The Mole: Message Management Tricks

In which the Mole addresses event logging magic and copying groups.

Dear Mole,
I was just doing some searching on TechNet for information on a particular error that showed up in the event log of one of our servers and I somehow got directed to an issue of The Mole. Since I was having little luck with my search, it dawned on me that the possible solution to my problem was right in front of me: Ask the Mole!
I’ve compiled a list of events that have appeared on our servers that I was unfamiliar with. What I want to do is understand everything that happens so I know what errors are important and which can be ignored. My question to you: What is the fastest way to track down information on these errors? Is there some master Event ID list somewhere? Perhaps there’s a little routine you could outline that would speed up my resolution of these event log errors?
Thanks for listening,
—Mike Mirkovich, Jr.
Network Engineer

Hi Mike,
Obviously, you’re a most resourceful kind of guy. And Mole’s got a few more tricks to add to your magic bag. Two of them live in the Windows NT 4.0 Workstation Resource Kit.

The first one is the “Windows NT Messages” help file. The second is the Windows NT Event Log Database, which is in a Microsoft Access database format. You can filter and search the database on such things as Event ID or error text. Makes a great gift for your favorite NT administrator, whom Mole assumes is yourself.

Then, of course, there’s the trusty KnowledgeBase, or “KB” to its familiars. Using a query like the following should provide any articles that address the error in question:

event id 1234

Happy searching and thanks for the strokes.

Stop Typing Now! You Can Copy Groups From Machine to Machine

Munificent Mole, I’ve discovered your molehill musings! Might you marshal your multifarious mining methods to mitigate my morning’s misery?
My current perplexity is over the quickest way of setting up a new NT 4.0 SP4/IIS Web server for a company intranet. We’re outgrowing our existing (NT 4.0 SP3/IIS) server’s speed and capacity so we’re upgrading the hardware. We have about 1,600 users configured in user manager, and each user has a directory with multiple user permissions settings (group related—for example, if user A is part of parent group 1, that directory needs permissions set for User A and Parent Group 1).
Is it possible to transfer the User Manager data from one machine to the second and keep the ID, password, and other info intact? And is it possible to copy to the new system the directories and files while maintaining their security settings as configured on the “old” server? Or am I (the non-10-fingered-touch-typist) stuck with a month’s work of manual reentry and recreating permissions?
A network guru friend mentioned scopy.exe as being a possibility, but didn’t have any firsthand experience with it; and a search of the online Knowledge Base gave me an article on scopy as it related to “Keeping NTFS Security Intact When Moving a PO” (Q127954), not exactly enlightening to me regarding my NT/IIS issues; another techie mentioned cloning via manipulating these two machines as PDC/BDCs—but as I understand, that requires identical hardware (and SP versions?) on each box.
Magnificent Mole, is there a way to worm out of such a laborious manual recreation? My digits are degraded from dredging for “de info” while fearing future finger fatigue...
Sr. Web Guy

Dear Mole,
On my stand-alone NT 4.0 server, I have over 400 users! Now I want to copy all users on the stand-alone server to a new PDC Server. Is it possible?
Best Regards,
—Enrico Iozzi

Yes, Mole can help reduce your keyboarding burdens, although Eugene’s problem of excessive alliteration, which Mole suspects derives from stuck m, f, and d keys, is beyond his expertise. (Mole does, however, salute your ingenuity in turning this bug into a feature of your style.)

Now, back to software. And the answer is, yes. Yes, Eugene. Yes, Enrico. Yes. Yes. Yes. (Mole loves saying, “Yes.” It sits so much more nicely in the mouth than “No.”) Furthermore, yes, and at no additional cost. A yes made in heaven. Your guardian angels are, respectively, a command already available to you in the NT system, and a utility from the NT 4.0 Resource Kit.

Eugene, you say that your users belong to specific groups. To copy or transfer Users from one machine to another, you can use the grpcopy.exe tool. Mini-blurb about this tool: grpcopy allows users to copy user names from an existing group to another group, in the same domain or in another domain, or on a computer running NT. To use grpcopy, you must have at least account operator privileges in the affected domains.

Next, your friend was on the right track by suggesting the scopy utility. However, scopy has been replaced with the “xcopy” utility which does the same thing as scopy did. xcopy has been there for you all along—just go to a command prompt on an NT machine. To get a peek at the available switches for xcopy, type the following at the command prompt:

xcopy /?

xcopy copies files and directories from NTFS partitions with their security intact.

