What Is Database Architecture?

Database architecture uses programming languages to design a particular type of software for businesses or organizations. A postsecondary education is typically required for employment in this discipline. Read on to learn more about database architecture, including career options in the field. Schools offering Database Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Definition

Database architecture focuses on the design, development, implementation and maintenance of computer programs that store and organize information for businesses, agencies and institutions. A database architect develops and implements software to meet the needs of users. Several types of databases, including relational or multimedia, may be created. Additionally, database architects may use one of several languages to create databases, such as structured query language (SQL). You might be familiar with Oracle and Microsoft Access, which are two common database programs.

Important Facts About Database Architecture

Similar Occupations Computer network architect, computer systems analyst, web developer, information security analyst, computer programmer
Key Skills Communication, detail oriented, interpersonal, problem-solving, and analytical skills
Work Environment Typically full-time, long hours
On-the-Job Training Available at software companies, typically for college-aged students

Career Options

Some possible careers that involve database architecture include database administration and applications software development.

Database Administrator

As a database administrator, you'd be responsible for database creation and maintenance. You'd work to secure a company's data from loss or unauthorized access, including making backups that can be used to restore lost data. Other tasks may include merging and modifying existing databases and upgrading database software. You might only be responsible for a specific database as a systems database administrator.

Applications Software Developer

As an applications software developer, you'd make a database that would be used with a program, such as a desktop application or Web application. You might also make the software used with the database. Some general software development job duties include determining software requirements, working with the programmers who code the software, making program documentation and doing maintenance and testing.

Degree Programs

To learn database architecture, you might consider entering into a degree program. A computer science program is the most common route for acquiring skills in database architecture. Some programs offer concentrations in database systems. Entry into this field requires postsecondary education with a minimum of a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field.

Bachelor's Programs

If you choose to become a database architect, most of your colleagues will probably have at least a bachelor's degree in computer science. Within an undergraduate program, you're introduced to the foundations of computer science as a whole and are exposed to database management systems and architecture principles, including schemata, data models, programming languages, and query and storage topics.

Master's Programs

Master's programs often provide specialization tracks in database systems. Here you'll have the opportunity to apply what you've learned in a bachelor's program and develop more advanced skills in database architecture and administration, such as backup and recovery, data mining and security issues. Master's programs might also include coursework in management and leadership.

Career Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a 31% increase in employment opportunities for applications software developers, which can include database developers, for the decade of 2016-2026 (www.bls.gov). Additionally, the BLS indicated an 11% employment growth for database administrators within the same timeframe. Overall, this increase was due in part to the increased data needs of companies in all sectors of the economy. The BLS reported median annual wages of $90,070 for database administrators and $103,620 for applications developers in May 2018.

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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