What to specialise in. Young IT professionals are spoiled for choice. There are a hundred and one different IT applications out there from Identity Management, to Enterprise Resource Planning, to Customer Relationship Management, and a thousand and one other categories in between.
However, I doubt there’s enough time in the day to specialise in *all* these applications, let alone get experience to implement them successfully. And so, what to pick?
I think over-specialising in a particular application makes you like a peak athlete – great at what you do, not so great at anything else. If you’ve spent five years becoming the master in JD Edwards ERP, you’re probably not going to know too much about Siebel CRM, let alone Sun’s Identity Management Suite.
Perhaps it’s better to focus on specialising in a particular area of interest, whether that’s horizontally by knowing all about all the different Customer Relationship Management products, whether from Oracle, or Microsoft, or SugarCRM – or specialising vertically by knowing the chain of software used in a particular industry say a Telecommunications-specific version of Siebel, and Telecommunications-specific versions of Integration software, of Radio Frequency software etc.
One great thing is, most of this software is freely available for you to download and learn from. Sun’s Identity Management Suite is free (as in beer), Oracle’s Identity Management Suite is free (as in development license), and this is an increasing trend which is positive for students. So now there’s no excuse (apart from hardware) to go out, learn these products, and become paid one of these highly paid consultants!