Storage demand puts value on "limited experience"

By Alan Earls

As the old proverb says, "in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king." That's just the situation now in storage-related careers, according to recruiter Thomas F.X. Licari, at MimEcom Corp., a San Francisco-based e-commerce outsourcer.

Licari says a combination of tremendous growth in demand for storage coupled with the low visibility of storage jobs and storage technology in general means that there aren't enough job candidates to go around. "This isn't like Java which has had tremendous visibility," he says. In fact, Licari says most savvy companies -- at least those hoping to fill several job openings-- are going directly to college computer science departments and recruiting. In many cases they even set up their own training programs, he adds.

But that only means that more experienced individuals -- even those with limited storage experience -- can carve themselves a niche in more senior storage positions. Specifically, says Licari, if you have other well-honed IT skills and] can demonstrate your ability to provide leadership, training, or mentoring, your value will go up significantly, even if your SAN knowledge is incomplete or your storage basics are a little rusty.

"Of course it is still important that you make efforts to strengthen your own skills," says Licari. The point, though, is that by helping to provide the broader IT experience and maturity which storage functions desperately need, you can

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leverage all your skills sets in an area that is extremely hot.

"Be ready to go with the growth," says Licari, "If you are aggressive and well put together you are going to find yourself on the fast track."

Earls is a freelance writer in Franklin, Mass.

This was first published in June 2000

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