In recent years, business intelligence and data analysis have become pivotal disciplines in all types of organizations. This is especially true in the Puget Sound area. The Database Busines Intelligence Developer Certificate Program at Bellevue College Continuing Education (BC CE) works diligently to prepare students to complete business intelligence and data analysis projects at local top-tier organizations.
One success story produced by the program is that of certificate holder C.L. Huang, who capitalized on a referral to the recruiters at the Mactus Group by BC CE’s Center for Career Connections. The Mactus Group helped him land a long-term contract at Microsoft. That placement then led to a partnership between BC CE and the Mactus Group to get more qualified students to the companies that need them. BC CE now refers each certificate holder upon completion of the program to the Mactus Group, who consider BC CE as a qualified referral source.
Because of his preparation at BC CE and the referral from the Center for Career Connections, Huang had a leg up in the job market.“We value our referrals more than people who just submit their resumes because referrals carry a lot of weight,” noted Timothy Lee, a director at the Mactus Group. ”We know that typically they’re good, they know the business, and they’re a hard worker.”
Once you’ve spoken to Huang and his instructors, it’s easy to undestand how he achieved success. A tenacious student, Huang regularly communicated with instructors about employment goals and studied his subject outside class. Through work with BC CE’s instructors and by completing in-class skills tests and the important Capstone class, Huang learned the skills he need to pass the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist exam and succeed professionally. As Lee explained, “Huang wanted to focus on business intelligence, data analysis, working with the data side, and customer insights. And we happened to have a project at Microsoft that needed a technical data analytics person.”
“Our recruiting team will do a general vet, working basically on cultural fit,” Lee said. ”Depending on how technical the candidates is, we’ll ask anything from questions on really high-level data analysis and data insight to what do you know about data, how do you look at data, how do you drive customer insights and business insights by using data.” Huang’s interview at the Mactus Group started with high-level questions and soon progressed to the obscure. Describing his interview, Huang smiled and said he was well prepared thanks to his certificate program training. “Nobody’s born with it,” he confided.
Huang’s modesty hides his technical savvy and the deep level of expertise he leveraged to ace his interview. As Lee explains, ”Huang wanted to do more work on the Unix side, database development, Transact-SQL, Cube development. So we drilled down on his technical competencies in those areas.” After discussing all of Huang’s relevant technical expertise, including his command of tools for building data warehouses, Lee decided to place Huang at Microsoft. Huang credits this placement to BC CE’s focus on the Microsoft Stack and the level of depth of instruction on business intelligence tasks. The training is so thorough that Huang regularly sees several BC CE business intelligence students on the job at Microsoft.
The technology sector in the Bellevue and Seattle regions has grown rapidly in the last decade and so have opportunities for qualified business intelligence developers and data analysts. As Lee puts it, “Right now business intelligence is big. Firms in the region are collecting so much data that they don’t know how to interpret the data or utilize it to drive business or understand the customer.” Because local firms will continue to face these challenges, the demand for Database Business Intelligence Developer Certificate holders will continue to grow as more firms in the Puget Sound region strive to make better use of their data.
BC CE’s partnership with the Mactus Group aims to put more BC CE alumni in those firms, and Lee looks forward to extending the partnership to other segments in core areas. He and the Mactus Group are committed to treating candidates well and matching them with a project that will help them to succeed and grow over the long term.