get out of it and never look back. However, this has been a passion of mine since I was a little kid and there's nothing I enjoy more! Much respect to you for the courage to switch careers.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    @ the Grinch.

    My wife who is in her mid 20's graduated from Nursing school just recently and has been working in the ICU for organ transplant patient. She does extremely well for less than 1 year experience 35 an hour - not including weekend and night differentials. She has already been asked if she would be willing to do the critical care certification and has already received her red cross cpr adult and children certification. Much higher level than being CPR certified, (I don't know the official name :))

    Either way she should be making upper 30's an hour by next year after the completion of her critical care certification and then transitioning into the CRNA program. The mean salary average on that degree with ~2 years of critical care experience is 150,000. Not to mention if you get locked onto a hospital who has a medical school affliated with the hospital you can get some really reasonable rates. We are talking less than 30,000 for the CRNA. That's a beautiful deal.
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Yeah, in my area they've run through the pool of new nurses and really want at least a year or two of experience before hiring. It probably would have been at least a year for pre-reqs, two years for the program, and then off to find a job. In three years time I don't think it would be wrong to think I could be in the $55 to $60k range, which as a new nurse would probably what I'd make. If paramedics made decent money, here they only make about $40k a year, I would have done that since I am an EMT already, but who knows things change. At this point it's IT or back to law enforcement again, but this time I'll have a degree and years of IT experience ;)
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