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# Any other good paying careers besides tech you'd recommend?

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Not to be negative, but I am seriously considering leaving the IT/tech industry.  Largely because I haven't been able to find stability ever since I've started 7 years ago.  The constant hassle of companies only wanting to hire people through contracting, then suddenly lay you off for whatever reason has constantly put me in a bad situation.  Even worse, I've never had a contract go it's full duration.  No, not once.  I'm constantly told, "you should seek permanent employment", but companies are not often hiring for fulltime.  Others recommend startups, but my experience there is far worse than what I experience at gargantuan companies like Microsoft or Amazon.  The interviewing process for many of these positions is either broken or poorly executed, making finding a new position nearly impossible.  Sometimes I'm out of work for 2 months at a time, and the last period was 7-8 months.  I have a job now, but it manual QA plus it doesn't even pay the bare minimum of my expenses, back rent, debts, and so on.  I only took it because I can't get anything else right now.  This industry hasn't been very good to me.  If I'm going from making $XXX a day/year for X number of months, then getting the boot suddenly all the time, what is the point if there's no stability? How wonderful does it sound being employed at Microsoft, yet homeless at the same time?? I've heard others consider and say the exact same things. Lastly, it's easy to say "be positive" when NONE of the above is happening to you... So I'm asking if there's other career paths that some of you have taken that still pay a good living? As much as I hate to say it, I might even go back to school for it if necessary. To be honest, I don't know much else career wise and this is what I have the most experience in, so I'll likely be seen as a (former) dev/SDET for life so I don't know if I can even get out of tech if I seriously consider leaving. As usual, this sucks. Any ideas? Thanks. Shogun #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Advertisement I'm not familiar with whatever industry you're talking about, but is it possible that you're just underperforming? #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites 4 hours ago, blueshogun96 said: The constant hassle of companies only wanting to hire people through contracting, then suddenly lay you off for whatever reason has constantly put me in a bad situation. This is the standard everywhere, whether your working with computers or not. It's gotten to the point where even a person with a stable job can be laid off at a moments notice. It's not even unheard of people loosing there stable jobs right before a holidays. It's not surprising to see familiar faces in new unexpected places. 4 hours ago, blueshogun96 said: Sometimes I'm out of work for 2 months at a time, and the last period was 7-8 months. This is why you NEED to freelance. I work from contract to contract, often with 2-4 months in between. If employees see that gap the chances of you getting a new contract goes down the drain. Freelance jobs are mostly once off things, you can do lots of them in a short period, keeping your CV stocked with numbers your new employer can call. Just remember that while you are freelancing to use an alias, that way a single freelance job won't kill your career. Also use an alias when doing a very low paying job, employers seam to think the money you get payed reflects your skill; even if it was a freelance job you did to help a struggling indie developer. Edited by Scouting Ninja #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Perhaps you should try Nursing? It's a moderately lucrative career that doesn't require a large amount of education, that is unlikely to be replaced entirely with automation, and with the worlds aging population, will be in high demand. EDIT: or the military, they've talked about waiving all sorts of physical requirements to get more people with programming skills. Edited by ferrous #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites 10 hours ago, blueshogun96 said: Not to be negative, but I am seriously considering leaving the IT/tech industry. ... So I'm asking if there's other career paths that some of you have taken that still pay a good living? Well, you're not leaving the game industry (you're leaving IT/tech). If you're looking for stability and good pay as your primary considerations, all I can say is "not the game industry either." This forum (and this whole website) is really about the game industry, so I don't know what to tell you. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites We can't really tell you or we wouldn't be here, as Tom said. Secondly, what works for you is personal, and we don't know your preferences or desires or likes and dis-likes. I'd suggest think for yourself (and write down honestly) what you like, your strong and weak points, and go from there. Maybe a closer friend can give you insights? Other options would be some form of career counseling. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Or the book "What Color Is Your Parachute." It's designed to help readers make career decisions. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites I'm a mechanical engineer and it pays quite well. Having programming experience as a mechanical engineer also gives you a huge advantage over other mechanical engineers. Programming in my job (which is about only 5-10% of my work hours) meant bonuses and pay-rises without asking, and it also satisfy my programming desires quite well. I don't know about other countries, but mechanical engineering is a quite stable job too. There are people at the company where I work who has been working there since 20 years now. I have been working there for 5 years now and I don't see they'd lay me off. It's more likely that I will "look for other challenges". 5-6 years of collage, and I don't think you'd need to go to the best universities. Sure, you won't be a rock star designer with Ferraris if you are after that stuff. Edited by szecs #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites How old are you? I ask because it's relevant in terms of how long you expect to continue working. For example, if you were in your 50s, I wouldn't recommend going back and retraining (you'll spend a significant proportion of your remaining working life not earning). On the other hand, if I was in my 20s, one of my primary motivating factors in choosing a career would be "how likely is this job to be automated?" Another option might be to change location instead of careers? I've worked in software development for nearly 20 years now (christ that makes me feel old) and I've never encountered any of the scenarios you describe, despite working in a bunch of industries/roles. But then, I've never worked in the US. Finally, what do you enjoy and what are you good at? There's no point in any of us recommending going into finance/veterinary/construction if you suck at numbers/hate animals/don't like manual labour. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites On 6/23/2017 at 11:55 AM, Scouting Ninja said: This is the standard everywhere, whether your working with computers or not. It's gotten to the point where even a person with a stable job can be laid off at a moments notice. It's not even unheard of people loosing there stable jobs right before a holidays. It's not surprising to see familiar faces in new unexpected places. This is why you NEED to freelance. I work from contract to contract, often with 2-4 months in between. If employees see that gap the chances of you getting a new contract goes down the drain. Freelance jobs are mostly once off things, you can do lots of them in a short period, keeping your CV stocked with numbers your new employer can call. Just remember that while you are freelancing to use an alias, that way a single freelance job won't kill your career. Also use an alias when doing a very low paying job, employers seam to think the money you get payed reflects your skill; even if it was a freelance job you did to help a struggling indie developer. Sorry for the slow response, I appreciate your advice. I will be honest though, I haven't worked in every profession, but none of them come close to the sheer volatility of the tech industry in my experience. Job security is only a word, yes. That's nearly every industry/profession. And about freelancing, since you are the Nth person to strongly recommend this, I am going to just go ahead and do it. Previously, I was discouraged from doing so because I was told that you would be competing with people from other countries like India who are wiling to work for much less. So I signed up for upwork.com and hoping that I will get approved within the next day or two because I already see a few gigs that I want to take my chances on. To be frank, I don't know what I should charge. Since I'm used to being paid$45-50ish/hr, I set my rate at \$30.  Should I set it lower?  I don't claim to be the best developer in the world, but I'm not entry level either.

