Q

Staying marketable as a DBA

A SearchOracle.com member asks, "I do not use Oracle in my job as a Systems Support Specialist, so how can I continue my DBA career?"

I am a certified Oracle 9i DBA, OCP; have a BS in information systems and have at least 2 years of direct Oracle administration. I am currently working as a Systems Support Specialist. The organization where I work uses Microsoft and not Oracle products. I really need to continue my DBA career.

What is the best way to find a DBA opportunity? Should I seek a contract position and leave this permanent position? I thought of learning SQL Server to improve my marketability and also upgrading to 10g to keep up with new features. Is what I am doing worth the time?

Another tough one. Let me start by answering your question on finding opportunities. There should be no reason to have to contract, as there are literally thousands of companies in need of DBAs. Just do a search for "Oracle DBA" on Dice or Monster and you will find literally hundreds every day. While most may look like 3rd party contract positions, some will, in fact, be willing to make permanent placements.

As for career choice, if you truly want to stay marketable as a DBA, you should not wait too long to get back to it. If your situation warrants it, SQL Server DBA is a better path for you to take than System Admin, as a lot of DBA jobs out there are actually looking for both Oracle and SQL Server abilities.

Hope this helps.

This was first published in January 2008

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