Job Title: Database Administrator And Web Developer
Type of Company: I work for a non-profit agency which provides services to the elderly: transportation, bill payment assistance and prescription assistance, among other things.
Education: BBA, Western Michigan University
Previous Experience: n/a
Job Tasks: I am the main computer person at my company, so my duties range from helping someone log into his computer to helping him figure out how to do his day-to-day job functions better.
One major part of my job is running the database. This is an extensive listing of the clients we serve, containing vital information such as marital status, address, race, gender, and how the client has been specifically served by our agency. I have to enter much of this data on a daily basis and run reports for our funding agencies on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis.
Another major responsibility is web development. I have to maintain what goes on each page of our company's website and make sure it's up to date. I sometimes do the updates myself; other times I delegate them out to other departments in the company. For example, we have five senior centers we service. If a center gets a name change, or we get rid of a center, or add one, the website has to be updated to reflect the new circumstances.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the satisfaction I get from knowing that I am helping, if only in a minor way, to make seniors lives better. Sometimes the case managers whom I work with tell me stories on how a senior's life has improved, and it makes everything we do worth it!
The worst part of my job is trying to make all the reporting agencies happy. They all want something different, but there has to be a limit to how big the database can get. Too much information usually isn't good when it comes to databases.
Job Tips: Find out through others what you will be interested in doing specifically. There are so many aspects of IT that you want to make sure you are taking the proper steps to get into the right field. "Do your homework." Don't just take classes for the sake of taking classes. Find out what you're really into, and focus on it. For example, if you are into networking computers, there are Microsoft certifications through trade schools that you can get without going to college (if that's not something you're interested in doing). I wanted to have a business degree as well as computer knowledge so I took formal classes in a university setting and, for me, this made it easier to look for a job.
Additional Thoughts: I was in my last year of college on 9-11-01. There were a ton of computer-related jobs, and the pay scale was phenomenal prior to that. After 9-11, many jobs were lost or sent abroad. The pay scale is still great if you have experience. It's harder to get the experience now though. (And in Michigan, at the moment, this is even truer!) If you are willing to move to a market where there are more abundant jobs, it will be very beneficial.
If you are thinking of getting into this job market with a computer degree, you have to be willing to constantly learn new languages (i.e., html, java, .net, visual basic and so on). You have to be flexible in what knowledge you need and what you are willing to learn. Technology is a tough field in that it is constantly changing and upgrading and getting rid of old information. You have to be willing to keep up with the changes, or you may get lost in them.
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