Career opportunities for Novell engineers look promising

ITworld.com |  Business

Most people considering vendor-specific certifications think of Microsoft and Cisco
first. Both certifications are certainly valuable, and because Microsoft and Cisco are
pervasive throughout the industry, knowledge of both vendors' products is a major
asset. At one time, however, Novell dominated the network, and anybody with a Certified
Novell Engineer (CNE) certificate was in high demand. Is this still the case? NetWare
is no longer the number one network operating system. Windows NT, Unix, and, more
recently, Linux have edged into this market.

But Novell is far from dead. The difference is that NetWare now often exists in an
enterprise alongside other operating systems. In a corporate environment that is
increasingly multivendor, the job-seeker who shows up at the door with a CNE and an
MCSE will be the one who is most valued. "I think even Novell began to realize that
it's multivendor," said Ernie Baker, director of education services at AlphaNet, a full-
service IT company providing vendor-authorized training (see the href="#resources">Resources section below for more info). "The value of the Novell
certification is in conjunction with a whole lot of others, simply because Novell has
such a large installed base. No one throws out the baby with the bathwater on a
conversion."

Companies that hire CNEs tend to be larger and more complex, both in terms of scope
and mix of operating environments, according to a recent IDC report
entitled "Evaluating the Benefits and Market Perceptions of Novell Certification." The
report states that organizations with Novell-certified staff support a greater number
of operating system environments. Further, companies with Novell certified staff have
more employees on average and approximately twice the number of sites, LANs, and
dedicated servers than organizations with no Novell people on board. For example, most
organizations running NetWare also have Windows NT Server installed, and half also run
Unix. The report, which is based on a survey of 200 organizations, showed 135 of the
200 having at least one employee with a Novell certification.

The report indicates that respondents view a Novell certification not as mandatory,
but "as a preferred characteristic in their employees." Two-thirds of respondents said
that certification plays a role in selection of outside service firms or
subcontractors, and one-third said they would only work with firms that have Novell-
certified staff.

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