The Sciences

Out of a Job? Electronic Warfare Firms Are Hiring!

Reality BaseBy Melissa LafskyDec 10, 2008 7:42 PM

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Most people peruse blogs at the office, meaning that if you're reading this, there's a decent chance you weren't a victim of Bloody November, in which around 500,000 jobs were systematically purged from the U.S. workforce—many of them from the tech sector. But one industry that's been hiring in droves, reports the Boston Globe, is defense contractors, particularly those focused on the latest in war technology. The cluster of defense companies based in New England is expected to weather the downturn reasonably well, because of their tech focus:

[R]ather than building entire jets, ships, tanks, or ground installations, many of the region's defense firms develop the electronics, combat, and communications systems they use... Area contractors, for instance, work on electronic eavesdropping, signal processing for radar systems, and equipment used to integrate intelligence from different sources, technologies critical to helping the US military and allies battle terrorists in multiple countries.

Not that we're suggesting qualified applicant shouldn't jump at a well- (or any-) paying gig, but it's worth asking: Is this really the place we want to be re-channeling our tech talent? There's also the question of stability: These firms must know their clock is ticking, and that once Obama takes office, there's about a 99.99% chance the defense budget will be machete-slashed and the Bush waterfall of cash for military spending will be over. Which calls into question just how stable these—or any—jobs are in the long term. Related: RB: Are Scientists to Blame for the Financial Crisis? RB: Could Twitter Be a Tool for Terrorists? RB: Forget Al-Qaeda; Apparently It’s the Aliens We Need to Worry About

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