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Is UNIX/Linux a Prerequisite

By aHuK ·
Hello all,

I'll take this opportunity to introduce myself, I am a 23 year old recent IT Graduate with commercial IT experience living in Scotland, UK at the moment. I have been visiting Techrepublic on and off for 1-2 years, but I've been to shy to post :-)

I'm in the process of trying to find an IT position but things look a little gloomy in the IT market. Something I'm seeing mentioned more and more is UNIX and Linux, usually with the words "UNIX and Linux desired/would be an advantage" etc.

I am very interested in the opinions of the more experienced professionals out there, would you consider UNIX/Linux skills a "must-have" or would someone like myself be better off concentrating my efforts in building up MS skills? Also do you think todays employer just wants as many bullet points on a CV as they can get (wanting a one-man, IT band).


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by timwalsh In reply to Is UNIX/Linux a Prerequis ...

What immediately comes to mind is the old saying "Jack of all trades, expert of none."

Unfortunately, what many employers want is "jack of all trades, expert of all as well".

I think what most employers really mean when they add "(name a skill) desired" to a job ad is that they either presently have in place are are anticipating adding a business process that makes use of those skills, but the process isn't a critical one (otherwise it would be an up-front requirement). It can and will be used as a discriminator between two potential employees that otherwise have similar experience/skill sets.

Going back to the "jack of all trades, expert of none", this comes about when one concetrates solely on acquiring a large variety of skills in different areas, but spends no time perfecting any of them. The obvious advantage to acquiring additional skill sets is that it increases your "saleability" and thus your options when job hunting. However, listing the skills without showing any experience in those areas will do you absolutely no good.

If you have already started acquirings skills in a specific area (i.e. Windows), I would contcentrate on first building on those skills and gaining experience before jumping to other areas.

You also need to determine which skills are in the greatest demand. If the majority of job offerings list MS skills as being required, but Unix/Linux skills as "nice to have", I would concentrate on the MS skills first.

Also realize that having a skill set, and having experience actually putting that skill set to ractical use, are two different thing. Employers want experience.

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by aHuK In reply to Skills

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I'll take that onboard and perhaps look to starting an MCSE now rather than later and as you say concentrate on that feild.


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