You have been using databases for a few years, and you think you are at the top of your game. Or, perhaps, you have been interested in databases for a while, and you think you did like to pursue a career using them, but you do not know where to start. What is the next step in terms of finding more rewarding education and employment?
There are two routes people normally take in order to make them more marketable and, at the same time, advance their database skills. The first, earning an IT or computer science degree, requires more effort and time than the second, which is completing a certification program.
If you do not have a science, engineering, or IT degree yet and you want to keep working with databases and IT for at least a few years, the degree would probably be worth the time. For that matter, if you already have an undergraduate degree, then perhaps a master’s degree would be the right choice for you? Master’s degrees typically only require three semesters of study, and they can really brighten up a resume. An MBA is a good option, too, if the idea of managing people instead of doing technical work suits your fancy. Your employees would probably let you touch the databases once in a while, too!
Many universities offer evening classes for students who work during the day, and the content of those classes is often focused on professional topics, rather than abstract or theoretical ideas that one would not regularly use while working in the IT field. Online universities like the University of Phoenix also offer IT degrees, and many busy professionals have been earning their degrees that way for years now.
Certifications, while quite popular and useful in the late 1990s and early 2000s, seem to be waning in their ability to make one marketable. That said, getting a certification is much quicker than earning a degree and requires a minimal amount of study if the certificate candidate already works in the relevant field.
The certification will also highlight a job applicant’s desire to “get ahead” and “stay ahead” in the field. It may not bump the applicant up the corporate food chain like an MBA might, but it could easily increase the dollar amount on the paychecks by five to ten percent or more.
If you feel like you could be making more money based on your knowledge of databases, exploring the degree and certification avenues of continuing education may be one of the best things you do for your career.
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