The high demand for database professionals is making the field attractive to many people in other areas of IT.

“More and more companies are not only storing data, but they are also mining it in order to market and advertise,” said Marty Miserandino, senior placement consultant at New Dimensions in Technology in Marblehead, Mass. “There are so many positions in the database arena, ranging from a DBA to vice-president of database technology.”

As in many areas of IT, getting a database job requires both specific skills and experience. But it is possible to move from another area of IT into database work.

“A systems person with an interest in databases needs to get hands-on experience involving database technology,” Miserandino said. “[First], become familiar with the areas you would like to be involved in. Secondly, you must begin to take courses to become hands-on. Finally, seek out opportunities to gain project experience. Whether it’s in the current company, side projects, or switching positions, hands-on experience is key.”

Certification can help you make this move, but don’t assume that it alone will land you a job.

“Certification is important, but I think the hands-on experience is even more critical,” Miserandino said. “I’m seeing a lot of r