How to Get a Junior DBA Job – Part 2

Yesterday I talked about why companies aren’t hiring junior DBAs, and today I’ll talk about how you can get in the door anyway.

Companies are Cheap, and DBAs are Expensive

Even in a healthy economy, companies want to get a bargain.  They want to hire an experienced senior database administrator for junior DBA wages.  They think they’ve got something special – a great work environment, flexible working hours, nice plants in the lobby – and that it offsets the lower wages.  It doesn’t: good senior DBAs get good money, and have their pick of companies.

Some companies take the approach of hiring remote DBAs who telecommute.  I have a blog series coming up about getting & keeping a job as a telecommuting DBA, but that doesn’t work for junior DBAs.  Juniors need mentoring and training that’s difficult to get in a home office environment.  For your first DBA job, don’t be tempted to apply for a remote job, because you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Instead, throw your hat in the ring for local senior DBA jobs.  It’s not career suicide: it’s a case of the company asking for something unrealistic.  They may not get the candidates they want for the price they want to pay, and that’s your chance to get your foot in the door.  Don’t exaggerate your reputation, of course – be honest about your skill level and your experience, but at the same time, don’t sell yourself short.

You’re Working with SQL Server, Right?

I got my start as a developer and as a network admin (here’s the story).  When I went to look for my first pure SQL Server job, I didn’t have much on my resume and I didn’t really think I was all that qualified.  If anything, I underestimated the bejeezus out of what I put on the resume.

When I started hiring other DBAs, though, I remembered my own experience.  As a result, when I interviewed DBA candidates, I had a checklist of skills that I’d ask them, like:

  • Have you ever had to restore a single table’s contents?
  • Have you set up log shipping, or done troubleshooting on it?
  • Have you ever built a server connected to a SAN?

Go pick up a SQL Server administration book, look at the table of contents, and check off everything that you’ve actually done.  Even if you’ve only done it a few times, put it on your resume and explain that you’ve dabbled in it, because it’ll give you a big edge over the other candidates.  Don’t say that you’re an expert on the topic, by any means, but the fact that you’ve done it is a plus.

More often than not, I’d hear candidates answer, “Well, yeah, but hasn’t everybody done that?”  Actually, no – some candidates haven’t.  Every single skill that you performed in production – not in theory – is another reason why you might get the job.  Even if you’ve only done it once a quarter for a year, that means something.

Senior DBA

Senior DBA

How Long Have You Been Doing It?

Did your boss ask you to start backing up a SQL Server a year ago?  Last year, did you start restoring the production database onto your desktop for development testing?  Did you start working on making stored procedures a year ago?

Presto, you have a year of experience.

I can almost hear the angry emails coming in now from really senior DBAs who do this stuff full time, nonstop, for a living, but they’ve forgotten how junior-level experience works.  People don’t get handed the keys to the enterprise on Day 1 and start some kind of master clock.  Experience happens gradually, almost imperceptibly.  There’s no knighting ceremony where the CIO taps you on both shoulders with a laser pointer.

This is why so many junior-level DBA positions ask for a year or two of experience: they’re expecting to hear from developers and sysadmins who’ve been dabbling with database tasks over time, getting their feet wet.  I don’t want to hire somebody who’s never seen SQL Server Management Studio: I want to hire a developer who installed SSMS a year ago and has been dabbling with it ever since.  He may not like going in there – it may scare the pants off him – but as long as he’s been going in there grudgingly and tapping his terrified fingers on the keyboard to get his job done, then that’s a plus in my book, because I’ll train him the rest of the way.  DBA training never ends.

Training and mentoring is the way junior DBAs become senior DBAs.  In the last post of the series tomorrow, I’ll talk about what you should – and shouldn’t – expect in the way of training from a new employer, and how that affects your asking price.

Need to practice for your next interview?

We can help! We’ve got an online course that teaches you how to ace DBA job interview questions.

Ready for More? Hit up Part 3 of this Series: Getting DBA Training On the Job

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82 Comments. Leave new

  • Even better than the Part I.

    An eye-opener to many who have failed in their attempt to get their dream job, or to some that have faltered even before they can set foot in front of that door.

