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Data center jobs – getting slightly better

The job situation for IT staff seems to be getting better, if only by a hair. That’s the take away from one of the recent Advisory Board questions I answered, along with others on the board. Most of the folks, including myself, also gave advice on “standing out,” or differentiating yourself as we’d say in marketing, like this advice from Robert Crawford:

I advise college students to avoid graduating as a commodity Java programmer. Offshore companies have plenty of those. Instead, develop a specialty, such as database administration, networking or security. If you don’t mind hanging around with old people, you might develop some mainframe skills, which are rapidly becoming rare as the baby boomers retire.

Part of my answer goes over carving out a “fief” for yourself in IT:

A new fiefdom has been created with virtualization. It exists right alongside database, security, server, application, Windows, Linux and Unix. If you can wangle yourself in there, you have a lot of empty space on the organization chart to start winning points and advancing. There’s all the usual ways of advancing of course, but I’m also seeing a new path emerge — managing a company’s [Software as a Service] (SaaS) offerings. For example, some companies provide SaaS versions of their software, which entails a lot of operations assistance to deliver and maintain. Being part of your organization’s mobile offerings is, more or less, another face of that. IT, as always, is ever-changing, and if you get typecast into one silo, once that silo is “optimized,” you’re in trouble. Always seek to learn new things that your organization can use to make new money, or at least be an active part of saving money, not a consequence of cutting costs.

There’s lots of good input on the current job market for IT folks (in the US, at least) and advice on getting and securing IT jobs in the piece – check it out!

Also, there’s two other Advisroy Board pieces out you might like: Asset management tools in the modern data center and Making time for IT planning.

Categories: Systems Management.

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