"Are there good job opportunities? " Salesforce is a multi-billion dollar company growing at an amazing pace featured in the top 10 fastest growing companies in the US. There are really few number of salesforce consultants. I believe that cloud consultants are really well compensated in the industry. Check out monster jobs and business week and search for Salesforce, don't feel surprised if there is a lot of requirement. I guess that will give you a fairly good idea of how the opportunities are like.
"How is this platform different ?" Salesforce.com is an innovative business model in itself. Think about yourself running a small company. You will either be selling products or services. You want to be professional branded and look like any other company offering high quality professional service. Now you need a CRM to do that (CRM -Customer Relationship Management). You cant afford to go buy Servers, Software costing a million dollars and managing the whole ecosystem. The business owner would think, "I wish I had all this at fraction of cost." This is what exactly salesforce is doing, all you need is a computer with internet and a browser. The licensing model is per user per month. That is a miracle come true for any business owner.
You can buy as many licenses when you need to scaling up, at the same time you can cut down on the licenses when you dont need them. The flexibility you get is amazing. Choosing Salesforce.com is a no-brainer now for any small to mid-size companies. (5 to 500 users). There will always be many Small and mid-size companies sprouting up, they all need CRM . Once they would like to go beyond and build their own apps on the platform, they can do so on salesforce.