Other Resource Kit utilities that might be useful to you are:

  • Permcopy.exe—Copies share-level permissions (ACLs) from one share to another.
  • ShowACLs—Enumerates access rights for files, folders, and trees. ShowACLs works on NTFS partitions only. The most useful feature of ShowACLs is the ability to show permissions for a particular user.
  • Perms.exe—Displays a user’s access permissions for a specified file or set of files. To use Perms, you need “Backup files and folders” privileges on the computer where the files are stored, and you must be logged on as a member of the Administrators group for the domain or computer where the user account is defined. Otherwise, “Access denied” errors may occur.
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Reader Comments:

Tue, Aug 5, 2003 pius Nigeria

I need information on ciw much they earn and companies that need a ciw associate.salary for graduate high school.thank you

Thu, Jul 24, 2003 Jose Salazar Houston, Texas

Dear MCPmag,

I'm a full time college student and I'm in desperate need of some guidance. I served in the US ARMY for 5 yrs and therefore they are paying my tuition for college through the Montgomer GI bill. I recently learned that they (The VA) just started funding distant education courses like the MCSE, MCP, MCSA etc.. Certifications. I ADORE working with, on, or just being on a computer period! But right now Im at a crossroads of whether to finish what Ive started which is to earn my certificate in GIS (GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS & GPS SYSTEMS) or to enroll in the fall for MSCE courses and earn that certification. I earned my A+ certification by buying the book and took the test and past:) (which only fueled my passion to keep working with computers)
I use to work for the Texas Workforce Commison assisting the IT dept. w/administering passwords and basic troubleshooting at the center level(which was composed of about 45 PC's) for about 2 1/2 yrs so I have some experience. I just dont know which route to take the GIS cert(which will still allow me to work w/computers) or to take the MCSE and possibly stick w/that? I really don't know anyone that I could get some good HONEST advise/answers from so hence this request. Any input, guidance, advise ANYTHING from you all or ANYONE in the business would be sincerely appreciated:)
> "Oh yeah keep up the good work!
I am a loyal & faithfull reader of your mag."

Mon, Jun 16, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

I had a great job as a consultant and just changed jobs early this year because I saw an even better job on the internet and just applied for it and got it. (lateral pay move and a location move) The job was posted for 6 months and upon submitting a resume (and going through interviews) I started less than 8 weeks after application. According to this survey I am overpaid...I do not think it reflects very highly skilled IT professionals. Survey or not companies will pay what they consider a position is worth. If people don't think they make enough then look to another company. If this survey helps give people an idea on whether they should look or not then power to them.

Thu, Jun 12, 2003 Amol Padhye Pune

Very Less MCSD proffetionals in IT Why ?

Mon, May 26, 2003 Anonymous Seattle

I am not sure where these people are found their jobs, but I am an MCSE 2000 wtih 5+ years of experience with Citrix, Exchange experience and I haven't even got an interview in over 5 months. I am on every job board and send out resumes every day, does anyone have any helpfull hints?

Tue, May 13, 2003 K Nu Jerzee

Wow, there's some pissed off people out there, based on these threads. I see a few issues that should ease some of the tension for future salary surveys. As an IP pro making about 90k with MCSE (NT4), MCP Win2k Server & Pro, CCA (Citrix), A+, and soon to be CCNA (Cisco), it appears I'm overpaid according to the survey. But someone else pointed out that those who are paid on the higher end do not participate in these surveys (myself included). After thinking about it, we are doing a misservice to all out IT brothers and sisters. We should also participate. this will raise the reported salary average which those on the lower end can use as leverage for raises and compensation. Like the domino effect, once the median salary raises, we higher paid pros have leverage for further compensation. I will be participating from now in all these salary surveys.
The second issue I have noticed is that people can;t find these "paying" IT jobs. It would make sense if MCPMag can find a way of determining which areas of the country have a need for whatever particular IT field we are in and incorporate that with the salary survey. This way I can see the average salary in NY and compare it to the need for IT pro's in that area vs. LA. I'm sure people would relocate if salaries warrant it.
Just my opinion.

Tue, May 6, 2003 dhruv delhi

madar chod, bhosadina, microsoft ni gand maru

Tue, May 6, 2003 biloy gujrat

tari maa no bhosado

Sun, Apr 6, 2003 Galanda Brooker Baltimore, MD

Why wasn't MCDBA included in the Salary by State/Metropolitan area? It seems as if information/statistics was purposely left out of this article. Some of us do have an interest outside of MCSE that's why certification in MCDBA is available.

Fri, Apr 4, 2003 Dude Chi-town

I love it when people start complaining about "paper-certs". Guess what? We're all paper certs! That's exactly what a certification is: a piece of paper that says you have knowledge. Congratulations, you have just degraded your own work, career, and industry. Stop complaining about it. It doesn't help anything. If you know someone who has no experience,but has the cert, help them. Bring up the level of the newbies, and the whole industry benefits. Keep berating them, and we only shoot ourselves in the foot more. We all had to pay our dues and learn somehow, somewhere, and hopefully, from someone.

Tue, Apr 1, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

MCSE 2k, 4.0 12yrs experience - I'm "overpaid" by the salary survey. Fortunately my employer bases salary on the value I add to the organization rather than surveys. I can usually demonstrate saving generated which are significantly greater than my costs to my employer. Understand your value to an organization along with the salary information presented here (i.e. what it would cost for them to replace you) and you will have much more bargaining power when discussing your salary.

Mon, Mar 31, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

I don't believe the surveys...according to the salary calculator, I should be making $60K. I make $25K and NOT in IT---can't get in (A+, N+, MCSA---3 exams from MCSE)

Wed, Feb 19, 2003 Mark Orser Ontario

I have gotten and read this magazine for 5 years thanks to my certification. I live in Canada, the stats in this do nothing for me.

