Making Continuing Education a Priority

Making a career transition is no easy feat for any working professional. Between working full time and other responsibilities, making education a priority in order to learn skills can be challenging.

But for Professional Program in Data Administration and Management graduate Sergey Khristoforov, going back to school was a priority—something reinforced while interviewing for positions in the Bay Area.

“After a few interviews around the Bay Area, I realized that electrical engineering wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do, though it gave me a strong base,” Sergey recalls. “I started working in IT companies, doing data cleanup and simple data analysis, and found that I liked it. One startup company, Atlant-Pacific LLC, gave me a huge database that they wanted data analysis performed on. I felt like I needed a better foundation of skills to be competent, so I took my first class at UC Extension, Managing Data(bases) Using SQL, back in 2013. I liked it right away; the teacher was prepared and consistent. It went deeper than a City College class I took on the subject.”

While enrolled in this program, Sergey continued interviewing with other tech companies. “The classes in that program highly improved my skills in querying, designing and managing databases. I was definitely on top of my job interviews because the interviewers asked questions mostly about things I learned in those classes.”

Now Sergey is a technical account manager with the Google Express team. “It's a very complex role,” he says. “We work with a huge database since we have multiple merchants in the Bay Area and around the country. I’m doing data analysis, building complex dashboards and implementing new processes. It’s very data- and business-oriented, and it’s a lot of work.” But Sergey is not done with his education just yet—he’s currently registered in the Professional Program in Data Analysis to further his skillset.

“The classes are very helpful,” he says. “The teachers are knowledgeable and it's very convenient to study after work.”