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SDN Experts: Needed.

Oct 29, 2014

Dan Pitt discusses the emergence of SDN skills certification programs and the future of the IT pro. 

My most recent contributed article for InformationWeek addresses the role that SDN education and skills certification will play in the network transition. Below is an excerpt from that piece, and the full article can be found here.

Given the changing landscape in networking, you might (and should) be asking what you can do to match your knowledge, skills, and abilities to industry demand. The push toward software-defined networking (SDN) will require a diversification of skills to stay current. Perhaps that is exactly what you are considering -- building on your knowledge by furthering your education.

If so, you're in great company. According to Tech Pro Research's recent report, "The Future of IT Jobs: Critical Skills and Obsolescent Roles," 77% of respondents plan to further their IT education to avoid their skills becoming obsolete. A majority of respondents (57%) are planning to earn IT certifications within or outside of their current job roles. Ten percent are looking into adding a Bachelor's or Master's degree in IT, and another 10% are planning to get a non-technical degree.

The results of this survey also stave off media reports of the possibility of IT jobs disappearing due to technical advances. According to the report, increased complexities are creating new opportunities and generating demand for skilled IT professionals. Emerging SDN technologies will continue to provide opportunities for both current workers and new workers with an interest in getting into the field. IT roles and skills will continue to evolve as networks evolve.

While it is extremely important to note that skills add to the value of an IT professional, the focus of those skills is equally important. For an engineer, it will be essential to acquire technical and engineering-level knowledge of SDN technologies, architectures, and deployment solutions (and ideally add software skills).

By fully grasping the concepts of SDN and gaining additional knowledge pertaining to the industry, network engineers will not only be able to fulfill their job functions, but also be well-versed on the entire network and be in a position to help their employers understand the benefits of SDN. At the same time, an entry-level IT, sales, or marketing professional may require a basic understanding of SDN technologies. The bottom line is that developing the right background for the right job is necessary when adapting to the new SDN environment.

To read more, check out the article on InformationWeek.

- Dan Pitt, Executive Director

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