My VP was a math major with no certs. My Director was a poli sci major with no certs. One of our chief architects also had no certs. We worked for 2 of the most traffic sites in the last 10 years. If you have no experience, then degrees and certs help alot. Otherwise, it's all about experience.
Originally Posted by MrRoboto
Augment your technical training with some sort of project management training as well. Over time you will find yourself getting tired of 'getting your hands dirty.' Management of IT projects offers a good growth path for IT folks and can be very lucrative.
I agree with you about getting old. PM work can be very lucrative, but you're also one of the first few put on the chopping block when cuts come into play. Nothing really beats staying technical. If you "add" PM skills to being technical, then you are very valuable and not hated by the engineers you deal with.