The 50 Best Jobs In America." That was the headline on a men's magazine I saw the other day. Sadly, business-technology executive didn't stack up against things like NFL quarterback, test driver, back-country ranger, dinosaur hunter, or swimsuit photographer. But it's all relative, I guess. It all depends on what your dream job is and if you've got what it takes to make it happen. I know plenty of people who find the business-technology profession to be exciting, stimulating, and challenging. "You never have a chance to get bored because as soon as you master a new technology, it's suddenly obsolete and you need to move on to something new," says Joyce Prue, who's been in the business since the '70s. "That can be a little scary for someone who's well into middle age, but I wouldn't trade my career for any other."
Not everyone is so enthused. "Imagine you're a smart high-school student near the top of your class. Why would you ever spend $100,000 and four years preparing for a career in a field where 5% to 10% of the jobs are being lost every year?" That's an excerpt from a letter from Tom Jung of TKCB Group Inc. He and a few other letter writers over the past couple of weeks were disappointed with our Sept. 6 story on offshore outsourcing.
"Your magazine is simply aiding and encouraging the practice. How can one not recognize this is mainly a short-term ploy by CEOs and CFOs to improve the bottom line?" wrote IT manager Michael Webb. "American workers are suffering for it, and, in the long term, American companies will be suffering for it".
But the fact is, U.S. companies are prospering from the successful deployment of offshore outsourcing. It's a viable and compelling business strategy for some companies. It's part of the changing nature of business technology and the global market. Yes, it is disruptive; yes, some people have lost jobs; yes, it is beneficial to others. This is the nature of the free-enter- prise market, no? It's not fair to say that offshore outsourcing is wrong for every company, just as it's not fair to say it's right for every company. It's up to individual companies to decide on the right business strategy, and it's up to those smart high-school students to decide what their dream jobs will be. I'm confident there's a tremendous amount of vitality and excitement for those who pursue business technology.