    I’m not talking about myself, am I?

    😉

    Reply
  • Brent, the line that really hit home for me was: “Training and mentoring is the way junior DBAs become senior DBAs”. that line definately hit home for me! Great article!

    Reply
  • Mushtaq Mohammed
    September 25, 2009 11:26 am

    Hi Brent,

    Thank you very much for this article, it has definetly helped me in landing into my dream Job, Junior SQL DBA.

    I got a job in Bankruptcy firm as “Production job admin/Jr SQL DBA”, and moreover i am working here since a month under an excellent mentor who is working as sr DBA here.

    Than you once again Brent..

    Bye bye.

    Reply
  • You mentioned an upcoming blog about telecommuting as a DBA. Have you done this yet? I can’t find it.

    Reply
  • I got a master’s in IT in 2005 (studied Oracle9i admin). My first job was supposed to, but never did, transition to the Database guys. Something about production having more work. 😛 I was downsized and now trying to determine what is the best way get my skills back. They wouldn’t let non-db people access the db, so I’m starting all over. Is getting certified without any work experience a smart idea?

    thanks!

    Reply
  • How getting certified without experience is a bad idea?. Do not a certification will show the company that you have interest and understanding of the technology?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Mark – it’s a bad idea if you spend money getting trained on something you’ve never used before. As I’ve emphasized here over and over (and is backed up by the emails I keep getting from people with DBA aspirations), companies simply don’t hire DBA candidates with certifications and no experience. If you spend money getting trained without any relevant IT experience, you’re flushing that money down the toilet.

      Reply
      • Hai Brent ..Thanks for your valuble Professional Advices.

        I have 3-years of experience On SQL Server DBA (L2 support), but till now I didn’t do any certification.

        Could you plz suggest me which certification I need to do now, beczuse It’s too late With 3-years of exp and No Certification & Please Suggest me What are the certifications I can do(3-years exp person can do)?

        Reply
  • What about is a person works as desktop support for Microsoft Windows server environment, VMware, and SAN, but this person had only installed SQL servers a couple of times, Can a MS SQL certification open the door for a database job?

    Reply
    • Mark – I’ll turn that around and ask, would you hire someone for a Windows admin job who’d only done T-SQL coding, only installed Wibdows a couple of times, and gotten a Windows cert? Would you immediately entrust them with AD admin credentials and put them in charge of backups? Probably not, but you might hire them as a junior if you didn’t have any other options. A personal recommendation and a history of working with them would probably help a lot more than a cert though.

      Reply
  • Brent, thank you for the quick responds to all my questions and your professional advices.

    Reply
  • Houston Texans
    December 24, 2009 2:14 am

    Hi Brent. I found this article on accident via Google. Do you have an article or suggestions on becoming a Senior level DBA? I graduated with a Info Sys Bachelors 3 years ago and started off as a Database Programmer creating crystal reports for a small manufacturing company. After upgrading our slow single SQL Server 2000 to two new SQL Server 2005 boxes with Transaction Log Shipping and increasing performance and availability I got new experience and was promoted internally. I accepted a new job at another company 8 months ago as a Database Administrator (I’m the only DBA in the company again) with the responsibility of admin\maintaining a SQL Server Cluster, 1 non-clustered SQL Server and a Report Server as well as creating SSRS reports. I feel like its a lot to do but I wanted this experience to maybe help me become Senior level. Plus I went from a small manufacturing environment to a company that does web sales. I thought it’d be a good move. Having been the only DBA in two companies I’m not sure what I need to do to become Senior Level. I’m about 2/3 done with my MCITP DBA, just something I always wanted to have but not sure if that will help… Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi! To become a senior DBA, the answer is simple: just keep workin’. By having a full time job as a DBA, you’re well on your way. Keep working with new projects and consider attending your local PASS chapter to learn more. Good luck!

      Reply
  • Happy New Year Brent!

    Thank you for having such a site explaining the downsides of getting a DBA job. I’m one of those classed as “you’re screwed” category.
    A training grad getting a certification.

