Dear Certmag: Commit to Job as Oracle Apps DBA or Diversify Skill Set?
I work as an Oracle Apps DBA. What do you think the future of an Oracle Apps DBA is? Do you suggest I stick with it, or should I learn some other skills to survive in this IT job market?
While no one can predict the future, we can make educated guesses based on trends and growths in the market. Oracle has been No. 1 for years and, based on growth trends, will stay on top for years to come.
That’s not to say everyone uses Oracle. A growing number of companies are using Microsoft SQL – not only as the stand-alone enterprise database, but as a part of other technologies such as SharePoint. It also offers better integration with other Microsoft products.
There are other alternative databases such as MySQL that are open source and offer cheaper solutions that fit into some business models. That’s why it wouldn’t hurt to acquire skills in other vendors’ DB products.
Technical skills are necessary however, developing soft skills also goes a long way. Skills and knowledge developed from certifications in project management (such as CompTIA’s Project+, Prince2 or ISEB Project Management) will help you and your company when it comes to projects of all sizes, from planning to migration and/or implementation.
In addition, there are certifications and skills gained from the ITIL v3 range. ITIL is the framework for IT Service Management and how it’s applied within an organization. Even though the ITIL is aimed at IT Services Management, the foundation level of ITIL is aimed at all levels.
Finally, keep up to date with Oracle’s technology. This should be high on your priority list, even before learning about other vendors’ databases, etc. ”
With Oracle’s continuing strong investment in acquisition-based growth, there’s plenty of fuel to look at a road map three to five years down the road. Most recently, Oracle bid $7.4 billion for Sun Microsystems, an acquisition that provides a base of tested and deployed applications on a variety of hardware platforms and operating systems.
Together with acquisitions of ClearApp, mValent and some other smaller players, Oracle’¢s utility computing and system management portfolios seem to be on track for continued growth.
In past years, this kind of growth has been expressed through feature expansion in the existing Oracle branded applications space by leveraging approaches to other systems that the previous application versions may not have included.
If anything, these new acquisitions (the acquisition of Sun Microsystems in particular) appears to position a strategy around supporting the core Oracle applications business, ensuring that Oracle has solutions for the complete life cycle of the customer business space. Oracle-based applications show no signs of disappearing.
If you’re motivated by the desire to diversify your skills, both SAP and Microsoft offer comprehensive solutions with potential job opportunities in emerging technologies in the near future.
In Microsoft’s Dynamics AX product line, becoming proficient in providing business intelligence development in the X++ language seems to be a rapidly growing market segment in terms of demand for learning products. That could be an excellent opportunity to diversify your skills into a heretofore lightly targeted area tha’s poised for high growth.
In my experience, bringing to the table a strong set of your specialization skills and experience in applying them will help get you in the door of larger companies.