Sun, Feb 9, 2003 zaheer patel india

I know that micro-soft m.c.s.e certification is best but i want to ask that why the mcse certification celary gots down today compare to other certification??

Sat, Feb 8, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

As an employer, I cannot stress enough that certifications are a tiny of compensation - find a good company, learn the business, enjoy your work, and add value - few people do this, most are looking at the clock. you compensation is about enabling your company to do things that it hasn't been able to before. push yourself to be a help, and you'll begin to leave these numbers behind.

Thu, Jan 30, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

If you are paid more than it shows here (like me) this survey seems to miss some very important details - I think it is a forum for those emerging into the field to get dollar signs in their eyes... hey, if $75k is more than you have ever earned then this looks fantastic and you will show all your friends the great potential you have. BUT, if you are a long time real player in the technology space this survey doesn't reflect the real world. I employ a medium sized group of IT Pros. Senior guys who know what they are doing earn $95-125k. But, if you are a newbie reading this, these sort of numbers are for guys who REALLY can write code in .NET or configure a Cisco switch without reading the manual at the same time. MCPMAG, how about adding a targeted "experienced professional" category that goes into some depth with peoiple outside your readership? Just as a "point of reference" for the survey.

Mon, Jan 20, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

This survey is terrible. Server+ Certs making 59,500 and MCSAs making 46,100? WTF... Server+ is an elective (in addition to A+ cert) for the MCSA curriculum. I'm a Help Desk Manager with a 4 year degree (in Physics) and 4 years IT experience and I make 44k a year. (yes I'm working on my certs and bring alot of experience and knowledge to the table). I feel sorry for the chumps making 30k and 40k/year for MCPs, CCNAs, MCSEs. Boy are these MCSEs being screwed. And I don't even live in a big city or IT area!

Tue, Jan 14, 2003 Tim Washington, DC

I agree that the figures seem inordinately low. If so many of us feel this way, then what exactly does the data reflect? How reliable is it?

Maybe MCPMAG should mail out surveys like Consumer Reports does... I've never seen one, and thus haven't really participated.

If it's online, then a reminder email to participate would be ok, I suppose.

Also, I'd like to see how the rest of the world fits in to the picture.

Fri, Jan 10, 2003 dont waste your time on surveys

they are based on HONESTY. In todays world, very little of that is still around. Have them send you a copy of their paystub.

Sat, Jan 4, 2003 Porkchop Montreal

I'm a CCNA, CNA5, A+, Network+, MCSE (NT4) ,MCSA, MCP+I with a university and college degree (in business and comp.sci) for 2 years in the industry, paid positions, and 5 years+ consulting informally before that.

All I have to say, is that computer help desk, ADSL internet help desk ,and
similar jobs, are entry-level, with
the employers making a point of
churning the entire staff every 9 to 12
months, including supervisors, for
the reason that it keeps labor in a weak
bargaining position, keeps wages at
20 percent higher than McDonald's
workers with no career evolution

As well, both the public at large, and
companies have no intention of paying
full dollar for quality services. They
would rather either have it free, or
not at all.

As well, big firms like Dell, IBM, HP
are moving support to Third World
countries, increasingly, such as India
and Pakistan, where wages are 2 bucks
per hour (yes...$2.00) ...or less,
showing that a slightly higher than a McDonald's wage is not sustainable
in the short term in North America, for
quality services.

Clearly, the I.T. industry is in a deep
crisis, from which it is extremely unlikely
it will recovery any time soon.

Novell makes no money, neither does
Red Hat, or Sun Microsystems. Big
problems down the road.

Thu, Dec 19, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Yes mr man who said that MCSE are bullshit, you are so wrong. Part of the problem is that alot of you guys entered the IT a the height of rhe bull market withiout the proper background and employers hired you because there was not enough IT workers to the handle the tasks at hand. Well things are back to normal now and only the fittest and the smartest are surviving Let me tell you the proper way to survive in it in a bear market, make sure you are properly trained. If you are an employee would you hire a guy with an MCSE with no college degree to maintain and develop your network or would you hire a guy with a CS, CIS or EEng degree and pay for him or her to get the MCSE. At least you have something to work with. Well get real, a lot guys were telling me that my CS degree dont mean anything while attending college. I scoffed at them and finshed then I went to get my MCSE, MCSA and is working on my MCDBA and guess what most of them were fired. I am not gloating in the fact that my colleagues were let go but please, I worked with a lot of them and they could not think. If there was issue in which they had not encountered before they were lost. Finally an MCSE is for people with CS or CIS Degree that work with Microsoft products on a daily basis, they are the people been hired in this bear market.

