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Requesting IT career advice [message #357572] Wed, 05 November 2008 21:33 Go to next message
Messages: 2
Registered: November 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Junior Member

I've worked in IT for eight years (if you count the spouts of unemployment from time to time between contracts), mostly contracting as desktop support. My first "permanent" IT position ended with the company going out of business, the rest of my contracts were at failing companies, except two that stand out as successful. Unfortunately I've managed to show up during "hard times" and when the contract ends that is that. I'm not progressing in my career or financial situation. A few months ago I landed a contract, but still as Desktop Support, the economy is again screwed for the time being.

I worked in accounts payable for about a year previous to college, just after high school. I have an associate of applied science degree (doesn't count towards bachelor all that much, also been awhile) in CISCO network engineering from a community college. No certifications. Not good at studying for CCNA, stopped trying some months ago when I heard that there was more money to be made focusing elsewhere. I'm not the greatest at customer service, not the greatest communicator on the planet but that's something I'm working on Smile

I've heard there's still good money to be made all over the spectrum of IT. Maybe not where I've been looking, but I'd like to change that. My questions...

What kinds of skills are in high demand and are the most rewarding now and in the future? If this was day one that you've decided to work in IT, and you were mainly doing it for the money, what are you looking to do?

What is the path I should follow towards becoming [whatever posters suggest] or a functional or technical ERP applications [developer, consultant, analyst]?

A rare acquaintance of mine is/was an IT recruiter (lost track of him) that shared with me a glimpse into the rates that were paid to mid-level people working in a few different areas (an email which I've since lost, been unable to verify rates on the web). The different areas we were looking at were titles dealing with ERP, Business Intelligence, and your general programmers of various disciplines/languages. I think ERP paid the most and that's why I mention it above.

Which area of Oracle is the most lucrative to specialize in? Real Application Clusters? Applications? Administration in Windows or Linux?

In the meantime I've read half of a SQL for Dummies book and honestly have been catching on to most of it. I have a PL/SQL for Dummies book sitting ready. I downloaded Oracle Express and went through about 3/4 of the "2 day DBA" guide before working some crazy desktop support hours, which have now ended! And thankfully my mind is at the point where I can even make this post half readable.

Lastly, if anybody has Oregon contacts for info, advice, jobs, etc. that's where I am and would prefer to remain for the time being.
Re: Requesting IT career advice [message #358159 is a reply to message #357572] Sun, 09 November 2008 14:46 Go to previous message
Messages: 2
Registered: November 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Junior Member

The crossroads I'm at is "Tired of desktop support and want more $$$" Just not sure how to get there or where I'm going quite yet...

More questions, some more specific, some are repeats..

I'm actually at work right now. Sunday... I woke up at 5am... voluntarily, to support an EMR module deployment at a hospital in Oregon. By the way, that's a part of my following questions. I'm working a "desktop support" contract at a large national hospital group. Relatively good pay for desktop support, probably because I get to "volunteer" for these EMR deployments as they come along. I was trained a for a day on the module, just as the users were (good 4-5 hours and you got it all figured out). Things break - I'm the guy that gets to be the middleman (vented on by users) that reports what users want, what they're getting, what's broken to the people with the power to make change.

So while I'd like to know what the differences in salary tend to be between (for example):

Oracle applications developer
Oracle applications dba
Oracle database dba
Oracle database dba (interfacing with RAC's)
Functional Oracle ERP module developer or consultant
Technical Oracle ERP module developer or consultant

I'd also want to consider medical related areas based on the theory that I may work at a hospital again, this group may hire me full time, whatever. I read up on the Burleson Consulting website that (at some point in history) an MD with an Oracle cert made upwards of 300k a year. Now I'm not going out to become an MD anytime soon but if I hang around psychiatrists, doctors, nurses, surgeons, [insert medical title here] long enough - I would think that I could come to understand their roles more as time goes on. Perhaps if I develop or work with the modules a bit I'll have a chance at the technical side as well. Functional [medical] application consultant, right? Smile

I'm saying Oracle this and that because I'm on an Oracle website. I'm not above considering SAP or whoever makes medical ERP systems (Epic is the vendor in my current case). Guess I'm just trying to be polite.

If anybody has some idea of a career path to follow like I probably mentioned in the original post, that's cool too. Right now my path consists of searching the internet for ideas, couple books ordered from Ebay (SQL and PL/SQL), and Oracle Express Edition having been downloaded! I'm not sure whether I want to read the 2day DBA or application developer guide yet (or some other).. cuz I don't know which is best for me to be Smile
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