Q

I know the old technologies; how can I learn the new ones?

I have five years of IT experience. In these years, I worked as a Visual Basic programmer for four years, as a

Web developer using ASP for six months and as an Oracle DBA for six months. Right now I am getting $50K per year. My current job does not provide me with any opportunities to learn new technologies and grow in my career. It is a support position involving very old technology. I am considering leaving this job and spending seven or eight months in training to learn the latest technologies. My main aim is to get a good salary and lay a foundation to hold key IT positions (like an architect) in future.

But I am not sure what training I should get. I narrowed my options to the following:

  1. Oracle DBA
  2. SAP technical consultant (ABAP, EAI, and Java-based expertise)
  3. SAP Oracle administration
  4. Basis administration

Could you please tell me which option would be financially more rewarding and help me get a job relatively soon in this market? Thanks a lot for your response.
Gosh, in terms of opportunities and pay, the SAP technical consultant probably ranks first, the SAP Oracle admin position second, the Oracle DBA third, and the Basis admin position fourth. Given your prior background and experience, it looks to me like it makes sense to stay on the Oracle track and pursue OCP-DBA certification on Oracle 10g to start with (which will leverage what you already know how to do and thus involve less initial effort and expense), while digging into what you need to study, learn and know to move more directly into the SAP space. It's really, really difficult to get the experience and exposure you'll need for SAP unless you work in an SAP environment.

If that's not already the case, as you work through the OCP-DBA requirements, you might also want to start looking for an Oracle job at a place where they also use SAP. That'll give you an important leg up in working your way up to SAP consultant status. Expect to take a few years -- probably three, five or more -- to work your way into this status; a lot of time, experience, effort and expense will be required along the way.

Good luck with your learning and career development adventures.
--Ed--

This was first published in September 2004

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