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9/29/2006
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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.


TAKE OUR POLL
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

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