Hill suggests sysadmins looking for gaps in the IT department and orient themselves to take advantage of the openings. "Companies aren't going to let go of an eager, adaptable and accountable employee," she says, "but sometimes employees have to remind leadership that that's who they are."
In place of employer-provided training -- which Hill agrees is hard to come by -- sysadmins should develop personal networks so they can develop mentor-apprentice relationships to learn about areas in which they're interested.
Change can be good
The need to change can actually be a good thing in the long run, Hill says. "The closer you get to the application layer, the closer you have to get to the business, and tech professionals who add value to the business are viewed in a different light." That "different light" can include a boost in salary, Hill says, noting that the overwhelming number of six-figure salaries in technology professions are be considered business-IT roles.
In the end, the role of the systems administrator is still a vital one, technologists and industry observers agree, but, as Topi says, "It's not going to be the same sysadmin as it was 10 or 20 years ago."
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