Mailbag: Jumpstarting an IT Career After Twelve Years
I’m currently studying for Oracle certification. I am reading [name withheld] as well as your book Beginning Oracle Database 11g Administration: From Novice to Professional. I find that your book is more readable (and has fewer typos :o). I graduated with a Computer Science degree in the mid 90s but I have been out of the computer field for a dozen years. I was wondering if you can give me any advice on the best way to get a job working with databases. I chose Oracle because it is the most popular even though I have some experience with MS Access. I imagine I need to learn a few other languages as well as a database language to get a job. I’m also studying Java and PL/SQL, do you suggest any others? I hope Oracle certification will help get me a job. Perhaps I will have the answers to some of these questions by the time I finish your book so I apologize if that is the case.
C. [name withheld]
Thank you for the kind words. I apologize for the delay in my reply. I do believe that certifications are valuable. Your study efforts will be structured and disciplined. You will have something to show for the time and effort. You will differentiate yourself from the competition. I’m planning to obtain additional certifications myself.
You could attempt the Oracle Database: SQL Certified Expert and Oracle Database 11g Administrator Certified Associate (OCA) certifications. The SQL certification can be used to satisfy the prerequisites for the OCA certification but is valuable in its own right.
The Indeed.com search engine lists numerous junior or entry-level IT jobs all over the country but my best suggestion is to look for jobs that leverage other skills that you possess such as foreign-language skills. For example, Indeed.com lists numerous IT jobs that require proficiency in Japanese. I even saw a database administrator job that requires proficiency in Japanese:
Title: System Administrator/DBA with Japanese (speaking/understanding) experience
Skills: Japanese Speaking/Understanding, System Administration, Database Administration
Description: We are looking for some engineers with 3-5 years of experience in system administration or database technology. With this specific candidate, I would like to have someone who is fluent in speaking and written Japanese as well. (Japanese is going to be a must-have requirement). This position would need to interact with the Engineering team based out at Japan.
Best of luck in jumpstarting your IT career.