It’s a great time to be a VI admin. So many career paths. So much opportunity. That was the clear message I got in a recent series of one-on-one conversations with global IT pros that are either currently VMware virtualization infrastructure administrators (VI admins) or started their IT journeys that wayTheir career advice and insights are captured in our new The Virtualization Professional’s Career Guide.  

Among the biggest takeaways: Being a VI admin is an ideal launching pad as well as a fulfilling lifetime technology careerThose in the role are leading all kinds of important digital initiatives, including: 

  • Data center modernization 
  • Full-stack domain management 
  • IT architecture 
  • DevOps  
  • Cloud operations 

And VI admins are helping to accelerate IT efforts particularly during this tumultuous time as their organizations respond and adapt to new customer and employee expectations 

 Skills Expansion 

The VI admins I spoke with said they’ve had doors opened because of their backgrounds in virtualizationThey believe that once they knew everything about how an organization’s digital foundation works, from the inside, they were able to help others add the capabilities and integrations needed for true digital transformation. 

Being a team player, they told me, includes getting to know the ways colleagues operate today then understanding the organization’s vision and what IT can do to help it get ahead and stay competitive into tomorrow. For example, with cloud or DevOps. 

I was particularly happy to hear one VI admin say, Wherever you want your career to take you. VMware is there.” And that’s why we wanted to share some of the ways compute virtualization skills burst into other IT areas: 

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Attributes and Networks 

As well as technical chops, the VI admins I talked to pointed out that some key personal attributes also were important career success factorsSpecifically, being curious and staying up to date as well as learning about emerging tech areas from industry leaders and vendors alike. Because so few employees have spare time these days, one VI admin advocates the certifications path he’s taken to stay current. 

The new guide features a skills checklist, learning paths and lessons learned as well as the names of communities and tips that have helped boost VI admin careers. Here are three of my favorites from our conversations:   

  • Prioritize learning. It shows you’re curious, goal-oriented, and have a growth mindset. 
  • Get to know your colleagues in complementary organizations—modern app developers, cloud architects, and security pros. 
  • Regularly communicate with other VI admins and VMware to help you roadmap for change.  

If you’ve never attended a local VMUG or looked through VMTN (VMware’s go-to community resource connecting over three million VMware customers and enthusiasts in 100+ forums), the experts I talked to will tell you that you’re missing out. But don’t take my word for it.  

Download the guide to read their stories and advice. Or view a replay of today’s VMUG session here.