Do techies think their field is worse than it is?

Tech employment is up but techies are more certain than ever before that the field is in bad shape. Is this a perception gap or is the profession in both great and awful shape?

Are IT pros only seeing the glass as half empty?
If you only read the comment sections of IT careers blogs, you would likely come away with the idea that the entire field of technology is in a colossal state of disrepair. (And though that may sound a tad melodramatic, keep in mind that internet commenters are occasionally as well.)

Yet surveys, studies and reports continue to come out every quarter which argue that not only is the IT profession as strong as it has ever been, but that the majority of job categories in IT are only likely to grow over the course of the next six years.

Few reports sum this perception gap up better than one released last week from Technisource, a provider of IT services based in Ft. Lauderdale, which found that employment for IT professionals was up 10 percent over the last year--beating the recessionary odds while other fields are suffering.

It found that more than two-thirds (70 percent) of technology workers believed that the economy was getting weaker, an increase over the first quarter of 2008. Yet, 70 percent of IT pros said the economy was getting weaker, up one percentage point from the previous quarter. More than half (59 percent) said they believed that there were fewer jobs available than there had been in the previous quarter and a good lot (20 percent) said they were increasingly skeptical about their ability to find a new job or about the financial health of their employers (17 percent).

So where's the truth in this? Can the IT employment market be great despite most techies feeling that it's not? Alex Cullen, research director at Forrester Research, says that although he has seen little research on this specific dichotomy, that in a way, both are true.

"IT staff still feel pretty good about their individual prospects--job security, career--but they thinking the profession as a whole is on the decline since it's heyday in the late <pick a decade>," says Cullen.

Furthermore, this feeling that things aren't as good as they once were isn't limited to IT and related fields, but mirrors the way a lot of Americans currently view the U.S.'s economic future, or "a general feeling that the present isn't as good as the past and the future will be worse for their kids," says Cullen--even while some Americans are richer than they've ever been.

How about you--do you think that there is a perception gap in the IT field?