Prompted by a question on Spiceworks – an IT management software and community online. I’ve provided a link to the community. It’s a good place for IT professionals to get advice and meet other IT pros.
Episode 21: How to make a 6 figure income in IT.
Listen below or download the episode here.
Episode 21: Summary
- Where have you been Matt?
- Software projects and focus
- Dental work and a warning
- A writing/video project – The Profitable IT Consultant’s Toolkit
- BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal or Big Hairy Ass Goal
- Tech/Software startup
- If Mom Were President
The Spiceworks question/conversation
Look, I know this sounds ridiculous but seriously, we all want to make 6 figures eventually and we all have some sort of plan. Me being a college student would like to know what yours is.
Also tell me what you think of my plan:
- Complete the 2 Internships required by my school
- Graduate With BA in Comp Sys Tech (Includes classes in Business Administration)
- Get Certified in this order : CCNA >> CCNP >> CCNA Security >> CCNP Security >> CCIE >> CCIE Security
- Experience Experience Experience… Get as much experience as possible because as Scott Allen Miller has taught me, nothing beats experience
- Use my degree to move up!!
An edited version of my response is below. I unpack these in the podcast audio.
Agree/disagree… let me know.
My response – summarized
“Use my degree to move up!” is not really a plan as much as a hope. The same is true for degrees or certs in general. The application of the knowledge acquired to high-value projects is what you need to focus on.
- $100,000.00/year is not that challenging. $50/hr just about puts you there.
- Application/Database development will earn more than being a system engineer most of the time
- Learn to manage projects & people. Soft skills and leadership are the highest value talent. Couple that with technical knowledge and you are in the driver’s seat.
- The is a difference between expected and valued. ie: security tasks and procedures are critical but have very little perceived value. Server upgrades, infrastructure, the same. They are expected – and critical – but not valued.
- Avoid help desk jobs as much as possible. They slow your career down.
- Avoid IT chop shops. IT department’s whose focus is infrastructure and user support. Again, build solutions for users and management… much higher perceived value.
- Consider smaller organizations. They are less siloed and allow broader movement across projects and solutions. I favor them and departmental technology over big organization IT. With that said, I think it is good to have some large IT organization experience.
- Break rules: There is no such thing as a linear career path. I say break rules facetiously.. but what I mean is that you don’t need that cert or degree to start working in a new area of IT and to master it.
- Learn how to self-promote effectively. DO NOT work in the corner and complain that your boss doesn’t notice all the great stuff you do. Weekly and monthly status reports are a good exercise for you. They’ll let you see what you’ve accomplished and learned and let management see the same.
I think that you’re spot on with you response to these questions. I learned these things which is a great strategy. That’s what most of these new comers to IT miss, STRATEGY!. There’s a misconception that if you learn how to configure a router or switch in your sleep you will be a God.
Listen to Matt, I bought his book over 5 years ago and went from help desk to IT Director to business owner.
Thank you for taking time to comment. It’s always an honor to hear of someone using the strategies and techniques I advocate to their benefit.
Matt, I am teaching Professional Development for IT students again and we just finish listening to your PodCast. Thanks because you “ROCK!!!”
Much appreciated. Let me know how I can support you and your students.