Your reminding me of when I learned COBOL... using microfocus in the 90's... I've never programmed in it after learning it though... I do however like the ability to describe the specific parts of what are effectively strings (though I don't think they are ever referred to as such) when handling input and output. I miss the fine ability to output text in C or C++ where I need a lot more effort to create the precision COBOL has...
I found it funny at one job I had where they wanted me to where a suit every day to work... They were paying me $28,000 a year at the time and requiring me to crawl around on the floor at times to check network wiring or move around equipment... I'd need to use a dry cleaners daily to have some hope of keeping these suits clean. It took a lot of effort to explain this to someone and how dress slacks and a dress shirt with a tie may be somewhat better for my work 'uniform' than wearing a suit given some of the activities I had to do... I also argued for a raise based on this mandate, but that didn't go over with them at all.
Wow, love the union hate there... So you would rather everyone (except you I'm assuming) work in third world poverty conditions because that is what capitalism seeks (those with the means controlling production and hence wages)? That is what unions were designed to fight. If you cannot afford goods because 'unions' then it most likely means that you are paid shit and if your wages had been rising along with 'wealth' in this country you wouldn't have an issue. However that hasn't been the case in decades, general pay for labor has been stagnant in real terms and in many cases decidedly regressive. Your wages have not kept up with inflation in goods and the companies are amazingly happy about that.
Now I'm not saying unions as we know them now are all good, but unions are not some evil attempting to kill you by making it so you cannot buy things. That would be the corporations. It so happens the corporations found a great way of subverting unions by bringing in 'professional management' because workers are stupid after all... It didn't take that many shills to cause unions to fall for this trap of being run by the same people running companies... Enter corruption and rent seeking from the new 'management' who are often buddy buddy with the companies they function with... and you have the modern corrupted form of unions. Done to you buy the rich for the rich and keeping your wages down since the 50's and 60's...
The rich don't care about inflation, their gains are far higher than inflation by 3-4 times. Kansian Economics clearly tells them that inflation means growth of their wealth. Inflation is a means in which they can gradually increase prices over time with no other requirements. On the other hand companies 'don't have' the funds to increase worker pay for the lower rungs by even the same amount as inflation and so are constantly priced out of those goods and services as companies look to new markets with money to buy their products.
Since I didn't link to it before... Here is the average speed of a given stream to the end user for August 2014 in the US: http://ispspeedindex.netflix.c...
Cablevision tops the list at a meer 3.11 Mbps...
Verizon DSL holds the bottom at 1.31 Mbps...
If you average those it is 2.21 Mbps as the mid point for US streaming speed...
Google numbers are very area specific, or I'd link to those as well.
a) 5 Mbps only for video with nothing else using the connection.
b) & that assumes the speed from source to end point is actually equal to the rate quoted for the service.
That last point is the real stickler. Netflix and Google both show data that suggests few if any networks an end user in the US can buy can actually handle much more than ~2.5 Mbps on average right now from their service. So your connection can say '25/1' like mine, but youtube stutters regularly in SD... Which means they cannot actually deliver even a couple Mbps from youtube to me. The data says I'm not even remotely a-typical.
This is a load of crap. Size means shit to companies as amazingly large as these. They could easily roll out high end broadband to most if not all of the US, but it would cut into their staggering profits. The reduction of profits is the reason they do shit like this. Or shit like buying my state government to ban municipal broadband at the same time they shrugged off a failure to live up to their promises that the state collective paid them (massively) to live up to for a decade. And of course they didn't even get a slap on the wrist for that. I wish I could tell the government I'd do 'X' and then get paid for a decade to do that before going "Oh, no. I'm not really doing X or even plan on doing X' and they wouldn't even try to recoup the lost money...
I'm not a programmer. You don't want me to be a programmer. I can work with pseudo code and flow charts to describe how things need to be done, but I suck at doing the actual code. I can program, but it's the lesser subset of my skills. My key abilities are in problem solving, planning, and communicating with others.
