I used to work in high tech - ask me anything!

  1. Is high tech a better career than being an NP? It depends. Having spent 20 years in high tech, and advancing from programming to executive, and working for some of the best companies, I am open to questions.

    Advantages of high tech

    1. Potential for really big bucks for a lucky few
    2. Technology changes all the time, so you are always learning new things
    3. Great for adrenaline junkies
    4. May get to travel a lot, if you like that
    5. Many jobs allow you to work at home full time or part time
    6. Many jobs with flexible hours - as long as you get the job done
    7. Can be very social - team work is essential

    Disadvantages of high tech

    1. You may have to travel A LOT
    2. Brutal hours - 70-80 hours a week common and you are on salary - NO overtime pay. People who leave work on time are very much frowned upon.
    3. Technology changes all the time and you always have to stay ahead of the curve or you are OUT
    4. You are expected to be on call 24/7 and accessible 24/7. Many high tech workers are on virtual teams with people from around the globe, so that means you are expected to do teleconferences at 10 pm and 5 am, sometimes on the same day! You are expected to always be available by phone/text and to check those messages all the time, even on weekends and holidays.
    5. Yes, you can make big bucks, but always worry about your job being given to foreign outsourcing or an H1B1 Visa holder who will do it for 1/2 to 3/4 of your pay
    6. No job security - companies lay people off all the time even when the company is doing well
    7. Many very abusive environments where nothing you do is ever good enough - do Google searches on the environment at Amazon
    8. All those company perks like free food? That's because they never want you to leave the office! That way you can work longer hours!
    9. You will likely have to live in a tech hub city and they are all very expensive. $100K is considered poverty in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley area.
    10. Lots of internal politics and I mean 50% of your time or more dealing with this.
    11. You often work so much your only social life is with people at work and after work.
  2. Visit FullGlass profile page

    About FullGlass, MSN, NP

    Joined: Dec '17; Posts: 471; Likes: 668


  3. by   ICUman
    What is high tech exactly, software engineering?
  4. by   SizzlerRN
    Can you talk about your reasons for making a career change to NP after 20 years?
  5. by   FullGlass
    Quote from ICUman
    What is high tech exactly, software engineering?
    High tech is a big field with many different career opportunities. Most people just think of computer software programming, but here are other options:
    - Technical architect
    - Business analyst
    - Database analyst
    - Project manager
    - User interface design
    - Software quality control and testing
    - There is also the hardware side of things - network engineer, working with the physical components of computers, etc.

    There is also big demand for people in healthcare informatics. This is analyzing all the data that healthcare systems collect and finding ways to improve quality and reduce costs. Someone interested in this would need to be good with numbers and comfortable with working with databases.

    And high tech requires all the other usual business functions: sales, marketing, etc. The really big money is in sales.

    An example of high software that all of you are familiar with are EHRs - these are ginormous software programs.
  6. by   Spadeforce
    Thanks for the interesting post. hopefully the mods won't move it to the some closet were it won't get any response since its not directly about APNs. But anyway I will bite

    To the 18 something year old, software engineering vs medical field? or you can reword this question in a way you think might be more appropriate then answer it, I am not sure on the semantics of tech jobs.
    what made you change?
  7. by   juan de la cruz
    I live in the Bay Area so I work with NP's whose spouses work for Google or any of the other Silicon Valley companies. Now, we work in a hospital setting with a set schedule of 3 12-hr shifts a week and even though their spouses have higher salaries and maybe better employment perks than us, my NP colleagues actually have more time involved with their kids and their activities in and out of school. Their spouses bring work home and we don't.
  8. by   FullGlass
    My midlife crisis! Seriously, a few things happened at once. My mother became very ill and bed-ridden and I had to take some time off work to help care for her. The economy tanked in 2008. I had become increasingly disillusioned, unsatisfied, and burned out with my work, mostly building/redesigning websites and software for crap like entertainment, in addition to very abusive work environments, long hours, and constant travel. While caring for my mother, I regretted not becoming a doctor, as I had originally planned. I was also very impressed the NPs who cared for her and given my age, decided NP would be a good choice for me. When I'm on my deathbed, I don't want my legacy to be that I built a website/app that notified people whether or not Paris Hilton/Britney Spears is wearing underwear!

    I wanted a career that consisted of intrinsically meaningful work that would be a positive contribution to society, as well as a career that provided the freedom to live wherever I wanted, and job security. NP fit the bill and so far I am happy with my choice.
  9. by   FullGlass
    My answer to the 18 year old - what do you like doing? If someone loves working with computers, as in programming software, apps, etc., then high tech is a no brainer. For someone who isn't sure, take a class or two in programming and see how it goes. Someone who is very people oriented would do well in sales, nursing, mental health. People who love to solve problems would do well in either high tech or healthcare, depending on how much they like to work with people. Someone who wants to make a lot of money should either go into big ticket sales or start their own business. Successful corporate salespeople can make $1 million+ and all they typically need is a college degree (sometimes not even that). Please don't go into high tech because everyone thinks that is the thing to do. If you go into high tech, it should be because that is what you are passionate about. And, nothing is forever! People can and do change careers!
  10. by   twinsmom788
    Interesting read about your career and the reason for the change. Very well put about wanting a meaningful career and make a lasting impact on humanity.