By Alan Earls

detailed "scientific" survey data is lacking, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to show that storage-focused jobs are increasing in number as more and more enterprises begin to realize the critical role storage plays in their IT infrastructure. Visit or other recruitment sites and look at the high number of storage-related positions there.

Or take the example of Renee Dixon, high technology division manager for American Recruiters International, Inc., in Miami, Fla. Currently, she is trying to fill a slot for a storage area network specialist, which is "one of the most difficult positions I have ever had to fill," she says.

"It is something that requires exact skill sets, and the available talent pool is slim," she says. And, despite the fact that the employer is a top-ranked firm, "I still can't attract the right person," adds Dixon.

Brandon Schott, a recruiter at Columbus, Ohio-based Adecco Technical Services, reports similar concerns. He says demand is up across the board, but there is a specific increase in storage administration positions in his area. "I deal with a lot of companies, and whether they are startups or small companies, they all want a wide variety of skills."

"I think the reason there is a growth in storage is that companies are recognizing the value of data mining of customers and vendors," offers Houston Landry, a recruiter at Kenda Systems, Inc., in Dallas. Landry

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cites the example of Sears, Roebuck and Co., which has come to rely on data analysis to power its retail strategies.

"This is not, obviously, the only reason companies store data, but it's the easiest to graphically exhibit," says Landry. And, he adds, "Storing the data does come at a price." However, he adds, storage isn't perceived as being sexy in the way that Web jobs are now. "It may be a while before you see it become something as widespread and understood as some other technologies."

Earls is a freelance writer in Franklin, Mass.

This was first published in May 2000

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