IT Career Guide: Advice for IT Professionals

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* systems analysts: $65,250 to $92,250

* applications architects: $89,500 to $120,250

* business systems analysts: $63,250 to $93,250

* developers/programmer analysts: $57,000 to $99,250

* lead application developer: $81,500 to $112,000

* CIOs: $130,250 to $210,500 (Our

State of the CIO salary data
puts average CIO salaries at $219,300.)

I'm fed up with my corporate IT career. What other career paths might I consider, where my skills and background might be transferable?

IT professionals at all levels often turn to contracting or consulting after losing their jobs or upon deciding they've simply had enough of the corporate world. The move from IT practitioner to IT consultant is a mostly natural one: IT professionals use all of the skills and knowledge that they've honed over the years to solve a variety of clients' problems.

One challenge that some IT professionals face upon moving into IT consulting and contracting is drumming up business. They may have the technical chops to solve any programming problem or the organization skills to get a flagging project back on track, but some IT pros lack the business development and back office accounting skills necessary to run one's own business. For advice on setting out your own shingle as an IT consultant, see the variety of articles CIO.com has published over the years on that topic:

8 Tips for IT Professionals Interested in Pursuing Careers as Independent IT Consultants

Career Counsel: How to Go from CIO to IT Consultant

Becoming an IT Consultant: Do's, Don'ts and Disasters to Avoid

IQ Tech Pros Aims to Make Life Easier for Independent IT Consultants

Of course, there are other career options open to IT professionals that take advantage of their skills. Janice Weinberg, a former IT executive and author of Debugging Your Information Technology Career, says IT professionals who've worked in healthcare might consider becoming healthcare administrators. She adds that network security administrators might consider parlaying their IT security expertise into the insurance industry, where they could move into cyber-liability insurance.

Another option--if you have good communication skills--is to get a job with an IT research company, such as Gartner Inc. or Forrester Research. These companies seem to like to hire individuals with practical IT experience.

For more advice on pursuing a career outside of IT, see 7 Tips for Pursuing a New Career Outside IT and How to Pursue a New Career Outside of IT.

Meridith Levinson covers Careers, Project Management and Outsourcing for CIO.com. Follow Meridith on Twitter @meridith. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline. Email Meridith at mlevinson@cio.com.

This story, "IT Career Guide: Advice for IT Professionals" was originally published by CIO.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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