    At least from your blog, I now know what I should/should not do. MOSTLY that I am lacking in lots of areas.
    It’s beginning to nag at me if this is all going to be worth it at the end of the day. Seems like an endless race to train, upskill, and compete ….
    always ‘not being enough’, ‘not enough experience’, ‘not enough background knowledge’. There’s always someone better than you.

    do you have any positive, uplifting words of wisdom for a depressed (DBA-aspirant) soul?

    thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi! Hmm, interesting question. Only you can answer if it’s worth it. I really enjoy doing it, but like you say, it’s an endless race to train. If you don’t enjoy constantly learning new things about databases and computing, it’s not a good field. The money’s great once you’ve got a couple years of experience though. Just don’t get in it for the money. Go into programming first, and if your training & adaptation takes you toward the DBA route, great. There’s lots of cool jobs you can pursue once you’ve got some programming knowledge – keep your mind open and you’ll have a blast no matter which way you end up. Just follow what you enjoy. Happy New Year!

      Reply
  • Hi Brent,
    Thanks for the quick response. I thoroughly enjoy building, developing databases. Am going for Oracle certification as we speak. To update my skillset.

    In fact I’m more serious now than ever building a career as a DBA, its just the downside of things…such as..
    1. no junior dba jobs out there really for newbies.
    2. ALL dba jobs want at least 2 years WORKING experience. Its like if there’s no company name listed beside your experience, its considered a no-go.
    3. EVERY possible job ALWAYS have something I lack. so imagine when the recruitment agency sees that you lack certain things on the list, out goes the resume.

    Just getting a little weary of looking for jobs process i guess. Your blogs really helpful, thank you for including all the hints and tips.

    One upside to all this is that I’m on the right track/career, and it seems the demand would be there for quite a while. So, for that, I’m happy.
    Just gotta get the foot in the door…..

    Reply
    • Yep, all of the points you list are correct, and they’re not going to change. There aren’t junior DBA jobs out there for newbies – you’ll need to get your foot in the door as a programmer or systems administrator first.

      All DBA jobs do want working experience, not just learning on your own computer. If you’re just learning on your own computer, no one’s there to complain if you get it wrong or lose data. It’s not like they can call you for a reference. 😉

      Reply
  • Hiya Brent !!

    Happy New Year! Congratulations!!! with the new book.

    Do you know if its possible to create a (mini)database with SQL Server (do i make sense?)
    on an apple computer?

    I currently ONLY have a mac in my possesion. Would appreciate any pointers/advise.
    Assume I know NOTHING.

    Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    • Thanks! Microsoft SQL Server doesn’t directly run on Apples, but you can install a virtualization program that will let you run Windows on an Apple. VMware Fusion is one such program:

      http://www.vmware.com/products/fusion/

      It costs around $100, plus you have to buy Windows, and then you’ll also need to buy SQL Server. If that sounds like an option you’re interested in, swing by your nearest Apple Store and talk to the Genius Bar. They can walk you through setting up Windows on your Mac.

      Reply
  • Hi Brent,

    Wow! quick response! Thank you! 😀

    Woah! Seems to have a cost attached to e-v-e-r-y step of the way. I think there’s a free trial for 30 days with VM ware. Do you know if there is a freeware for SQL Server? I am looking to develop 2 simple mini databases, and want to use SQL server for reasons of : to get familiar with SQL Server again after so many years. OK….obvious answer…..just google it.

    After googling….there’s SQL server 2005 and 2008. Also there’s SQL Server EXPRESS 2008…. I think I can use the Express version?
    Or would that be not good for learning? Which do you think I should download?

    So in the end in my case it will be : MAC ….running VMWare…which runs SQL Server…..? Hmm…. Maybe if I just have a PC laptop, I won’t have so many complications?!

