Companies need good skilled employers with experience, good old hands on. I know a few companies that would pay a high dollar for a experience system operator. If you are good at RPG or COBOL, and you have experience, that would help.
If you focus on the technical/hardware side please keep in mind that the power platform can be virtualized to support i, AIX, & Linux OS’s. If you have the time branch out to pick up experience with the other supported operating systems.
I love my i just as much as the next Systems Admin but it’s a lot harder today than 10 years ago to find AS400 heavy shops. And having skills that translate over to other environments will make you more desirable.
It really takes a lot of knowledge in a lot of different areas to be a good technical person. That includes all the areas of database administrator due to it’s built in fully relational database whether you are using physical and logical files or more modern SQL tables and indexes. Also you need to know Control Language programming (CL), RPG, COBOL, PHP, Java or C++ as well so you can talk to the programmers in their language as well as security and all back office packages including backup and recovery packages and or IBM commands, HTTP web servers, TCIP including Telnet, FTP, ODBC and job schedulers etc. This is not to say that just knowing programming is easier as most small shops you are both the programmer and administrator/DBA so you must know and be proficient at most of these along with good understanding of the old and new functions to keep the old systems maintained that the business relies on each day to run the buisness plus the new features so you can move them forward on the best hardware platform so they stay on the best platform ever devised.
Hope this helps
One thing to be said for the technical/hardware side is that unlike DBA or programming work it can’t be done by somebody on the other side of the world who will work for a dollar cheaper. I think there is more long-term security in a position that requires on-site, hands-on expertise.
“RIGHT ON” Rbogar