Consult the expert - Worth learning Lotus R5 and AIX?

I am an IT contractor performing installation and upgrades mainly on desktops using Windows NT4 and 2000. I am considering...

I am an IT contractor performing installation and upgrades mainly on desktops using Windows NT4 and 2000. I am considering investing in training to move back into permanent employment. Do you think it is worth learning Lotus notes administrator R5 and AIX system administrator or should I be looking to train in something else?

Knowledge of Windows NT4 and 2000 continues to be in high demand across both the permanent and contracting sector and, as the year progresses, I would expect to see more companies choosing to migrate from older operating software to Windows 2000.

Consequently, your current skill set should provide continual employment in installation and maintenance whether you decide to continue with contractual work or look for a longer-term permanent position.

That said, it is important to be flexible in today's marketplace, and many more prospects are open to those who demonstrate a willingness to learn. If you are keen to retrain in order to improve your skill set, I would recommend training in AIX (IBM's version of Unix) over Lotus Notes.

Although Lotus Notes is still a popular technology, many companies now run Unix systems. This creates a constant demand for people with the relevant skill set.

Moreover, by pursuing a role as an AIX systems administrator you can expect to receive a larger salary compared to what you would receive as a Lotus Notes administrator.

Recruitment consultancies should be able to advise you on what training courses exist to help you make the transition should you decide to go for it.

Solution by Mike Berry, operations manager, Elan

The panel: Apex, MSB International, Best International Group, Computer Futures, Computer People, Elan, E-skills NTO, Monarch Recruitment, Reed Computing, Netheads Consulting

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