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What does a Database Administrator do?

Database administrators provide interconnect between an organization's technology, information, and employees. Your knowledge of computers, eye for detail, and organizational skills provide a strong start for gaining the qualifications you will likely need to be successful in this career.

It's more than just data

Database administrators use management databases for using, managing, and analyzing data for meeting user needs and employer goals. You might transfer information stored in old databases to new ones, and troubleshoot glitches in the process. Setting up new databases and assigning and removing user access for an organization's data management system promotes work efficiency and information security.

Database administrators are also computer specialists and must be adept at listening, solving problems, and communicating with all levels of staff and management regardless of others' comfort levels with technology. Database administrators may work on strict deadlines; working and communicating well with others is essential for completing projects on time.

Education for database administrators

Working as a computer specialist generally requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree in computer science or related field. Coursework includes math and statistics, computer engineering, programming and computer science. Liberal arts courses may also be needed for meeting core degree requirements. Employers may require a master of science degree in computer science with a concentration in information technology. Certifications from computer manufacturers and software suppliers may also be required.

Finding database administrator jobs

Professionals entering the field can benefit by applying within job sectors hiring the greatest number of positions in database administration. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reports that the following were the top three job sectors hiring the most database administrators:
  • Computer systems design and related services
  • Management of companies and enterprises
  • Universities, colleges and professional schools
If the combination of database administration and teaching sounds like a good blend for you, it is important to note that graduate degrees are typically required for teaching in four-year colleges.

Earnings potential: crunching the numbers

The BLS expects national job opportunities for database administrators to grow by about 20 percent. According to the BLS, many database administrators earn well over six figures. The highest paying job sectors for database administrators include atypical fields such as rail transportation, monetary authority, and chemical and allied products merchant wholesalers.

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