The Fact Checker

Before you pursue a career as a wireless consultant, be sure to read the fine print.

Before you pursue a career as a wireless consultant, be sure to read the fine print. Plenty of six-figure jobs are available, but youll need 10+ years experience with wide-area networks, a keen understanding of emerging standards like 3G, and a Rolodex filled with possible wireless partners.

Avoid the Noise Most high-paying positions in this field dont involve personal area networks (such as Bluetooth) and wireless LANs (IEEE 802.11; see Breaking and Entering in this issue). To receive top pay, youll need to understand middleware like IBMs MQSeries and BEAs WebLogic, as well as mobile databases like Sybases iAnywhere. Each of those components is gaining traction within wireless WANs.

Starting Point Still, its important to remain realistic. Most IT consultants have less than three years experience in the wireless arena, according to International Data Corp. If youre new to this field, explore wireless LAN certification courses from 3Com (www.3com.com/partners/index2.html). It wont land you a six-figure job, but its a nice starting point for Ethernet veterans.