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To say that the past year has brought change would be a huge understatement. But politics isn't the only arena where change is taking place. The business sector has experienced drastic changes as well. Company priorities have shifted. The main focus for many organizations now is on keeping costs low and increasing efficiencies. In the meantime, competition is also heating up and therefore businesses are looking for new ways to outperform and outshine their opponents. They want novel approaches and fresh ideas and for many, the best answer to these challenges lies in new technology. Now more than ever before, businesses are looking to their IT departments as more than just the folks that keep the computers up and running. They know the value these individuals can offer and therefore want to be sure their organization has the best professionals the IT career field has to offer. However, with the current economy and job market conditions, they can also afford to be choosy. Tech personnel who are on the job hunt or those looking to advance the IT career need to keep their IT skills sharp.