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Career Coach: Page 2 of 3

A few tips: Don't focus on salary too early, research before the interview, and be flexible. The BrassRing site offers career search tips geared to IT pros ( Also, before you post your résumé online, check the job board's privacy policy (for what to look for, see

Dear Career Coach:

What are the merits of getting certified as an MCDBA (Microsoft Certified Database Administrator) versus getting an associate's in IT database administration? I have an MCSE and a year's experience supporting Microsoft Windows 95/98, but I use a wheelchair for mobility and desktop support requires more equipment-lugging than I expected. I am hoping that with database skills I can get a good entry-level position and work my way up.

I am about three-quarters away from getting my associate's at Bellevue Community College, and the MCDBA program I am looking at runs from October to March. Which will lead to a better-paying job?

Looking For Database Input

Dear Input:

Judging from my inbox, certifications are a hot subject. I posed your question to Tony Arendt, HR manager at Neohapsis, a Network Computing partner lab. He says that while the value of certifications has diminished over the past few years (see "Certification Equation" for more on this subject), both paths you mention are worth pursuing if you can manage it.