how to become a database administrator

At this point, it's no secret that the field of computer science and information technology offers a lot of potential for growth and career advancement. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, database professionals themselves earn a median annual salary of $77,080 per year. As a matter of fact, the database programming field has a growth rate of 15 percent, well above the national average.

For many who are new to information science, however, the database administration field can be intimidating. After all, information science is a very broad field with many specializations. Within information science, there are programmers, architects, and IT professionals - and within each of those sub-fields there are additional specializations and competencies. As such, the question invariably arises: Where should I focus my studies and career? Which of these fields has a future, and which are on the decline, or a fad? 

It's a valid question. After all, the technology industry is filled with obsolete disciplines that were once critical, but have now become niche technologies. After all, how many mainframe programmers do you meet anymore? 

Enter Database Programming

The field of database programming is not likely to be one of those fields, at least not for a very long time. In fact, databases and database technology is, more than anything, going through a period of intense growth, and is powering the technologies that are now in use and will be in use for a long time to come. You’ll find it being used in applications and environments such as:

  • Web applications - Virtually every web application in existence is powered by a back-end database(s), many of them truly massive in size. Amazon, eBay, and Google are all essentially massive databases, and those companies employ thousands of database programmers. 
  • Big Data, Data Warehousing, and Data Mining - Big Data is the concept whereby massive amounts of data are collated and correlated, to find patterns that hadn't been seen before, and can be exploited for business gain. Financial services, insurance, retail, commodities, healthcare, and a huge range of other industries all use these techniques to find value in the massive amounts of data they collect. 
  • Financial and Healthcare Applications - Financial institutions are massively dependent upon database technologies. In fact, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires stock exchanges to keep real-time records of every single transaction that takes place, and brokerages have similar requirements as well. Healthcare providers, in this new age of healthcare data records and new applications, are also very reliant on databases to maintain patient healthcare information. 

There really isn't an application type, industry or organization that doesn't depend heavily on databases. Data is quickly becoming the single most valuable commodity in the world, and that means that the career prospects for database programmers are very good.

Elements of a Good Database Administration Degree

Regardless of which degree program you choose, that program should incorporate the following concepts into its curriculum:

  • Database concepts - understanding how to create, modify, merge and manage database infrastructure and architectures.
  • Programming - how to use program languages within different databases, and how code interacts with databases. 
  • Web-based applications - how web-based code and web servers interact with the database to provide a complete application
  • Networking - understanding how networks facilitate database traffic, and how network issues can affect databases. 
  • Security - how to secure databases and how to ensure that application code is secure. 

Becoming a Database Administrator (DBA): The Logical First Step

At ECPI University, we have designed a program that can give you the hands-on experience you need to prepare for a career in Database Programming.  Plus, through our year-round schedule, you could earn your Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer and Information Science with a concentration in Database Programming in as little as 2.5 years. Our flexible schedule means you can take classes day, night, and online, and our learning emphasizes hands-on activities in addition to classroom lecture, which can maximize your learning experience and retention, which could allow you to hit the ground running once you reach the workplace. Contact us today. It could be the Best Decision You Ever Make!

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