How is the Promotion outlook looking?

Discussion in 'UPS Information Technology' started by drake0727, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. drake0727

    drake0727 New Member

    I've been a lurker for a while and now I'm gonna post to see if anyone has any type of insider info on whether or not I should pursue a tech career at UPS.

    To begin, I've been with the company for 5 years now (finally 3 weeks of vacation!), I'm a part time supervisor, and I will finally finish and have a bachelors in Computer Science in December. I've loaded and ran an operation here with my time at UPS. In the operation, the job is pretty cut and dry, you run your PD, unload, sort, boxline charger, etc., do what the boss tells you and go home for the day. You rarely learn how the "politics" at UPS work.

    Since I've been moved to Health and Safety a year ago, you get to see how some of these politics work (since you're focused on more than just a particular operation AND you get to work and deal with division managers!) and I think I understand the "politic game" you gotta play to get ahead at UPS.

    Well my question is, I live in the Dallas area, where IT and programming jobs are not rare, BUT my first option out of college is to stick with UPS. I've spoken to a HR manager, and she told me that I should try to move to TSG before trying to apply for an IS, IE, or PE position. The problem with both of these are:

    1. There's an apparent "promotion freeze" through our district.
    2. I'd rather not work for TSG, they only pay around 42K for a FT specialist job, while I'm sure I can pull 50K+ elsewhere with my degree and experience alone.

    I know jobs are relatively hard to find right now, so sticking with UPS is definately a plus, but I don't want to be low-balled on salary. I mean why bother going to get the degree if I'm not going to be able to use it? (which they helped pay for)

    The reason I'm posting this is that has anyone else gone through a similar situation or can give any advice? I know two PT sups that work with me with bachelors that have not been promoted, even though they have been in the pool for 2+ years although their degrees are not technically oriented. I mean I can wait, but time is still ticking.....

    Thanks for the time and input!
  2. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    Use your degree at another company to make more money.
    By 7 years, you should have worked at 5 different companies to be at max compensation.
    UPS is starting to go this route and if you like IT, maybe apply back at UPS 5 - 7 years from now.
    UPS is not teh same type of company it was 15 - 20 years ago ... it is not advisable to hire on with UPS and stay here for a long period of time. Long-term UPS professionals are under-paid unless they were hired 15 or more years ago.

    JMO based on observations of IT and Corporate trends at UPS.
  3. TechGrrl

    TechGrrl Space Cadet

    The main IT centers for UPS are Mahwah, NJ; Louisville, KY; Atlanta, GA; and Timonium, MD. The average district does not have enough jobs of the type to interest you, if you are into programming. If you want to do that for UPS, you will have to relocate.

    You should discuss with your HR contacts how to tap into the job openings in the above mentioned cities. It helps to have experience, of course. Does your school have internships or coops available? Did you do any? I seem to recall that we had some special program where they made an effort to recruit out of the districts into the big shops. Of course, the company-wide hiring freeze is in effect for IT right now, as well. You may have to wait until the recession is over.

    UPS IT salaries are comparable to other corporate shops; they are NOT competitive with IT consultancy firms, but most of them are moving their work to India or other overseas sites. UPS IT salaries are higher than those of management in operations or other staff jobs.
  4. virtualpro

    virtualpro New Member

    There is a freeze.
    There is a major push to increase the ratio of personnel to manager (span & control) thereby reducing the number of managers (demote or push out) - forget promotions.
    There is a policy to push work down to lowest possible level (hourly).
    The jobs that are left are candidates to be outsourced or off-shored (not very patriotic but is suppose cuts costs).
    The future for an IT "career" is pretty bleak unless as Hoaxster points out you are a high performer with 15+ years and can hold until retirement.
    UPS is just another big company and you can do more for your career by jumping between IT jobs.
  5. Deeohem

    Deeohem New Member


    There's specialists in the TSG in your district?!?!? in my part of town, the position is still there, but all our specialists were encouraged to lateral out and the old positions are left unfilled.
  6. drake0727

    drake0727 New Member

    To Hoax: Thanks for the input, I'd figure that this route that you suggested is the best probable way to use my degree. It's a shame that they advertise us as a "top technological company" and that may be true to an extent, but as we all know, there are too many apps out there when most are relatively useless and can be consolidated. I'd wish I could work up there to clean some of it out (share point is horrible!) . It's also a shame that most people cannot stay at 1 company for the duration of their career and have to jump around to receive top salaries, but c'est la vie.

