IT Consulting vs. IT Director

I'm still early in my IT career(Computer Network Engineer) and I would like to hear some professional wisdom...

IT Consulting vs. IT Director?

Which job is preferrable?


It seems IT consultants can make as much money as the IT Director(ie CCIE's for example)...

The IT Director positions are more political it seems, but every job is political in the end.

I used to think IT consultants(CCIE's, high level MCSE's, DBA's) made the most money in IT, but after seeing what some of the Directors of IT and CIO's make without having to be technically better makes me wonder.


I basically want the job with the most pay and the most stability. I'm leaning toward IT Director, which means I have to get my Masters Degree.


Goldmember
CCNA, A+. MCP(70-270. 70-290), Dell SoftSkills

Comments

  • bertiebbertieb Member Posts: 1,031 ■■■■■■□□□□
    It's impossible for me to say which would be preferable for you as they are completely different roles . Someone at the director level is often 'less technical' because the job doesn’t involve the in-depth technical skills (though many may come from tech backgrounds) BUT they need a whole set of different skills to be effective (such as business management/budgets/people skills/being able to deal with lots of pressure all the time etc). The several 'IT Directors' I know at my company all came from sys admin/networking/DBA backgrounds then took degrees in management/business and got into it that way.

    One role is management orientated, the other technical.

    Also, personally I'd choose to do something that interests me rather than use money as the deciding factor. Imagine being stuck in a job you hated, or working towards a position and not enjoying it along the way. Choose a path that genuinely interests you and you'll have a much more rewarding experience, and if you work hard enough at it the monetary benefits will come :)
    The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they are genuine - Abraham Lincoln
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    bertieb wrote:
    Also, personally I'd choose to do something that interests me rather than use money as the deciding factor. Imagine being stuck in a job you hated, or working towards a position and not enjoying it along the way. Choose a path that genuinely interests you and you'll have a much more rewarding experience, and if you work hard enough at it the monetary benefits will come :)

    Agreed icon_thumright.gif

    One is not inherently better than the other. It depends on your personality and interests. As far as money goes, I don't think a either CCIE or CIO is going to be hurting for cash. You can probably find some differences, but are they really going to be relevant? Just rise to the top in whatever discipline you choose, and I'm sure you'll do quite well for yourself.
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    It also depends on the size of the company. I knew an IT Director at a SMALL company who worked her way up from the programming side -- then left and took a programming job (cubicle level, not office level) with a HUGH company and doubled her salary.

    If you want to make lots of money and aren't afraid of work -- go into sales. If you're good (and choose the right industry) you can make a fortune.

    If you want to make lots of money and don't want to work -- go to business school and lie and **** and scheme your way to the top (its always someone else's fault when your project/department fails).

    Then there's the guy who was finishing up his Masters from DePaul University and looking for his first job -- after 6 weeks he couldn't do a simple 2 line change to an existing program and was let go. Nice guy, but he couldn't program his way out of a paper bag. My team liked him (which is why he made it 6 weeks) and thought someday he would be a good IT Manager (since he had great people skills, just no technical skills) -- but we couldn't figure out how he'd survive long enough in a job to move up. Plus I still wonder to this day how someone "at the top of his class" in a Master's program at DePaul University could be so technically worthless.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • bertiebbertieb Member Posts: 1,031 ■■■■■■□□□□
    mikej412 wrote:
    If you want to make lots of money and don't want to work -- go to business school and lie and **** and scheme your way to the top (its always someone else's fault when your project/department fails).

    hehe Mike icon_lol.gif . If you go this route make sure you are comfortable with changing companies frequently, there are only so many teams in any business and if they all 'fail' with you in charge it won't take a genius to work out the common link.

    I know one guy who did this rather well - he would even mug his gran, **** his dad etc - and he's now working near the top for a large telecoms firm in the UK earning a small fortune, despite being 100% useless at management. Sadly, it proves that cheating and back-stabbing can pay. Here's hoping he falls on his backside soon. (Yes, I am bitter, having being stabbed in the back by said individual which still hurts to this day)
    The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they are genuine - Abraham Lincoln
  • dtlokeedtlokee Member Posts: 2,378 ■■■■□□□□□□
    People will get promoted to their highest level of incompetence. That is why I started my own company and work for myself. I found all the screw ups would get promoted while the guys who got the job done were too valuable for their managers to let them get promoted so they would do whatever they could to keep them.

    I agree with Mike.

    And remember, always have a scapegoat.
    The only easy day was yesterday!
  • GoldmemberGoldmember Member Posts: 277
    Heres my scenario...

    1)Not good at sales....I'm too honest and don't have the personality for it


    2) I just got hired by the City....good stable job...the network personnel is good, but not top notch and I consider myself top notch engineer....


    Which job is more stable?

    CCIE consultant or IT Director?

    I kind of prefer the stability, but I want the high pay of course.


    I have experience with Cisco I forgot to mention...former CCNP....thanks....
    CCNA, A+. MCP(70-270. 70-290), Dell SoftSkills
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Do what you like the most. If you're only in it for the money you WILL get burned out, I guarantee it.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • GoldmemberGoldmember Member Posts: 277
    I would like both, thats my problem, albeit a good one.


    I was studying for my CCIE last year but have to put it on hold.

    I think I might get my Masters degree in IT and go for Director of IT instead.

    I want to slowly progress away from tech as I get older, as much as I enjoy it....
    CCNA, A+. MCP(70-270. 70-290), Dell SoftSkills
  • garv221garv221 Member Posts: 1,914
    Goldmember wrote:
    I'm still early in my IT career(Computer Network Engineer) and I would like to hear some professional wisdom...

    IT Consulting vs. IT Director?

    Which job is preferrable?


    It seems IT consultants can make as much money as the IT Director(ie CCIE's for example)...

    The IT Director positions are more political it seems, but every job is political in the end.

    I used to think IT consultants(CCIE's, high level MCSE's, DBA's) made the most money in IT, but after seeing what some of the Directors of IT and CIO's make without having to be technically better makes me wonder.


    I basically want the job with the most pay and the most stability. I'm leaning toward IT Director, which means I have to get my Masters Degree.


    Goldmember


    Its just a title. I'm currently an IT Director for a medium sized company and I get to run the department they way I see fit. The way I see it, if I'm responsible for everything I need to make sure everything is running smooth and the only way to ensure that is to have some level of hands on work. Basically, I pick and choose the fun stuff to setup icon_lol.gif . The job is sometimes stressful but also fun as well. I get first and last say in everything that is purchased and what direction IT goes in. I also get stuck signing invoices every month, create and maintain a yearly budget, go to company objective meetings, get calls after 5 and there is no such thing as a vacation day, only days I don't work in the office. I'm sure in a huge corporation IT Directors can be scaled back and have no hands on work but that isn't for me. I still believe to make a decision as a director you must first have experience and confidence to be in charge, something a degree cannot give you.

    As for the difference between IT Director and consultant, a consultant is whatever they decide to work on. I would much prefer to be a consultant, get paid by ones ability to obtain work, so the sky is the limit.
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