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Making a wise career choice

I currently work for an IBM Business Partner as a consultant doing facilities management work. My work is project/programming and consulting. I am each facilities MIS manager, once or twice a week. Recently, one of my clients offered me a MIS manager position at their company. I don't think this is a good career move. Initially it would be for more money, but in looking at the top five paying jobs, consulting is number five -- MIS manager is lower. I have six years at this job, 18 years with System 36 and AS/400s, and a BBA in Computer Science. Where does one go from here?
The question you should be asking yourself is 'What IS my goal?'. If your career goal is primarily a financial one - then a management position is probably not the best move. If, however, you have a desire to become more involved in the 'BUSINESS' side of IT (i.e. helping to establish a company's IT strategic and tactical direction) then management is a better move professionally. Although job security is elusive in today's market, it is fair to say that, in relative terms, a management position does offer better security. The income for a consultant is higher because the security, at times is much lower. Reflect upon your goals before making any decision.

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This was first published in May 2003

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