WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

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Survey surprise

Surveys on our home page are unscientific. We don't capture demographics or other information on who is answering the question.

Our primary control is that one computer can only be used to vote one time. It is difficult to vote multiple times. Still, the poll is informative for capturing the mood of readers.

And apparently, you are in a bad mood when it comes to your chosen profession. The poll question we asked, and are still asking, is "Would you want your child to be a government contractor?"

A whopping 95 percent responded with No. Four percent said yes and the remainder said maybe.

I'm not really sure what this means. I was expecting something closer to 50-50. Maybe the scandals and bad press have some people wishing for a different career. I don't know.

One commenter, calling himself the Infosec Guy, offered this observation: If either of my kids asked about being a federal contractor, I would say go for it if they want to eventually become federal employees. Federal contractors also have the plus of being able to work on good projects and gain valuable experience that is applicable as a full time fed or in the private sector. Click here for more of his comments.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jul 23, 2007 at 7:22 PM


Reader Comments

Wed, Aug 1, 2007 Nick Wakeman VA

Wow, Beachman, that's a cynical view, but I can't really say that you're wrong. My sense is that government contracting is something that people find themselves in, not necessarily something they plan to go in.Kind of like being a reporter covering the IT industry. I didn't plan on being a business reporter but I followed the most intriguing opportunities and here I am.

Mon, Jul 30, 2007 Robert Fritz VA

Perhaps the results of the survey convey the frustration that many have --- of being in this industry for a long time and not seeing significant progress toward a lifestyle that is close to what they have always wanted. Long work hours, heavy competition for always-tight money, ridiculous traffic, and no improvement on any of those fronts is something that you wouldn't wish on your enemy, much less your kids. Go to any Industry event and you'll observe a sea of 50-60 year old professionals who have been doing the same thing for decades, with no end in sight (i.e., no retirement plans in effect anywhere).Many Gen Y-ers are seeing the insanity and are turning to alternative business concepts (e.g., telecommuting, temping, and creating their own future with their own business). Here's your test, Beltway Folks: when is the last time you encouraged your kids to do what you have done for a career? The answer most people give is send them off to college and hope it works out for them. Nice parenting...But paradigms die hard, and many still follow a long line of lemmings to a rut life. Things will change, consolidation will occur in the government contracting industry, the big guys will continue to dominate, and life will go on.

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