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I am about to finish my degree and I want to choose one IT field where I can rise in my life with experience and salary goes beyond US$100K or more after some years of experience.

So can you please guide me which path should I follow? I have 1 year left in my degree. So I can do related certification regarding that field but my main aim is to go beyond US$100K salary at some point.

I have few options

1. Linux System administrator
2. Data Warehousing SQL cognos or something
3. [CCNP][1]
4. [CCIE][2]
6. Going on path to [CSO][3] - going on path of cheif security officer or [CISSP][4]
7. Programming.  Java , .NET, J2EE, etc.
8. Windows [MCSE][5], Active directory

Guys/gals, please help in this so that I can plan my career. I have my brother who is doing Java programming and in 4 years he is at same position where he started with no increment in salary and now he lost his job. He found a new job and again at the same salary.

I don't want to be like him that even after 4 years I still get a US$45K salary.

I am ready to learn anything, but I want to rise in my chosen line. I can study day and night.

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7  
In my very humble opinion - sod the money and do what you enjoy. There's no point getting paid 100K a year if you hate it. –  Ben Pilbrow Jun 27 '10 at 13:05
    
If you don't like what you do, it will show. You wont get paid 100k/yr for long, you'll be miserable the whole time, and you wont get (m)any good references when you try to switch to something you do like. –  Chris S Jun 27 '10 at 13:15
    
actually i like evrything that is realted to computers so all field mentoined above i can choose and with interest as well , except java –  user28464 Jun 27 '10 at 13:27
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Also don't forget that with all the inflation they're predicting EVERYONE will make 100k soon! Bonus! –  Kyle Smith Jun 27 '10 at 13:46
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Kyle , can you please tell em how much exp u have and how much u r getting –  user28464 Jun 27 '10 at 13:49
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closed as off topic by Chris S, EEAA, Ward, Cian, squillman Jun 28 '10 at 0:58

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1 Answer

First of all: $45k is the median salary in the US. Anybody making $45k before they are in their 40s is doing rather good compared to the rest of the population. Keep that in mind when you want to earn $100k. You have to be in the top 15% to get there. 85% are not in the top 15%.

  1. If your goal in life is a high salary turn around right now, go back to school and get an MBA. Seriously. You won't ever make a lot of money without management skills as a worker, and you don't seem like the natural entrepreneur so you will need some help to learn how to run a company yourself.
  2. A CCIE won't give you a job unless you actually know your stuff. Nor will being a Java programmer. Certifications are not a career, they are a way to show that you know the basics of something. Any good Engineer can learn what he/she needs in your certifications in a very short time.
  3. Related: High earners in IT are rarely specialists, unless they have a truly unique skills. They are valuable, bright, generalists. They know lots of technologies and can quickly throw the right tool at the problem. They are the guys who knows how to write secure Java code, setup global networks, create an algorithm for a heat sensor and how to get a card terminal to speak with a bank. They typically work in management positions for large companies, are consultants or run small specialized companies. You don't become a high earner by implementing Java code for somebody else, nor by building a network after a blueprint.
  4. Most importantly: You are going to spend the majority of your life working. Do something you like, with people you like. Somebody being miserable at work because he/she doesn't like what he/she is doing is unlikely to ever reach the level of skill and dedication needed for a good career.

As a good friend of mine, who is running a small but rather successful consulting company, put it when he was recruiting new consultants recently: "I want a guy I can air drop on a burning oil rig carrying only his laptop. And I don't want to worry about him screwing up. I am ready to pay for it."

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thanks buddy , thanks for answering, I think will go like CCIE security. i love security and hacking, and after 4-5 years then MBA , is that good –  user28464 Jun 28 '10 at 0:31
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