Over the weekend I received a wonderful email from one of my Linkedin contacts and I wanted to share it here as I think a lot of people could benefit from our email exchange.
He contacted me as he will be returning home from Iraq in May and very simply he wanted some advice. He asked me, in what areas of IT did I see the most demand? His goal was to do some research while he was still over there and look into classes and other programs where he could start building his skills.
Being in San Francisco, CA we have a unique view of the technology world, and there’s always something going on here whether it’s a networking event, a VC symposium or an office party at all kinds of technology firms. The opportunities are endless to talk technology and learn from some highly respected thought leaders, entrepreneurs and some of the best seasoned minds in the business. It really does give one a unique perspective to be here and I’m glad to pass on some of the things I see. Mostly, I was really thrilled to be contacted by someone who’s obviously been doing his part in getting Iraq back on it’s feet!
Here’s what I told him. Two technology winners still are mobile technologies and cloud computing or Software as a Service (SaaS). I believe, Cloud computing will offer more long term opportunities for success however as the mobile application development space continues to get overcrowded and there’s less room for growth (doesn’t it seem like every opportunity for mobile app development has already been addressed?) There are also a lot of directions one could go toward in SaaS.
I still see a lot of opportunities with Salesforce.com and just from my personal experience I get dozens of requests a week for various Salesforce skills. The opportunities are far and wide with small consulting firms, to the very largest ones like Tata Consulting or Wipro (In the last 2 weeks I’ve had lengthy calls with both these firms). There are also a lot of companies who hire independent Salesforce.comconsultants directly. Everyone needs help with it!
The thing about Salesforce.com too is the skills are not as hard to master as some others perhaps, and if you have implementation skills to customize, develop and/or administer Salesforce.com you can make a very good living! Additionally, you really don’t need to be a developer or have a lot of technical skills to take advantage of some of the opportunities out there. If you have a good understanding of the application and can do some fairly simple customizations and administer the application you can still make 6 figures or close to it. There’s a big payoff to have these skills because it’s still probably the fastest growing SaaS application out there and its pretty much ubiquitous in the business world now. Everyone is using it to manage their sales process and customers.
One thing if you were to go in this direction is you could become certified in Salesforce and it’s pretty affordable even if you pay out of your own pocket. There aren’t that many classes too, it’s pretty simple, and again fairly affordable relatively speaking (about 5k/class). You also don’t need to be certified to get jobs, but it is a way that many companies who are looking for help filter out implementation experts or administrators. It’s a great long term investment as there will be jobs for Salesforce skills for years to come because too many companies have adopted it as one of their core business applications.
Check out the Salesforce certification here:
Lastly, there was a recent article in Forbes about the the 5 Hardest jobs to fill in 2012: Software Engineers, Creative Design and User Experience, Product Management, Marketing and Analytics.
I hope this helps and good luck!