How best to make career transition to database architect?
I have sixteen years of experience in the semiconductor manufacturing industry for Applied Materials. I've been a test technician, an installer, a field support engineer, a manager, and a trainer. I worked closely with the engineering group and I've done some special engineering projects. Some of these involved limited programming in Visual Basic - which I basically taught myself. I am very comfortable with computers and I've been on several project teams where I've worked with Oracle programmers to define database requirements. I've created a few websites on my own for fun as I'm self taught in HTML and CSS (and all XHTML 1.0 compliant!). I have a B.S. in Physics and background in electrical engineering, but limited computer science beyond hobby/special projects. I want to make a career transition to software - I want to be a Database Architect in 8 years. I need to know how best to do this while working full time - going back to school full time is not really an option as I'm supporting a family of 7. I'm hoping some of you with software backgrounds can give me ideas of where to start. I've considered a Masters of Information Technology from Univ. of Phoenix online - I can afford it, I can work full time and still do it in a reasonable amount of time, I'm just not sure it will get me where I want to go.