And back to the competition thing, even with all the senior level devs out there, it seems that it would be hard to get a position, especially with 50 devs all applying for that one opening.  The odds are against me, but not trying is the cowards way out.  I'd rather try and fail than not try at all.

Alias?  As in a different username or a different legal name?  Just want to be clear on that.

On 6/23/2017 at 1:48 PM, ferrous said:

Perhaps you should try Nursing?  It's a moderately lucrative career that doesn't require a large amount of education, that is unlikely to be replaced entirely with automation, and with the worlds aging population, will be in high demand.

EDIT:  or the military, they've talked about waiving all sorts of physical requirements to get more people with programming skills.

My brother is in that field.  Although I never liked jobs interacting with people, I'll consider it.

Millitary programmer?  Sounds interesting.  Imagine having that on a resume...

On 6/23/2017 at 6:08 PM, Tom Sloper said:

Well, you're not leaving the game industry (you're leaving IT/tech). If you're looking for stability and good pay as your primary considerations, all I can say is "not the game industry either." This forum (and this whole website) is really about the game industry, so I don't know what to tell you.

That's fair enough sir, I guess.

11 hours ago, szecs said:

I'm a mechanical engineer and it pays quite well. Having programming experience as a mechanical engineer also gives you a huge advantage over other mechanical engineers.
Programming in my job (which is about only 5-10% of my work hours) meant bonuses and pay-rises without asking, and it also satisfy my programming desires quite well.
I don't know about other countries, but mechanical engineering is a quite stable job too. There are people at the company where I work who has been working there since 20 years now. I have been working there for 5 years now and I don't see they'd lay me off. It's more likely that I will "look for other challenges".

5-6 years of collage, and I don't think you'd need to go to the best universities. Sure, you won't be a rock star designer with Ferraris if you are after that stuff.

Well, I'm not sure about how much they pay here, but I'm sure it's decent.  Glad it works for you.  My assumption is that it pays well in Hungary though.  Although I've fantasized about moving to your nation several times, I don't believe that I can just get up and head for Magyarország that easily.

I'm sure a mechanical engineer at a company such as Boeing would make a killing.  Sadly, my career there was very short lived.

7 hours ago, ChaosEngine said:

How old are you? I ask because it's relevant in terms of how long you expect to continue working.

For example, if you were in your 50s, I wouldn't recommend going back and retraining (you'll spend a significant proportion of your remaining working life not earning).

On the other hand, if I was in my 20s, one of my primary motivating factors in choosing a career would be "how likely is this job to be automated?"

Another option might be to change location instead of careers? I've worked in software development for nearly 20 years now (christ that makes me feel old) and I've never encountered any of the scenarios you describe, despite working in a bunch of industries/roles. But then, I've never worked in the US.

Finally, what do you enjoy and what are you good at? There's no point in any of us recommending going into finance/veterinary/construction if you suck at numbers/hate animals/don't like manual labour.

I am in my early 30s now.  I have 7 years of relevant experience, and never have I had this much trouble finding jobs.

So far, I've had some people say that my location is likely my issue.  There are those that say, "you live HERE and you can't find a job?", and they are mostly peeps that don't work in the tech industry.  Getting a job is never magic.

If necessary, maybe I will leave here and go somewhere else.  I'm told that there are some places so desperate for programmers that they won't even bother whiteboarding them.  Here, there appears to be a surplus, so they can pick and choose who/whatever they want without giving your situation a second thought.  It's also very cut throat and competitive.  I really don't want to leave here, especially since other areas are either more expensive or not favourable climate wise.

I enjoy coding more than anything.  Writing is a second, but I'm not Stephen King to be frank.  So sticking with what I'm good at may be my best option for the time being.  I can accept that.

Shogun

EDIT: My other comp is pissing me off, so I had to half finish that last response, then come back to it.  Just in case you were wondering.

Edited by blueshogun96