    Again, your expertise is totally appreciated. Im a newbie at this. Help!?!!
    thank you thank you thank you…

    Reply
    • You’ve got a lot of great questions, and it’s more than I can really address well in comments. You’re probably going to want to pick up a basic SQL Server administration book. I’ve got a few in my recommended book list:

      https://www.brentozar.com/archive/2008/08/recommended-books-for-sql-server-dbas/

      About the Mac – if you’re just getting started and you want to use SQL Server, you’ll be much better off using a Windows laptop or desktop. If you think the OS scenario is complicated, I’ve got some bad news for you – SQL Server is a lot more complicated than just running Windows on a Mac. 😉 If you want easy, SQL Server wouldn’t be my first recommendation. You probably want to take a few steps back and ask what your real goal is. If you only want to do two simple mini databases, there’s plenty of software you can use on your Mac to accomplish that goal, and it’ll be way, way easier than learning SQL Server. Again – the Genius Bar will be your best answer there too. Sometimes it’s a lot easier to get those kinds of questions answered in person.

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
  • Hello Brent,

    ………..but I want to use SQL Server…………. (meekly)

    Stubborn it may sound. I guess I really want to see how it goes & how to do it.
    (despite the handicap with a mac?)

    Reply
  • @G Hensed Where are you located? If you’re in the US or nearby countries, chances are there might be User Group around your area. It may not necessarily SQL Server User Group. The .NET User Groups (or any other tech user group in this case) usually have sessions on SQL Server.

    I am sure by now, you have extensively read Brent’s blog. You have all the info you need to jumpstart your career in SQL Server in this blog site.

    Just in case you missed this http://sqlserverpedia.com/ is a good community resource for the SQL Server Community (by the SQL Server Community)!

    Sign up with Twitter and follow Brent’s SQL Server peeps: http://twitter.com/#/list/BrentO/sql-server

    Good Luck!

    Reply
  • Hi Brent,

    Good information for those who want to be an DBA.

    By the way, I am curious that DBA’s jobs would be out-sourced, since they are so important to corporations?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi, An! I used to wonder the same question, especially when outsourcing was such a hot topic. Turns out companies are reluctant to hand over the keys to their most valuable asset – their data – to someone who doesn’t work for the company. Some large enterprises use outsourced DBA services for junior work, and very small companies use outsourced DBA services for very senior work (because they can’t afford to hire a full time senior DBA), but those are typically the exceptions rather than the rule.

      More often, I see companies hiring on DBAs full time, and then when those employees need help, the company brings in a senior DBA temporarily, like someone from Solid Quality Mentors or Microsoft.

      Reply
  • Thanks for fast reply, Brent.

    Appreciated your reply.

    Reply
  • DBA want to be
    February 27, 2010 3:15 pm

    Hello Brent,

    I really like your articles. Awesome! I have 2 years experience as a SQL developer and done some DBA tasks such as restore/backup,utilizing DTS/SSIS, SQL stored procedures, crystal reports and SSRS. I’m planning taking a SQL CDA certification to get a DBA job. Please advise! Thanks very much!

    Reply
  • DBA want to be
    February 27, 2010 3:16 pm

    I really like your articles! awesome and thanks so much Brent!

    Reply
    • DBA want to be
      February 27, 2010 5:16 pm

      Thanks for such a quick response Brent! I’ll find out the local user group in my area. Have a wonderful weekend!

      Reply
  • Hi, I’m a 19 year old MCITP & DBA(2005,2008) and getting a job in zimbabwe as a junior dba is not as easy as I thought. There are no user groups or any internship programs so I’m so confused. Honestly, I don’t know what to do because I’ve been sending e-mails to some firms but it seems when you don’t have experience you don’t get a job. If I don’t get a job, where will I gain experience. If only I could have a chance, the world would be a much better place. What can I do.

    Reply
  • Good article, I’m currently a SQL Report writer Intern at a large company. I’m working on a degree in MIS. I work doing SQL queries in SSMS and SSRS reports, altering views etc. I’ve been doing this for about a year.

    Any suggestions for moving from this type of role to a junior DBA? How long do you think I would have to work a role like this to move into a junior DBA role? Would I need additional certifications?

    Reply
    • Chuck – if you click on SQL Server Articles at the top of this site, I’ve got lots of info on getting your first junior DBA job. I wish I could mentor everyone individually but my schedule doesn’t permit it. Good luck!

