Degree

  • dba92081

    SSC Eights!

    Points: 934

    How important is a Computer Science degree for a DBA or Database Manager position? I've been a DBA for 5 years now. My bachelor's degree is non-computer science related. I am considering going back to school to improve my career status with prospective employers. I'm not sure if a Bachelors in Computer Science would be the right step or a Master's in Business (MBA). Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 715809

    For a manager, an MBA would be better, in my opinion. I don't think a CS degree matters that much for any position in IT. I've never given any major weight over any other. As a manager, you'll need to deal more with administrative matters, budgeting, people skills, weighing impact of decisions to the business, etc. An MBa would be better here.

  • dba92081

    SSC Eights!

    Points: 934

    Thanks! If one doesn't plan on going into management any time soon, what is good to "beef up" a resume? I already have a bachelor's degree & 1 exam away from my MCDBA cert (blasted elective!!). What other educational areas would be good (certifications better than another degree)? Thank you for the advice.

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 994647

    what is good to "beef up" a resume

    Ummmm... How about a couple thousand posts on a high quality forum like SQLSeverCentral.com ???

    Or, how about a list of major accomplishments (gotta all be true) such as "Rewrote CDR dupe check routine to go back 3 months (~120M rows) instead of just 2 months (~80M rows) and to run in just 22 hands-free minutes (hasn't failed yet) instead of 24 constant-attention hours (to sometimes fail)."

    When I'm interviewing someone for the postion of SQL Developer or DBA, I don't look at sheepskins... I've too often been disappointed by people that have a Masters in CS or Mathematics that can't tell me how much 20, 23, or 1416 is. Certifications? They mean nothing to me when the person's resume says they're (and I quote) a "9 out of 10 in both Oracle and SQL Server" but can't tell me how to get the current date and time or how to get the date "with no time". Supposed experience by listing jobs? Means nothing to me because your experience may be way out of whack. Take the Java developers with "5-6 years experience" I interviewed that couldn't tell me how to keep the user from hitting the "Submit" button twice... I got stories about how you would simply roll back the first transaction, or delete the first set of rows submitted, yada-yada-yada. Disgusting...

    Going a little further, comments on a resume like "was part of a team that ... " doesn't mean squat to me. What did YOU do. How did YOU make an impact for the team? What have YOU done to ensure/improve performance or maintainability of the code? What is YOUR understanding of SQL? What have YOU done to make a real difference?

    A big thing with me is "Honesty"... if you inflate your resume beyond your current capabilites (nice way of saying "you lied on your resume") and happen to get hired (not by me, I will flush you out and so will lot's of other folks), then you have the arduous task of meeting expectations or maybe not making it past your first 90 days. I would much rather (and have) hire someone that I can depend on to tell me the absolute truth, all the time, even if it may be at their expense, than to hire someone supposedly a bit "better with more experience" that I think lied on their resume (doesn't happen if I have the final word). I also judge work ethic and a whole bunch of other personal traits during the interview(s) like whether the person is confident or just arrogant.

    When you go to "beef up" your resume, understand the difference between "beef" and "tofu"... Don't make your interviewer walk away shaking his/her head muttering "where's the beef?" and don't make a tofu burrito out of your sheepskins... put down what you've done, quantify it, and get ready to back it up in the interview.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
    "If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."--Red Adair
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not."
    When you put the right degree of spin on it, the number 3|8 is also a glyph that describes the nature of a DBAs job. πŸ˜‰

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • Ewan Hampson

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2780

    My bachelor's degree is non-computer science related

    but as you've been a DBA for 5 years, there is no point going back to prove your IT skills again with another first-level degree. If not MBA, you could look at Masters in something IT-specific. I would hope an employer would see the value in someone looking to develop their understanding, their analytical skills and themselves in their chosen field. (But then, I like study for study's sake.)

    As usual, Jeff's comments are terrific. I think one problem is that guidance for the modern CV always talks about stating your specific (and reasonably recent) "achievements", which too easily gets interpreted as "boast about and exaggerate what you can do". I also suspect that what sounds like self-confidence in the States would probably sound like immodesty in the UK, where most of us need persuading to say anything firmer than "Well I'm quite good at...". Selling yourself is very culturally determined, and phrasing and tailoring a CV needs a lot of attention.

  • Bob Fazio

    SSChampion

    Points: 10734

    MBA for sure, or at least take some courses on Project Managment. That is always a good step towards managment. Prove you can manage a project and people on the small scale.