    To Tech Girl: I wouldn't mind a transfer to one of those locations, but in my district, they say that transfers to other districts are very rare, even for a potential promotion. I have not done any internships, so I have relatively "little" work experience in the programming field, but I'm very knowledgeable on IT stuff and can build a database from the ground up and host it with PHP and HTML. I suppose I could try an internship out.

    To Dee: TSG techs are considered a specialist position in our district due to the way our district is set up. We have 4 major hubs with many extended centers. They are considered hourlies by their pay but also considered a specialist position. Trust me I know it's weird too, but that's how it was introduced to me.
  7. TechGrrl

    TechGrrl Space Cadet

    You would not be 'transferring' in the normal sense it is used: you would be applying for a job just like any other potential applicant. The difference is, we have, or used to have, a program that actively sought out applicants from the districts for these jobs. Ask your HR guy to call his counterpart in NJ IS and ask about it. If you have any relationship with anyone in HR, they should be willing to spend 15 minutes on the phone for you.

    The local HR guys have no clue about what is going on in IT, at those 4 locations. They are strictly in tune with hiring package handlers and drivers.

    Just remember the hiring freeze is on EVERYWHERE for now, even in IT.
  8. TSGKevin

    TSGKevin New Member

    there is a hiring freeze in TSG as well, I am a TSG so I know that. we have 2 TSGs left/retire and the TSG management didn't fill the opening. UPS provides training ground for other company let me put it bluntly....
    they pay TSG according to the transportation industry standard instead of IT standard, I'd suggest you not to look at the money right now, but learn as much as you could as TSG (if you got in) then jump to other company.
  9. drake0727

    drake0727 New Member

    So Kevin, what type of training ground type of info would I learn? From my understanding, an A+ certification is efficient enough to handle the job, and anything really software technical goes through Trivoli or the help desk anyways right? I'm well capable of diagnosing computer hardware and fixing it, unless it is at the logic level (capacitor, north bridge failure, etc.) but that computer is doomed if it gets that corrupted.

    As a TSG tech, I would have access to the administrator portion of the windows network client, and I could learn a bit there, but it seems like that could be learn quickly since most UPS apps are login or remote based anyways.
  10. randomUPSISer

    randomUPSISer New Member

    Anyone have any idea if promotions will come back this march?

    Seems like there is ALOT of talk in the ranks of people jumping ship if nothing happens this march. The IT job market doesnt appear to be hurting nearly as bad as the rest of the job market; so there ARE still jobs out there for people to jump to.

    Then again, perhaps thats what UPS wants since they seem to want to outsource us all anyways :dissapointed:
  11. TechGrrl

    TechGrrl Space Cadet

    Until people vote with their feet, the CIO won't figure there's anything wrong. And, of course, it's the best people who will go first, since they have the best skills and the best prospects. The CEO and Mgmt. Committee is too dumb to understand technology, so they don't get it anyway.
  12. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    You are probably right. People who are looking to change and are good are the ones who have left and will continue to leave.
    Some people that are good like the stability of UPS but that is changing too.
    Some are leaving now and not waiting until March but that could very well be what is desired ... no one is being replaced.

    That is not a fair assessment. Other than the CIO, the referenced people are not actively involved in technology. They understand the value of applied technology but their job is to run a transportation company.
    The next level of management are really the ones that decide where we apply our technology dollars and that is who one can blame if one wants to blame someone.