      Reply
  • Larry Smith
    June 9, 2011 9:23 am

    Chuck,

    Why do you want to become a DBA when you can become Business Intelligent specialist?

    Also, its better to become a SQL Developer or .NET Developer because DBA jobs are 12+ hours a day jobs and developers works 8 hours a day and with options to work from home.

    Reply
  • Hello Brent,

    Nice blog, good to read even older posts. Always full of great tips and hints.
    For someone with NO working experience in the DBA area, (completing certification on the side…), plus an outdated degree in IT,
    Im finding myself at a crossroad…
    1. get ‘any’ job that comes by (been looking for 10mths) … OR
    2. go for that one year ‘diploma in advanced Software devt’

    the one year diploma includes intensive training starting from building db, intro linux, visual studio, sql, plus choosing two streams from :
    1. sql server implementation n etc,
    2. java prog & developer, and
    3. visual studio or C# ,

    plus some papers on accounting, soft skills, group project.

    What , from your professional experience would you recommend?
    Btw, the organisation that offers the diploma, claims to have job placement assistance before end of the course.

    Will be grateful to hear your views on this. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Gin – thanks, glad you like the site.

      With no working experience, forget about trying to get a DBA job, and don’t spend any money on more education. You have to capitalize on the real experience you’ve got and your past network. Talk to everyone you’ve ever worked with, sell them on your experience with the projects you’ve done with them in the past, and offer to work for damn near nothing. There’s only two things that will put you first in line for a job position: your network, and your experience. Otherwise, strangers with certifications are always willing to work much cheaper than you. (Think minimum wage interns.)

      Reply
  • Hello Brent,

    Thank you for your response. It is enlightening to hear your viewpoint. You mention ‘capitalize on …real experience’ I’ve got.

    I will use that as a starting and focal point. At least it has given me something to focus on, rather than running around like a mad rat, with too many options. My ‘real experience’ do not involve database developing/administration etc… they are all marketing based.

    Tomorrow, I will try door knocking for the opportunity to do internships. Wish me luck.

    Reply
  • Due to the economy and having been out of work for so long, I was given the opportunity to enter the WIA (Workers’ Incentive Act) program to retrain for a career. The options in my area were somewhat limited, but the IT profession seemed to be the one for which training would eventually allow you to earn a decent salary. I already possess a BS, but not in computers or business.

    Anyway, after all the training and testing, I have difficulty even getting interviews. When I do get one (usually at staffing agencies), the story is always the same. We will work with you and definitely get you in the doors. Not yet, they haven’t. I did have one recent interview at a consulting company. I wish I had known about your site prior to that. I think I priced myself out of the competition, without trying to do so. They asked for salary on the app and I said completely negotiable. During the interview, they asked what I would be happy making, and when I was $5,000 higher than what they would pay, didn’t seem to believe I would take less. I actually already new the director, VP and President and made a really good impression on the manager for which I would be working, before that last question. The thing is they consult only for the hospitality industry and want someone with that experience, and I have over 13 years in that industry, over 7 in corporate operations, so I thought that was actually worth something.

    Anyway, they said they should have an answer by end of week, and the director, I knew, said he would call me first part of the following week. He did not. According to everything I’ve read, they say to follow up anyway. That Thursday afternoon, I telephoned him and he acted like he had no idea why I thought they would have a decision by then. He seemed pretty aggravated that I called. I am so confused about that, and pretty down after so much training and job searching. I have A+, Network +, took T-SQL, which I was not the best at. Took more SQL Server 2008 and have MCTS in Implementation and Management. Just finished taking SSRS, SSAS, and SSIS, and was going to take MCTS exam for BI and then MCTIP exam, but teacher from whom I took SSIS online-live, says I have a better chance of getting a jr. DBA position. This is not the first time since beginning IT training I have been diverted in another direction.

    First, why would the US government pay so much money ($10,000/person) for this type of training and not realize it would not get us a job? I know, that’s probably a pretty obvious answer, but hey.

    Sorry for the long story, but wanted you to see how this began and some of how it unfolded. My question: Once and for all, what should I really do???

