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
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.