"All of those signal to me that we’re at a tipping point where businesses will outsource and expense the hardware and much of the standard software, shrinking the core IT staff but still keeping enough to work on features and differentiators."
The company I work for announced that it will be laying off 20% of the IT employees by the end of the year. What is described above is EXACTLY what my company is doing. We haven't been given the specifics, but we know the company will be moving to O365 which will eliminate most of the Platforms support group, and I suspect the data center will be outsourced as well, since that is what our new VP of Infrastructure did at his last job.
Somewhat similarly to Andy, I received an Associate degree in IT in the mid-80s, and rapidly worked my way into a really challenging, lucrative, fun job supporting CICS on IBM mainframes at a Fortune 200 company. I quit in the mid-90s to stay home with my children. Once my kids were pretty self-sufficient, and knowing that my IT skills were completely outdated, as soon as I could I went back to school part-time and got a job working full-time as an administrative assistant for the IT Infrastructure group at my current company. I received my BS in Computer Science (with a 3.93 GPA) in December. It took some time and a great leap of faith on my boss's part to allow me to do so, but I've volunteered for every IT-related assignment I can get my hands on in addition to my admin work over the last five years in my current role. I was always hopeful that I would be able to transition to a tech job within my current department or in another IT area within the company, but with the announcement of the pending layoffs I doubt that will happen. So I keep volunteering for assignments and am working on gaining skills to put on my resume (and to relieve the boredom with my "day" job). I don't feel I have the necessary skills yet for any of the job openings I see in IT in other companies.
During all those years parenting full-time I never dreamed it would be so difficult to transition back into the workforce. My timing was unfortunate, I tried to reenter the work force at the height of the worst recession since the Great Depression. Given the rapidity with which technology evolves and changes, I knew that I would have to pretty much start at the bottom again. The fact that so much of the lower level IT jobs have been outsourced offshore has made it particularly difficult to come in at the ground floor. Even though I've lowered my expectations, I love working in IT and I am still hopeful I will find something challenging and rewarding.
Enough whining...time to get back to teaching myself SSRS. 🙂