The Five Worst IT Jobs in India
GoCertify recently expanded its reach to India. We're tracking the IT scene in one of the world's largest IT workplaces, with features like this one.
It has become the norm in India to complain about one's job. IT professionals are no different than others in the workforce. Entry-level IT jobs can turn out to be a tough gig, as can some requiring years of experience. Compensation is often questionable, hours are grueling, and employees are expected to stay sharp.
It all seems to depend on how one looks at his or her employment: Is it merely a job, or a career choice? A job that one is not motivated to pursue is a recipe for rapid burnout and job shift. Employees do tend to feel higher levels of motivation and satisfaction if they have chosen their jobs — if their employment is driven by their interest and skill set, and a desire to build a career in their chosen field.
Studies have shown, however, that many IT employees do not feel engaged with, or enthusiastic about, their jobs. There are five particular IT jobs with which employees report feeling the most dissatisfied.
System administrators. Although they earn higher salaries than many, system administrators face constant challenges. These include long stress-filled hours dominated by constant network troubles. An admin has to handle everything from making backups to restoring and fixing printers, configuring software, installing servers, implementing a remote service solution, and updating software. They also need to possess good people skills for handling user issues and complaints.
Often system administrators are expected to be magicians, solving all problems swiftly and correctly. IT knowledge becomes irrelevant at an unthinkable pace, yet system administrators are expected to know each and every one of the latest advancements in their domains. Additionally, to prove competency, they must keep their industry and vendor certifications current.
They also don't change jobs very frequently — having finally organized a network to their satisfaction, they are reluctant to jump to another organization where they will have to deal with setting things in order all over again. Adding to a system administrator's dissatisfaction is the fact that younger employees joining the company frequently know as much as they do, and it becomes increasingly difficult for the administrator to project himself (or herself) as the authority.
Software developers. In India easy jobs and good money are not to be found in this field. Each year in India there are five times as many new software developers as jobs for them. Thus they regularly associate their jobs with bugs, tight deadlines, working on weekends, unpaid overtime, denied salary increments, cancelled leaves, keeping pace with changing frameworks and technology, hold-ups, and overwork. It is no wonder they also report high levels of stress.
Being one amongst many programmers in a company, often leaves developers feeling irrelevant and disempowered. Young engineering graduates join an IT company with the hope of an onsite opportunity, regardless of the location, and managers readily exploit this fact to their own advantage. Meanwhile programmers are left struggling with their dissatisfaction.
Tech support. If you enjoy a lack of involvement in decision-making, lousy relationships with management, a low salary, poor benefits, lack of job security, little control in your job, no say in how things should be done, lack of recognition for performance and no flexibility in scheduling, then this is the job for you.
Tech support workers regularly report being treated not as a person, but as an automaton. They are supposed to spend ungodly amounts of time on something they could not care less about. Many report that management is not the least bit concerned about their development or career goals. Tech support workers seem constantly worried about picking a new skill and moving to a different role in the company. Often the only career path open to most is to job shift.
Call Center Job. The good news is that there are millions of call center jobs available in India. (In 2012, Bangalore alone had more than 265,000 positions.) The bad news is that almost all call center employees find their work monotonous, pointless, and devoid of meaning.
Employees must be fluent in English — not speaking English on the job is often a reason for dismissal. Employees must also complete from one week to several months of voice and culture training, all for around 125 ? per hour ($2 U.S.).
Most call center employees continue in the same job as they do not seem to have other options. They are supposed to handle angry customer complaints while feeling divided between high customer expectations and meeting company standards. The reality of being under constant scrutiny does not make the experience any better. Most call center employees report suffering from stress, back pain, eye soreness and headaches.
Click farming. Probably the worst IT job imaginable. Employees sit at computer screens in front of blank walls endlessly clicking on web sites, sometimes working through the night. Wages are extremely low — to earn a single U.S. dollar, employees must generate 1,000 likes or follow 1,000 people on Twitter. All this is done to create an illusion of a massive user following for a web site or company.
The drudgery of a daily grind is oppressive. Click farmers find their work mindless and not at all challenging, to say the least. Sadly, an employee's potential goes unfulfilled as they feel they have settled for mediocrity. Adding to the misery is the realization that their work is actually to give web properties spurious popularity and importance, generating statistics that will mislead consumers and advertisers.
There are many good IT jobs in India that offer solid pay, opportunity and fulfillment. What is most striking about these bad jobs is that low salary is not the primary reason employees dislike them. In most cases, they see little point in what they are doing. They often feel forced to stay in these jobs with little ability to move on.