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Stay-at-home mom coming back after 2 years

I've been a stay-at-home mom the past 2 years and find my usual IT niche (SAS programming in medical research university or pharmaceutical settings) completely dried up in my area of the country (Indianapolis). I notice lots of ads for SAP professionals. Is that a viable training direction for someone like me? I have a M.S. in Management Information Systems from the University of Arizona (1987), worked for HP as a manufacturing systems programmer for 5 years, then started doing SAS programming when my husband's career started moving us around. My last position two years ago was as a SAS consultant at a major pharmaceutical company. I quit to take care of kids. Can you give me some advice on how to make myself more marketable in this tough IT climate? Thanks!
Well, for the most part, SAP is still a national market - meaning that you usually need to be willing to travel extensively to keep yourself busy on projects. Based on your question, I wonder if extensive travel is really the right thing for you right now. You may want to consider pursuing localized markets, such as working with Microsoft's small business solutions, or even web-based programming. There are quite a few publishing companies in Indianapolis - perhaps there is some industry-specific IT niche for you in publishing that would keep you local. As far as staying marketable in a tough IT climate, I address that often in my answers in this column. You might also want to check out the interview I did on SearchSAP.com recently. In that interview, I talked about how to make yourself less likely to be outsourced in a tight IT market. The direct link is: http://searchsap.techtarget.com/qna/0,289202,sid21_gci911767,00.html. Good luck!
This was last published in August 2003

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