    Reply
    • Pat – one of the things I talk a lot about here on the blog is that the only way to get a real leg up on the job hunt is to use your network. You have to contact people you’ve worked with before, find out what problems they’re experiencing, and offer to help solve them.

      Reply
  • Hi Brent,

    Again, I want to applaud you and to thank you for being ‘here’ all the time. For making this site. I forgot how i found your blog. But I’m glad I did. You’re like the ‘constant’ professional people like me looking for advice can come to get REAL and SOUND advice. Unlike advice from a university course advisor for example. Coz, you are INDUSTRY based. 😀

    Ok, cut to the chase – here’s the question. Like your answer to Pat’s question, we need to contact people we’ve worked with before, rely on network to get a start on some form of DBA career.

    What if a person has NONE of those? Some job questions usually ask, how many PROJECTS you have done/implemented using….. SQL., or Oracle, or etc…

    Is there a way you can get SOME FORM of experience without WAITING for the right connections/ right job?

    Hope it makes sense what I’m asking.

    Reply
  • Larry Smith
    June 15, 2011 9:08 am

    Gin,

    Go for C# .Net developer or SQL developer. Those technologies are hotter than SQL DBA and are less arrogant.

    If you want to become a DBA then: Buy books with Labs, install SQL 2008 R2 developer edition (free), go for certifications because hiring managers look for it, work hard, read SQL DBA interview questions, go to SQL forums and read/answer/post questions, do as many interviews as you can.

    All DBA will tell you that its hard to become a DBA but all depend in the company that you apply (If you want to start your DBA administrator career applying for a 500 fortune company then you will not get the job).

    I knew a Oracle DBA who was hired by company without experience (The company knew that he did not have experience but technical background). Now, he has +5 years of ORALCE DBA experience and he is still working for the same company.

    Good Luck,

    Larry Smith

    Reply
    • Hiya Larry,

      Thank you for your kind directions and leading. You’re awesome.
      THANK you for sharing your knowledge.

      Thank you so much for your awesome constructive advice.

      Please keep coming back on here.

      Reply
  • VOLUNTEER!
    There are bound to be non-profit organizations in your area that would be happy to let you work for free. You get experience that way.

    Or, see if your current position will let you start doing DBA work in conjunction with your other tasks. They might need a little bit of help, but not enough to justify hiring someone.

    Reply
  • Santanu Kumar Sahoo
    July 7, 2012 3:44 am

    hi Brent,

    First of all i would say a good site to come across and know something unknown, though i landed here accidentally but i am really liking it know.

    I just want to know before getting some experience in DBA for which job profile i should apply on Oracle database platform as a fresher, though i have my oracle certification on DBA. Could u please help me out.

    Reply
  • I have 4+ years experience on SQL DBA.Please let me know any openings in any organization….

    Thanks,
    Nagarjuna

    Reply
  • HI Brent.
    Congrats on everything you do.
    Brent, i am a seyetem admin for 4 years now. 2 big companies with 500+ users, in charge of AD, Backups, dns, dhcp(system admin) 3 years ago i stared doing sql 2005-backups and restores, then stared doing indexes, simple-triggers, views. I have my sql 2008 cert 70-432- going after 70-450 in 2 weeks. The company that i work for is not doing good $.
    Can i apply for a senior dba job or should i?
    Please advice.

    Reply
    • I can’t really do a good job of vetting skills here in a blog comment. Why not apply for the job you want, and include a letter asking for resume feedback?

      Reply
      • Thanks for replying back Brent.
        One and last question. Do you think (vague opinion or idea) should i look for a senior or junior DBA position? Specially with my network experiance.
        Please your comments/opinion matters.
        Thank you.

