Want $110K Straight Out Of Uni? Become A Storage Admin

Want $110K Straight Out Of Uni? Become A Storage Admin

If you’re a university student, any full-time salary can look appealing. But would the prospect of earning $110,000 straight after graduating tempt you to add a storage administration subject to your degree?

Picture by ChrisDag

At a press lunch I attended today, NetApp area vice president Peter O’Connor discussed how NetApp is increasingly working to have certifications in its products added to local university IT degrees. It already has arrangements with RMIT in Melbourne and the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, and is in discussions with Monash, UNSW, Swinburne and Adelaide.

Obviously this makes it easier for NetApp to flog its own kit, but O’Connor argues that the big benefit is the salary graduates can command after gaining those storage administration skills:

You could get a job right now straight out of university for $110,000.

Now, I won’t beat around the bush here: many people view storage administration as the kind of tedious job that makes accountancy look glamorous. But as O’Connor accurately points out: “At the end of the day a lot of people are money driven.”

Would you add storage administration subjects to your degree in order to get paid more when you finish your studies? Tell us (and tell us why) in the comments.


  • Just out of interest, how long is an average IT uni degree in Australia?
    I ask as I’ve got a BSc as well as a Masters in Environmental Engineering but have itchy career feet and this IT malarkey is turning my head.

  • I would probably enjoy this work but ive looked into going to uni but everyone ive worked with in high level IT company seamed to suggest that their boss didn’t give a s**t what degrees you had, they wanted examples of experience.
    For me it was a choice between 4 years of industry experience at average pay or 4 years, a huge debt and a low degrading pay rate with no industry experience. i did the math and uni just wasn’t worth it took 60 years to ROI…
    that’s my 2 cents…

    • In my experience, many employers don’t care what degree you have unless it’s highly relevant to the field you hope to work in (such as that described in this post).
      However, MANY employers do care whether you have a degree or not. The study required for any degree requires discipline and a certain amount of dedication.
      If degree-giving institutions can include industry certification in their courses then it could be of benefit. The risk you run is that large companies might require Unis to lock into their product and stifle the market.

  • Hell yes. Work my ass off while I’m young and single, save like a madman, invest into shares and houses, retire at a young age.

    It’d take me a while though. I couldn’t do one of their courses with just my BSc behind my name.

  • I would look at certifying now to perhaps pursue a year or two or work at that level of salary but I would not pursue it for an extended period of time, a year would probably be enough for my lifetime.

  • Codswallop! Any I.T. job out there, even for somewhat junior roles are still looking for 3-5 years experience and they’re still only paying 70-90k.

    I have alot of respect for NetApp but this is complete bollocks.

  • Well NetApp would say that storage admins graduate positions are starting at $110k, they want to get people into their courses and into their field. In reality, you’ll be lucky to get hired as a storage admin without any experience, let alone one that pays that well.

  • The work isn’t always mundane (but what job isn’t mundane at somepoint), but does require excellent attention to detail and an appreciation of the underlying architecture of the Storage and Fabric you’re working on.

    That said, a graduation salary of six figures for any IT job, let alone Storage Administraion? Keep dreaming. Have a look at Seek or Monster.com and reality will set in.

  • Many storage engineers and consultants working for NetApp and partners do not earn $110,000. Angus Kidman must have misunderstood or O’Connor blatantly lied.

  • Angus “Now, I won’t beat around the bush here: many people view storage administration as the kind of tedious job that makes accountancy look glamorous. ”

    Im an accountant and I actually love my job due to variety and challenges.

    I think working in IT would suck balls due to all the “glamous women in IT”

  • Universities should give industry relevant certifications. I wen’t to QUT and I know they offer CCNA but, I did two unix admin courses and got squat in terms of industry recognised certification.

    After joining the work force my employer then had to shell out the money for me to gain Redhat Certified Engineer which all up is two weeks of training and two exams covering the same content I did at uni. Pretty sure if they can do it in two weeks a uni can do it in two whole 14 week semesters…

    • Your degree probably gave you a wide set of skills that could have been applied to any platform. If your Uni had partnered with Novell and given you Novell SuSE Certification, would you have gone for a job that required RedHat? Would you employer still have needed to put you through the certification course for their OS of choice? Probably.
      The thing is, an employer will spend a lot more on you than just your wage. A wage of $60k may also incur costs of $40k once office space, electricity and the rest are factored in. The cost of your training course was probably small-fry to your employer.
      I would also suggest that your years at Uni were a significant factor in their decision to hire you.

  • Sorry to say, but $110k for a storage job right out of Uni is a categorical lie.

    I am a storage engineer with 15 years of industry experience in systems and storage and *now* I can get contract rates at around that number (and on a good day, a little higher).
    One recent place of (semi-)gainful employment hired a junior storage admin, and he was being paid on the sad side of $60k.

    Straight out of uni, you’ll be lucky to get $60k. Very lucky.

  • So… the “story” is that some corporate shill trying to sell their products is telling people they will become rich if they buy/promote the products.

    Sounds like solid journalism to me!

  • I think the operative word is “you COULD” understanding how to manage data in a world that is driving data into commercial cloud environments automatically will increase the value of skilled workers and the experienced ones will dry up real quick and require graduates sooner than you think.

  • I just finished my uni degree and I want to do a storage admin subject, but I’m pretty sure the catch is the whole “you COULD earn up to ___”

  • People struggling at $50k or less with a degree… When was the last time you went to market? Are you in an east coast capital city?

    It’s REALLY difficult to find people along the east coast capital cities at the moment. Like Really, really hard. If you get candidates at all, they’re either woefully unsuited or woefully inexperienced. I’ve seen a lot of $65 an hour contractor gigs (about $110k a year after accounting for public holidays/sick leave/some holiday time)for some pretty junior resources in Brisbane in the last 6 months. Probably not fresh grads with 0 experience and a single industry cert – but not that far off.

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