Learn more about careers in database administration. Find information on database administration careers, job outlook, salary, and recommended schools. View popular schools that prepare students for careers as database administrators.
Data is everywhere. While most individuals are responsible for organizing their own data—for instance most of us keep a checkbook to manage our finances—organizations often require help to manage all of their data. Databases, which are information technology tools for storing data, are commonly used by organizations to store their data. Even though databases provide an important resource for information storage, in order to effectively organize, store and secure information in a database, organizations must hire database administrators. Because databases are typically found in almost every industry, database administrators are needed anywhere there is data that needs to be managed.
While database administrators are principally responsible for overseeing and managing databases, the scope of their positions may require them to engage in additional job roles and responsibilities. Specifically, database administrators may need to provide the organization with basic supports and computer tools for the development and implementation of an information database. In this particular role, database administrators will need to have an integral understanding of the hardware and software tools available to meet the organization’s needs. Database administrators may also be responsible for securing data and ensuring that back-up data is created in the event of an emergency.
Database administration is a specialized career field that offers limited flexibility in career options. Most database administrators share similar responsibilities across most industries. Most professionals working in this field are required to build, maintain, support and administer databases. Administrators are also required to ensure that security measures have been implemented to protect data integrity. In order to obtain a position as a database administrator, individuals will require some post-secondary education. In particular, most database administrators obtain a Bachelors Degree in computer information systems (CIS) or computer science. Management jobs in database administration are a potential career option. However, most individuals seeking management positions in this field will be required to have at a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis on information technology management. Because of the specified nature of the work, professionals seeking positions as database administrators will also need to acquire some work experience. Internships or work-study programs can provide needed training to facilitate job placement following graduation.
Salaries for database administrators vary based on the professional’s level of education and experience in the field. Professionals with a Bachelors Degree that have recently graduated from college with limited job experience will enter the field in the lowest paying positions. Average starting salaries for database administrators are $40,780. Once in the field, professionals will gain vital work experience that will enable them to advance in their careers and acquire higher salaries. Median annual salaries for database administrators were $74,290 in 2009. Professionals at the upper echelons of their career ladders can expect to earn median annual salaries of $114,200. Higher salaries in the field can be obtained by professionals that have advanced into management positions and have earned a Masters Degree in their field. Most of the positions in database administration are full-time and provide the professional with access to benefits including health insurance, paid time off and vacation time.
The job outlook for those seeking positions in database administration is quite favorable. Overall, the profession is projected to grow at a faster than average pace when compared with all occupations. This growth is anticipated through 2018. Demand for professionals in the field will increase as a result of organization’s continued use of information technology to provide operational support. Reliance on information technology will require organizations to ensure that data generated through operations is organized and secure. Increased threat of cyber attacks will also prompt a heightened demand for professionals in this field. Even though trends in business and information technology do indicate the need for more professionals in this field, outsourcing will begin to slow the number of available positions. Outsourcing in database administration enables organizations to cut information technology management and security costs. Professionals with advanced degrees and extensive experience in the field will have access to the most job opportunities.