Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA) Career and Salary

The Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA) credential is no longer available, but Microsoft now offers a closely related alternative. Learn about this credential and how you can prepare for a career as a database administrator, and find information on job duties and salary here. Schools offering Database Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator?

Although the MCDBA certification was retired in 2012, aspiring and experienced database administrators can demonstrate their job skills by earning the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): SQL 2016 Database Administration Credential. The MCSA: Database Administration designation can be used to demonstrate to potential employers and/or clients that you are proficient in database installation, configuration, maintenance and provisioning.

As a database administrator, you would be in charge of creating, maintaining and modifying databases for companies and organizations. This involves taking steps to ensure the security of the database, backing up data and running tests on databases to ensure they are working properly. From time to time, you may need to modify databases; adding hardware or software and merging databases, or even construct new databases. Take a look at the following chart for an overview of how to enter this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree is common
Education Field of Study Computer science or related field
Key Responsibilities Back up data, run tests on database performance, install hardware and software and create new databases
Job Growth (2014-2024) 11% (for all database administrators)*
Median Salary (2015) $81,710 (for all database administrators)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Do I Earn the MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration Certification?

There are no official prerequisites for this certification, but you need to have strong information technology skills. Many candidates also choose to earn the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) designation before pursuing the MCSA credential, but it's not required. From there, you must pass two exams. The first exam tests your ability to administer an SQL database infrastructure. The second covers the provisioning of SQL databases. Both exams require you to pay a fee. If you don't pass an exam on the first try, you must wait at least 24 hours before you can take it again. If you do not pass the second time, you must wait at least seven days before a third try. In total, you cannot take the exam more than five times per year.

What Will My Job Duties Be?

As a certified database administrator, you'll primarily be responsible for designing and managing server databases for a particular company or corporation. Nearly every industry uses databases to store relevant information and other data. Your job would include designing a database, utilizing best practices to implement and maintain database applications and determine the needs of the company, such as Internet access to data.

What Education Will I Need?

Several degree programs prepare you for the role of database administrator. Though there is no academic standard, many companies prefer you to have at least a bachelor's degree in a computer science or related field. Some applicable majors include an information systems or information technology, and most programs offer a concentration in database administration. Such degree programs not only provide you with an understanding of how to implement and manage database systems, but also give you an overview of information systems management, programming and networking.

What Salary Could I Make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), around 113,770 database administrator jobs existed in the United States in 2015. The median annual salary for these professionals was $81,710. In March 2017, Payscale.com reported that the average salary for administrators with MCSA certification ranged from $41,635 to $134,998, depending on their specific job title and level of experience.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you're interested in the supervisory aspects of the IT world, you might consider becoming a computer and information systems manager. In this position, you'd be in charge of organizing information technology (IT) projects. You'd also set IT goals to meet company needs and allocate resources to projects to achieve those goals. To enter this career, you need a bachelor's degree, though many working professionals have an MBA. Work experience is also critical. If you're interested in designing and developing IT infrastructures, look into computer network architecture positions. These professionals build local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs) and intranets for companies and organizations. They also have bachelor's degrees in a computer-related field.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

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    • Michigan: Big Rapids