20 Things I've Learned from 20 Years in IT

Veteran technician and project manager, Scott Matteson, shares tips and insights from his 2+ decades in the IT field.

IT Career Tips Advice

Working in the field of Information Technology means more than fixing computers or troubleshooting email issues. Thriving in this career requires you to sort out an intricate tangle of problems, priorities and people on a daily basis. Keeping your technical skills relevant and up-to-date is always a challenge, but one that’s well within reach if you train on the job, enjoy learning new things, and keep your thumb on the pulse of the tech community.

However, it’s harder to figure out how to deal with “back end” tasks like juggling priorities, managing stress and developing positive working relationships with peers, customers and managers. In fact, handling interpersonal relationships can be more challenging (and rewarding) than managing the tech itself – and it’s essential since the technology goes hand in hand with the people who use it.

IT roles are changing; support may be located remotely, systems might be off site, and some jobs will disappear entirely. However, there will always be pain points, pressure and personalities in the field. I've worked in the IT space since 1994, primarily in the realm of support and implementation. Along the way I've made a few observations with accompanying advice which I want to share with you. Many of these apply to my role as the “go-to” guy who can get things running, but I think they are universally relevant to any role where you're seen as a resource or a decision-maker on which other people depend to do their jobs.

So without further ado, here are 20 things I've learned in my 20 years in IT:

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Top 10 Highest Paying IT Certifications for 2014

Alongside marketplace demand, salary is a key factor in deciding which IT certifications to pursue. These ten credentials will maximize your earning potential through 2014.

Top Paying Certifications 2014

In addition to keeping the “lights” on, organizations want an IT workforce that will help cut costs, manage risk and influence smarter business decisions. IT professionals with skills in virtualization, information security, business intelligence, software development and project management are best poised to achieve these goals, so it’s no surprise that credentials in these hot and emerging domains will dominate the top paying IT certifications in 2014.

This post will break down the tech certifications with the highest earning potential, according to the industry-respected 2013 IT Skills & Salary Report by Global Knowledge and Windows IT Pro. To eliminate statistical anomalies, this ranking only includes certificates with 100 or more responses.

Here are the top paying IT certifications for 2014:

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Top Five Skills to Secure a Job in Cloud Computing

Hot cloud computing skills

Cloud computing is often talked about as a technology that will make IT departments obsolete as companies seek to outsource computing needs. This analysis misses the complexity of what's actually happening in IT departments.

The actuality is that cloud technologies are running in conjunction with on-site systems, and many companies are choosing to operate and maintain their own servers - even if they have a few Cloud applications up and running. This adds a layer of complexity to effectively managing the IT needs of an organization. Rather than eliminating the role of in-house IT professionals, the cloud is merely changing the skill set and job functions of the IT department.

In my experience, here are the top 5 skills IT professionals will need to learn to work in cloud computing:

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IT: It’s a Love-Love Relationship

A survey of accomplished IT professionals indicates the passions and motivations that make for a successful career in the IT field.

love technology and learning

As the CEO and founder of an IT training company, it’s my job to try and understand what makes IT professionals love their jobs enough to keep coming back for more. A question I am constantly asking people is, why IT?

My company recently surveyed over 2,000 IT professionals nationwide in an attempt to answer this very question. When asked why they stay in their careers, almost a majority (47 percent) said the most important factor was their love of technology. Interestingly, career advancement and ease of finding new opportunities in the field were at the bottom of the barrel, with 65 percent of respondents saying these ranked lowest in their book.

Rank why you continue to work in IT

it job priorities graph

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