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What would you do if you were in my shoes? (IT vs QS'ing)

blizeHblizeH ✭✭
edited June 2006 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
I'm not sure where to ask this really, but I thought here would be a good place as I'm assuming there are a lot of you working in the IT industry, any advice would be very much appreciated, ty.

First of all, a little background, I was 21 years old last week and am in the final stages of completing my HND (lol) in Computing. I've worked for a family business for over 5 years now in the offices and ims I love working there, I did have a year out of IT education to have a go at Quantity Surveying which I enjoyed at first, but then my boss left and was replaced by someone I really didn't get on with, and the college aspects of it were awful at times, so went back to IT and completed my HND.

I've recently taken on a part time job, mostly involving developing different sections of an intranet after a good friend of mine asked if I wanted to help him out, at first this seemed like a fantastic idea but now I'm not too sure, the idea of going back the surveying is becomming quite tempting since I'd be working in a different department and the guy I worked with has left (on a mutual agreement afaik).

I'll try and run through the plus points as I see them from each job/industry, stuff in italics applies only to this job and isn't a fair representation as a whole, if that makes sense ;o Also note when I write IT, I mean Web Development and sorting Software/Hardware problems since those are the fields I probably excel at.

IT Work
+ Something I've had an extremely strong interest in since a very young age, something I'm generally not too bad at.
+ Something I mostly enjoy.
+ Getting to work with one of my best mates is great.

- Seems to be a general lack of job security in the IT industry, and the wages seem to be getting progressively worse, especially since a growing number of people, like myself, are showing a large interest in this field.
- There's absolutely no where convinient to where I live that I could work in IT, I've tried doing a hardware/software repair thing by setting up my own partnership (alongside the guy I'm working with now) but despite all of our clients being very happy with our work, it never even came close to taking off, despite little competition.
- 60 miles plus drive to get to work and back, every single day, also involving very early starts which make it a little akward if I want to do something in the evening beforehand, of course the fact I travel an extra 2 hours a day isn't ideal either, I lose almost 11 hours of my day everytime I come into work which I hate, plus the costs of diesel brings my overly hourly rate to something rather pitiful. Also I feel occasionally that working with one of my best mates occasionally causes tension.

Quantity Surveying Work
+ Great company ethics, a nice relaxed atmosphere and everyone who works in the office always seems very happy. I work with a great bunch of people who I get on well with, 5 years on and I'm still enjoying working for this company.
+ I'd still do some web stuff and maybe even PC maintenance on the side (already do one website for a company in my part time, tax declared of course!) and hopefully keep something I enjoy doing interesting, as apposed to working on it every day for years and growing to hate it.
+ The job has potentially great prospects, I was told if I had carried on working there as a QS instead of leaving to do my HND I'd probably of had a company car by now, and the ones they've got are sweet. There are also loads of nights/days out paid for by the company. Also, it being a family business should go someway to providing job security, something I'm not sure I'd get in the IT industry.

- It's Quantity Surveying, man! It's not that bad, a lot of aspects I enjoy, although maybe not as much as IT work.
- The college aspects would kill me, I didn't mind a lot of work, but some of it was a complete and utter joke, having to do scale drawings and various elevations like an architect would doesn't interest me in the slightest and is completely unrelevant to my job, likewise with having to walk around the college and go on various trips looking like a complete muppet trying to work our various levels and heights of the land, what's all that about?
- I don't know for sure whether they'd take me back, although they have hinted at it a few times.

Apologies for a huge post and list, I guess I posted this almost for my own benefit as much as anything else, so I can see a list of advantages and disadvantages for myself, but any suggestions would be extremely well recieved, especially from people with IT experience.


  • blizeHblizeH ✭✭
  • In my own life, I found that to finally find a career doing what I was happy doing; I had to go back to my childhood and take stock of doing what I always loved. Jobs I've had that were related to interests I developed later in life never held long term satisfaction. Now I'm doing something I loved since childhood, I'm the happiest I've ever been in a job dispite problems with the management at the company I work at and being chronically underpaid. All my close friends are astounded because a few years ago, it became readily apparent I just wasn't the type of person that would be happy at my job. I guess its just a matter of doing something you enjoy. Of course job satisfaction isn't what you're after, the above advice probably won't help you much. As for being concerned about job availability in the IT field - there will ALWAYS be work in the it field. Its true that the dotcom bubble made companies shy of IT for a while. But the thing is; the technology isn't going away. Companies are more dependant than ever on tech. Its just that now, you can't just walk into a job interview with your resume on a napkin and expect to be hired. :) Its more like a "real" job than previously where there is actual competition. But if you strive to be the best in your field, as with any job, there will always be work for you.
  • Nothing personal, just a complex and weighty subject. And it appears, at least to me, that you have already chosen QS. IT can be a bit dull when you are following an ajenda other than one you find interesting. However, IT can be a great hobby to tinker with on your free time, and a place to fall back on if and when you tire or bore of QS.
  • Sorry blizeh i read your post and meant to reply to it a while ago and for some reason didnt.

    I'm another of those people who's always been interested in mucking around with computers and probably looking for a job in the IT field in the future but is worried about job satisfaction, security, and generally whether it's worth going to uni to specialise in the field (though clearly thats not an issue here).

    I dont know jack about quantity surveying so i really cant run any sort of comparison atall but as people have said stick with what makes you happy. If you like working as a QS and you like the company then do it. If it doesnt pay as much as you think you could get in IT and you're a money man, or you think you'd be happier in IT then move to IT. Realistically if you're good at your job and have a passion for it, there will always be a place for you in either field. If you stick with QS now and further down the line you decide it wasnt the right plan then just start looking for jobs in a different field. It's always good to have a fallback.

    For that matter, I'm seriously considering taking a year out and doing a plumbing/plastering/something course before i go to uni/get a job because (in england certainly) tradesmen these days are impossible to come by and well paid (compared to a lot of stuff). If you have something solid to fall back on you can never be beat.

    Just do what you want now but never forget to consider the future.
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