2008 March 09 Sunday
Silicon Valley Tech Workers Flee To Safer Jobs

Just as there is an investor flight to safety with Treasury bills so there is an engineer and software developer flight to safety in high tech.

Mr. Kher is part of a new flight to safety among tech-industry workers as the economy struggles. In growing numbers, these workers are gravitating to larger companies that they hope can better weather a downturn. Ian Arcuri, an engineer in Research Triangle Park, N.C., left a local tech start-up to join giant Cisco Systems Inc. in October. "If I have to live through an economic downturn for three years, then I'd like to be at a company with a big war chest," he says.

There's no data on these job shifts, and recruiters and companies say the trend is nascent. Start-ups certainly aren't being abandoned en masse. But early signs of a mind-set shift are unmistakable, evoking memories of previous migrations to stabler jobs. During the dot-com bust that began in the year 2000, dozens of Silicon Valley start-ups withered or disappeared, while many large tech firms survived. Sure, big tech companies eventually began firing as well, but engineers who leaped to safety early were more likely to survive cutbacks.

The full article is worth reading if you do tech work.

Over 7 years from starting to hitting an IPO for start-ups today. I didn't expect that.

The dream of nearly every start-up -- IPO riches -- is taking longer to materialize, when it happens at all. Tech start-ups today take an average of just over seven years to get to an initial public offering, up from about three years in 2000, according to research firm VentureOne. And the number of tech IPOs remains far off the peak of the dot-com boom: Last year, just 34 tech start-ups went public, down from 105 in 2000, according to VentureOne.

Think about your job and decide whether you need to do your own personal flight to quality. Another alternative: work harder to boost your perceived value to your employers. Also, if you are in a position to make a difference in sales then try hard to win new business that will keep your company busy during the next couple of years of hard times.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2008 March 09 02:37 PM  Economics Labor


Comments
Bob Badour said at March 9, 2008 2:56 PM:

A contrarian view suggests now is the best time to become an entrepreneur.

Thomas said at December 3, 2008 8:15 PM:

Many of the BEST IT workers outside of the high-paying areas in the west have already left the industry in disgust. The contempt for American tech workers evident by the use of H1B and other non immigrant visas to lower wages has backfired, causing American students to avoid Tech careers. As a fifth generation American Engineer I will be the last in my family until programs such as the H1B are abolished. Companies that hire under the H1B and L1 knowledge transfer visas are TRAITORS. Words cannot express my contempt and disgust for supporters of this farce.


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