Changing careers: Network administration

I have loads of experience with TSO, JCL and Easytrieve Plus. But jobs that require those dinosaur skills are hard to find and, it appears, geographically undesireable. I really should gather some new skills. From what I’ve seen, network administration type jobs appear more frequently than TSO/JCL ones. What classes should I take to change careers?

Microsoft MCSE Track courses are helpful. If you can scare up some computer equipment and start building/breaking/experimenting with Windows Sys Admin-type stuff that will reinforce your learned skills and give you confidence. EMC SAN storage is gaining in popularity, as well. Exchange skills are desirable, but very difficult to master in a classroom.

That’s not a lot, but should keep you busy for the next 9 to 12 months. Good luck.

While you’re at it, learn Unix and Linux.

There are a lot of mixed shops, at least around here, and I would figure that there are quite a few of them in your neck of the woods also.

Script writing never hurts, either.

You’re looking at a field where you basically can’t ever stop learning new stuff, because the issues, problems, threats, and responses are constantly changing. I’ve been doing this stuff for almost ten years and every time something new happens, I have to learn about it.

Also keep in mind that a lot of pure “Network Administration” is being automated (by Identity Management Systems) or offshored to people who do it cheaper. It wouldn’t be the IT career move I’d be making right now.

(What I would go into is information lifecycle management, security, audit - i.e. the compliance fields).

Geographically undesirable? You mean they’re all in places that suck, like south Canton, OH or North Dakota?

And Orange County, CA.