Wed, Dec 18, 2002 JB Northern VA

This is BS. Microsoft certs are BS! There isn't even a CCIE section what is that all about

Thu, Dec 12, 2002 Art WesternNY

I for one know that I would provide accurate information if I was going to respond to a survey. I would be responding to see how well I fit with my peers, and I would be under the assumption that everyone else would be on their honor to respond accrodingly, with honesty. Otherwise these surveys are junk and inaccurate and can lead to false security or a false depressed outlook.
Aside, I have over 5 years in IT and have been A+ Certified for over 4. I just recently earned MCP in both 2KPro and Server. I have NEVER earned over 40,000 a year. My trouble has been that I want the experience, but have not worked for companies with upward mobility (fewer than 40 employees mostly) so I have been nothing more than a PC tech or Help Desk tech, which I do not desire to do. when I interview for something like and NetAdmin job, I am not given enough credit that I show the capacity to LEARN. I am not given the chance to prove it. I have taken the two MCP exams I passed by self-study and prep took less than a month in both cases. I think that proves my capacity to learn and learn quickly. I fault the employers for not being open-minded enough. The MCP certs did nothing for my compensation. In fact I was fired because I was 'obviously going in a different direction than the company'. My bosses perceived my passage of the exams as me preparing to make a move and they pre-emptively fired me. Nice.
Anyway, I thought the survey was a nice collection of data and was very well-rounded. Depressing a little bit, but it will help me now that I am forced to look for another job and when salary negotiation comes up.
Thank you.

Fri, Nov 22, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

This survey is quite comprehensive. I agree with the previous post concerning the impact of an applicable BS degree. Especially, in the Wahington DC region, Federal jobs often require an degree along with appropriate certifications (no matter the caliber of college attended!) A pertinent undergraduate degree tends to augment the overall salary and offset lack of expirience.

Mon, Nov 18, 2002 Anonymous Arizona

Where are all this jobs?. I have been laid off for 13 month!!!!!!!!.

Sat, Nov 16, 2002 Anonymous Chicago

For those of your with your CCSE (Checkpoint) certifcation plus MCP, I make in the 70's as an employee and have directly related experience for the last 5 years. This correlates closely with the survey when you take into account demographics, years of experience, and multiple-certs.
Also, it does help to negoitate when you have more than one offer that is in direct competition for you. What I dont understand is when engineers fly to a position out of desperation and get the first offer they find. Negoitating your base pay is probably one of the most important tactics in settling your salary requirements. Stand your ground, and you will reap the rewards.

Tue, Nov 12, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I surprised to see so many people with salaries like 40 k inspite of their certification and experience. I know many people who actually make 70-80K with the same exp. and cert.

Tue, Nov 5, 2002 Dallas Dallas

I have about 12 years related experience. Specifically 5 administering and managing a full scale network. I am an MCSE. I make $75k a year, and if I were to find myself on the market now, I would be asking for $80k. If you have 5 years or more experience administering microsoft networks, and you earn less than 60k in my market, and you let your employer get away with it, you aren't helping your brothers and sisters none.

Tue, Oct 29, 2002 Anonymous Salinas, CA

Interesting... Doesn't help woth my grief though.
I make roughly 30K and hold no certs and have 4 years professional experience. I admit I am a bit removed from the hustle and bustle of San Jose (a place I don't want to live or work in), but I can't see any solid reason to certify. As it stands, post dot-com apocalypse, that several and I mean several MCSE's and MCP's are still grovelling for work. Several have fled the area in droves. How am I going to justify spending $1,500 on getting my MCSE when I can't recoup that? Unless I can recoup at least 10 times that amount, it's not worth my time. I can make more driving a truck(60-80k).

I've got MCSE's applying at my firm for $10 an hour. Does that give you any idea?

My frustration is that NONE of these certs can get my clients to spend more money. Which directly affects MY income!

VAR's stand up! We need our certs to stand behind us with real marketing results! Not just an HR solution!

So far Citrix is the only company I see doing this, to which I am going to obtain the CCEA cert so we can market and sell Citrix.

Thu, Oct 17, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Certifications are like degrees. They represent your successful training. The correct combination for a better paying job is certifications PLUS experience. Don't expect to go from burger flipper to network admin just because you have a MCP. You need to sign on as entry level in a call center or help desk and do your time like everyone else. Use you certs and your excellence on the job to get promoted or a better job somewhere else. There is more to being employable than being highly educated. However, having been in "Cert Hell" myself, I would definately prefer a certified employee with 6 months exp over a noncertified employee with far more exp for a promotion or a more responsible position. Its always better to have well trained and self motivated troops on your company front lines.

Mon, Oct 7, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

It will be better if the chart of salary break down with city will include the difference of salary with respect to yr of experience.

However, the worst is that when I click those charts, it won't show the larger view...

Fri, Sep 27, 2002 Tommy Florida

I've been an MCP since 99 and I've never been asked to take these surveys. I wonder how they pick them.

Fri, Sep 20, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

A nice dose of commen sense in the exams would be a refreshing idea.

Tue, Sep 17, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I have heard the exams are not what they seem in the computer lab where my technical school are on the real exams. Common sense should come into play, however being Bill Gates just trying to make money which is obvious. Just in the previous exams I have seen common sense not existing. Where has common sense in a real exam exist? If, "Bob" downloads a virus, what should you do? The answer is run anti-virus and after update the software patches. However, on exams they give you, (1) eat some donuts, (2) run virus update, (3) fire "Bob", or (4) disconnect that computer. Choose the best answer and the answer is common sense when knowing what to do in these situations. For me I will study as had as I can to get certified in MCSA and MCSE so that I can move out of my parents house. Once I get my certifications, how will I have experience if I have not used it when a company hires me with MCSE experience? Should I just go back to flipping hamburgers to wait for my chance to earn experience and say want to upgrade your server instead of want fries with that? Give me a break with this experience and hire a young person who is 23 so they can "earn" experience. Just like the exams and experience common sense when knowing what to do in many situations.

