40 and looking to make a complete career change. Very interested in pursuing Database Admin. Where do I start. I live in Los Angeles CA. Associates or Bachelor ,Online school? (any good). Looking to start from scratch with my schooling. Any suggestions will help. I'll deal with the hurdle of finding a job when I reach that one.

Older and wiser, do what you love and the rest will follow (i was told i should be in a computer career 22yrs ago by a number of career counselors)

LOL, thanks in advance for your suggestions.

9 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by khess

Hi gjfoto,

You did not say what you are currently doing so I am making a lot of assumptions here so forgive if it seem like spoon feeding. I would not recommend a degree online or otherwise at the moment; what you need is hands on and and a path that is more focus that you might not get from degree (that can come later - to advance your career?)

1, Are you comfortable working on ms windows down to the os level? If you are then you are in a good position to jump in. If you are not then I would recommend you get familiar with it.

2, You did not say what system you would like to work on. So I am recommending Ms. SQL, because there is a big market for people and not as costly as DB2 or Oracle.

3, Get your self a computer that you can install windows server and Ms. sql - you can get evaluation copies of these on line.

4, visit your local book shop and check out the certificatio section - you need to buy a book that you are comfortable with (text and style of writing) - you can then buy it online if it is cheaper. As backup you can get one from the dummies publishing line.

5, I think if you practise and prepare for the exams and take them when you are ready.

6, After your first exam start applying for jobs - because you will need some experience.

hope this helps.


Thanks Muta

Currently my career is as a prof. advertising photographer, working mostly with mac machines. I haven't really worked much with IBM compat. & windows machines. During my research I found this,
If you have a chance, check it out and I'd appreciate your thoughts on it. Also, it would be great if you could recommend a computer so 'you can install windows server and Ms. sql' (laptop & tower). Thanks for the spoon-feeding, I'll check out the books


hi gjfoto
Check the Microsoft website they can give you the technical requirement - the minimum will do, becuase all you will be doing is testing/learning.


Download one of the free versions of a database and get to work learning it. You don't need a degree but you need experience with the product. Your best bets for jobs are:
Microsoft SQL Server
But any database you use is going to be useful because of the underlying SQL (Database language).
Get some books on SQL and the database system you choose to work with.

Once you can create databases, tables, queries, and some advanced tasks like backup, stored procedures, etc., then get to work on knowing someone that can help you find a job. Get to know someone inside a company that uses databases. Join a local computer group--many cities have special interest groups--and there you'll find professionals that have jobs who can help you.

Alternatively, once you get your database 'legs', sign up with a temporary placement agency...many have contract jobs that will give you the experience you need.

In the meantime, hit: http://www.sqlcourse.com and get to work.

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