Did I make the right career move as a DBA?

Corn503Corn503 Posts: 3Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
Looking for some opinions on a recent career decision, as I can't stop worrying about whether or not it is the right move for my career in the future.
For some background, I am 24, and was fortunate enough to get hired out of college at the company where I interned as a DBA working on Oracle and SQL Server, mostly (about 2 years time). About 6 months ago, I was offered the opportunity to start learning Hadoop administration, as management at my company wanted someone on the DBA team to be responsible for "DBA-like" tasks. I jumped at the opportunity, as obviously Big Data is a hot trend currently and I felt that getting into the field was a good career move. However, around the same time, layoff rumors at my work started to pick up, and it seems clear that a significant amount of the people I work with may be let go sometime this year, and my DBA manager even quit due, in at least part, to these fears (more on why this is important later). So, I started to learn some hadoop administration, but the environment at my work is still very immature, and a lot of my time has been spent on basic things like "make sure the cluster is up" and "add a user and grant access to hue", which are not super exciting to say the least. My work in Oracle and SQL Server, on the other hand, has been more interesting, with performance tuning and scripting opportunities galore (my favorite 2 things to do, personally).
So, it was a couple months ago that my old manager (who I mentioned had quit before), reached out to me saying that he had an Oracle DBA job opening up that he thought I would be a great fit for. I interviewed for the position, and it is more exciting from a technology standpoint than my current job and the seniority (not to mention the pay) is significantly more then what I currently have.
So, I accepted the position as an Oracle DBA, which means, at least for now, that I am giving up the ability to learn Hadoop. I still have an interest in Big Data, and if an opportunity at my new job opens up to start working in that field again I would jump on it, but I can't help but wonder what I am giving up walking away from the hadoop stuff, even if it hasn't been exactly what I was hoping for. I suppose my biggest fear is the RDBMS field will dry up beneath me, while the Big Data field explodes.
Just looking for honest opinions. Thanks!

Comments

  • CardboardCardboard Posts: 43Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I've been doing mostly desktop support for 5 years, and have kind of hit a job wall. I can't get higher level jobs I want, and even desktop support jobs have been hard to come by lately.

    In an assignment I had a year ago, I often spoke to 2 DBAs who would come to the company twice a week to maintain things. They seemed to like their work.

    The DBA field sounds good, and seems to pay well, but I have ZERO experience in or knowledge of SQL and Oracle, which, to my understanding, are the two things you must know to be any kind of a DBA. (Is that true? Are there any other programs DBAs use?)

    So I don't know. If I did decide to pursue it, I would be starting at the complete bottom, and I've never really seen that much of what DBAs do, so who knows if I would even like it?
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, CCNA Posts: 3,944Mod Mod
    No one can predict the future, but if you are a DBA, always try and sharpen your knowledge in your product (say Oracle, get Oracle certifications). But it's a niche, so be mindful and expand your knowledge, learn Cloud technologies, LAB on bigdata, learn Hadoop in your free time.

    The job will get your more professional experience, and you can use your lab time to study and diversify your experience
    Goal: MBA, March 2021
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,013Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I think it's going to be a long time before RDBMS declines to the point where it is obsolete. There are still inherent advantages to using most RDBMS versus distributed databases. Writing software against an RDBMS is very different than using a distributed database.
  • gespensterngespenstern Posts: 1,243Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    You made the right choice as you followed a raise in seniority and money. Career should grow.

    Opportunities will present themselves, you are only 24.

    Also RDBMS is older than you. It's will not go away anytime soon.
  • Moon ChildMoon Child Posts: 182Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    In my opinion I Think DBA is a good option, don't be making assumptions how things always will be just because you suspect your company will be making cutbacks. Other companies might have opposite problems and can't find enough DBA's.

    I am in my 30's got a Bachelors in CIS, Masters in Education with a teaching license in Special Education, and have worked in the IT and Education field. Most of my experience has been in the Education field. In any field now it is tough due to the economy, even in the Education field schools are making cutbacks. One thing I have learned from my own personal experience is that the more jobs you are qualifed for and the broader your skill set the more employable you are.

    I even through the years have contemplated at least trying to get a CDL and try trucking for 1 year, but I never have. It would be something nice to lean on for when the going gets tough. It is one of the few fields now you can get into and start out with just a CDL making decent money right from the start.

    Right now very happy in a Technician Job, but with the IT industry you got no guarantees and you never know. I truly believe the IT industry is over-saturated, way more skilled applicants than jobs available.
    ... the world seems full of good men--even if there are monsters in it. - Bram Stoker, Dracula
  • Corn503Corn503 Posts: 3Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Cardboard wrote: »
    I've been doing mostly desktop support for 5 years, and have kind of hit a job wall. I can't get higher level jobs I want, and even desktop support jobs have been hard to come by lately.

    In an assignment I had a year ago, I often spoke to 2 DBAs who would come to the company twice a week to maintain things. They seemed to like their work.

    The DBA field sounds good, and seems to pay well, but I have ZERO experience in or knowledge of SQL and Oracle, which, to my understanding, are the two things you must know to be any kind of a DBA. (Is that true? Are there any other programs DBAs use?)

    So I don't know. If I did decide to pursue it, I would be starting at the complete bottom, and I've never really seen that much of what DBAs do, so who knows if I would even like it?

    First off, learn SQL, as it's the universal language for RDMBS. After that, learn some data modeling, and then get some experience installing, loading data into, and using that data with an open-source RDBMS (MySQL, Postgres, MariaDB are all popular open source options).

    You said that "SQL and Oracle" in reference to programs that DBA uses, and I think this could use some distinction. SQL, as in "Structured Query Language" is the language used to communicate with databases. When you say Oracle, you are talking about the RDBMS, which is the software that is the "database". People also refer to Microsoft's RDBMS option, SQL Server, as simply "SQL", but don't confuse the language for the RDBMS. Working with databases is still a good field, in my opinion, but a lot of people start out working in development, before moving into administration because it can be hard to get your foot in the administration door without proving that you understand how people use the systems you would be administering.

    But to summarize, start with learning SQL. It's a user-friendly language, and just learning that will start to open up some opportunities, and the move experience you get working with databases will help you get a career started.

    Good luck! icon_thumright.gif
  • Corn503Corn503 Posts: 3Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    UnixGuy wrote: »
    No one can predict the future, but if you are a DBA, always try and sharpen your knowledge in your product (say Oracle, get Oracle certifications). But it's a niche, so be mindful and expand your knowledge, learn Cloud technologies, LAB on bigdata, learn Hadoop in your free time.

    The job will get your more professional experience, and you can use your lab time to study and diversify your experience

    This was, more or less, my thought process that went into making the decision to taking the DBA job. It's good to see that other people seem to thing I made a good choice, it's always hard to not wonder what would be different if you went in a different direction.

    Thanks!
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