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This really comes down to the person. I wouldn't pay too much attention to that infographic illustrating salary differences between the different fields. Money should never be the deciding factor on which career path to follow. You should go with what you know you will enjoy the most and be most successful with. Also, I'm always surprised by how low the salary averages are from year to year. I must be lucky to be in a market where the salaries are higher than the posted averages. From what I've experienced in working with many different technology professionals over the years, it's rare to find someone in IT with an interest in programming. It's also rare to find software developers interested in network engineering. Speaking for myself, I can do quite a bit with network configurations and setup. However, I have very little interest in doing much of it or learning more than I know. As similar as these two fields might seem to non technical people, the personalities and skills required for either are very different.