Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Careers

Is it me or are there a lot of self-referential advisories for career paths on blogs and forums lately? Is it that time of year? I'm really tired of hearing you should get this cert or that cert, this education or that education, blah blah blah...

My advice: get a good general knowledge and then find a specialty that you find interesting. If you're "in it" for the money, you (and the money) won't last long. The IT field is self-correcting that way. It's why you can't swing a dead CAT-5 cable without hitting an MCSE nowadays. Those that are "in it" for the money often come in large mobs. High-paying jobs exist because there's a very small talent pool to draw from. The crowds see those high-paying jobs and jump in the pool, en masse. Next thing you know, you're laid off from your high paying job because there's a college graduate willing to do your work for half your pay.

When it comes to technology, there's a lot of uncharted area out there. The crowds stick to "what's known". You should stick to "what can I discover?" or "how far can I push this?". The whole point is that it should be something that you enjoy doing. You'll have fun, go further and you're likely to make good money doing it. If there's not much money in it, you're likely to, at least, enjoy your job. Ask around, a job that you love is rare and is often better than more money.