Highest paying IT jobs, where are they?

binarysoulbinarysoul Posts: 993Member
I've seen many IT salary surveys, but still a bit unclear as to where the big salaries are. I know it varies from country to country and from employer to employer, but which field in IT attracts the highest salaries. Is it programming jobs, system admin, networking, web development, security or what?

Show me the money :)

Comments

  • OlajuwonOlajuwon Posts: 356Inactive Imported Users
    Database Administration and Development, Network Engineering(Cisco, Juniper), Security Specialists (firewalls, audit, etc.) are at the top of the salary range.
    "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years"
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,171Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Being in IT for the money.... you're probably setting yourself up for disappointment.
    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...
  • OlajuwonOlajuwon Posts: 356Inactive Imported Users
    blargoe wrote:
    Being in IT for the money.... you're probably setting yourself up for disappointment.

    There is money in IT. I am pretty sure he's not setting himself up for disappointment.
    The fact is most people want a career that will pay them well.
    "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years"
  • binarysoulbinarysoul Posts: 993Member
    I certainly don't want to become another Bill Gates, but I'm just trying to see which IT field is more rewarding. I certainly believe that IT is rewarding. It's true, it goes through recission periods like any other field, but there is money and prosperity in IT.

    I'm certainly not in IT for money alone. I love technology. I can't imagine what would I've done if IT wasn't invented :) I am delighted I wasn't born prior in 19th centurry or before. Well that's a whole different topic.
  • garv221garv221 Posts: 1,914Member
    Your nearest division one college. They pay well, I have seen postings for as much as $250k/year.
  • sharptechsharptech Posts: 492Member
    Work your way up to management and you will make good money. IT Directors make 90,000+ etc..

    Start from the bottom and work up to the top :P
  • binarysoulbinarysoul Posts: 993Member
    I've seen many saying they don't want to move up to management, but rather stay on the technical side. So, I wonder why. You would think that your manager makes more money than you, so why not take his/her place when he/she moves or leaves? Now, I'm not being greedy here, and in fact, I can't imagine doing anything but technical job, but I just wonder. Maybe people who love IT don't want to trade their passion for money and they want to stay as technical people.

    Do you want to leave your technical position to go to managment if they paid you more?
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaPosts: 5,163Mod Mod
    According to Forbes Magazine, the highest paying IT jobs are in California. Well, in San Jose and Silicon Valley, to be exact:

    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/CollegeAndFamily/MoneyInYour20s/BestandWorstPayingJobs.aspx?GT1=8225

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  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,171Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Yes, but are they the highest adjusted for cost of living? It's darn expensive to live out there.
    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...
  • BubbaJBubbaJ Posts: 323Member
    CSRTech wrote:
    Work your way up to management and you will make good money. IT Directors make 90,000+ etc..
    I make more than that and I'm a lowly Network Engineer in an average paying state. The truth is, managers are a dime a dozen while talentented, proven technical workers are in demand.

    Contrary to popular belief, management is not the key to riches (unless you own the company or have an Ivy League education), but it is power if that is what you seek. I have been a manager before, and I have been offered management since, but I would not make the money I do now, nor would I be as happy with my job as I am. In many ways, I do have a lot of power, but it is because I am so successful and respected in what I do.
  • binarysoulbinarysoul Posts: 993Member
    Contrary to popular belief, management is not the key to riches

    If management is not a good thing, then why people try hard to 'promote' with the company and move up? Generally speaking, we would expect managers to make more money than their subordinates, so why not go up than to stay where you are and make less money? Or maybe it is different from one company/org to another.
  • BubbaJBubbaJ Posts: 323Member
    binarysoul wrote:
    If management is not a good thing, then why people try hard to 'promote' with the company and move up? Generally speaking, we would expect managers to make more money than their subordinates, so why not go up than to stay where you are and make less money? Or maybe it is different from one company/org to another.
    I think it is a power thing, and the perception that management pays well. Management does pay well in upper management, but IT workers going into management end up as middle management (the ones that get laid off first). It has been my experience that people managing techs make less than the top-tier techs. It is because there are so many middle managers (and wannabees), but so few top-tier techs.

    When you first get into tech, yes, managers make much more than you do, but, unless you have real management qualifications (education, etc.), management has a lower ceiling than a really good tech career.

    There are, of course, exceptions to this, but I have been doing this a very long time. I am high enough now that I have an upper-middle manager that only has the education and experience for management, and he makes a little more than I do with less job security. If I had moved to management, with my education and experience, I would only be making two-thirds what I do now. This is true for any company that I have ever worked for.

    I guess my point is that it does more than even out in the end, but it sure looks lopsided at the start.

    Personally, I would rather fight networks than listen to employess cry about family problems and vacation, or whine about salary or perceived workplace problems. Just think, I get that kind of pay, and I still get to do what I'm really good at.
  • computerguy9355computerguy9355 Posts: 81Inactive Imported Users ■■□□□□□□□□
    You have to ask yourself what do you really want to do? Do you want to move up into the management and start managing people? Yes you "might" get paid more but you will lose the hands-on. Its really up to you..

    personally i would hate to lose the actual "hands-on", plus i don't have good people skills. So i probably will be a techie for rest of my life :)
  • BubbaJBubbaJ Posts: 323Member
    If you want to make money in management, you need to get into upper management. Those are the managers that only manage lesser managers (except for their secretaries, excuse me, Administrative Assistants who are handsomely paid because most of them have post-graduate degrees). To get there you need a post-graduate degree from one of the better schools. Their starting salary in my company (150K) is still less than the top of my career ladder. In my company, they top out at the one guy who makes 500K. He reports to the CEO who makes many millions.

    If you are starting out as a tech looking for that kind of management/money, be prepared to put your life on hold for years of school while you are working.

