What Is a Database Development Specialist?

Research what it takes to become a database development specialist. Learn about the duties of this job, the education requirements and salary range to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Child & Adolescent Development degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Database Development Specialist?

Database development specialists - also called database administrators - create, operate and secure databases for organizations. They are responsible for ensuring that databases work efficiently and protect the data. It is important for them to make backups of the data stored on databases and test modifications to the system. From time to time, they may be tasked with merging multiple databases and adjusting user permissions. The following chart provides an overview of the education, job outlook and average salary in this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Database administration, information systems, computer programming
Certification Certification through software vending companies (optional)
Key Responsibilities Design, secure, maintain and troubleshoot databases for businesses
Job Growth (2014-24) 11%*
Median Salary (2015) $81,710*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Job Duties of a Database Development Specialist?

Some of the primary responsibilities you may have as a database development specialist or database administrator include designing, implementing and maintaining databases for individual businesses and corporations. Many businesses need to use databases to store and process financial transactions. Your job is to determine the data storage needs of an organization and select a database that best meets those needs.

Once you determine the best database to use for a particular business, you'll also be responsible for implementing and testing that database. You establish security measures to ensure that databases are safe and that backup systems are in place.

What Educational Programs Are Available?

A database development certificate program from a college or university will provide you with the vocational skills and knowledge necessary to work as a database development specialist. While enrolled in such a program, you'll learn the basics of information systems, computer programming and database administration. You may also gain experience in working with popular databases, such as Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle.

If you're interested in becoming a database development specialist, you might also earn a 4-year degree in computer science, information systems or information technology. A Bachelor of Science in Database Management will provide you with a thorough understanding of database concepts, SQL servers, programming, Web design and special purpose databases. Such programs will also often cover management information systems.

What Certifications Might I Earn?

You can earn certification as a database specialist through different software vending companies. For example, Microsoft offers the Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA) designation for database administrators who have mastered Microsoft SQL servers. To earn the certification, you must complete a series of four examinations. Oracle offers a similar certification for database specialists.

What Salary Information Might Be Available?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that database administrators held around 113,770 jobs in the United States in 2015 (www.bls.gov). Many of these individuals worked for computer systems design companies, while others worked for individual businesses and organizations. The mean annual salary in the field in 2015 was $84,250.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Network and computer systems administrators may not always work with databases, though they do work with the network and computer systems that businesses depend on. They identify a company's network needs and work to make systems to meet those specifications. Another related role, computer systems analysts work to improve the efficiency of computer systems. They are hired to use their knowledge of business needs and computer technology to modify IT systems to meet company needs. Professionals in both of these careers often have a bachelor's degree 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:

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