        Reply
        • Alejandro – I don’t really put any weight into the words “senior” or “junior.” Job titles are fuzzy. For example, your current job title probably doesn’t even reflect that you’re doing SQL Server work. 😀

          Reply
  • Frederick Johnson
    August 16, 2013 5:35 pm

    Ok, interesting. Here’s my situation. I got a Masters in Information Technology with specialization in database technologies in 2009. Despite that, was stuck with a lousy temp-to-hire “job” which through no fault of my own lasted only 3-4 months. I did manage to get a full time job as a developer but that only lasted for 1.5 years no thanks to government doing budget cuts. I’ve been unemployed for nearly a year and I’ve just passed 3 exams to attain an OCP Advanced PL/SQL Developer and just passed my second exam thereby earning myself an OCA 11g DBA. I’ll be taking my final course and then taking my next and final exam to earn an OCP 11g DBA thereby getting me two DBAs. I’m told that by the time I get that done, I’ll be borderline between DBA OCP and DBA OCM whatever that means. I’ve communicated very well with DBAs in my previous jobs and they never took any certifications or even got a masters. I guess the only one or two obstacles for me are not having that “10 years senior experience” and not having a TS/SCI that can only be attained if I had a lucky crony connection to get there. Oh, and I practiced all my development and DBA at home on a repaired netbook one of my former bosses gave to me as a “consolation” upon getting laid off. Funny I managed to not only repair it but also turn it into a powerful Oracle database server but that’s another story. Any chance I’ll get even a DBA junior position with a masters, two Oracle OCPs, and mainly developer with communicating with DBAs experience?

    Reply
    • Frederick – well, instead of asking a stranger, why not ask the DBAs you used to work with? Where are they today, and would they hire you? They’re used to working with you already so they know your skills and dedication and that you’re easy and fun to work with, right?

      Reply
  • Hi Brent,

    I started off as a IT Administrator 5yrs ago first 2 and half yrs i maintained some 30 systems working on windows, network, upgrades, troubleshooting, office 365, MS Azure, while at it i also started off administering SQL Server since approximately 3yrs same company, setting up maintenance plan, backup,restore, alerts, HA solutions, now i’m turning to become a full time DBA and i was surprised i was rejected by many interviewers due to not equipped with skills of writing stored procedures,functions,triggers or optimizing Queries and questions were more on Performance tuning, internal architecture of query working, i’m not sure whether I need to pursue these skills to get a sql DBA job or it is possible to get job with just infrastructure background? because i don’t have any programming skills.

    Reply
  • Brent
    You have a very nice blog
    I have around 2 years of experience as a SQL DBA and also done my MCTS certification.
    I left my job and came to US last year and now I have a work permit.
    The problem here is I worked on 2000,2005 and 2008 versions.
    But nowadays most companies are asking for sql 2012 experience which I don’t have and also it’s difficult to find a job with 2 yrs experience.
    Can you suggest me how I need to improve myself as I am very confused and need somebody to help me out.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Sridevi – submit your resume anyway and show the work you’ve done. You’d be surprised – it’s hard to find people who actually have two full years of database administration work.

      Reply
  • Can a DB2 Quality Assurance analyst with 3 yrs of database experience get a Junior DBA position? They never did the hardware part of things themselves, just software related.. they didn’t setup a SAN or anything like that.. But they did do log shipping, hadr, customer-related testing, backup and restore, etc.. please advise? thanks

    Reply
    • Kendra Little
      December 9, 2014 1:57 pm

      Sure, that’s a lot more experience than most Junior DBAs are. It can still be tough to find the right position, but that’s a good amount of experience you’ve listed there!

      Reply
  • i’m happy stumbling on your blog b4 putting another hard earned money into certification upgrade after 8 yrs of d certification. i’m already confused but your advice put light on the tunnel. i have ocp which i’ve never put to use except training and i find it even difficult seeing company using it. can you advise me to switch to sqlserver and put my leg on the door thru’ networking and experience as u have rightly advised., i need to be successful, i’m hardworking
    thanks

    Reply
  • Great advice you’ve given. I am starting a new career in IT (currently employed in Public Service (firefighter/Medic). I recently obtained an Assoc. in IT with focus on SQL Server and DBA. Any suggestions for further training to make myself more attractive to potential employers?

    Reply
    • Kane – make sure you read all the parts of this series, because there’s the answers. Enjoy!

      Reply
      • You’re great for taking your time to do this page and respond to these questions. Thank you! I missed Part 1 and actually came across Part 2 in a Google search about starting my DBA career. You were the first result and I’m glad you were. Thanks again.

        Reply

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