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Very specific "Getting started in IT" question

By davidpat ·
-I'm 49 and looking for a career change (Please don't tell me not to go into'll be wasting both our times).
-I have been in telecom for the last 15+ years and so I have a tech background so it's not like I was selling suits and know nothing about technology.
-I just completed a class in Oracle SQL and and startng a class in Oracle DBA I and Network+
-I DO NOT have a 4 year degree I have a 2 year degree in Telecommunications Electronics

OK those are the facts...I know I'll have to start at the bottom at a MUCH lower pay scale...I ain't scared!

Am I on the right track?

Any suggestions as to what other classes I should take? (I know experience is the most important, but I have to have the education to get a job to get the experience!!!)

Any opinions on Oracle DBA?


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Start at the bottom if you like, but...

by aharper In reply to Very specific "Getting st ...

Don't sell yourself short! While you don't have a 4 year degree, you do have a lot of experience. The fact that it's electronics and communications is a plus.

Were I looking for an Oracle DBA, you'd be sending me a resume. I would much rather hire an older person (stable) with life experience and the ability to comprehend large systems (big picture) that some kid who has a degree.

What do I have against recent graduates? Nothing, but education in the US just isn't what it used to be. My company's foreign offices require state-mandated proficiency testing for American Degrees. While these countries don't trust US issued degrees, my guess is that if you consider yourself satisfactory, you'd pass these with flying colors.

The trick is convincing a potential employer, who may not know these things, that you are worth talking to. Find any and all aspects of the job you want that overlap your current skills and highlight them in your resume. Focus on smaller companies, you'll have more success and see the fruits of your labors.

That being said, have you considered working for yourself? I started over at 40 and built a loyal customer base that paid the bills (and then some). Expansion was inevitable, but opening branch offices in Europe and Oceania was a terrifying step.

Now, I am semi-retired at your age, and serve on the board of directors for a non-profit lobbying organization representing tech and small business to federal, state, and local government.

Here are the secrets: Believe you can. Constantly improve your skills. Learn from mistakes. Live outside your comfort zone. Reward yourself when you succeed. Remember the 10 shortest words of greatest power: If it is to be, it is up to me.

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You are on the right track

by daileyml In reply to Very specific "Getting st ...

Remember that in this economy one of the key assets an employer will be looking for it someone with multiple skills. The fact that you have re-trained and gained DBA skills, and have telecom experience, and that you have basic networking skills with that Network+ certtification means that your boss can ask you to lend a hand in multiple areas during project crunch times.

Your boss will see that he is getting a minimum of three skill sets for the price of one paycheck, and that is always a plus. Get your foot in the door somewhere, build on that experience, and you will be successful.

-Mike D

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As you know, a lot of big Telecomms use Oracle

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Very specific "Getting st ...

(add Sybase and you'll have near full coverage). On top of the domain knowledge, and basic life experience, all in all a well thought out career switch.

Not sure I'd be brave enough to do it myself, but given that was your desire can't fault the approach.

One of the key aspects of being a successful DBA, is to bear in mind (along with data integrity) how the data is going to be used. Having a lot of really well stored data, that people can't turn into information reasonable easily, is a waste of time in business.

I'd say Oracle Certs would be far more valuable in your position, than getting an IT degree. While the knowledge wouldn't hurt, four years out getting it would harm more than the benefit in my opinion.

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