IT Professionals Must Leverage Transferable Skills

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<strong>Westport, Conn. &mdash; Feb. 10</strong><br />The recession is heightening competition for a dwindling number of IT jobs while exerting downward pressure on compensation. Many IT professionals, both employed and unemployed, are considering changing careers but are naturally concerned about wasting their investment in their education and experience. <br /><br />This concern could be dispelled by reading <em>Debugging Your Information Technology Career</em>, which features 20 alternative fields in which computer professionals&#39; technical knowledge could be advantageous. An added bonus: Most of these fields offer strong protection from both offshoring and recessions.<br /><br />Author Janice Weinberg is a career consultant formerly with IBM and GE, whose IT background enabled her to identify the 20 careers. While most of them aren&#39;t usually thought of as computer jobs, computer proficiency is a key qualification for success in each. For example:<br /><br /><ul><li>An architect&#39;s knowledge of best practices in systems design would be a strong asset in a technology due diligence position.</li><li>A software engineer who supported CRM applications would bring desirable qualifications to the technology partnership function of a company marketing CRM software.</li><li>A NOC manager who upgraded a change-management function would bring a valuable customer&#39;s perspective to a role as a change-management software product manager.</li><li>A network security administrator should perform well as an underwriter responsible for reviewing applications</li><li>for cyberliability insurance policies. </li><li>An application development manager would bring highly relevant experience to a position as a professional</li><li>liability insurance broker serving the computer industry.</li><li>A business analyst who guided logistics staff in defining their IT requirements could parlay that experience into a position selling logistics software.</li><li>Any IT professional who can assess the commercial potential of new computer technology could qualify for a</li><li>position as an equity analyst covering the computer industry.</li></ul><br />Most of the careers can be entered without further education beyond a bachelor&rsquo;s degree in a computer-related discipline. Several &mdash; for example, business continuity planner &mdash; require a certification. Some readers may be motivated to become forensic accountants, health care administrators or technology attorneys. Many of the fields can be springboards for new consulting practices or new revenue sources for established consultancies.<br /><br />As Weinberg describes each career, readers will:<br /><br /><ul><li>Realize why computer expertise is an advantage in delivering top performance.</li><li>Be able to imagine themselves in the field by reading the hour-by-hour typical workday.</li><li>Understand whether a recession could undermine job security, while learning strategies for minimizing or avoiding any negative impact.</li></ul><br />Although most of the fields are quite insulated from offshoring, where vulnerability exists, Weinberg suggests<br />actions to reduce one&#39;s exposure.<br /><br />The Information Sources section in each career chapter will ensure that readers who want to pursue opportunities in the field don&#39;t overlook useful resources.<br /><br />Readers will learn which of the careers offer opportunities for building consulting practices. They&#39;ll also learn<br />job-hunting strategies tailored to specific fields, including guidance in:<br /><br /><ul><li>Selecting those aspects of their experience to highlight in their resumes and interviews for greatest impact.</li><li>Using their knowledge of particular organizational functions and industries to find employers engaged in</li><li>related businesses.</li><li>Identifying the appropriate executive to contact, which may reflect an organization&#39;s size and other factors.</li></ul><br />While there are many books providing IT career advice, Weinberg&#39;s gives new meaning to the term "computer job," demonstrating that an IT professional&#39;s knowledge constitutes precious currency in a world dependent on computer technology. <br />

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