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Computer Careers: Your First Job And Salary Hype

Computer careers can be highly lucrative, and I'll be the first to say that starting a career in information technology is one of the smartest decisions I ever made. Most computer training schools and tech schools are realistic with you about the kind of money you can make in getting started, but occasionally I still hear radio ads for schools using a salary survey or "average salary" as a recruiting tool.

This is in no way meant to talk you out of starting a career in computers, but keep in mind that the average salary survey in no way reflects the kind of money you should expect to make when starting out in IT. One recent survey I read reflected an average salary of $70,000 a year. While you can certainly make that kind of money in a computer career - and frankly, you can make even more - there are so many other factors involved in an "average salary" that I'd go as far to say that there really isn't such a thing as an average salary. Salaries are affected by your geographic location, your certification, your education, and your job role.

As I've written in other Computer Career articles, the most important factor in your first job should be the experience you will get. Make sure to use long-range planning when it comes to your IT career, and ask yourself "What will my resume look like in two years if I take this job?" Once you get a little experience to go along with your initiative and computer certifications, you'll be unstoppable - and you'll be able to make more than any "salary survey" says you will make!

Chris Bryant, CCIE #12933, is the owner of The Bryant Advantage, home of over 200 free certification exam tutorials, including CCNA certification training articles. His exclusive CCNA study guide is also available!

Visit his blog and sign up for Cisco Certification Central, a daily newsletter packed with CCNA, Network+, Security+, A+, and CCNP certification exam practice questions! A free 7-part course, “How To Pass The CCNA”, is also available, and you can attend an in-person or online Cisco CCNA training boot camp with The Bryant Advantage!

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