Q: I am a Windows developer and am interested in data mining. What certification will help me? Should I go for a DBA first and then after spending some time working as a DBA, go for a mining or warehousing certification? Please provide information regarding certifications and any other details you feel would be useful.

Sid Adelman's Answer:

I'd start out learning about data warehousing, especially the analytical side and in the meantime learn all you can about data mining. Try finding a position in your organization where they are mining the data - experience is much more of a hiring determinant than any certification. Despite what the vendors say, real data mining requires an in-depth understanding of the data and a good understanding of statistics.

Clay Rehm's Answer:

What is there about data mining that interests you? There must be in interest in data that would provoke such a thought. In that case, I would consider learning about data modeling and data architecture before I jumped into learning about database administration (DBA).

I believe in certifications and you can obtain your Certified Computing Professional (CCP) certification at the same time you are learning about data modeling. Please refer to the www.iccp.org Web site for more information on that. In addition, there are many data modeling training sessions and classes held by colleges and other vendors. I would also recommend to learn "operational" data modeling first, then learn "data warehouse" data modeling. Keep an open mind in both!

A DBA certification is well worth the effort - the trick is to decide what platform. The major players are IBM, Oracle and Microsoft. What platform or technology are you going to spend most of your time on? Figure that out and pursue the certification.

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