Mon, Sep 9, 2002 Dave I West Virginia

Let's not forget that EVERY business infrastructure these days rely on us "IT GUYS" from retail to healthcare....that means that our Presidents, CEO's, etc. simply cannot be nearly as efficient or productive without, HOW MUCH ARE WE REALLY WORTH???

I would settle for the amount of $$$ that we save the companies in productivity...and could retire in about 2 years!

Wed, Sep 4, 2002 anon phx

What doesn't show up in any of the comments is the fact that while salaries are down. prospective employers are not only looking for the certs, but also want the "Many Hats" persons that we have been striving to get away from. Personally, I've been working toward a specific specialty to increase my value and focus my career, but now every employer wants a since person to do the tasks that 4 or 5 preople did this lime last year. While striving for the specific career path, the other skills have fallen behind with the advances in technology, there just isn't enough hours in the day to stay up to date in java and c++ and still run the ecommerce and security aspects of a network these days, and still run the companies web sight and email.... all run by one person.... these salaries all quoted don't show that they are less than last year and the hours for that money have doubled. 50 % pay cut for twice the work... I'm thinking of going back to carpentry.... soon. same pay but a 40 hour week and a life outside work. Best of luck to all MCSE W2K... next is the new .Net and then.... ?????

Mon, Aug 26, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Any survey on the salary on AsiaPacific regions ? I am underpaid ... MCSE2000 &MCSA only getting US$1058 per month

Wed, Aug 21, 2002 Anonymous Houston, TX

I believe that the survey was done in great taste. It serves a beneficial tool to let people in the IT field know what the average pay rate is…in today’s time we need all the help we can get. If you are over paid, count your blessings. If you are under paid bring a copy of this issue to your next interview.

Fri, Aug 16, 2002 Carmen Messina Illinois

I think this is a good salary survey

Fri, Aug 16, 2002 Brian Silicon Valley

I agree with most of the comments: This survey does not reflect the income vs. cost of living, and if you live in SV like I do, there is no way to settle for the listed salary and survive without a house full of roommates to help pay the bills. Further, there is no way the difference between San Francisco and Charlotte is only 10K--I may have to relocate there, and its a damn sight more than that. The salaries are consistently being reduced because inexperienced people who were making excessive money got busted in the dot-failure, and have started settling for less then they are really worth, rather than go back to the industry they came from and make somewhere inbetween. I have been inthis industry for 15 years--my first job out of high school was for IBM, and I know what Im worth. I refuse to sell out just because some jerk got into this field for the money, and refuses to go back to the industruy he started in. I have great skills, and great training, and I will make what I worth, or die trying. Only when the tech industry has been completely cleaned up, will we see real tech values again.

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Sun, Aug 11, 2002 Mark Canada

Get used to making less money. The gold rush is over and it is about time. Taking a 6 month course should NOT guarantee you a 60K a year position.

You wonder why the USA technical field is in depression.

Tue, Aug 6, 2002 Joshua Dallas

What is the effect of both a certification and an IT-related bachelor's degree on salary? (We all know that a doctrate earns more than a masters, etc.) What happens to an MCSE who gets a BS in Information Systems? What % of MS certification holders also have a college degree, anyway? Most of the people I know seem to have one or the other, and I would *really* like to see this part of the data that was collected.

Mon, Aug 5, 2002 David Perth, Western Australia

I've asked this question in one way or the other for the past 5 years!! What about the rest of the world!!??? Nobody out here really gives a flying f#$# about the US!
Come on its not that hard to find out a bit of basic info about places like the UK, Europe, and Australia surely?

Fri, Aug 2, 2002 Brian K York,PA

This survey seems to encompass more then ever before. If you can take a few minutes and read through all the data and take out what you need, it helps. As for Degrees, certifications, and Experiance- IT ALL ADDS UP. My degree is Advertising and Public Relations- Communications people. It always helps you to write and present all the techincal data. I think they have done a great job collecting more info this year and presenting it in a professional manner for reading.

Thu, Aug 1, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I've never seen so much bickering and complaining in all of my life. It's amazing how much in-house animosity (meaning the certified IT Pro's) there is - as if those we work next to don't give us enough trouble when they find out you're certified. After reading all of the posts here, I have come up with a few solutions for everyone who's got a gripe about the way things are going for them:

1. If you're not making what you deserve, find another job.
2. If you upset about paper MCSE's watering down the industry, don't get certified.
3. If your bickering about salaries posted in the survey, don't read them.
4. If you didn't post your salary and are complaining about the salaries, slap yourself.
5. If you've posted that your grossly over-paid, slap yourself.
6. If I haven't listed something, insert comment here ____________, then slap yourself.

