What Is Database Administration?

Database administration is the act of supervising and maintaining database management system software. Professionals in this field usually need a bachelor's degree and work experience. Read on to learn more about database administration and the field's educational requirements, employment outlook and salary potential. Schools offering Database Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Database Administration Overview

Database administration relies on the use of software systems to organize, manipulate and allow access to digital information. Different types of software require users to carry out unique commands in order to operate a database's functions, and many programs allow users to write computer language codes, or scripts, to enable a database to display information in specified formats. Businesses and schools often use database administration software to manage large amounts of information without having to physically store papers or files.

Important Facts About Database Administrators

On-the-Job Training None
Key Skills Analytical and logical thinking, problem solving, detail oriented, proficient communication
Work Environment Office setting; typically within firms with large databases
Similar Occupations Computer and information systems managers, computer network architects, computer programmers, computer support specialists, computer systems analysts, financial analysts, information security analysts, market research analysts, network and computer systems administrators, operations research analysts, software developers, web developers

Job Duties

All types of institutions use database management systems to store and access various types of information. Many businesses rely on employees in their information technology (IT) departments to:

  • Control database administration operations
  • Manage user permissions
  • Write basic software script
  • Create new databases
  • Backup data
  • Implement data security

Certification Programs

A number of schools offer certificate programs in database administration. These programs vary in length from a few weeks to a year, depending on the depth and breadth of information covered. Some educational offerings focus on one type of database management software, such as Oracle or Microsoft Access, while others explore several programs. It's common for schools to only admit applicants who have previous academic or employment experience related to database management. While most training specific to database management is offered at the certificate level, database administrators typically need a 4-year degree in management information systems or a related major to enter the field. In addition, some of these programs feature a concentration in database administration. Some employers may request a master's degree as well.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Some technical courses you might find in a management information systems bachelor's degree program include:

  • Web development
  • Programming
  • Information security
  • Project management
  • Networking
  • Systems analysis and design
  • Database management systems
  • Oracle databases
  • Hardware and software

Job Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects database administrators to see faster-than-average growth in employment opportunities of 11% over the 2016-2026 decade (www.bls.gov). In May 2018, the BLS reported a median salary of $90,070 for database administrators. The bottom 10% of these workers made $50,340 or less per year. The top 10% made $138,320 or higher annually.

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:

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