Data Professionals: Invest in Yourself!

So, are you worth investing in or not?

Most every IT professional continually looks for their company to invest money in on-going education. Who among us does not want to learn something new – on company time – and with the company’s money? Unless you are self-employed, that is!

Yes, your company should invest some funds to train you on new technology and new capabilities – especially if it is asking you to do new things. And since technology changes so fast, most everyone has to learn something new at some point every year. But the entire burden of learning should not be placed on your company!

Budget some of your own money to invest in your education, which is also an investment in your career. After all, you probably won’t be working for the same company your entire career. Why should your company be forced to bankroll your entire ongoing education? Now, I know, a lot depends on your particular circumstances. Sometimes we accept a lower salary than we think we are worth because of the “perks” that are offered. And one of those perks can be training. If that was the promise upon being hired it makes absolute sense to hold the company to its end of the bargain… but times change and companies change, and that means that sometimes your perks can disappear.

Now some folks simply abhor spending any of their hard-earned dollars to help advance their careers. Shelling out a couple of bucks to buy some new books, subscribe to a publication, or join a professional organization shouldn’t be out of the reach of most folks in IT, though.

A willingness to spend some money to stay abreast of technology is a trait that should apply to DBAs. Most DBAs I’ve known are insatiably curious and many are willing to invest some of their money to learn something new. Maybe they bought that book on XML or NoSQL before anyone at their company started using it. Perhaps it is just that enviable bookshelf full of useful SQL and database books in their cubicle. Or maybe they paid that nominal fee to subscribe to the members-only content of that DBA web portal. They could even have forked over the $10 fee to attend the local user group.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that companies should not reimburse for such expenses. They should – it provides for better-rounded, more educated, and more useful employees. But if your employer won’t pay for something that you think will help your career, then why not just buy it yourself?

And be sure to keep a record of such purchases because unreimbursed business expenses can be tax-deductible.


I'm a strategist, researcher, and consultant with nearly three decades of experience in all facets of database systems development.
This entry was posted in books, education. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Data Professionals: Invest in Yourself!

  1. bbom says:

    I always like your posts because you have such a good way of expressing yourself, and this is a virtue in these days.

  2. rastreadores bbom says:

    the site, very nice and meaningful, keep it up

  3. rastreadores bbom says:

    looking forward to another great article.

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