July 02, 2012, 8:12 AM — What are the 10 most demanding jobs in IT?
1. Executive director/administrator 2. IT procurement 3. CIO 4. IT manager/director 5. IT operations 6. Data center manager 7. Engineering 8. IT security 9. Applications/software development 10. Database management
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Emerson surveyed 800 IT professionals from four regions -- the U.S., Asia, Europe and Latin America -- representing 17 work roles and 18 industries, at businesses ranging from 50 to more than 10,000 employees. Most questions were designed to gauge who and what role in IT was "Always-On" -- a reference to Emerson's business in power supplies -- and used an agreement scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree.
There were three open-ended questions:
• How many hours per week do you work at your IT job? Include paid and unpaid hours.
• What are the most demanding aspects of your IT job?
• Please describe one or two situations that best illustrate how your IT job requires you to be Always-On: always available, always working at peak capacity and always accurate.
Respondents at the executive director/administrator level -- including administrator, leader, department head and director -- have hands-on involvement in every aspect of IT: strategic, operational and tactical. All say they work on many projects at once, and that their work requires a high level of intelligence. Only 25% agree or strongly agree that success depends on things out of their control; that they are accountable for success, and that translates into high job demands, the Emerson survey found.
IT procurement officials identified themselves as analysts, buyers, representatives, supervisors, consultants, directors and other leaders. More than half of respondents say they don't have control over their schedules and don't have time to do quality work. They indicate multiple pressures: urgency, demanding clients often in different international time zones, staying up on the latest equipment and filling pressing staffing needs.