Getting back in the saddle

misty-in-massmisty-in-mass Member Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
I am not sure where to start - and I'd like to use my time wisely.

I spent 15 years at Digital Equipment in systems analysis, programming and technical support. My last job was as Principal Support Specialist for a messaging API. After 14 years of out of the job market (parenting), I'd like to get back into IT, but I'm not sure how to best update my skills!

My degree is BA Statistics. I've got courses towards MS CIS: C programming, Cobol, Data structures, Database design, Assembly language programming, Accounting, Discrete Math, Data analysis etc. Yes, these are dated, I know but some of the fundamentals should count for something.

What I'd really like to get into is Databases - DBA. Should I do Oracle or Microsoft? Possibly Health Info systems or informatics. Question is - how do I get there from here?

I'm looking at Western Governor's University - WGA program of BS in Databases. I could try for a Masters somewhere, but what I really need at this point are solid basic tech skills, I think.

Any gentle (or not so gentle, but honest) opinions would be appreciated!



  • stephens316stephens316 Senior Member Member Posts: 203 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Welcome to the forums Misty,

    First, off you have the skills I wish I had. I use to be really good at math, but some where I went wrong can't do it. I also wish I ability to think in programing terms. When I get back on my feet I plan on taking some classes.

    As for you , The IT market is still stable and hard to get back into at least where I am at I think you would have a lot of skills companies are looking for.

    I would look at Microsoft DBA, Orcale DBA Certs. I am not sure where you are from but can help you determine where to start for example of you see alot of Microsoft SQL then you might want to look at Microsoft DBA or vise versus just depends in your area what is in demand.

    If your looking at starting fresh tech skills A+ , Net+ and Security + are always good to start with.

    You might want to refresh some of your skills community college's usually can help you in this area. As for Health Info Systems while I know there might be a lot of jobs out for this, I am very leery of Health Care period. If you not up to speed on the current state of the country I suggest FoxNews.

    As far as your masters if you have the money go for it but if you don't it really won't help unless your looking for a government job or a college teaching job something along those lines.

    Sorry if i have not made sense I was watching some coverage on the elections tonight :)
    Current Studying : GPEN |GCNF|CISSP??
    Current Reading : CISSP| CounterHack|Gray Hat Hacking
    Completed 2019 : GCIH
    Free Reading : History Books
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,746 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Welcome! I am sure you will enjoy TE!

    stephens316 summed up alot of what I am thinking (including the elections icon_lol.gif). You already have a BA so don't try to get another Bachelor degree. Actually, you would find it funny how many different kind of degrees are on this forum: Psychology, Anthropology, etc.

    I think employers would love to see your degree mixed with DBA certifications. If you really feel the need to take more college classes go for an MBA. Oracle and Microsoft seem to be two big database certifications. Your strong math background will help you with databases.
  • eMeSeMeS Member Posts: 1,875
    I would recommend reconnecting with some of your former colleagues from DEC.

    Many have moved on to bigger and better things, and they might be able to help you in your career. I've worked with many many people up in the Mass/NH area that were former DEC employees who are now well-entrenched in other industries in New England. Specifically check into financial services.

    From what I understand health care IT is a good place to be salary and career growth potential-wise at the moment and will likely grow significantly in the coming years. Call me crazy, but I get my information from real people who work in that industry and not from Fox News.

    Many of the people that I know that are doing well in that sector of IT have transitioned from traditional health care roles into health care IT roles. I know several RNs that have done this (most of my contacts in this area are in NJ and TN). I also know people that moved from traditional IT roles in other types of organizations into health care IT roles. I would say that there's not really one clear path necessarily into that type of organization or role, but knowing how hospitals work and are run seems to help.

    I agree with the recommendation about not pursuing an additional bachelors degree. I can't see how that will really set you apart. Certs might help, and were I going hardcore into database work it would either be Oracle, which has the lion's share of the market, or IBM. Still, either of those will be an uphill battle for you because you've been out of the industry for a while.

    I think your best bet is to revive your DEC network and see how that can help you. Any IT experience you can gain initially will help you reestablish yourself in the market.

    Best wishes,

  • Daniel333Daniel333 Member Posts: 2,077 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Certainly network with old schoolmates and coworkers. Linkdin is a great start.

    I always felt CRM is a great way to get in. Light programming and database and work your way up. Microsoft's .Net certifications, Database admin and business intellegence certs are a good start and in good demand.
  • misty-in-massmisty-in-mass Member Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Wow - this is the best, most useful thoughtful advice I've gotten (and I've asked quite a few people!).

    The BS program I was thinking of was the WGU BS Databases - which, if I can dispense with lots of the basic stuff, might be a good cohesive database program. It includes quite a few certifications in the process. I am sure I can do it on my own too without signing up for a long learning stint.

    And, I don't want to spend 2-3 years in school - and then look for work. I would rather just get in the door somewhere and then move along. But hopefully the door will be close to some database work.

    I have little desire for MBA since I really don't want to get into management...
    Excellent advice about old contacts and linked-in - am already working that angle and will give it more priority.

    Is CRM - customer relationship mgmt? Is there a cert for that?

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