> What do companies/managers really look for in a candidate?
Well, aside from the usual stuff that any employer would expect, you
should probably be well-versed in current technology (whatever's
trendy this week) and show initiative in learning new technologies.
Quote:> Is the Bachelor's really that important?
Probably not. Depends on the company. If you have the experience, or
have demonstrated knowledge, you should be OK.
Quote:> How can I get my foot back in the door?
Well, I hate to say it, but now is really not a good time. The job
market is still in quite a bit of turmoil (though there are
*occasional* signs of improvement). I signed on with $COMPANY right
at the very end of the "dot.com boom" (end of 2000), when things were
just beginning to go to hell. All I had to do then was post my resume
and was immediately bombarded with calls from headhunters. I *still*
get the occasional call, but only very rarely.
In your case, you had 8 years experience, but that was 9 years ago.
In this field, dramatic change can happen in the space of a few
months. I would suggest you start reading all the trade journals
(SysAdmin magazine, for starters), check out the web sites related to
unix admin (there are boatloads of them), and even check out the
linux-kiddie sites (slashdot). If you don't know Linux, learn it. If
you don't know FreeBSD, learn it. If you don't know Solaris, learn
it (good work on your Solaris training, which you mentioned, but make
sure you're current). Right now, Solaris and Linux are the big
players. FreeBSD is moving up there, too. To a lesser extent,
HP-UX and AIX.
You may also wish to read up on Windows 2000, Active Directory,
M-Sexchange [sic], and brush up your networking skills.
At the lower level, be familiar with SAN technology. It's fast
becoming very popular. Veritas products are a must in such
Oh, and know LDAP, too.
In general, I could go on for days describing the things you need to
know about, but they will vary widely from one company to the next.
To be as brief as possible, one rule applies: be as well-rounded as
If possible, find yourself a lower-level (junior) unix admin position
for a while just to reacquaint yourself with technologies and how
things are done down here in the trenches. Sure, you may spend a lot
of time changing tapes and debugging desktop user problems, but how
else to learn?
One other thing: a slight bit of insanity may be required. If you
don't have it now, don't worry - it'll come in time :)
Good luck, and I hope all this helps somewhat.
1) Insert bullet
2) Place gun to head
3) Pull trigger firmly until you hear a loud bang.