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Dearth of IPv6-trained personnel could prove problematic as uptake grows

By Donna Donowitz
March 8, 2011
The increasing rate at which business IT departments are incorporating IPv6 standards into their day-to-day operations has suddenly placed a premium on IPv6-trained personnel as companies look to stay a step ahead of the competition, according to a report from Info World.

The University of New Hampshire's Timothy Winters, who manages the school's InterOperability Laboratory, told the publication he received weekly calls from headhunters and company reps looking to hire people with significant experience working with the IPv6 protocol.

"A lot of people are sending me job opportunities in the IPv6 space," he said in an interview, adding that the reason for this flurry of offers was "a lot of companies rushing as fast as they can to get IPv6 deployed in their products."

In the public sector, as well, IT managers are realizing that IPv6 is coming sooner, rather than later, according to Info World. The news source points out that a mandate from the Obama administration requires that all government websites accessible to the public and all online services must adopt IPv6 by September 2012 as part of a move to help reduce the need for network translation services that allow IPv4 and IPv6 systems to work with each other.

Given the demand, then, it's no wonder that students at Winters' laboratory have received job offers with graduation still months down the line, Info World said. According to the report, both entry-level and executive candidates with IPv6 experience are highly sought-after, and the number of online job advertisements asking for such expertise has shot up sharply in recent months. Some companies even require IPv6 experience for all new engineering hires, Info World said. Global Crossing has trained existing personnel in the system and imposed a requirement for a degree of familiarity with it on all new tech staffers.

ZDNet said recently that several large companies in the process of transitioning to IPv6 - including Yahoo and Time Warner, as well as telecom giants AT&T and Verizon - are big parts of the sharply increasing demand for IPv6-experienced technical staff. The demand could even grow stronger if more important players show an increased interest in transitioning their systems or expanding their offerings in the IPv6 market, the publication said.


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