As one of the world’s largest providers of cloud applications and business software (and boasting more than 430,000 customers across 175 countries), Oracle supports a wide range of industries and businesses. For years, it focused on providing an on-premises technology stack; now, it’s focused on competing with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft’s Azure as a provider of business cloud services.
Because Oracle is embedded so deeply in many companies’ tech infrastructure, knowing the related skills is vital for pretty much any technologist who wants to work within the enterprise, as well as midsized businesses. Moreover, if you apply for a software engineering job at Oracle itself, it can prove quite lucrative from a compensation standpoint, as this breakdown by levels.fyi (which crowdsources technology salaries) makes clear:
Dice spoke with Damien Carey, senior vice president of Oracle University (which offers in-classroom and online training in the company’s technologies), and James Lloyd-Townshend, Chairman and CEO of Anderson Frank (which recruits for those with Oracle Netsuite skills), to find out the most sought-after Oracle training courses, the qualifications you need to get a job, and possible paths on which to start your career as an Oracle specialist.
Why are Oracle skills valuable, and what are the most sought-after Oracle training courses?
“We’ve seen a marked increase in upskilling and cross-training recently, with tech professionals looking to diversify their skill set by getting certified in other leading cloud products,” Lloyd-Townshend said. “From a candidate standpoint, it makes career sense to add another certification to your resume to make yourself stand out and increase employability.”
As Carey explained, Oracle University offers a digital training library that covers the company’s entire product portfolio. He noted the most-consumed courses for Oracle’s SaaS offerings are primarily around human capital management (HCM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP).
Specifically, the top three most sought-after classes are:
- SaaS Oracle Financials Cloud: Payables to Cash Management Implementation
- Oracle Financials Cloud: Enterprise Structures with GL Implementation
- Oracle HCM Cloud: Configure Enterprise & Workforce Structures
Two other popular ones:
Nothing shocking there, when you consider the integral role that Oracle technology plays in company accounting and HR. Carey said there is also high demand for training courses covering payroll, benefits, receivables implementation, absence management, and supply chain management: “The highest-consumed courses for our PaaS and IaaS offerings are primarily around autonomous database, application development, and Oracle cloud infrastructure.”
Within that PaaS/IaaS context, the top three classes are:
- Working with Oracle Autonomous Database
- Oracle Database Cloud for DBAs on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
- Migrating Your Oracle Database to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
In this category, Carey also noted, there are a few classes that are “rapidly on the rise,” including:
- Administering Exadata Cloud@Customer Gen 2
- Oracle Autonomous Database Dedicated Workshop
- Using Oracle Machine Learning with Autonomous Database
- Build Web Apps Using APEX & Autonomous Database
How does one start a career specializing in Oracle technologies? What are some pointers and first steps for those looking to begin their education?
“Firstly, I’d recommend getting to grips with Oracle in your own time. Work on personal projects using the technology, learning as you go,” Lloyd-Townshend said. “And this is something that I’ve seen tech professionals do five, ten, years into their career—that curiosity and passion for the technology you’re looking to specialize in will be what sets you apart.”
Carey believes that where you start depends on your skill level. However, for someone starting their skills journey, he recommends starting with free training courses through the Oracle Learning Explorer program: “This will provide them with entry-level courses that span Oracle’s entire product portfolio that will serve as a foundation as they move into more advanced courses.”
Oracle Learning Explorer offers a skills test at the end of the course work; once that’s passed, the learner will receive an Explorer Badge that they can use to showcase their achievement on their social networks.
“From there, we recommend taking one of our Cloud Learning Subscriptions to progress their skillsets,” Carey continued. “Once the coursework is completed, the learner will be prepared to take a certification exam that will validate their mastery of the Oracle technology they are pursuing.”
What qualifications do you need to get a job as an Oracle specialist?
Carey said the “gold standard” for prospective employees is to become an Oracle Certified Specialist. Those looking to achieve that certification can work through the company’s Cloud Learning Subscriptions and then take the certification exams.
“If they pass the exam, they will receive a certification badge that they can use with employers to prove their skills and validate their mastery of Oracle solutions,” he said.
Lloyd-Townshend said that, once you’ve built up a bit of hands-on experience with the product, consider teaming up with a specialist recruiter to help you find the right role with the right employer: “A dedicated consultant knows the market better than most, and will be able to help you map out your career one role at a time so you’ll know exactly what you need to do to achieve your goal of becoming an Oracle powerhouse.”
How long does training take, how much does it cost, and what are the online training options?
Oracle University courses range from introductory to the very advanced, and also spans different audiences (whether it be an individual, a partner, or enterprise purchasing). For this reason, the prices of instruction vary, beginning with free introductory courses with the Oracle Learning Explorer program.
“We have moved to a fully digital training model that delivers video-based courses in microlearning modules that are about 10 minutes a piece,” Carey explained. “We shifted to this training delivery method so learning could become a part of anyone’s day-to-day schedule; with microlearning, a busy schedule and limited time does not impede gaining Oracle technology mastery.”
He noted Oracle University additionally offers one-hour live sessions on trending topics for those who want real-time sessions and live Q&A with their expert instructors: “We also offer labs that provide students with an environment to test and practice their skills as they progress through their course work.”
Lloyd-Townshend also noted the amount of time it takes for you to prepare for each exam varies from case to case, depending on how many hours you put in every day, as well as how long you’ve been using the technology—or something like it—throughout your professional life.
“Your learning style is also a factor. What takes some people a month to learn, you might accomplish in half the time and vice versa, so it comes down to how confident you feel in your skills and theoretical knowledge before you apply,” Lloyd-Townshend said. “Taking practice tests will help you gauge where you’re at, of course.”
Related Oracle Developer Jobs Resources: