Database Administration Jobs and How to Get Them

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Databases are one of the most widely used forms of computer software. Though mostly concentrated at businesses, databases are used by personal users as well. At companies, databases store company records, accounting information, employee information, and inventory information. Because the total amount of information tends to be dense, many companies employ database administrators to organize each type of data on database software.

When database administrators first begin to work at a business, they consult with managers about which information the managers want entered into the database. They also consult with managers about how the managers would like this information visually displayed to custom-fit the company. Once database administrators obtain this information, they install the database system and design the user interface. They use their fluent knowledge of the Structured Query Language (SQL), the primary computer database language, to program the database. After installing the database, they enter all information specified to them by company managers. They then monitor the information for its data integrity, making sure that it matches the original content. Moreover, database administrators see to it that the database does not react slowly to commands or have a high tendency to crash. Therefore, before they even start installing the software, they select a database program that conforms to the computer hardware.

Database administrators also install airtight security so the company’s information remains confidential. They input internal controls such as user IDs and passwords, so the company can control who accesses its data. Moreover, database administrators create and test backups so the database information can be stored for safe-keeping. This is of huge importance because of the disastrous effects resulting from a company’s loss of information.



In order to perform their jobs well, database administrators need thorough training in computer science. Many technical colleges offer two-year degrees to get database administrators started at entry-level database administration jobs. However, administrators who want to work for large, high-paying companies often obtain bachelor’s degrees at college. Some of them obtain a management information systems degree at their college’s business school, since this program teaches both computer science and business administration.

It is an increasing trend, however, that Fortune 500 companies employ database administrators who have master’s degrees in business administration, with a concentration in management information systems. Obtaining this high level of education solidly equips database administrators with the knowledge and managerial skills they need to work with extremely comprehensive databases.

Gaining certification in database administration through various software companies gives many new administrators an edge over competing candidates. Because database systems are so diverse, it often helps database administrators to earn certification through more than one software company. For instance, Microsoft offers certification in programs titled Microsoft Certified IT Professional and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist. Other companies, such as Oracle and IBM, offer similar certification courses. Certification for database administrators usually requires completing two comprehensive exams.

While database administration students complete their education, they usually work internships so they can understand how database administration functions in the actual workplace. These internship positions are not at all hard to find, since so many companies have high need for even inexperienced computer programmers. While database administrators work as interns, they realize firsthand that clear communication skills are a must in the workplace. This is because so many co-workers and managers are still unfamiliar with IT terminology, so database administrators must take care to use non-technical language around these people.

Though many corporations hire database administrators, the majority of administrators work directly for IT and technology-services firms. Often, businesses contract database administrators to work for them temporarily, perhaps to install database software during their start-up process. In addition, many businesses hire administrators to examine their database’s internal controls, upload new information, customize operations, or tighten database security. Lastly, many database administrators work now from their homes, since they can remotely program databases. These administrators, who are likely senior-level administrators, may also be self-employed.

Database administrators have no need to worry about their future job prospects, nor the longevity factor of database administrator jobs. Throughout the next decade, database administration jobs are poised to exceed the growth of most other occupations, IT-related or not. Part of this growth stems from how so many companies are shifting their transactions online, such as through e-commerce, which requires more database management. Moreover, many companies use Intranet database systems that link employees located at numerous U.S. and global branches. Besides designing databases, database administrators are now expected to know the latest security developments in software. Most companies will take no chances that highly sensitive information can be accessed or stolen by hackers, so they strongly prefer to hire administrators who have the most current security-programming skills.

Entry-level jobs in database administration pay well, especially alongside most other entry-level jobs. Database administrators who have 1-4 years of job experience usually make about $50,000 per year. Their average salary usually jumps to about $70,000 after 5-9 years. The average salary for seasoned database administrators is about $82,000 per year. These seasoned administrators often manage their company’s branch of database administrators or are self-employed administrators. High-paid administrators are also fully informed on the latest database-administration trends and know how to implement them for their company. Therefore, their company is more willing to pay them greater money since their knowledge gives the company more returns.
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 colleges  businesses  administration  SQL  Fortune 500  internships  master's degree in business administration  data integrity  database system  customers


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