My bachelors degree is actually 'Business Administration: Management Information Systems'. What I've always done best is analysis and the job I've tried to get over the years are in the systems analyst/business analyst, though I actually wouldn't mind getting back into doing the job of a director of technology (with the title this time) or a CTO. The route to that is certainly not programming either.
While it is more likely that your job problems are caused by something you aren't aware of or aren't forthcoming about (like your previous network admin job being little more than first tier tech support), if the job market is really that bad then you really have to move. There should be hundreds of companies hiring in your region unless you live in some rural town in Kentucky. If there are really just a few companies hiring for IT positions, then this is not the best place to live as an IT professional.
I was living in a small semi-rural college town when the first company I worked for as a programmer when bankrupt in 2008. I tried for two years (starting before the company went under) trying to find work in the same area with no luck. Not a single phone interview even. So I finally gave up and moved to the more heavily populated suburbs outside the largest city in my region. I didn't have to move to an area with high rents, just a place where I could have an hour or so commute to the city.
After moving I found a job in three weeks. This was after two years of no luck in my rural town.
My 'network admin' job was the sole IT person for a charter school with several hundred people. I did the job of a director of technology, a network admin, and a support person all in one. Maybe you should stop being condescending?
My region (Northwestern PA) has had a handful of job openings at any time and a population of 908,367 people. Some of those jobs I really don't have the skills for such as requiring experience in SAP/SME, Sharepoint, Webfocus, SAS, etc which basically require that you've had a job working with those technologies to get them. I could lie, but frankly while I know what those technologies are, I certainly couldn't answer questions about them. Some I couldn't get right now because they have a hard requirement of a Bachelors degree. What is left I often have been applying for, degree be damned.
I could move to Pittsburgh or Philly except I really cannot afford to move. I've been living on ~$500/month for four years. I have no funds. My relatives who have money aren't giving me money. I cannot get a loan as I defaulted on all my debt when unemployment ended and I simply couldn't pay them anymore. I simply have no way to move. I couldn't live there a day, let alone a month. I've talked to a few companies in Pittsburgh offering jobs and they won't give me an interview until I move where they are. They most certainly don't have any desire to help me.
There are far more than a half dozen cities with a large number of IT jobs. Any city with a population of at least 300k is going to have a lot of IT jobs, and there are over 50 of them in the US. Any of the 10 cities with at least a million population is also going to have a thriving IT job market in its suburbs.
The fact that you said you are more than 100 miles away from a decent IT job market either means you are restricting yourself to San Fransisco, Seattle, etc. or you really do live in the middle of nowhere. You don't need to restrict yourself to the major IT hubs in the US. You could move to Raleigh NC, Nashville TN, Salt Lake City UT, San Antonia TX, Indianapolis IN, or whatever major city is closest to you and find plenty of companies that are hiring in IT.
I live just outside of Erie PA to be bluntly specific. Nearby are Cleveland, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh all roughly 100 miles away. But even those cities only have 3-5 times the jobs of my own region. I wouldn't call that 'thriving' and Pittsburgh and Cleveland are both over 300k. The bulk of IT workers are tied up in places like Seattle, So Cal, and Austin. Those places truly have an 'IT industry' like it tends to be thought of.
My associates is in Computer Science: Networking and even college Algebra didn't transfer. In no way can you tell me that college algebra (which is taught to the standards of accreditation) is somehow different. Your assumption of an Associates is a bit skewed. Basic classes exist across the divide of schools that need to be met so you can give a degree. The University I went to however is not obligated to take credits form any other school.
Though yes, my associates degree was about being able to actually do a job. It was much more practical and hands on then my university education, but still taught everything I've learned in 'CS' classes that the university offers.
I've been keeping my eye on the job market, at least for my area, for the last five years. Which is how long it's been since I lost my good job, as a network admin, and have had to scramble to fill the gap. I spent an entire year being told I was overqualified, to much experience, or underqualified, not having a bachelors degree, for the small number of positions available. In the end with nothing coming up I did what made the most sense and went back to school for a bachelors degree as that was something I got told every time they decided I was underqualified.