    I don't have an undergraduate degree (although at this point it is meaningless based on years of experience), much less a post-graduate degree from even a lesser school. I ate popcorn for supper and rode public transportation for several years until I started to get recognized. After that, it was a whole lot easier, and I passed by a lot of stagnating middle managers on the way up the tech ladder.
  • binarysoulbinarysoul Posts: 993Member
    It is because there are so many middle managers (and wannabees), but so few top-tier techs.

    You certainly have an excellent point here :). Point well taken.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,171Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Generally speaking, we would expect managers to make more money than their subordinates, so why not go up than to stay where you are and make less money?

    It depends on whether you want to be a manager, or an engineer. It's not the same job. You can make plenty of money doing both if you are good at what you do. If you don't care one way or the other which job you do and just want to make as much money as possible, well... good luck I guess.
    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...
  • garv221garv221 Posts: 1,914Member
    I am currently an IT director at the top of the IT Dept and work directly with the CEO/President. I started off as a system administrator and got promoted a couple of times. I do technical stuff all day and get to be totaly in charge of everything and do as I wish with it. Upgrade when it is time, propsose new ideas for better business solutions. Its great, absoltely love it. Have a whole different outlook on business. I would never again like to be a random tech with no influence on better business or direction for the future or have to report to an IT boss who knows less than yourself.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,171Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    It's great that you have that flexibility in your job. Some companies only want IT managers to "manage". If I could find a position like yours 10-15 years down the road I would be satified I think.
    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...
  • binarysoulbinarysoul Posts: 993Member
    I would never again like to be a random tech with no influence on better business or direction for the future or have to report to an IT boss who knows less than yourself.

    Hi garv221,

    So what you're saying is that it's better to be in management? Actually, I want to eventually get into IT managment (I actually got a business degree lined up for the goal), but many have said it's not a good choice as you could lose your job and second it can be a headache dealing with people and their problems. Any thoughts?'
  • garv221garv221 Posts: 1,914Member
    blargoe: I do have alot of hands on stuff. I strive to actually get away from that, try to delegate as much as possible so I can manage and focus on highler level goals. The smarter an IT manager is, the more they will realize to delegate work and use their resources. They are valuable because they can make decisions that effect not only an entire dept but an entire busniesses operation. They must know how every system and network works to fully grasp how everything works together. Once you know enough in IT, it is more fun to design stuff, leaving the important work to the manager and the configuring to the tech help.

    binarysoul: No matter where you work there is a chance of job loss, the only away around that is start your own business. If you think managers loose jobs more quickly, you might be right. But do the math with this ex. an IT Manager makes 130k/year, net engineer makes 50k/year. It will take the net engineer over 2 years to get that 130k income, whats more powerfull, a dollar in your pocket today or a year down the road? IT manager is getting the money quicker when both people actauly have a chance of loosing their jobs. I know what check I like better. Sure their are head aches but nothing different than any other job I have had.
  • mikey_bmikey_b Posts: 188Member
    In my company, the BIG MONEY is in one of 3 areas: Upper Mangement, Project Management, and Technical Architect roles. Middle Management and First Line Leaders (team supervisors) make about the same as the normal Network Administrator or Server Administrator. Specialized roles like Security Associate and Messaging Associate pay just a smidge more, while Field Services and Help Desk pay a little less. I'm lost in the middle somewhere as my title is "Technical Lead" which puts me between First Line Leader and Server Administrator. Good pay though. Fortune companies are like that sometimes. But normally it's the mid-sized companies with some solid contracts that make the real money.
    Mikey B.

    Current: A+, N+, CST, CNST, MCSA 2003
    WIP: MCSE 2003
  • BubbaJBubbaJ Posts: 323Member
    mikey_b wrote:
    Fortune companies are like that sometimes. But normally it's the mid-sized companies with some solid contracts that make the real money.
    The company I work for is in Fortune's top 50. We will post over $8 billion in profit this year. Although they pay me very well with great benefits, my salary and benefits are just a rounding error in the overall picture.
  • 12thlevelwarrior12thlevelwarrior Posts: 302Member
    I am definitely anti authority. Screw the man.
    Every man dies, not every man really lives.
  • petedudepetedude Posts: 1,510Member
    I could be wrong, but it seems to me that the real money is still in certain specializations rather than management.

    These are the ones that come to mind:
    Network operations (CCNP, CCIE)
    Database administration (e.g. Oracle)
    Programming (whatever the hot language is, plus some web and/or database integration)
    Web development, but only on the other end of what I mentioned as far as programming-- exotic stuff like database integration or heavy-duty multimedia.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, folks. . .
    Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
    --Will Rogers
  • jpeezy55jpeezy55 Posts: 255Member
    petedude wrote:
    I could be wrong, but it seems to me that the real money is still in certain specializations rather than management.

    These are the ones that come to mind:
    Network operations (CCNP, CCIE)
    Database administration (e.g. Oracle)
    Programming (whatever the hot language is, plus some web and/or database integration)
    Web development, but only on the other end of what I mentioned as far as programming-- exotic stuff like database integration or heavy-duty multimedia.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, folks. . .

    I have heard that the DBA will be highly sought after in the coming years. Programmers, I think, are always in demand (especially if they are good).

    But for the most part, of all you listed, I think the DBA is the next big thing...for how long, who knows!
    Tech Support: "Ok, so your monitor is not working, the screen is blank, and no matter what you do it stays blank? Do you see that button on the bottom right hand side just below the screen? Press it. . . . Great, talk to you next time!"
  • binarysoulbinarysoul Posts: 993Member
    What about SAP? I've come across plenty of jobs, but not sure how promising this field is. Any ideas?
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