Have you strayed from your New Year’s resolutions yet? It’s tough to keep up those “will nots”—as in “I will not smoke,” “I will not swear,” or “I will not overeat.” With a focus on positive goals for personal development and career or business strategies, we asked our readers to tell us their IT aspirations for the year 2001. Here’s what they resolved to accomplish.

Getting educated, staying educated
By far, the most popular reader goals for 2001 related to learning more and earning new certifications.

Robert Mackie resolves to “pass my three remaining MOUS exams [and] pass MCP 70 098” before June, when his third child will arrive. He also wants to start working on the rest of his MCSE.

Last year, Wayne Liddy managed to finish his upgrade to Novell 5 as a CNE and completed his MCSE. In 2001, he wants to get the Cisco CCNA.

Network administrator William Dudgeon, Jr. wrote in with his plan “to upgrade my MCSE to Windows 2000 and get at least three Cisco certifications.”

TechRepublic member K said she plans to research colleges within the Manassas, VA area and use the seven years left on her GI Bill to earn a degree in Computer Administration as well as an MSCE.

As a newbie with only three months of experience in the IT field, Technical Support Specialist Joseph Champlain said he is currently assisting his IT manager with a complete network infrastructure upgrade. His goals for the coming year are to “become A+ and Network+ certified with a focus on network management.”

Improving the business
Felix Ebinum wants to improve his business despite the lack of funding that has plagued him. Here are his four business goals for 2001:

  1. Establish a very solid Internet base business (ISP) with founded security monitoring and connectivity to clients using a wireless system with wider coverage.
  2. Set up the best network-connectivity solutions base for client support services.
  3. Set up the best repair/solution center for computer-system troubleshooting.
  4. Move forward in Internet-related businesses.

Getting out of the business
Sarah Smith has set many educational goals for herself in 2001, such as earning a certification for Windows 2000, becoming proficient in wireless technologies, learning ATM implementation, adding a 2000 server to her home lab, and starting her studies for CCNP 2001/2002 certification. Having completed her MCSE+I in 1999 and CCNA/CCDA in 2000, she is stepping into a new job with a networking and integration team.

But Sarah said she also plans to complete the vocals for an original CD soon to be released. Hmmm… changing career plans, Sarah?

Vanessa Duffey wrote to tell us she’s also got a new strategy. Vanessa owns a small business that “has undergone many hardships in the last year. I have now closed my tour consultancy, Internet services, Sony games, and office facilities shop, and I am working from home. At the moment, I am just doing small printing and laminating jobs and some online tour advice. This is hardly satisfying when I think of my potential.”

What’s the new trick up her sleeve? “My New Year’s resolution for 2001,” she wrote, “is to [begin studying for] a law degree.”

Divergent goals
Nural, 25, of Malaysia wrote in to tell us that his goals conflict with his recent promotion to Development Manager.

“I do like R&D,” he said, “but I like programming more. The problem is, I don’t know whether I am ready to become a manager or not. I still love doing debugging, coding, and programming. I’m afraid if I continue managerial work, I’ll forget about my technical skills, which I love the most.

“I really want to take the MCSE and MCSD exams. But since I’ve been promoted to Development Manager, I do not know whether [those certifications are] reliable and good for me anymore. I know I am earning more than friends my age, but I feel I’m losing my skills and my expertise. I wanted to ask to be ‘demoted’ back to System Analyst, but it would be a ridiculous request.”
What advice would you give Nural? Is there more opportunity for him as a “management type,” or should he risk the backlash of his superiors by asking to step down into the System Analyst role? Send us your thoughts via e-mail, or post your comments below.