What is Database Management?
Database management degrees in Alabama are in high demand. Since every firm relies on its database for information such as payroll, internal research, financial records, and more, each needs an IT professional to design and maintain their database. Smaller firms may rely on outside consultants to work on the database, but larger firms may employ multiple database managers.
Like most segments of the IT universe, database management is a field that is in constant flux. New developments in blockchain, cyber security, and even hardware solutions require constant learning. A database management degree from one of Alabama's colleges or universities will help launch any successful IT career.
Alabama students have many terrific choices when it comes to studying information technology, computer science, and database management. On top of this, Alabama's growing economy is adding new opportunities all the time. Even if students don't stay in Alabama, there are loads of terrific opportunities in nearby Atlanta, Charlotte, and Nashville. This page seeks to present the best degree programs for aspiring database managers. While every student has their own subjective criteria for their educational choices, this page presents an objective view. Thus, students can make a fully informed decision based on our facts and their feelings, etc.
Database Management Education in Alabama
Associate Degree in Database Management (AS)
A terrific way to kick off a career in database management is with a two-year associate degree. The two-year degree will require that you complete nearly the full core curriculum necessary for a bachelor’s degree, plus specialized coursework in your chosen field. Once you've graduated you can build on your knowledge of database languages such as SQL with deep dives into a variety of database management systems.
Once you land your first job, you may want to build on your knowledge with certifications in specific database systems such as Microsoft, Cisco, Linux, and other database management systems. These certifications will certainly help build your resume, salary, and career. However, if you pursue certification in one platform you may be stuck with that system unless you later wish to start over with a different system. If you'd rather remain a generalist for a while, you can still continue learning the variations on the SQL database programming language, Python, or even mathematics.
Bachelor’s Degree in Database Management (BS)
A four-year bachelor’s degree in database management is probably the optimal academic credential for most aspiring IT professionals. A full undergraduate degree allows enough time for students to take the courses necessary to launch a strong career in database management with other courses that will support that career over the long-haul. For instance, a database management student could add a minor in statistics, computer science, or even business. In fact, the whole process enables students to build and develop their soft skills.
Furthermore, many bachelor’s degree programs support students who wish to pursue experiential learning. They may have inroads with internship programs and may host job fairs where students can drop their resumes with top local and national firms. Internships not only provide ample opportunity to practice what one has learned in the academic setting, but they can open up new networking opportunities as well as providing a peek inside the working world.
Master’s Degree in Database Management (MS or MC)
A graduate degree is increasingly important for careers in corporate America. In fact, many feel that today's master’s degree is equal to what a bachelor’s degree was 20 or 30 years ago. Consequently, there has been an explosion in the number and variety of master’s degree programs. These days, a database management student can choose a master’s degree in information technology, computer science, or maybe management information systems, to name three.
Students might also consider a master of business administration (MBA). A tech worker should look for an MBA program that offers concentrations in database management, information technology, or computer science. Those students who are aiming at the C-suites or a position as a CIO should strongly consider an MBA from a program with top, national accreditation. It's also possible to find a dual degree master’s program where students can pair an MBA with a technology degree and thus complete two graduate degrees in around three years.
PhD/Doctorate Degree in Database Management (PhD)
While this level of academic achievement is rare in the corporate world, business leaders still have deep respect for a doctorate. In the world of database management, students might pursue a doctoral research project into topics such as cyber security or cloud computing. A doctoral thesis offers a terrific opportunity to develop ideas that can launch new start-ups or attract job offers for some of the best-paid positions in the business world. In fact, many PhDs find private-sector opportunities that ask them to continue their research activities.
PhD holders also discover that their job prospects increase in not only the business community but in the world of academia, as well. Those who complete their doctoral dissertation and graduate with this esteemed degree can look forward to opportunities teaching in colleges and universities. While it is possible to teach college with a master’s degree, most tenure-track positions are given to those with a doctoral degree.
Become a Database Manager in Alabama
Almost anyone can become a database management professional in Alabama. However, this career path is not for everyone. First off, database management requires a strong desire to work with technology. Youngsters who take up computer programming as a hobby or who love building new computers might be good candidates for this field. Also, students who love mathematics or other STEM subjects might have the innate abilities necessary to support a long, fruitful career in database management.
After determining that you have the desire and core aptitudes for database management, it can help to start accruing basic skills. These days anyone can sign up for online classes that teach programming, introductory cyber security, and more. In the meantime, high school students should seek out opportunities to take computing courses, if their school supports that sort of curriculum.
