I need your advice. Some background: I am a 35 year old career changer. To date I have a BS in applied ecology, worked in my own small business for many years, and spent the last 2 years as a day trader. While a day trader, I also did PHP/MySQL web develoment here and there, amassing the equivalent of a total of 6 months experience in it.
My day trading techniques no longer work because of decimalization. I want to get an IT job. I passed the DBO test but it seems pretty much useless for getting a job. I have passed 4 of 5 8i DBA track tests, but am wondering if getting my OCP is even going to help me -- given not only do I have no Oracle experience, but not much general IT experience, and my degree is in a science discipline, not IT.
So any suggestions? I can't do a very long unpaid internship, as I need to support myself, unless the internship allowed me to work in the evenings and on weekends. I could volunteer on the weekends? but does anyone have work on the weekends? It seems like that approach will take forever to gain much experience. And in the mean time I still need a job. I have been watching many internet job boards and company website job listings. While there are huge numbers of Oracle listings seeking people with experience, I have yet to see a single help wanted for an entry level Oracle position, so it seems such jobs are not advertised. Certainly they must exist though?
Perhaps with enough networking and a lot of luck I could land some entry level Oracle job. But it seems unlikely. So I am wondering what other, lower level job should I pursue to position myself to hopefully eventually move into an Oracle entry level job? Is there any certification I can go get where I will have a higher chance of getting a job with no experience, just certification? And then hopefully get such a job where they have an Oracle shop so that I can volunteer with them on the side and position myself to move into any entry level opening? Thus meaning I'd want to find a company that had a large Oracle shop so that there would a higher probability of an entry level opportunity surfacing?
Any advice you can provide would be deeply appreciated....
You're right, DBO certification is relatively worthless.
I've said this a hundred times before; DBA is not an entry level job. Yes, there are people who have done it (And I've already heard from you so don't email me again). However, the vast majority of DBAs have significant IT industry experience before they become a DBA.
If I were in your position, I would try and market myself as a web developer with knowlege in the financial markets. If you really want to eventually get into the DBA role, I would find a company that has a large Oracle shop and get my foot in the door as a developer. Once in, I would get as much experience with Oracle as possible while making contacts with the appropriate DBAs and expressing interest in moving up someday.
IMHO, The fact that your degree is in a science discipline and not a technology discipline does not hurt your chances for an IT job.
Also, which lower level jobs would be best for me to pursue given I eventually want to be an Oracle DBA or database architect / data modeler. Something in networking? programming? If you were going to hire a new entry level person to work in your Oracle shop, and the person had OCP DBA certification, but no experience, what other (preferably lower closer to entry level) skills would you want to see on that person's resume?
Jeff is right !!!! There are no position open for Oracle DBA entry level. From my best exprience, you would have to find some other positions and work yourself toward to Oracle DBA. If you raise the question, which course or position can lead you to ORacle DBA position, I would say noone knows unless that person whoever talked to you can guarantee a job in their company. I see many people who was victimized by many different schools about job searching or you make above $50k when you got out, that's all bulllll........
The only way I would think and advise you that try to find something in any computer as a developer or programmer such as PL/SQL will be the perfect way to lead you to Oracle DBA. Ceritfication doens't mean much nowaday, it help in a way but experience is count plus you have to know Oracle in order to land a job as an DBA.
You are absolute right. DBA is a very important job and Data Modeling is the highest challege for DBA. I work as a programmer for over 15 years. I had been working on MS SQL Server for 10 years and also I had been use ODBC to connect to Oracle for data processing and reporting. I just got my OCP certified and I had been working in NT4/NT 2000 for over six years. I am learning Sun Solaris now. but I still do not know can I get a DBA jobs. Of Course based on my general IT experience and Relational data base knowledage I got from MS SQL Server and IBM DB2. I still want somebody tell me do I qualify the apply any DBA jobs. So I recommend the programmer is a good way to start a IT career as long as you can DEBUG the program. You may get a job. What is the big missing when a person got a lot of general IT experience include other relational data base(MS SQL and DB2), but NO REAL ORACL DBA experience?