  • Matt Miller (4)

    SSC Guru

    Points: 124184

    Ewan Hampson (11/5/2007)


    I think one problem is that guidance for the modern CV always talks about stating your specific (and reasonably recent) "achievements", which too easily gets interpreted as "boast about and exaggerate what you can do". I also suspect that what sounds like self-confidence in the States would probably sound like immodesty in the UK, where most of us need persuading to say anything firmer than "Well I'm quite good at...". Selling yourself is very culturally determined, and phrasing and tailoring a CV needs a lot of attention.

    Too true. The worse part about the achievements area is that it becomes incredibly difficult to give a real picture of what you HAVE done while walking that fine line. You also need to be selective about which "victories" or achievements you put out there, especially if you have "better than average" successes under your belt. Too many and you can get tagged as aggrandizing just by the sheer size of some accomplishments.

    Keep a few off of the resume, so that you can trot them out during the interview process. You don't want to end up in the TALL TALE pile before getting your shot.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part...unless you're my manager...or a director and above...or a really loud-spoken end-user..All right - what was my emergency again?

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 715809

    Jeff brings up good points, though I'm not sure everyone feels that way. If you have experience and have gotten certified (MCDBA, MCITP), then you can show that the test proves your knowledge and you can prove it again in an interview. That's a low level filter.

    Want to beef up your resume without college? Start a technical blog, an open source project, answer questions here, or write articles (here or anywhere). Prove that you know something about what you're doing.

    My "resume" for the most part these days, is this site. I've got thousands of technical posts that show I can solve problems. I've got 100 articles that show how I think about SQL Server. That is where I tend to point people with my resume.

    However you do it, show off your skills. Explain to people what you know, what you can do, and what you'll do for them. If you read what I've written, of Jeff, or any of the high posters here, you have a pretty good idea of what type of SQL person you'd be hiring.

    That doesn't mean I'm the best fit for every job, but it does help you to decide if I'm a good fit for your job.

  • matt stockham

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 9892

    You didn't mention SQL2005, so upgrading to the MCITP might be worth looking into. The certificate in itself is mostly meaningless, but the knowledge that you will gain from studying will certainly help, both in a day-to-day work environment and in interviews.

    I think the value of certs is somewhat underestimated - certainly a significant number of people pass via braindump, but having taken them you can very easily identify those people. And as we move towards the 2008 release, having *something* to show that you understand the changes and new functionality in 2005 might mean the difference in getting an interview.

  • karthik M

    One Orange Chip

    Points: 29139

    Jeff , Really it's a best answer. In future , i am not going to say or mention in my resume as 'was part of that...'. My answers would be like "This is what i have done. I know this concept very well" etc.,

    going a littel further, In future , when i have get a chance to interview some person i wouldn't look at sheepskins.

    Steve : Jeff is adding knowledge wealth to sqlservercentral.com. Really!

    Well, i have learnt so many things from this site.I mean sql knowledge, improved my written skill , i know i am not writting best. take this post as an example. But......... earlier i was very bad in written skill. When i started to post my questions in this site .....i felt that my written english get improved.

    karthik

  • daniel

    Mr or Mrs. 500

    Points: 571

    Jeff can you post the CDR dupe check routine? πŸ™‚


    MISfIT

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 994647

    You bet... as soon as you can get everyone that could ever have access to this forum to sign a "non-disclosure notice" and a "Covenant not to compete". That code now belongs to the company I work for... can you post your company's production code? πŸ˜‰

    If you have a specific example of a multi-database situation where you need to delete dupes across multiple databases, I'd be very happy to help you work through it. πŸ™‚

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
    "If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."--Red Adair
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not."
    When you put the right degree of spin on it, the number 3|8 is also a glyph that describes the nature of a DBAs job. πŸ˜‰

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • Michael Valentine Jones

    SSC Guru

    Points: 64818

    If you are going back to school to get another degree, get an advanced degree, not another Bachelor’s degree.

    I don’t think a degree in CS is necessary to be a DBA or Database manager. If fact, it is nice to be able to show you have knowledge in other areas, especially if it is related to the business you are in.

  • Murali-420858

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1046

    Jeff that's great man...I like the way you thought about ....

    keep posting such stuffs man.....;)

    Murali.a

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 994647

    Thanks, Murali.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
    "If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."--Red Adair
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not."
    When you put the right degree of spin on it, the number 3|8 is also a glyph that describes the nature of a DBAs job. πŸ˜‰

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

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