    The question is, technology just like buildings and package cars, is a business investment. Is UPS getting a good ROI? So how much and where do we need to make technology investments that will provide services and cut cost at UPS?

    Based on feedback here, Telematics was not the place but all the negative feedback is from where Telematics squeezes the impacted. Time will tell whether applied technology in the Delivery and Pickup area is a good ROI.

    WorldPort and hub automation seems to providing ROI.

    Newer buildings with better ergonomics and inherrent applied technology seems to be providing good ROI.

    It appears that there is very poor ROI in what we invest in but again, that is not the fault of the technology workforce but that layer of management that decides what we invest in this area. Luckily, that amount seems to be decreasing.
  13. TechGrrl

    TechGrrl Space Cadet

    The part they don't get is twofold:
    1) Technology people can't be managed like machines. Or operations people. Technology is a knowledge worker gig, not an industrial age assembly line process. Heck, nowadays, you get better results by treating all your employees like human beings, but that theory clearly has no place in UPS' operations these days.

    A computer system has been described as "a business policy written in concrete". As you well know, the documentation for a system rarely includes those little nuances of business policy embedded deep in the code. So although to the bean counter heart, sending support of a critical business system to Mumbai or Shanghai seems to make sense, they miss the point that a LOT of the system knowledge is in the heads of the developers, not on paper. Result to the business is left as an exercise for the reader.

    2) The technology must serve the business strategy. Business strategy is the domain of the Management Committee, CEO, and to a lesser extent, the Board of Directors. We don't HAVE a strategy. We have a bean-counting tactical view of technology.

    Technology can't make up for poor business strategy. In today's world, there is a WHOLE LOT OF MONEY being left on the table because we haven't chosen to truly integrate our transportation networks between Air, Feeder, UPS Freight, and SCS. Once you decide that those all serve one purpose: move 'stuff' from point A to point B to meet our service commitment, lots of system improvements suddenly make lots of sense, and particularly in the case of network planning and tracking of actuals, cost savings opportunities in the millions become attainable.

    Instead, we are trying to squeeze more blood out of the package driver turnip....

    I've watched this dynamic for over 20 years. I attribute it to the fact that everyone thinks they understand the driver job, but very few people can wrap their head around good network planning, even in IE, and ESPECIALLY in F&A.
  14. UPSIUFan

    UPSIUFan Can't we go back private?

    Yeah, relocate to INDIA!!
  15. drake0727

    drake0727 New Member

    lulz, we know Indians cant program.

    Well at least the Indians in my area :peaceful:

    But in all seriousness, you cant outsource all critical programming programs for a company. The overhead and language barrier is too high.
  16. UPSIUFan

    UPSIUFan Can't we go back private?

    Yeah, relocate to INDIA!!

    And as to the original topic.

    At least in Louisville, don't except ANY promotions above a middle technical level. All the Sr Tech levels are '2 units' and we have had a total of TWO promotions to those levels in 10 years in Louisville. Only mgmt, most of who were promoted due to incompetence in the first place, get promoted to those levels and higher.

    UPS thinks they can get world class IT talent by paying them help desk salaries.

    The reality is that UPS has 100000's of analysts who churn out documents, pontificate, and go out to dinners with vendors and there are only about about 2 actual talented programmers left in the company.
  17. randomUPSISer

    randomUPSISer New Member

    A bit of a stretch but that's pretty close to reality.
  18. Dfigtree

    Dfigtree New Member

    Why would you want to make a career at a trucking company when you'll have a bachelor degree in computer science? I worked for a mainframe software company and I can tell you working at that company bares no resemblance to working for a trucking company, particularly when it comes to salary. It's a mindset sort of thing, too.
    Lots of software jobs in the Lone Star State.

    Good luck.
  19. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

  20. brownrodster

    brownrodster New Member

    I was stuck on that too. This whole thread is full of atrocious grammar considering these people are college educated. And my grammar is far from perfect.