Last night I recieved an email from an IT professional, looking for some career advice when it comes to learning about virtualization and how to get started. I won't post the original email, but I am posting my response.
First off, thanks for reading! It's always cool to see there is someone out there finding useful information. Thanks for the compliments, but I will preface that I'm in my "late" twenties, hah. I still have a long way to go when it comes in terms of my career. I won't lie and tell you that I know everything, heck, I still need career advice. :) But I'll try to give you some insights into where I see the industry trending.
Looking at your background, I think you would be a great candidate to start learning about virtualization. I started my career off in 2006 when I graduated college, working at a marketing firm and doing basic help desk stuff. I did that for a while and found out that helping end-users isn't the most fun in the world. I buckled down, got my CCNA, and wanted to get into networking. I was at my first company for 2 years, then I left to take a network engineer position at my last company. I was in charge of the whole network (5 cities, 250 users, 80 servers) and they threw me into virtualization. I'm so glad they did. They sent me to the fast track course for ESX 3.5 and I went and took the VCP3. While I was there, I focused on infrastructure and moving forward. I optimized the network, cleaned up the virtual environment, and had the place sitting pretty for a while.