How Do You Become a Database Administrator?

How do you become a database administrator? We get this question a lot, particularly from students who major in information technology and computer science. Before you consider becoming a database administrator, there are important things you need to know. Here is a guideline you might find useful.

What a Database Administrator Does

There is no way you can excel in your career if you don’t know what is expected of you. Database administrators control all activities related to database management, storage, security and retrieval. They develop, install, test and monitor data systems within an organization and determine ways to organize and store data. They often work closely with data communication and network system analysts.

Earn an Undergraduate Degree

The first step to becoming a database administrator is to enroll in an undergraduate degree program. Since data management is an IT-related job, you can pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science. You can also pursue Bachelor of Science in Information Technology or Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems. All these degrees programs will expose you to topics such as data structure, database and distributed systems, database management systems, data communication, and discrete structures.

To outshine others and get employed faster, you will need to enroll in an internship program. You can do this during your final year or immediately after you graduate. An internship will introduce you to the type of activities you will perform once you get employed as a database administrator.

Earn a Certification

A bachelor’s degree is not enough to get you a decent job in database administration. You need to apply for one or two certifications. You can choose Microsoft, Oracle or MySQL certifications. Microsoft has Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Data Platform and Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert certifications. These certifications are designed for large-scale data network experts. Oracle offers Oracle Certified Associate (OCA), Oracle Certified Master (OCM), Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) and MySQL 5.6 certification.

Gain Work Experience

Most employers are quick to send away applicants during interviews simply because they don’t have enough experience. To avoid such scenarios, you need acquire at least three years of work experience. You can settle for a low-paying job in a local company or work for free in a nonprofit organization. The most important thing is that you get the necessary experience you need to qualify for a decent job.

Further Your Education

Finding a database administration job with an undergraduate degree is possible. However, you need to further your education to increase your chances of getting more advanced jobs. You can pursue a master’s degree in information management or information technology. You can also pursue a doctorate degree.

Salary and Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for database managers is $84,950 per year. The employment growth rate is projected to improve by 11 percent through 2020 all the way to 2024. The growth will be driven by the increased data needs by companies across various industries.

Related Resource: What is a Computer Forensics Investigator?

Data administrators monitor all data-related activities within an organization. They enjoy good job prospects, working environment and salaries. If you want to become a database administrator, you need to understand your roles, obtain at least a bachelor’s degree in an IT-related field and gain some work experience.