When it comes to salary, the only thing a certification gets you is a way into the interview, not a high paid salary. It's how you negotiate your salary in the end that gives you the edge. Sure you have to put in the time and have the experience to really negotiate, but in the end if you cut yourself short, you end up like Chuck in Orange County making 30,000 less than what he's worth. Hey Chuck: QUIT YOUR JOB AND FIND THE SALARY YOU DESERVE OTHERWISE EMPLOYERS WILL CONTINUE TO DO THIS TO OTHER CERT PROS THE WAY THEY HAVE DONE YOU

Thu, Aug 1, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

You don't show the up or down sides of a company paying for certs. If I pay for my cert I get to choose what I go for. If my company pays they choose (and only 1 so far has been useful) and I am conmmited to a year of employment with them. Something not shown in the pay for your own certs is that my company required me to get some certs to keep my job, but they didn't pay for it or give me any compensation (other than getting to keep my job). There needs to be a few more questions asked (I know this will add more time to filling out the forms), but I am making WAY under the salery for my City and State and I work for a VAR (if fact a little checking shows that none of the other certified people I work with come close to the survey).

Thu, Aug 1, 2002 IT Consultant USA

This survey thinks I am way overpaid - but I don't think I am. I think most truly high-end people don't do these salaries, I wish they did. I think the certifications I worked for in the past helped me get my salary moving early on, but it has been my skill in doing the work, not taking tests that keeps me employeed and making a decent salary. If I would have taken this survey I would have had to say I am not certified at all. I have an expired MCSE 3.51, expired Compaq ASE, and Expired Citrix (CCA). Although I would like to get my certs updated, I am too busy being better than any Win2K MCSE at doing large projects than taking the silly exams.

I do like the individual profiles
My Info:
Salary $93,000 + O.T. bonuses (W2 should be around $100K this year)
Bachelor of Business Admin / IT Mgt
IT Consultant/ Engineer
15 years in IT

Thu, Aug 1, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Based on these charts. It looks like I.T. industry is meant for people who wants to earn big buck in the quickest time.

However, the survey doesn't reflects much for Asia Pacific region. Are the figures stating in the chart, really reflecting the actual figures that certified professionals earning in Asia? Or is it meant only for Europe and U.S ? The figures in the chart sometimes thus give people the wrong impression. Maybe you wont. But after a few months, when I come back to this page. It still reflects the European figures. I do believe that there are many Asian who are certified as well.

I do hope that there will be a chart that reflects the Asia market and not just only selected countries in Asia.

I would apologise here if the above comments had offended anyone in the world.

Wed, Jul 31, 2002 cookieuk Aberdeen

I would have liked to see a comparison of UK salary and US salary per skill set in these articles. Coming from the US it was a bit of a shock to be paid so little with 13 years experience and MCP certification. I would be interesting in seeing if this is a trend in the UK.

Tue, Jul 30, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Well, here in Utah, the classifieds are full of jobs that are asking for a person who can program in 12 languages, network everything known to man, 5 to 10 years experience, and "alphabet soup" behind their name and the salary is a laughable 30K. And the tech schools out here still have the gall to advertise training in a highly paid industry!!!

Tue, Jul 30, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

You seem to have forgotten the penis bonus. Much more important at many companies than relevant certs, any certs at all, or experience, is the good old penis. Have one, small or big, and you have more bucks in your pocket. STILL! Balls must be optional since many I have met in IT don't have any...

Tue, Jul 30, 2002 DAN SWANK ATLANTA, GA

I was a career changer in 2000, who found a great time to get in the IT market. I was making 60k a year in Mining and now making 24k a year. I have a BS in engineering and 20 years of transferrable skills with certs. My It training was equal to 2 years OJT in Windows NT and Novell , and I also went out and got a MCSE and a CCNA to show I can do the work. It is noce to know if I can last 5 years I can make what I did 2 years ago.
I am very disappointed to get into an industry again where it is who you know and not what you know that will get you a good salary.

Tue, Jul 30, 2002 Mike Michigan

Let's face it. Certification is an industry unto itself. You will be told what you want to hear so that it entices you to pursue more certification. I became certified to provide quick proof of knowledge before I had completed my degree program. I stay certified because it is a marketing tool. If you want stability, get a degree - it's forever and it has gotten me a much larger raise than any certification. A bungling idiot with alphabet soup after thier name isn't worth anything to anybody. Prove to yourself, your employer, and to the industry that you have the ability to learn AND apply - and don't forget the soft skills - customer service, team playing, looking beyond the obvious. Get creative in your solutions, never accept a method at face value. Cetificatin teaches the technology - period. It does not teach skills - those can only be learned in time. I've been a technical troubleshooter for over 20 years - 10 years in IT. My income far exceeds what the survey states I should be making. I attribute that to not only having a degree, but also to proving I have a desireable set of skils that goes beyond what any certification could ever hope to offer. If your young, inexperienced, etc. - use certs as a means - not the end. If you have have some experience and certifications, round out your self with a degree and seek postions that will give you experiences that can transfer to any aspect of IT.

