Every professional, in every field, must be ready and willing to learn continually so they can maintain their skills and develop new approaches to an ever-changing world
In the 21st century, every professional must be ready to embrace continuous education, and develop a willingness to learn new skills to develop talents that enable them to contribute to the ever-changing world and its challenges. This is especially true of data management professionals.
Data Management is a field in which there are several components, as demonstrated in the graphic below:
Figure 1: Data Management Framework
An effective data management professional understands the holistic nature of the entire framework and how each part works with the other components. He or she also understands the concepts within each domain (data governance, metadata management, data architecture, etc.) and the specific contributions each makes to the organization. Organizations that can develop and sustain an effective enterprise data / information management approach can realize many long-lasting benefits, both tangible and intangible (revenue increase, cost reduction, decision and analytics improvements, performance enhancements, confidence rise, etc.).
Sustainable Data Management Talent
There is a dearth of experienced data management professionals at all levels, in every industry. With the growth of data and business analytics, the need for a solid foundation of enterprise data management (data governance, metadata management, enterprise data architecture, data integration, etc.) is intensified. Many university programs in computer science, business and management information systems, and related disciplines do not teach enterprise data management. Therefore, most data management professionals learn their skills after graduation through self-study or other means. Demonstrating that one has acquired those skills can come from a variety of sources, some more accessible, others with different value.
Sustainability is a term with multiple meanings. It can mean environmental sustainability, or it can mean ensuring one is taking the proper steps to ensure fitness for future action. Data Management professionals should take this perspective and focus on examining the steps they should take to ensure professional sustainability.
Professional Development Credentials
Many data management professionals choose to earn some form of credential to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in one or more areas of enterprise data management, or in some related area (e.g., data security). There are a variety of ways to learn as shown in this chart, and the differences between certificates and certifications are described in more detail:
|Type of Credential||Advantages||Disadvantages|
Table 1: Professional Development Credentials
|Result of an educational process (series of courses on a topic / subject / domain)||Result of an assessment / testing process|
|For newcomers and experienced professionals||Typically requires some years’ experience|
|Indicates completion of a course or series of courses with a particular focus||Indicates mastery/competency measured against a standard – usually by exam|
|Course content set through standard academic process||Standards set through an industry-wide process|
|Usually listed on a resume detailing education||Typically results in a designation to use after one’s name (CPA, SPHR, PMP, CDMP)|
|Demonstrates knowledge of course content||Often has continuing training requirement (C.E.U.s)|
|Often, a gateway to a degree||No relationship to attaining higher education/degree|
Table 2: Certificates versus Certifications
Degree Programs for Data Management Professionals
Although most universities do not teach data management, many data management professionals want to earn a graduate degree as a career enhancement device. Additionally, many data management professionals did not complete their undergraduate degree before entering the workforce, and could benefit from a degree completion program that would enable them to gain a valuable credential. This chart shows the variety of technology-enabled methods of study:
|Online (Full and Part-time Masters, and undergraduate degree completion)|
|Internship during Full Time Masters|
Table 3: Technology-Enabled Degree Programs
Building Experience for Data Management Professionals
How does a data management professional put himself or herself in the position to gain experience? Through earning the degrees, studying for certificates and achieving certifications. How does a data management professional continue on the path to increased responsibility, higher achievements, etc.? Through additional experience supported by continual learning from formal sources (degree programs, individual courses, etc.), seminars and conferences, data management certifications (e.g., CDMP), and professional networking.
Build a resume that shows continuous learning, a steady progression of formal education, appropriate certification, seminars and conferences all designed for a 21st century data management professional