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Welcome to the forum!
A certification will certainly help you to get a job as a DBA, and I believe it is the best option for people who have no previous working experience.
It is a way to show the company you want to work for that you have a theoretical knowledge of how Oracle works and is interested in learning and studying it.
However, I believe the best companies to get a job as a junior DBA are big companies, that need many DBAs to perform different tasks.
Also, getting a job may be easier/harder depending on where you live.
If you like a different area it is never too late to start learning and working with it.
Thanks for the input Rene. I guess I might've been a little confused about aiming f or big vs small companies; I figured that a small company would need more immediate help than a large company who might "scoff" at someone with little experience. But your logic makes sense too; I'm sure they would need some junior people to come on board and do some menial tasks that they can't pull seniors away to do. From there, experience would be built and knowledge would be gained.
As for the area, I'm in the DC Metro area, so there should be plenty of work available, especially in the IT field. Got that part covered already ;)
In general in the US, there aren't a whole lot of positions for junior DBAs. Most tasks that you could potentially hand off to a junior DBA are things that Oracle has automated or things that can be done with shell scripts or database jobs.
There are three relatively common paths to becoming a DBA. The first option is to start as a developer that specializes in the database side of things and to transition into a more DBA-type role often going through a development DBA role. The second option is to start of a "jack of all trades" at a smaller company that handles database administration, system administration, web servers, etc. The third ption is to start as a systems admin and transition into more of a database administration role.
If you're looking for an entry-level job, my bias would be to suggest that you look for a database developer role with a larger company or to look for a "jack of all trades" position with a smaller company.