Technical Geek or Manager career path

tris179tris179 Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
I was just wondering what peoples thoughts are as I am sure there are two sides to both of this....

Is there really more money being a Technical Superstar or at some point is it all about getting into Management....

Lets assume here that Money is your only driving force!
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Comments

  • atorvenatorven Member Posts: 319
    From what I've seen in small shops managers who don't know much take home more than the superstars that they manage, can't comment much on the big shops.
  • tris179tris179 Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    atorven wrote: »
    From what I've seen in small shops managers who don't know much take home more than the superstars that they manage, can't comment much on the big shops.

    Interested in the comments im going to get from this.

    What would you say was a small shop? Under 1,000 users?

    So you think it should be the other way round?
  • shodownshodown Member Posts: 2,271
    In larger shops the tech roles go much higher than smaller shops. Most places may have jr, senior and then management. In larger shops you have jr, mid, sr, team lead, arch then practice manager in that specific displine of IT
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  • dave330idave330i Member Posts: 2,091 ■■■■■■■■■■
    What level manager? As you move up the tech totem pole, you tend to spend more time managing.
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  • SteveLordSteveLord Member Posts: 1,717
    ^ Sometimes. I think only a few of our upper managers were once technical gurus. Otherwise, they're all business and politics.
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  • pinkydapimppinkydapimp Member Posts: 732 ■■■■■□□□□□
    what about sales engineering? thats not full technical geek, and not really management. but pays well. also, i would guess that the later in your career/older you get, job stability is better in management over technical geek which should factor into this as well.
  • jmritenourjmritenour Member Posts: 565
    It's a matter of personal preference. I have zero interest in management at this point, and would rather stick with the technical side of things. In 5-10 years, I might get tired of keeping up with technology and decide to get into management, but at this point, I can't see doing anything more than a team lead. And even that is iffy.
    "Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible; suddenly, you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi
  • paulgswansonpaulgswanson Member Posts: 311
    I have zero interest in managment but then again, if you want it done right sometimes you gotta do it yourself :/

    But if we are only tyalking money as a factor then I'd rathwer stay the doer(actual technician) than ever go the route of the teller(managment)
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  • higherhohigherho Member Posts: 882
    Management might get you the early pay boost however being technical in the long run will eclipse management in terms of salary. Also, in my experience with large agencies / companies it seems that the mid-level management seems to get cut first rather than the technical superstars. I always believed and was told that technical superstars will always have a job, management? Not as much.
  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Member Posts: 4,317 ■■■■■■■■□□
    higherho wrote: »
    technical superstars will always have a job, management? Not as much.

    What I have seen in several companies though - a lot of people in management get promoted if they want to get rid of them - or even invent positions so they do less damage where they are at right now.

    Depending on the contract and the level of management - it is sometimes cheaper to promote than fire .. sad truth ...

    I know a few people who were my manager who jumped up in their career simply because they were useless where they were .. In addition to that - I have also seen manager leaving per "mutual agreement" (again, because it was near impossible to sack) and they ended up in a new company in higher positions ...
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  • whatthehellwhatthehell Member Posts: 920
    Well --- techs get to deal with all the fun challenges and puzzles (and some arsehole customers too at times), while management deals with all the brown-nosing, politics, bureaucracy, etc.
    Management also has to deal with personnel, their issues and personalities, and making the tough decisions.

    Personally I would prefer the technical role, as management doesn't really appeal at all minus the higher pay.

    Just my 2 cents
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  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Member Posts: 4,317 ■■■■■■■■□□
    jmritenour wrote: »
    I have zero interest in management at this point, and would rather stick with the technical side of things. In 5-10 years, I might get tired of keeping up with technology.

    I am in the same boat - I think the "keeping up" bit gets harder and harder. "Back in the days" with VMware for example - all you had to do is tinkering with the product, get your exams and you are up to date (well not quite, but you know what I mean) - now the product(range) is so bloated that just keeping up with the knowledge what is what, is technically a full time job.
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  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I'm quite surprised by the results of the poll. As I interpreted the OP's poll, it was about whether an individual contributors will have higher compensation than management. All things equal, in my experience, a highly-skilled, highly competent technical contributor is not likely to be paid more than an equivalent competent senior manager.

