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Database Administrator Career Guide

Are you obsessed with data? Do you enjoy organizing statistics? If so, you have the skills to be a database administrator! Companies are busier than ever, and they need people like you to collect and organize the data that the company receives. The data you work with may be sensitive in nature, including financial reports, customer information, purchase histories, or health information. Due to this, you have to make sure that the data is not available to everyone.

You will need the skills to back up, restore, and troubleshoot databases on a daily basis. You will also need to organize the data to evaluate the system’s performance. Database administrators help businesses make informed decisions to grow. If you have strong analytical skills and a knowledge of database systems, this could be the perfect career for you.

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is searching for a knowledgeable database administrator to take over the database management at our organization! This position is full-time and long-term, so candidates must be able to commit to this position. As our database administrator, you will be responsible for managing our current databases and ensuring that the correct information is sent to our employees and data analysts upon request. Although at the moment you will not be responsible for adding new databases to our system, this may change in the future so at that point you must be able to competently create and add new databases into the system cohesively. Because of this, you must be data-minded and have the ability to understand and carry out specific tasks as requested. If this sounds like it fits you, please consider applying to this position. This is an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Manage, monitor and maintain company databases
  • Ensure database security, integrity, stability, and system availability
  • Maintain database backup and recovery infrastructure
  • Develop technical and training manuals
  • Research and suggest new database products, services and protocols

Education and experience

A bachelor’s degree in computer science or another relevant field is required for this position. Certifications from Microsoft, Oracle, JavaScript, and others are strongly preferred.

Required skills and qualifications

  • In-depth understanding of data management
  • Excellent analytical and organization skills
  • Knowledge of database technologies like SQL or MongoDB
  • Ability to understand front-end users’ requirements
  • A well-developed problem-solving attitude
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Ability to work as part of a team

Preferred qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in an Information Technology, Computer Science or related field
  • 5 years’ experience with databases (oracle and/or others)
  • Excellent understanding of Oracle core database architecture and concepts

Typical work environment

A database administrator has the job of creating and managing databases to store specialized information, content, and data. A database administrator may work with financial information, customer shipping records, or any other variety of data and databases. The database administrator is also in charge of ensuring that the correct superiors have access to the data as needed and are able to accurately retrieve that data if necessary. The database administrator will be responsible for creating database backups, adding new users to existing databases, and creating entirely new databases to hold new information. A database administrator is required to make sure that any data analysts are able to access the proper information and parse that information correctly. As a database administrator, you must have a strong head for calculations and computer systems as well as the ability to competently understand database software and management techniques. You will likely be in the office all day.

Typical hours

The typical work hours in an office setting for a database administrator are usually from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Freelance workers are usually able to set their own workdays and hours.

Available certifications

A database administrator may benefit from having certificates for certain systems of database administration and database techniques. Some of the best certifications for a database administrator include the following:

  • Oracle Certified Associate – Oracle9i Database Administrator (OCA). Becoming an Oracle Certified Associate gives training, experience, and testing to ensure that a database administrator has competent levels of expertise with Oracle9i and up-to-date techniques which are required in this position. The certification is offered by the Oracle Corporation, which means this certification is valid and widely recognized as a standard for Oracle9i.
  • Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA). A Microsoft Certified Database Administrator will be required to demonstrate their ability to manage and use Microsoft database software such as SQL Server 2000 and other relevant software. This certification is given by Microsoft and is known as a very common certification for database administrators in order to certify their competence in Microsoft databases and similar. Because of this, this certification can prove to be immensely useful to any database administrator looking to further their career or expand their relevant certifications to other software.

Career path

A database administrator must have a bachelor’s degree in an IT-related discipline like computer science, database administration, or MIS. Some companies require senior-level database administrators to have a master’s degree in database administration or IT. A database administrator who doesn’t major in database administration could start in roles like help-desk support or development to gain database management experience.

Troubleshooting and logical thinking skills are essential for a successful database administrator; they’ll have to quickly think through the possible causes and potential solutions to database issues. Also, database administrators are often called upon to recall technical facts related to the platforms their organizations use.

Certifications from Microsoft, Oracle, JavaScript, and others are strongly preferred. Companies are often attracted to candidates who have taken the initiative to obtain these important certifications.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 15-1245

2020 Employment168,000
Projected Employment in 2030181,200
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 8% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift13,200 increase

According to the trade publication Database Trends and Applications, database administrators will need to focus on getting their organizations “cloud-ready” in the coming years. Data managers will need to create ways to deliver critical data without disruption. Database administrators will also need to be concerned with making sure a transition to cloud-based storage is secure and protected from cyberattacks.

In addition, with more core departments in businesses making data-driven decisions, soft skills like communication and developing presentations are becoming more vital for all IT professionals. It will be critical for database administrators to present data and technical information in clear, understandable ways for colleagues who may have much less technological expertise.

Database administrators will also need to focus on automation more in the coming years. End-users, whether they are customers or stakeholders within the business, are concerned with speed and response times. According to Database Trends and Applications, many database administrators are turning to automated and autonomous databases and platforms to deploy applications and handle processes like recovery and backup.