Virtualization Job Openings Jump 40%

VMware-related knowledge and skills are more in demand than ever, according to IT job board Dice.

It's hard to read two sentences in a technology magazine these days without bumping into the word "virtualization" or the company name VMware.

VMware has gained attention by simultaneously creating new desktop standards, supporting disaster recovery, looking to the midmarket and increasing revenues 69 percent.

Now IT job board Dice has announced that in the last six months, it's seen postings for jobs requiring experience with VMware products surge 40 percent.

"The numbers have grown significantly," Tom Silver, senior vice president of marketing and customer support at Dice, told eWEEK.

Silver attributed the growth in job postings in this area to companies realizing that there are significant cost savings associated with virtualization, coupled with the move to make data centers greener, as they require less resources to run more quickly and cleanly.

Companies besides VMware, which once had the market largely to itself, have also taken notice of the trend, with Citrix Systems, Microsoft, Red Hat, Sun and Oracle also focusing heavily on virtualization technology.

Silver said he sees jobs in this are as an ideal career move for a programmer or project manager.

"A programmer who is interested in learning more skills and helping to improve efficiencies would be great for a job like this. Project management continues to be one of the most in-demand skills, and coupled with programming knowledge or virtualization experience, there is even more opportunity," Silver said.

However, Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff said he feels that virtualization is such a buzzword these days, there's a lot of confusion as to what it actually is.

"Everyone is calling everything virtualization these days. Though actual virtualization has had a big spike in interest, too, and I have no doubt that the demand for people who have worked with VMware [has] gone up by a lot, it still may turn out to be a little over-hyped," Haff said.

Haff also argued that virtualization work is less on the developer side of the house, and more operational in nature.

"The job is about knowing how to implement and optimize, with a strong knowledge of Windows Server, SharePoint or Citrix Presentation Server. It's much more about specific applications, ways of thinking and rolling out these applications," Haff said.

Either way, it appears that many IT professionals are already undertaking virtualization tasks. Forty percent of job seekers polled by Dice said they had "virtualized a significant number of servers and services" in the last year and another 10 percent reported plans to do so in the next 12 months.

"Primary programming skills, Java being the biggest one-which are still the biggest part of our job listings-have remained relatively flat in the same period that VMware listings have jumped," Silver said.