Tue, Jul 30, 2002 Anonymous New York

Absolutely agree that this is a completely inaccurate survery. Don't forget that the majority of the respondants are probably newbies that memorize released answeres for certificate exams and have no practical knowledge. I have come across many certified individuals who know NOTHING about computers. The losers from this survey are the skilled employees (who belong in the industry) and employers who want experienced people who can maintain the most arguably important asset of an organization, but will instead get these 'know-nothing' individuals and lose out. If any employer takes this survey at its word they will more than likely make a terrible mistake and end up with an employee who looks good on paper, interviews well , but has no technical expertise, all because they think the going rate is 30k less (guestimate) than what the market is. Good employees come at a price. To all the people who BELONG in the IT industry: don't even waste your time trying to convince a possible employer what the rate should be. If they don't know, you don't belong there, and they don't deserve you.

Tue, Jul 30, 2002 Kevin Central New York

I thought that the information was inflated, if I was to go by the surveys when discussing my next raise, I would be asking for almost twice my current salary. I have roughly 7 years experience, work as a lan administrator and I hold an MCSE, Compaq ASE, Citrix Admin (#220), and a Novell CNA, along with A+ and other meaningless certs.

Tue, Jul 30, 2002 David Texas

I make a base pay of over 75K a year, and then a large bonus on top of that putting me well over 6 figures. I only have an Associate Degree and 11 years experience, and am a MCSE NT4/2000. This salary report is way off from my earnings.

Tue, Jul 30, 2002 Denny Ohio

The salary survey is to say the least misleading. Many as stated take the figures for granted and once you get your gold chalice your to will be rewarded. Well it does not quite work that way, As I found out the hard way experience and location play a bigger role than anything. The biggest problem I have with salary surveys is two fold. First noted before a web developer with knowledge of several languages with an MCP should not be factored in. Secondly the salary surveys are selling the wrong idea. I myself do not want other's coming into the IT field lured by the inflated ideas of high pay. Larger companies, Microsoft and Cisco have sold their idea of "technology" to high school programs, thus leading to many high school programs based on the need and prosperity of would be graduates. I think there is a catch 22 with such idea. You do have some outstanding students who go through those program, but they would be outstanding regardless. The majority of the students spoofed into the idea of some great expectation after high school dont make the cut. Thus we deter the whole educational process, they should be focusing on skills to get into college not, what "hot" skill I can learn now to make fast cash. I may be hipocritical as I believe that high school programs are good to an extent and can prepare the future tech workers very well, but the students have the wrong idea, thus in the long run we will just have more younger people walking around wondering what happened, compare this to all the trade schools of the 70s and 80s, auto mechanics, machine students, all wanted to get out and get that great job, and yes some did only to be let down years later with no transferable skills. I am not saying what they would learn could not be utilized later in life, but not all will follow through and will utimately use programs as the easy way to graduation.

We as IT professionals must take a stand and regulate ourselves when it comes to misleading information and public claims of that for most are dilusions of grandure. To make good money in IT is just like most professional career paths, you have to work hard and pay your dues, and yes along the way you will have a handful of people that wehre in the right place at the right time and knew the right person and are make outlandish money, this is not true for the majority.

All the salary surveys are very misleading, not saying the don't make claims of multiple certs, or averages, but the numbers are the numbers and people looking to be impressed with numbers look to the all mighty dollar, that is all the see, only to be left out in the cold once they achieve certification, and only get a help desk job---and stare into the distance and wonder what has happened.

I have over 5 industry certifications, I am extremely proud of, and I am constantly learning, but it is an up hill battle. I never passed up my college education, which will be finished in the coming year finally!

So my advice to all the new comers, It takes work, and nothing worth doing is easy. Have great expectations, but be aware that by the time you learn what you need to know, technology already has changed, so thus the process starts over. And above all, go into the whole process knowing that you will have to pay your dues at the bottom of the heap, and work your way up. Then You to can pass along the war stories of your battle to break into the IT industry.

Mon, Jul 29, 2002 ChuckM Orange County, Ca.

I have a two year degree, MCSE, MCSA, A+, Net+ and make 31,200. I received a .9% increase in salary for earning my MCSE, MCSA. I have two years experience in the IT field. This salary survey makes me ill. I network everywhere I go, I have a buisness card that I give to everyone I meet, and I work my "A" off on every job. This doesn't include all the books I read or the 5 different recruiters that I work with. If these jobs are really out there please someone tell me what I am doing wrong. I've talked to other successfull people in the industry and had moch interviews and they all say " You interview great and have a very well written resume, If I was hiring I would seriously consider you" When I earned my degree and certs the recruiters asked me if I had gained another 3-5 years experience somewhere. If not then hang in there. I'm willing to work hard and work my way up, but I need an opportunity, any comments please email me.