    Are there actually people here who are non-managers that are paid more than their manager? Obviously, management level makes a difference. But as a individual contributor, compensation will reach a ceiling (unless you are in sales) but as a manager,the ceiling is a heck of a lot higher.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    I'm an IT Manager and love it. Most people I work with always comment on my job asking how I tolerate it. I laugh and understand their train of throught, but I like to impact the service through processes, strategy, design, and execution.

    I've been outside of the technical realm for about 3 years now and have no intentions of going back. To each their own but I really enjoy the management side (most of the time).

    My long term goal is to take the IT management skills I continue to learn and apply them on the other side of the house.
  • higherhohigherho Member Posts: 882
    paul78 wrote: »
    I'm quite surprised by the results of the poll. As I interpreted the OP's poll, it was about whether an individual contributors will have higher compensation than management. All things equal, in my experience, a highly-skilled, highly competent technical contributor is not likely to be paid more than an equivalent competent senior manager.

    Are there actually people here who are non-managers that are paid more than their manager? Obviously, management level makes a difference. But as a individual contributor, compensation will reach a ceiling (unless you are in sales) but as a manager,the ceiling is a heck of a lot higher.

    You know this true because management goes all the way to C level executives / management and they are typically paid a hell of a lot more than your Senior IT / Engineer role. I guess the responsibility of the team falling on managers = more pay.

    But in terms of worth / job availability I think the technical person will win out above management. I would like to see more technical people in management instead of bottom line business men / women.
  • jmritenourjmritenour Member Posts: 565
    paul78 wrote: »
    Are there actually people here who are non-managers that are paid more than their manager? Obviously, management level makes a difference. But as a individual contributor, compensation will reach a ceiling (unless you are in sales) but as a manager,the ceiling is a heck of a lot higher.

    Not me personally, but I do know a couple of senior engineers who make more than the engineering director, yes.
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  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Member Posts: 4,317 ■■■■■■■■□□
    The closest I came is earning exactly the same as my manager - no more though - having said all that - which manager would talk about his / her salary anyway - let's face it - unless you see it written down (which I did by accident) you can only guess .. Unless you are CTO / CIO then your salary is likely on the annual financial report
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  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    jibbajabba wrote: »
    ...which manager would talk about his / her salary anyway - let's face it - unless you see it written down (which I did by accident) you can only guess ..
    Well.. I think there are quite a few managers on TE so I suspect they can help validate. FWIW - I am privy to a wide range of salary information in my current and previous roles. It is extremely rare for individual contributors to be compensated more than managers. The exception were generally people who are leaders in their functional area but not necessarily technical specialists.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,147 Mod
    I found that I'm not happy unless I'm doing something meaningful and something that I enjoy. I prefer to be a technical consultant in a big environment rather than a sales manager; It's just not for me at this point of time.

    I don't care if a manager or a restaurant owner makes a couple of ten thousands more, I make enough to enjoy my life icon_cool.gif

    If you want more money, start your own business?
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  • joshmadakorjoshmadakor Member Posts: 495 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Honestly, I would rather be a technical Superstar than a manager. I would be able to enjoy life much more.
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  • swildswild Member Posts: 828
    Its really not about the money for me. I really hate politics so I will stay on the technical side. I just want to be apprecieated and rewarded for my worth. Eventually I will be in a role that I feel is rewarding both mentally and fiscally. I hope.
  • tris179tris179 Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for all your responses..... It has been really interesting to ses your thoughts on this.

    Personally I love being Technical, but the more I move up the food chain the more I find im getting involved in management areas, and making strategic decisions. Tbh I’m trying to ensure that I get a good spread between the two. Im actually quite enjoying the extra challenge. Whether I could do it 100% all the time is another question... It good to bridge the gap between the two though.
  • tris179tris179 Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for all your responses..... It has been really interesting to ses your thoughts on this.

    Personally I love being Technical, but the more I move up the food chain the more I find im getting involved in management areas, and making strategic decisions. Tbh I’m trying to ensure that I get a good spread between the two. Im actually quite enjoying the extra challenge. Whether I could do it 100% all the time is another question... It good to bridge the gap between the two though.
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