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IT industry has its own rule. Right now, companies prefer to hire employees because they want to save expenses.
Being a consultant does not mean technically strong. Actually, consultant means contractor. There are a lot of contractors in the USA.
I even met some Indian contractor who first came to Canada and then were sold to USA.
Contractors generally have more salaries because they don't have any benifits such as stock options. In my case, I am the employee of my boss
(he runs his consulting company), but I do contractor's job--- going to the client's site. My boss buys health insurance and a simple retirement plan for me, so I am an employee. On the other hand, I am paid hourly. For instance, if I have 2 hour's overtime today, I get 10 hour's pay.
Please don't understand that consultants are technical experts. Actually,
some of my contractor colleagues are technically poor, just like the Java
experts from 3 month's traing.
Also, please do not think a permanent job is permanent. Actually, a permanent job means an employee. When a company has difficlties, it can kick off both contractors and employees. The difference is that the company needs give some severance pay to the employee, while the employee can be simply told "Today is your last day. Don't come tomorrow".
Some friends like to link layoff to people's working ability. This is absolutely wrong. If you made some mistakes in your job, or if you cannot undertake your task, the company may let you go---- This is termed "firing". Firing is completely different from lay-off.
I remember some friends have NAIVELY though that lay-off will get rid of those Java guys from the computer training center. This is wrong again.
As a company decided to lay off people, they usually dismiss a team, or a project, or a branch. If you happen to be in this team, in this project, or in this branch, you cannot escape no matter who you are.
Hope my explanation can help some friends to have a basic understanding of the rule of game in the computer industry.
By the way, let me introduce my last project: It is a B2B exchange project. We have burnt about 4 million dollar on it. Recently, the investor suddenky became aware that they cannot make money from this project, so they decided to stop here. Here is a math: Provided there are 1000 transactions using this B2B exchange project each day and that 10 dollar is charged for each transaction, the revenue will be $10,000 each.
This money is not enough for running the web site! However, nobody envisioned this possibility before the project was initiated.
Most dot-com companies have similar problem. I guess 90% of dot-coms will be closed of acquired by some other big fish.
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