How Can I Become a Database Engineer?
Learn how you can launch a career as a database engineer or administrator. Read about the median salary, job outlook, job duties, and education requirements to find out if this is the right career for you.
What Does A Database Engineer Do?
Database engineers, or administrators, maintain databases to keep them secure, as well as organize and store data utilizing special software. They often work with sensitive data, such as financial information or customer shipping records, and ensure this information is available to users and protected from unauthorized access. Along with maintaining and securing databases, some database engineers may be tasked with developing new databases.
Review the chart below for an overview of how to enter this field.
|Degree Required||Bachelor's degree|
|Education Field of Study||Management information systems, information technology|
|Other Requirements||Work experience|
|Key Responsibilities||Create, test, and maintain databases for companies|
|Job Growth (2018-2028)||9%*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$90,070 *|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Types of Database Engineer Programs Are Available?
Database engineers are also known as database architects and database developers. There are several degree programs that can help launch or advance your career as a database engineer. Degree programs are available at the bachelor's and graduate levels.
A bachelor's degree in computer science is a popular entry-level pathway to this field. In these programs you'll study fundamental information technology topics, such as programming languages and software design. You'll enroll in courses covering topics such as artificial intelligence, data structures and algorithms and computer operating systems.
If you want to continue your education beyond the bachelor's degree level, there are graduate programs available. Master's degree programs in database technology, database management and business information systems all feature instruction in database engineering theory and practice.
What Do I Need In Addition To My Degree?
To pursue employment as a database engineer, you will most likely need several years of work experience in addition to your education. Your work record should demonstrate an increasing level of responsibility and involvement with designing and developing database systems. You'll need to show that you are extensively familiar with database programming languages, such as SQL and DML. In addition to these specific work skills, you should also be creative, imaginative, and an excellent communicator and possess the ability to think logically.
What Will My Job Duties Be?
As a database engineer you will have the primary responsibility of designing, developing and implementing database systems. You'll be responsible for troubleshooting database management issues as they arise. You'll work as part of a team, along with software developers and design and system analysts, to ensure that the database systems meet the specific requirements of your business or industry. You'll install database system software upgrades to maintain optimized efficiency and security.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
Those looking for an alternative career working with computers could consider becoming a computer programmer. These are computer specialists who write and test code that is key to making computer applications or software work correctly. Computer programmers usually hold a bachelor's degree.
Another possible position is as a computer network architect. They create and design data communication networks, such as local and wide area networks or intranets. These positions require applicants to possess knowledge of current and future technology trends in order to ensure networks are up to date. They usually hold a bachelor's degree in a computer-related area.