I am facing a career decision, and thought it might be interesting to throw it up to the group for advice.
I have always been an IT generalist, working in or consulting to smaller organizations (<200 users). I know a bit about a lot of things (windows, networking, sql, asp.net, linux, Voip, telephony, etc etc etc) I've always found it easy to get decent paying work (+- 60K) doing this.
In an effort to move up (more money, more interesting work, larger organizations) I have been focusing my efforts on network engineering. My current job title is network engineer, though that's really less than half of my responsibilities. CCNA is done, CCNP will be done shortly. I really like it so far, this is by far my favorite part of my current job.
However, looking around, I have serious doubts that this strategy is going to pay off. Junior network engineer jobs seem to be paying under 60K, and I think it's going to be very difficult to land a senior engineer job as a "paper ccnp." I can't afford to spend years in a lower paying job to gain the experience to move up, I need to make more money soon.
I have a job offer on the table for 80K doing basically what I've always done as a generalist (working for a consulting firm). I think it's dead end as far as growth in technical skills or size of organization, but financially there's serious potential for a lot more money.
What should I do? Grab the well-paying, not-so-interesting job, or hold out and try to make my way into a higher paying job doing work I would enjoy more.
Thanks in advance for your insightful, reasoned advice.