Do you seek skills that you are interesting to you or do you let the work environment dictate?

DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Member Posts: 2,751 ■■■■■■■■■■
edited April 2021 in Professional Development
I'm just curious how this community goes about acquiring new skills.  I find for me it's always easier to just let work dictate that solution and then piggyback from thereto a particular skill or technology.  Years ago I was hired for a BA job which required requirements gathering and heavy excel use and some MS Access.  I built several tools for the operations but was forced into learning T-SQL, which was a disaster in the first year.  

The next job required T-SQL liked I had the experience and I took that even father and learned some of the other utilities in SQL server, SSIS and SSAS mainly, oddly enough to SSRS,  Just Business Objects.  

Next up, it was mainly Teradata for ~2 years which really was updating stored procedures adding new columns and fields, testing etc...   That was like 90% of it.  

I'll stop there but you see the path I always let the role dictate my path.  I'm not sure that was the best path for me to be honest.  It worked I am making enough money to support invest etc...  But still, I wonder if conforming like that is wise.  

The reason I bring this up, in my current role ~14 months I have been working with Teradata (EDW) a lot which is good but have been building a lot of solutions in MS Access.  Anyway from a single form that aggregates data from remote servers to utilities that import data locally and provide reports for operation teams where the enterprise software doesn't provide that look and feel.   This doesn't; seem like a lucrative skill.  It's cool I have strong command with the DAO libraries and basic VBA commands to building msgboxs, import data, transform data, update, etc...  All your basic CRUD functions within MS Access.  

But I don't see a market that will pay for this skill.  Maybe I am blind....   

Curious if you found yourself in a situation like this before and what did you do?  Let it play out, exit stage left?  


  • JDMurrayJDMurray Admin Posts: 12,963 Admin
    If an opportunity come up at work to develop a skill that I can't practice at home (e.g., enterprise technology or license is required) I usually jump on the opportunity to learn it. However, I'll only include it on my resume if I actually want to work with that technology.
  • trojintrojin Member Posts: 275 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'm choosing what I like to do next and start learning it. If is interesting I'm progressing and implementing at work.
    I'm just doing my job, nothing personal, sorry

    xx+ certs...and I'm not counting anymore

  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,772 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I'm a few years into my IT career so I still watch a lot of videos about what I am currently learning to do for work. However my overall approach has always been to be specific in my job tasks and a generalist in my study. I like the idea of exploring new technology but I have not done a real deep dive on anything.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Mod Posts: 4,541 Mod
    I find it hard to force myself to work on things I'm not interested in. I get it done but I don't put 100% in it if im being honest. I like to focus on things I'm interested in and try and get roles that are aligned to my goal.

    It's not always easy and I had to do a lot of crap that I was never interested in

    Check out my YouTube channel: 

  • yoba222yoba222 Member Posts: 1,237 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I let work dictate down to a small selection of three or four options. Then I cherry pick the one that interests me/best for my career down the road.
    A+, Network+, CCNA, LFCS,
    Security+, eJPT, CySA+, PenTest+,
    Cisco CyberOps, GCIH, VHL,
    In progress: OSCP
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Member Posts: 2,751 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Thanks gang for sharing your insights.  
  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,213 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I lean more towards letting work dictate the skills I try to acquire, but I also take it a step further. For example, in my previous role I was required to take AZ-900 so I did. But since AZ-500, 303, and 304 were all offered at no financial expense to myself I took full advantage. 500 level was more than enough for the role, but I went beyond because it didn't hurt to do so. If I can make a training/certification paid for by my employer relate to my job in anyway I will go for it. 
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, AWS
  • thomas_thomas_ Member Posts: 1,012 ■■■■■■■■□□
    For the most part it seems like I study what I am working with at work or is a requirement for a position I am interested in.  I always placed priority in this with a limited amount of time outside of work.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Member Posts: 2,751 ■■■■■■■■■■

    This is one of the big reason why I only focus on items that align with work, time.  They usually make life at work easier and more bearable along with potential opportunities that come with them.   For instance, I would love to learn Azure and take the time to study and even cert up for the foundational level certification, but with the way my role works MS Access is one tool I use to get me "noticed".  These solutions are passed on to the development team and they "enterprise" these tools in more robust platforms.  
  • itdeptitdept Registered Users Posts: 270 ■■■■■■□□□□
    A mix of both. I am trying to move away from support desk so I can get off the phones and work on real issues. I put in a bit of effort to deal with what work requires but I am really focusing on my future and sanity.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Member Posts: 2,751 ■■■■■■■■■■
    edited April 2021
    itdept said:
    A mix of both. I am trying to move away from support desk so I can get off the phones and work on real issues. I put in a bit of effort to deal with what work requires but I am really focusing on my future and sanity.
    I try to do this, but I end up falling flat and only doing things aligned with my current role.  I get so busy at work and the projects the only reasonable chance I get is certing/developing in these particular tools.  

    You have a ton of certifications I would think those would help propel you onto high level roles.  
Sign In or Register to comment.