A colleague pointed out a site that collects a lot of job posting data and exposes graphs - so I've taken a look and want to post on some of the graphs related to SQL Server.
How is SQL Server doing compared to some of the other big vendors like Oracle and MySQL? Not bad. It appears like the "market shares" in the job markets are holding steady, except MySQL has pulled ahead of Sybase in the last couple of years according to the data.
|"SQL Server", "Oracle", "MySQL","Sybase" Job Trends||"SQL Server" jobs - "Oracle" jobs - "MySQL" jobs - "Sybase" jobs|
I've embraced the SQL Server platform, and I'm comforted a little that job trends seem to look good. The same can't be said of my old friend FoxPro.
Let's take a look at versions. January of this year (2009) looks like a real turning point for SQL Server 2000. It looks like shops have gotten serious about moving to 2005 or 2008 and are looking for people with the experience to help.
|"SQL Server 7.0","SQL Server 2000", "SQL Server 2005", "SQL Server 2008" Job Trends||"SQL Server 7.0" jobs - "SQL Server 2000" jobs - "SQL Server 2005" jobs - "SQL Server 2008" jobs|
That said, It looks like DTS is still a notable technology within SQL Server even though it's dropping some this year. Some of the other technologies like SSIS, SSAS and SSRS are trending up significantly.
It's good to know T-SQL. I'm particularly fond of it. It's good to know SQL in general. Employers still don't seem to be differentiating explicitly between set-based and procedural coding with SQL - but the mention of "set-based" is trending up.
Going along with the uptrend in SSIS is that of ETL (Extract, Translate and Load). There's significant growth in job postings for ETL in the last year.
Let's have a look at roles for a minute. The DBA role remains very popular - perhaps due in part to the succinct acronym. The Database Developer is on the map, too - but still the differentiation hasn't taken off in job postings yet - apparently. With the creation of a separate MCTS certification for database development which Microsoft has created, perhaps that will change soon.
It would be nice to dig more specifically into the stats just relating to database-related jobs. Unfortunately, the data we're looking at can't offer a clear look at trends for things like "CLR" or "Indexes" or "Oslo" or "MVC" - due to usage outside of databases. Too bad.
Now, what one does with data and information is ones own choice. That's the main caveat. Take Cobol for instance. It's out there in significant quantities still - and there's current job postings that mention it. The trend is down - but for some, that doesn't matter. Specialists in legacy technologies like Cobol can pull in good contract rates - and presumably they can side-step the need to learn so many new technologies.
Others see the trends in technologies like jQuery and Silverlight - and get excited to be an early-adopter.
Some like to take job trend information and look for opportunities to make extra money - jumping on hot trends. Others just take note of the trends for the technologies of their choice and focus more on being the best at what they prefer to do. Others want to gauge the potential return on investment of some expensive training course before they invest the money for it.
I think based on the job posting trends shown here, there's legitimate justification to ramp up on the newer versions of SQL Server and seek training and certification. Note that MCTS is up.
That said, here are some resources for learning, training and certification in SQL Server-related technologies: