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Career suggestions from SQL Professionals

Greetings All,
I have recently relocated to NC from NJ where I worked at a university for 13 years. While at the university I was the Microsoft SQL DBA as well as the Web Administrator & User Support where I was in charge of a small set of databases ( less than 300 MB databases ) that were used as the back-end through ODBC to fuel the dynamic (Classic ASP) websites. I have experience with administration as well as writing multiple SELECT statements as well as STORED PROCEDURES to protect the sites from SQL INJECTION, but due to the size and the complexity there was no need to perform more sophisticated process on the servers other than the 3 migrations over the years and the small additions to add functionality. During this time I have also had plenty of experience designing and building ACCESS databases and reports in the department as well. Additionally in 2015 I earned a Masters in Library and Information Science degree.

I plan on becoming an Senior Microsoft SQL DBA as a career goal and I wanted some guidance from those that have already done it to make sure I am on the right track??? At present I am looking for a Junior SQL developer role to gain more experience with TSQL and report writing with SSRS , as well as SSIS AND SSAS if possible. I also am studying for the MCSE: Business Intelligence Certification 70-461. Any feedback this community could provide would be greatly appreciated.???

SSRS, SSIS and SSAS are not necessary skills to be a DBA. I have zero experience with SSAS. I have written a bunch of critical SSRS reports in the past, but I was using my developer hat at the time. I do have SSIS experience.

As you already have some DBA experience, I would probably be looking for junior DBA positions. Depending upon the actual work that you've done in the past, you may be able to swing an intermediate DBA job. The fact that the databases were less than 300MB is a concern though, so I'm thinking a junior DBA position would be the best fit.

The BI certification won't really help you on the DBA track, but it certainly has its merits.


Thank you for the feedback I will take this under consideration. The hurdle of translating my experience in the education sector to the private sector has been problematic because its not apples to apples. For hiring managers and consulting firms that may be problematic for them when they want may prefer a slam dunk candidate to fill the role. While I have been working with SQL Server since version 7 in 2002 so far they have jumped at the 13 years exposure and say great "obviously you want the higher position right?"

I feel as though overtime I can do whatever is required but I still need experience in the private sector to see first hand what the capacity that SQL is used. When interviewing you always want to lead with your best foot forward and focus on the positives but because of this 13 year exposure ( even though my duties were split into 4 separate job roles ) and smaller web backed database configuration there are many aspects that I didn't have to deal with like replication, intricate backup strategies, fine tuning of database monitoring because those things weren't critical to web function.

I agree with you that a Junior position , which are rare , would be the way to bridge the gap and acquire the onsite skills which are all I need to close the information gap. I have been doing research and have been aware of the DBA position branching out to many different specialties which I need to consider as this will be my career track for the next 10 plus years. Probably like you I will be "wearing multiple hats" and focus on my developer experience before the transition into the back-end administration pieces.

Just thinking out loud: How about a position in a small company where you will need to do "all sorts"? A company that was growing towards needing a Senior DBA might welcome someone in the interim to bridge the transition, and be prepared to pay for their training courses etc. Lots of experience to be had too.

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