To start like almost always happens no credits carried over from my associates degree to my bachelors degree, so I've had to start from scratch. I haven't really learned much of anything I hadn't before during this process and if anything some of my technical skills have withered from not being used. I took a student employee job with the IT department at the university, because at least they were happy to have someone competent but as a student employee I have a fixed wage at minimum wage and no more than 15 hours of work per week. It looked like I might get a full time job with them last year when one of the admins left, but the powers that be decided their was no money to replace a person who had been paid from a specific grant (so they wanted to free up that money to go elsewhere while the grant still calls for that position to be paid). It's my last year here and I now have five years of looking at the market.
The market in my region has been stagnant. A few companies are hiring in my region, but with questions about whether you are on an H1b or not and sky high requirements for those positions... I know I'm not the one they want. If I apply anyways I get near instant feedback they I'm not qualified for their position even when I meet all the stated requirements. I would move, but I simply can't afford that and most companies don't seem interested in talking to me if I don't live within a hundred miles of them. Even that isn't a perfect fix anyways... Their seems to be a half a dozen US cities with insane amounts of IT industry activity, about 30 with sustained IT activity, and the rest of the top 100 cities (one of which I live by) are anemic for IT and always have been. I could never seriously afford to live in any of those cities so many of us in IT work in: San Fransisco, Seattle, Austin, etc. I wouldn't be hired by Google or the others anyways, they prefer fresh young talent and I'm in my mid-30s now.
I'm looking into non-traditional computer related fields, because that is pretty much my last hope to have something when I'm done.
He's hardly alone. Where I live we didn't have broadband 10 years ago. It was 2006 when Time Warner put in cable broadband in my area with a 5mb/500k speed. Later Verizon added DSL with a 1.5mb/500k speed. in 2010/2001 TW upped or connections to 20mb/1mb as they upgraded their basic equipment to DOSCIS 3.
His experience and mine are far more typical of 90% of the US then yours is. I live within 30 miles of one of the top 100 largest cities in the US and the whole region around us doesn't have a single broadband option beyond TW's 20mb/1mb plan and they only cover 5 cities/towns in a region with hundreds of thousands of people. My aunt lives just outside of a town around here and her only broadband option is a cellular hotspot from Verzon.
Just an FYI the providers covering this region include:
TW @ 20mb/1mb
Cablevision @ 5mb/1mb
Verizon @ 1.5mb/500k
Cellular through the big names (Though don't chose Sprint their network skips towns locally)
Banks, companies, and the government all want to offer more and more online, but the companies providing internet connectivity are happy to tell us to suck it and not provide matching service to our needs. Verizon specifically was handed gobs of cash from my state for 15 years to role out broadband and three years ago it came to a head where they just told my state government we weren't worth the investment which is why we didn't have broadband 15 years later. My state of course did diddly to them even though they had taken our tax payer money and run with it.
I"m in the dumb phone camp as well and thinking about it while by law I'm mandated to have insurance... The last thing my insurance paid out for was some glass fixer after a rock came up off the road and took a sliver out of it. That was over 5 years ago and I have to go back another 7 or 8 years past that since I've had any other issues they have paid out for. Yet... I pay $80/month and have been for at least a decade... So I've paid them at least $9600 over a decade and basically cost them nothing... I'm so getting shafted from that deal...
While DSL can be fine, all to often the big names in DSL in the US offer service like 1.5 mb down and
I don't have a Mac to run it on... So it's kind of out by default... If Apple ever wanted to go the OS as software for sale route, then it would be... At least for me.
You need a tutorial to use a gun? A safety, a fire rate selector (on guns that are pretty much illegal here in the US), and a trigger is to complex? Heck the last firearms I've seen could even be disassembled by anyone who thought about it for a few minutes...