Business & Finance
11:35 AM

Careers: 7 Tips For Success On The IT Technical Track

Managers are the fastest-growing IT job category. But not everyone is cut out for that.

Not everyone's a manager, and many never want to be. Here are tips for nurturing a career on the IT technical track:

Keep Fresh
Success on the tech track takes a vow of perpetual learning. Harsh reality: be ready to pay your own way for training.

Know The Cutting Edge
Be the person who always knows what's coming up that the company might use. "A lot of organizations don't have IT architects to see what technology is coming," says John Guevara, an IT consultant and former CIO. "That's why there are technical folks."

Move Without Moving
Jump at chances to work in other parts of your company. Business and industry knowledge is all important. Plus, you'll build relationships that could prove more crucial to your future than hard skills.

Build On Your Base
Don't leap to an entirely new specialty all at once. As security got hot, many infrastructure specialists added security skills. "They felt really rejuvenated in their careers by moving within their company to another area, basically doing what they were doing but adding onto it with a little bit of education," says David Foote, president of Foote Partners, an IT workforce research firm.

Don't Just Read
Career coach Gerry Crispin challenges people not to stop at reading business and tech articles: contact authors and participate in blogs, or even write your own. Interact.

Which is more satisfying to you: managing people or technology?

Get Certified
Nothing's more important than being able to apply know-how to a business problem. But that paper can offer validity--and mobility.

Look When You Don't Need To
Often the best opportunities are in your company. But you'll know your value by seeing the pay and responsibilities other companies offer.

Return to the story:
IT Manager Jobs Are Up 44% In Five Years. Here's How Not To Get Left Behind In The IT Manager Boom

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.