Need career transition advice

By kpfreelance ·
It's been a while since I posted. The Cisco career never worked out (no experience, no takers; there weren't even any volunteer opportunities...)

After 15 years as a LAN/Desktop admin I'm looking to make a major transition to Web/Unix Systems administration. I've been with the same organization for 10 years; during that time, I enhanced my skill set by earning a Novell networking certification (CNE) and a Cisco certification (CCNA). Novell was phased-out in 2002 and the enterprise system was migrated to Microsoft Active Directory (Server 200x and Exchange). The day-to-day Windows server responsibilites were centralized to 3 senior technical staff members. My workgroups' responsibilites were reduced to Helpdesk and desktop support duties. I've networked with the senior techies, taken countless Microsoft infrastructure management classes, got the CCNA cert & vounteered for projects with little results. So on to a new track & exit plan:

The Internet/new media E-commerce industry has a limitless future. For the last year, I have been refocusing my career goals, to make a transition to Web/Unix Systems Administration. I have been receiving training in Unix Systems Administration, Internet/Intranet Technologies, Web Server concepts, implementation & support (Apache & IIS), HTTP, HTML and SQL Server Administration through a local community college. I'm also currently volunteering as a website content manager for a local non-profit organization.

I know the economy is in rough shape, but I really need to make a change.

I have come across some hopeful opportunites that have been posted by web hosting companies. I also thought I could get my foot in the door as a Jr. Unix Sys Admin, probably as a temp or contractor. (Do Unix/web helpdesk job roles exist? I'd be willing to start there...)

What are employers looking for? Aside from the new skills I'm learning and I have a plethorah of skills that are transferable.

Where are some other areas I can network with Internet/new media E-commerce industry pros? Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

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