Mon, Jul 29, 2002 Andy Toronto, Canada

I find it interesting that in the very first chart, the No Microsoft Certification ($64,000) category scores higher than any of the other "general" certifications. It looks like -- and the article totally missed emphasising this point!? -- you should pretty much specialize as a DBA, Trainer or Developer for any financial merit. Otherwise the MCP/MCSE certifications are pretty much just a self-gratifying poster on the wall.Just like the stock market, the job market is recognizing that MCSE/MCP certs are a worthless dime-a-dozen, and that experience and specialization are the real values that will be recognized.I guess there is no "easy" way to make a fast buck after all :-)

Mon, Jul 29, 2002 THUD Denver, CO

Great survey but I think you should cover salaries for techs who also do principal business. Infoworld once did a salary survey of people with certs and then add on principal business, there's a big difference in the people and in their salary. There are people who can be technical and then there are people who are technical and also conduct IT business (contracts, processes, etc.). I know that the corporate world recognizes this because they changed my title to add "Principal Business" before my technical title. Just a suggestion for next time.

Fri, Jul 26, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Take the survey for what it is, a survey. It is not necessarily 100% accurate, but it does provide a direction to the destination. I appreciate the city and state breakdown. If only more people would respond and with a greater degree of truth, maybe we could figure out with a more certainty what we should be making as dictated by the market. No HR person will tell you what they are willing to offer. So these types of surveys help us gauge what is out there.

Good luck all!!!

P.S. Bad data in...

Thu, Jul 25, 2002 Michael Haisley Muncie, Indiana

As for the comment about the Web Developer with the CCNP, it isn't that far off, and it helped me to sell myself, going to a job interview and reconfiguring a router may not be an ideal plan, it is a great sales tool, when you are selling your self.

Thu, Jul 18, 2002 Brian Seattle

I understand the frustration that this survey can have on people where the numbers don't add up. It took me a long time to find a job (6 months) after my dot com went bust. I was definitely qualified for the positions I applied for - it was the amount of people applying for jobs after being laid off last year. But the numbers from the survey don't really show this.

The other thing is that I wasn't willing to take a pay cut like so many did (from what the survey suggests). It might be this factor of "settling for what companies offer" that might be causing salaries to drop so low. The other thing is I must be grossly overpaid for what I do compared to other salaries posted. Fellow MCPs: Stop selling out for less pay!

Of course there is the other side of the coin which some have already pointed out where many have opted out of the survey because of not wanting to disclose personal information. To those who have responded about this problem: Why are you even reading the survey and then complaining about it if you didn't participate?

Thu, Jul 18, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

You said "Overall, respondents believe that the U.S. is slowly coming out of its economic downturn—59 percent, in fact." Was this poll taken before or after the Dow went down the crapper?

Thu, Jul 18, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

First: At least two respondents have already mentioned a wariness of providing information, and the picture with salary profiles will only re-enforce this wariness across the board. A profile should include region, salary, title, and because you are who you are, MCP Mag, a list of certs held - no more.

Second: These numbers are not accurate. As one of the previous respondents stated, I would be considered overpaid, yet, from the sheer volume of work and the responsibility I have, I am severly underpaid by any other standard than this industry.

Third: Where is the negative impact of jobs on these surveys? As anyone can tell you, you can be the highest paid person in the region, but if you have the worst job, you won't be able to have it for long. We need a relationship between salary and the "BS" factor. Luckily, my "BS" factor is at an acceptable level, but many of my friends are not so fortunate. For a specific "BS" factor explanation, include such things as 'lack of management support', ''lack of financial support', 'lack of authority', 'inability of management follow through', 'inexperience senior IT management', etc. The salary is the central point of the survey, but these additional factors have a key impact on "perceived compensation" vs. strict salary numbers.

Thu, Jul 18, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

If these numbers were accurate, I would be considered OVERPAID, even with multiple certifications. The survey probably reflects trends well (like salaries are down this year) but not actual $$ numbers, because many people like me are wary of providing details and don't participate.

Thu, Jul 18, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

It bothers people if they have to provide exact compensation for their profiles. Is this great if we can publish profiles by salary range or job title? We need more senior experienced people to participate the survey and profile. We need better-paid profiles to demonstrate certification value and importance.

Wed, Jul 17, 2002 Naderman Abroad

Hey, The only thing this survey is missing is the impact of the the degree on getting a job, Eg Bachelor in Commerce or Computer Science. These should be considered the next time. Also Structured Cabling (Fiber and Copper) system design is completely unmentioned in the skills category.

Wed, Jul 17, 2002 Jason Reading, PA

There are too many paper-cert people in the industry watering down the collective skill set. How can you have a top cert in 4 different fields and be good at anything other than multiple choice tests? I think all major certs need a practical lab exam like RHCE and CCIE. It's the only way to show they have the brass.

Wed, Jul 17, 2002 Andy Charlotte

Use this as your guide for that next job or next salary increase...if you play with the calculator long enough and the numbers in the'll find this survey beneficial (i.e. how much should my next raise be?). Good Job MCPmag!

Wed, Jul 17, 2002 Bob Stern San Francisco

Very comprhensive this year. I especially appreciate the Metropolitan Area breakdown.

Wed, Jul 17, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

This survey is quite possibly the worst survey from MCPmag that I've seen in years. It doesn't recognize that the results are skewed by other parts of the country (outside of IT hotspots) and it features a bunch of profiles of people that have junior or irrelevant certifications to their job. A web developer w/ a CCNP? Come on!

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