After high school, students should pursue higher education. While the tech world still rewards self-taught coders and database experts, increasingly, HR departments want to see a degree from a college or university. Thus, students should pursue an associate degree, at a minimum. There are many two-year technology degree programs that boast ABET accreditation. However, a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or management information systems is preferred.
Those students with a two-year or four-year degree shouldn't rest on their laurels once they land an entry-level job. They should jump into a certification program in a technology that best suits what their employer needs. For instance, some may need to learn a new version of SQL while others should pursue certification in Cisco, Microsoft, or Linux database technologies.
Finally, database managers should look for the best master’s degree program for them. Each graduate program is unique and can guide professionals in specific directions. Students can even customize their future with an MBA with an IT concentration, a computer science degree that centers on database issues, or an MS in database technology. Keep in mind that those who are aiming to become a top executive should consider an MBA.
Top College Programs in Alabama for Database Management
- Columbia Southern University:
This Alabama university offers students the opportunity to study information technology. The program will provide the knowledge and skills students need to dive into creating and implementing databases for their employers. CSU also offers degrees that focus on cyber security so a student who had a keen interest in databases can find courses that help them create security protocols for their data.
- University of Alabama:
Alabama students have an enormous opportunity in the halls of this esteemed university. There are degree programs available in computer science, computing technology and applications, cyber security, management information systems, and more. In fact, students might be able to craft a unique, interdisciplinary course of study that integrates a second major or a minor field and thus positions them for maximum success in the technology field.
- Auburn University:
This Alabama institution is renowned for its academic excellence in so many fields. Computer science students can pursue their degrees either on the beautiful campus or via Auburn's online portal. Their SACS accredited online computer science degree allows students all over Alabama to access top-notch academic training that includes database management, network design, IT, and mobile app development. Meanwhile, the business school offers a degree in information systems management that includes courses in database management and big data management.
- Tuskegee University:
This historically black university is one of the top in Alabama for training future technology professionals. Students can choose between an undergraduate degree in computer science, information systems, or information technology. The IT majors can study information security, database management, and a host of soft skills that will turn them into top professionals.
Careers for Database Management Graduates
- Computer and Information Systems Manager:
In this position, professionals seek to help their firm’s technology stay at the cutting edge of efficiency and safety. Professionals in this position need to keep themselves up to date on issues related to hardware and software, cyber security, and big data. Depending on a corporate structure, CIS professionals might oversee the entire technology for their firm. Thus, they may order new products and oversee their implementation.
- Information Security Analyst:
Since cyber security is such a hot topic these days, this is a hot career choice for young technology experts. Alabama offers several top cyber security programs that graduate experts in the InfoSec field. Students should look for programs that have been accredited by either ABET or CAE, which is a program created by the National Security Agency in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security.
- Marketing Manager:
While many think of marketing as a creative field where professionals spend their time creating crazy advertising campaigns, the truth is that many marketing managers spend their time crunching numbers. Thus, it's vital to have strong database skills that will help them access and assess the big data repositories they need to analyze their target customers.
- Computer Network Architects:
Every firm relies on its computer networks to facilitate daily operations. Thus, larger firms need architects who can design the specific networks they need to thrive. Their management decisions can impact the overall efficiency of the firm's databases and communications. Network architects are often highly experienced individuals who are on their way to becoming top executives.
- Database Security Manager:
This position is increasingly important to every firm that relies on intellectual property for its survival. That is to say, every firm needs a security manager to implement the processes and protocols that will keep their business safe. For this reason, more and more database professionals are focusing on cyber security issues.
- Web Developer:
Web developers do a lot more than make a website look pretty and easy to use. Rather, these tech professionals work hard on the nuts and bolts that make sites work as well as they do. Furthermore, they create conduits between their firm's databases and the front-end website. Web developers may even create intranets for large firms so that employees can access the materials they need in ways similar to any other web surfer.
- Chief Information Security Officer (CISO):
This high technology position is one that often comes towards the end of a person's career. That is, it's one of the top positions available for information security workers. To create the sort of resume necessary for a CISO position, most professionals head back to school for an MBA, if not a dual MBA that is paired with computer science, information technology, or a master or science focused on cyber security.
There are many technology specialists who work as consultants. Many database managers turn to consultation as a career move after putting in many years working in an IT department. They might join a consulting firm, though IT professionals with ample experience and a graduate degree might have the credentials necessary to strike out on their own.
- Database Administrator
- Database Engineer