Q

Is a jack-of-all-trades in demand?

I currently have 12 years of mixed experience (hands-on technical as well as managerial) on LANs and recently on

AS/400 (3 years). I currently am pursuing the AS/400 Sys Admin Certification. Will that help me in getting a manager's position? What is the current job scene? Are companies looking out for "Jack-of-all-trades" candidates or those with specialized focus areas?

Also Certifications! It's been proved that Microsoft's certifications carry weight (from a job, salary and recognition standpoint). Does the IBM AS/400 Sys Administration Certification carry the same weight? In terms of personal skill development, it does wonders, but what about the IT market? Does it benefit in terms of salary and job prospects? I am currently pursuing the IBM certification but don't really know it's standing in the IT market. Hope you can advise.


Yes, an iSeries Systems Administration Certification is very important. We are finding a shortage in this technical area even with the soft job market. The hardest hit seems to be with consultants, as they are finding it more difficult to find programming contracts. Not many consultants are "Systems Administrators."

Certifications prove valuable in the job market simply because computer departments are becoming so multi-platform and the more you know the more valuable you will be. A specialized focus will remain important, however, being a "Jack-of-all-trades" will get more attention than your competition.

Technical degrees and certifications will also prove valuable when seeking management opportunities. We remain cautious as it seems as though the masses are pursuing MS Certification faster the need is developing. Further education in the ever changing field of technology will always be important and besides ~ doesn't personal development translate to professional success!

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Check out the iSeries Career Center: Career resources.

And check out this Featured Topic: Career issues.


This was first published in November 2001

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