What about SQL Server? Since it is often used in smaller firms, and therefore used in a larger number of firms -- and also since it might be used for less mission critical applications, do you think someone could get a SQL Server job with only certification and good communication skills?
It is correct that you tend to move into being a DBA rather than getting a job as a DBA up front.
I was restructured into being a DBA. At the time the company would have been better hiring a contractor to help for 6 months, but they were in chainsaw mode so completely missed the boat.
Having talked to a lot of DBAs most got their because the role was dumped on them or they were volunteered, very few actually asked to become a DBA. Maybe that has changed as the company i work for now, 6 people have asked me how to become a DBA. I think people look at experienced DBAs and see stability and fast dbs (I can dream ) and believe the job is easy and risk free and relatively well paid, and overlook the risks involved and all the proactive work that goes into having a well tuned system.
You know why experience counts? It was reinforced by the trainee DBA here. I have gone thru the basic day-to-day stuff and recovery scenarios and they are happy that they understand. The day i mentioned i was going on leave they became *$#! scared that they wouldn't be able to handle it, what is essentially a ultra stable database environment. Experience -> Confidence. My next step is get the trainee to do the same stuff over and over until they are familar and they are confident in their ability to perform these basic tasks.
Looking at your skills.
Detailed Financial market knowledge
I would send your resume to the major financial companies, including brokerages, fund managers etc. Join their technical staff and if you still want to be a DBA ask the HR to organise it.
The alternative would be use all that experience and set up your own website business. Why not apply the ecology to financial markets? write a newsletter with a new technique. Have about applying ecology to a new business model?
A unrelated question: How did decimalisation kill the day trading? were u a scalper? is that the whole story???
What is the big missing when a person got a lot of general IT experience include other relational data base(MS SQL and DB2), but NO REAL ORACL DBA experience?
This is probably the most interesting discussion in DBASUPPORT. Most of the thoughts are about practical experience. I would like to mention the importance of theoretical experience.
You mentioned above about the "relational databases MS SQL and DB2". According to Codd's 12 rules a DB is a relational DB if it satisfied all Codd's 12 rules. A point is given if the DB satisfies a rule completely, 1/2 point if it satisfies it partially and 0 point if not at all. Oracle8 gets 8.5 points, more than the other relational data bases (MS SQL and DB2). Oracle 7 for example satisfied only rule 10 completely!
I have noticed that many people working with the RDBMS Oracle do not know even what realtion is! Not that you can not drop a table or grant select on EMP to Scott if you cannot define the concept of a relation but still I would employ somebody with the necessary logical, set-theoretical knowledge and teach him Oracle than hire a guy who has been using Forms or Reports for a couple of years.
So your college degree is not useless. You learn in those computer science and math theoretical courses the fundamentals of logic, algorithms and set theory that will help you understand in the long run Oracle better than the people with keyboard experience.
With such developers or junior DBAs you can use words like Cartesian product, hash function, etc. without wondering if they inderstand what you are saying.
You don't master Oracle only with experience, you need the background for becoming a good DBA. An average DBA: it is full of them....
Finally: OPC does not make you a DBA. It confirms the fact that you a good DBA.
OPC with experience though is much better than a OPC with no experience.
All that doing the OPC exam proves (without experience) is that you can pass an exam.
How many different subjects do you do at school and uni which you pass the exam but the knowledge is not applied and therefore is lost or remains dormant.
My policy is i will do the OCP exam if a prospective employee gives the job to an OCP DBA in preference to me.
I believe my long and varied experience is more important then a piece of paper, it proves i can do the job.
When i first started out to get into IT, i had to actually had to do unpaid work, get a reference and use that as proof of experience. Even as a graduate, employers wanted at least 6 months of commerical experience.