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Careers in Database Design and Administration

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As discussed in several IT articles, there are many career paths in IT that have two sides or descriptions to them. This is true of the area that is collectively referred to as Database Management as well. For the purposes of this article, this area will be referred to as Database Design and Administration, so that you can clearly understand the two major job roles that fall under this main technical area. There is a fine line between a database designer and a database administrator, which is due in part because of the opportunities in the database world to wear many "hats" at one time. One week you can be managing a database and the next be assisting with design as well as managing the database. In this particular IT field, there are no clear lines, but there is a difference between a designer and a administrator. Additionally, the larger an organization is, the more specialized your responsibilities will be, and the more likely it is that you will need to choose whether to emphasize database design or database administration in your career. There are also different types of databases. The most commonly used database systems are Oracle, IBM's DB2, SQL Server, Access, and dBase.

In this article, the difference between database design and database administration is discussed and factors such as job demand, qualifications and requirements, and the daily tasks for each are addressed.You'11 see that although they share similar roles and responsibilities, there is a definite difference in career paths between the two.You will see that they use the same software and programs to do each specific job, but that the day-to-day tasks each performs with the database are not precisely the same.

Before the details of those job roles are described, however, this article defines and discusses what a database actually is and what it's used for. A discussion regarding the job roles follows and the article then addresses three of the most commonly used database management systems-Oracle, DB2, and Microsoft SQL Server. Each section describes the specific management system, provides reasons for using them and what to use them for, and presents what the job demand is for a database professional working with that particular system. As in similar articles, each major section contains various resources, such as course and certification listings, book references, and online resources. Sections entitled "Jargon Buster" present definitions for some of the terminology most commonly used in the world of databases.

The end of the article invites you to review two on-the-job interviews. One interview directs questions to an experienced database designer, and the other interview presents the viewpoint of a support analyst. Rather than just working toward a job or career without any background information, it's always useful to talk to those in the field so that you can learn firsthand what the job (from their perspective) really entails.

The various articles run in a logical and sequential order, starting first with identifying training and certification issues before moving on to the preparations for job-hunting, such as resume writing and presentation. From there, the actual interviewing process is explored, including how to deal with technical interviews and avoid some common interview blunders.You learn how you can negotiate the best deal without underestimating your opportunities and market value, while at the same time having realistic expectations. Finally, you learn how you can keep yourself marketable so that when, or if, the time comes to move on you are still a valuable commodity.

How to Prepare for a Career in IT-In the IT field the basis of your skills must be learned and practiced before entering the workplace. The good news is that there is a broad range of educational opportunities available to assist you. We look at training in considerable detail, including the different training methods available and the benefits and potential drawbacks of each. We also examine the often mystifying world of certification.

Preparing for the Job Hunt-After you prepare for a career and the training is complete, it's time to go out and look for a job. With your qualifications, experience, and the right attitude, you are ready for work. Don't be fooled, however, into believing that the shortage of skilled IT professionals forces employers to lower their standards for employment as this is simply not the case. Most employers would rather go without than employ a liability. Preparation is the key.

Tlie IT Job Search-Will your resume go to the top of the pile or become lost in the recycle bin? There are aspects of job hunting that are specific to the IT industry. This section describes what is involved in an IT job search, including resources and information on where to look for the job, writing a resume for a job in IT, and the interview process. Recruitment agencies add their own little twist to the process, too.

Keeping That Job-After you have the job, you need to keep it. But how can you keep your boss happy, develop your own skills, and keep one eye on the job market all at the same time? It can be done-with a little help, of course.

Moving On-With new opportunities and challenges around every corner, it can be tempting to look around and think about moving on. As a second-time jobber, you have more choices than you did when you were first looking for work. New opportunities such as freelance or contracted positions may be a factor that you previously had not considered.

This article designed to provide you with information you need to realize your ambitions. If things work out, by the time you have finished your studies, this article will have served its purpose-that of helping you to secure a career in IT.
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