Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mining the Big Boards for Information, I

One of my clients asked me recently to help him select from several additional qualifications he might obtain to further his career. My immediate thought was that I would probably have considerable difficulty gathering summary information to support any advice I might give. Beyond that, each combination of qualifications would likely imply a somewhat different career path, and only the client could decide whether that path would be suitable for him. It occurred to me to propose a technique by which the client could monitor a stream of data and accummulate the information he needs for himself.

Let's say that the client lives in Toronto and that he has already identified the following possible qualifications: CCIE, MCSD, CISSP and CBAP. We go to the advanced search page and complete it as shown here. Having pressed 'Find Jobs' we can choose either to get email updates or an RSS feed for the jobs that mention these qualifications.

When you start reading the series of advertisements that result from doing this you will gradually (or perhaps quickly) appreciate that the career paths associated with one or more of the qualifications are unsuited to you. In this case you should just request that the emails stop or abandon the RSS feed. Another possibility is that you will find that some qualifications are associated with other qualifications, as far as employers are concerned, and that those other qualifications are more, or less, sought after. You can adjust your study plans accordingly. It's also worth scanning entire advertisements for general information about employer expectations and the ways in which your career will fit within each industry.