Hello. My name is PHIL. I'm a 41 year old black male who's decided to change
careers and go into computer science. In about a year and a half, I will
have my bachelor's degree. I intend to go into business for myself doing
software research and development. For the past 2 years, I've done some extensive
research about the field as well as the current employment situation, job
opportunities, outsourcing etc and I've come to some conclusions of my own,
some of which you probably already know and agree with. First of all, whether
we like it or not, we need to come to terms on ONE MAJOR REALITY: The job
where you work 40 years for one company and get a gold watch and nice pension
are LONG, LONG GONE!! There seems to be many people out there who refuse
to face this fact. Understandingly they're angry because their way-of-life
is shrinking, their jobs are being outsourced for cheaper labor, age discrimination
and scared to death wondering if they will have enough for retirement, providing
that they get there. Let me say this: I agree with what a previous poster
said about Americans looking for instant gratification and the quick buck
to riches. That is certainly a big part of it. Now I want to be understood
that I'm not laying all the blame on workers, the employers are at fault
as well. They need to understand they can't undercut American salaries for
cheaper labor and expect the American worker to buy their products at their
inflated prices. They can't have it both ways. Eventually, this will come
to haunt them.

Secondly, the field of computer science is about innovation and creativity.
I feel these two qualities are vital to survive in this field. A programmer
once told me that the best opportunities are those you create yourself and
I couldn't agree more. I've learned when you wait for opportunity, chances
are it never happens. Here in California, I've seen dot-com tech companies
(hardware as well as software) go bust because their business plan and model
had no real substance and they created products no one needed or wanted.
Many people who invested in those companies (some with their life savings)
got burned badly and are very bitter to say the least. They were all looking
to have Bill Gates wealth overnight. Consider it lesson learned the hard
way.

That being said, the question still remains, Is the future grim in CS/IT?
That truly depends on what your position is. Are you a leader or a follower?
For the leader: the one who can create, design, innovate, take charge of
their futures, make their own opportunities but most important, have patience
and can see the future long-term, for them, the future is very bright and
opportunities are limitless. For the follower: the one who waits for opportunity,
the one who barely does just enough to get by, the one with no initative,
the one who's not willing to sacrifice and pay the price, the one who's looking
for instant riches and gratification and the one who looks to blame others,
it is for them that the future is dark, gloomy and grim with very little
to no hope for the future.

In closing, I hope that this current economy(as bad as it is) has waken up
some people to take charge of their futures. Stop depending on employers
to provide you with life-long financial security and job benefits. They are
not there. We have a new game in town and it's called the global economy.
The jobs being created are those that are temporary. An employer will hire
someone long enough to complete a project and then let them go. This is what
the future holds. Like it or not, get use to it. In my opinion, the only
true one has is some form of self-employment although I could be wrong, but
I doubt it. Having said that, let's take the future by storm while we still
can. Food for thought.