Tech as a career is a “dead end”

The business intelligence author Tony Politano said this morning that technology as a career is a “dead end.” When I heard him say it, I knew it was my lead for next week’s story in BI This Week on BI careers.

He’s the author of Chief Performance Officer: Measuring What Matters, Managing What Can Be Measured (2003, iUniverse) and a frequent instructor at TDWI events.

Actually, he says it often. It’s his non-violent way of shaking young techies by the scruff of their necks.

“You’d be amazed at how many people who’ve worked 25 years in a bank don’t know the difference between commercial banking and investment banking,” he said.

They’re wiser to learn business, he tells them, because that knowledge is how those who run companies will calculate their worth.

Besides, offshoring and outsourcing are “eating the technology business from the bottom up.” Those who last will be the ones with knowledge the guys in China and India-or even some closer-can’t match.

“Business knowledge has the shelf life of macaroni and cheese,” he said. “Technical knowledge is like milk.” It always comes with a “use by” date.

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