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What is Database Management?

Arizona, known for its warm weather and beautiful desert scenery, is an important state in the American Southwest, with many career opportunities. Originally, when Arizona first became a U.S. state in 1912, the region stood out for its mining industry, which allowed important access to raw materials needed for industrial development. The mining industry remained the state’s largest area of employment until the 1950s, and today’s Arizona is much different than it was several decades ago as other business areas are vibrant and exploding with opportunity. Cities like Phoenix are seeing a large increase in interest, particularly from young professionals who are seeking more affordable living and space, which has prompted them to move away from traditionally attractive locales like New York City. Housing one of the country’s most up-and-coming cities also means that other businesses and industries are developing rapidly in the state, which means plenty of employment opportunities for anyone interested in moving there.

Today, Arizona’s largest export industry is its tourism sector, which attracts more than 40 million visitors a year to the state to take advantage of its rugged natural scenery and wildlife. In 2018, tourism accounted for $24.4 billion in revenue to the state, which means that individuals looking to work in the service industry should seriously consider Arizona. Other top industries in Arizona include real estate rental and leasing, which is spearheaded by Arizona’s nice weather, good quality of life, and affordable living expenses, bringing $54.2 billion a year to the state. The real estate industry is followed by professional and business services ($39.7 billion a year), educational services, healthcare, and social assistance ($34 billion a year), manufacturing ($28.9 billion a year), finance and insurance ($25.1 billion a year), retail trade ($24.4 billion a year), wholesale trade ($19.5 billion a year), arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services ($16.6 billion a year), construction ($16.3 billion a year), and information ($12.3 billion a year).

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Database Management Education in Arizona

The good news for students looking to pursue database management as their career is that this type of informatics- and analysis-based degree is now in high demand within almost every industry, where employers are actively looking to hire graduates with strong software and analysis skills. Students with data management backgrounds can expect to find project management placements in areas like supply chain management, database systems management, and business analytics upon graduation. Furthermore, the Information sector is also one of Arizona’s top 10 industries in terms of revenue, which provides plenty of opportunities for graduates interested in pursuing a more technical career in the field.

Associate Database Management Degree (AS)

Students who are interested in pursuing a career in database management can consider beginning their education with an associate degree in the field. An associate degree in database management, which is typically offered by local community colleges and some universities, will open up some initial opportunities by allowing students to grasp core principles, technologies, and coding languages used in the database management industry. Upon graduation, students may have opportunities to work in some entry-level positions in information systems management, which include job titles like computer support specialist, web developer, and information security specialist. However, it’s important to note that the computer science field in general and the database management area, in particular, is highly competitive, which means that the vast majority of employers, particularly larger companies, will only screen for candidates who have at least completed their bachelor’s degree in the field. This means that it’s typically recommended for students to use their associate degree in database management as a steppingstone towards completing their bachelor’s or graduate degree in the field. According to Payscale, the average graduate with an associate degree will earn around $63,351 per year.

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Bachelor’s Database Management Degree (BS)

Students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree in database management will likely see the most amount of employment opportunities, particularly for entry-level positions. Given the fact that employers are looking to hire database management graduates for their ability to support important functions in project management, business analytics, and quality management, students will be expected to have mastered skills and languages like the Database Manipulation Language. Accredited four-year bachelor’s programs will provide the training necessary for students to master the more technical skills needed to excel at a database management job. Furthermore, most bachelor’s programs will also require students to complete foundational coursework in interdisciplinary areas, meaning that students will graduate with classes in literature, science, math, and history in addition to their database management major coursework. This provides students with well-rounded knowledge that will better help them navigate and communicate in the workplace. In particular, students with their bachelor’s degree in database management can expect to be hired into positions like computer network architect, database administrator, database developer, and computer systems analyst. According to Payscale, students with a bachelor’s degree in database management will earn an average of $74,461 a year, marking a strong improvement in lifetime earnings over those with only an associate’s degree.

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Master’s Database Management Degree / MBA (MS or MC)

Earning a master’s degree in database management or a master’s degree in business administration can be the fastest way to advance one’s job title and improve one’s earning potential in the database management field. In particular, students who are seeking to pursue more technically oriented careers and simply wish to advance their technical expertise should choose to undertake a master’s degree in database management. While a master’s degree is not usually a prerequisite for finding an entry-level position in the database management field, an increasing number of employers are looking to hire candidates with a graduate degree for more advanced job titles. These types of master’s programs will often allow students to take on more skilled research and analysis positions in the field, attaining job titles like computer and information research scientist, computer and information systems manager, and information security analyst. According to Payscale, employees with a master’s degree in database management will earn an average of $81,788 a year.

Students who are more interested in information systems and business management should consider attaining an MBA degree, which will allow them to move away from the day-to-day coding that is usually required for more entry-level data positions and focus more on team management and data strategy. While most MBA degrees do not offer majors in database management, some schools have electives or concentrations in areas like logistics and supply chain management, which is at the heart of many data management positions, or you can opt for a concentration in management information systems. Students can choose to take more electives focused on business modeling and statistical techniques to boost their grasp of these skills as well. According to Payscale, the average MBA student with a focus on supply chain management will earn $86,421 a year.

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PhD/Doctorate Degree (PhD)

The highest level of education that a student can attain in the database management field is a PhD. This level of degree is rarely a requirement for students looking to help manage data for a private company. However, for students who wish to work in academia and professors who research the cutting edge of the areas like management science, data management, and supply chain logistics, completing their doctorate is a must. Completing a doctorate in database management can also open the door to some prestigious research and consulting jobs in the technology field as well, and these types of positions will often offer great benefits and salaries. Having a doctorate in the database management field means that a student has invested at least 4-6 years of their life post-college studying the intricacies of this field, and many graduates go on to attain job titles like senior data scientist or even chief technology officer. According to Payscale, the average holder of a PhD in database management earns $128,658 a year.

Top College Programs in Arizona for Database Management

  • Arizona State University
  • University of Arizona
  • Northern Arizona University
  • DeVry University-Arizona
  • University of Phoenix-Arizona

Become a Database Manager in Arizona

Students who look to become database management professionals in Arizona are those who are interested in building long-term careers in information technology and computer systems. Given the ubiquity of the internet and the use of data analytics in businesses today, almost all organizations will store important data for operations within databases. This means that graduates with database management degrees can seek employment in almost every industry, since private companies, non-profit organizations, and governmental branches are all looking to hire employees with data processing and statistical analysis skills, so students with a data background will have a competitive advantage over other candidates. Typically, students with a degree in data management from an accredited post-secondary institution will be able to secure positions in organizational departments that manage data science, management software development, information technology, cyber security, and systems and network support, providing a wide number of possibilities for longer-term career development. Generally, in Arizona, entry-level positions will only require students to have attained a bachelor’s degree in data management, management information systems, computer science, or a similar field. Having 1-3 years of work experience will significantly boost one’s ability to secure a position within the IT industry.

In Arizona, students will usually not be required to have attained any specific certifications to be eligible to be considered for entry-level positions beyond completing their bachelor’s degree in a data-related field. However, in certain fields like law enforcement or cyber security, candidates may be required to obtain certifications while on the job or back background checks, so students who are looking to build careers in sectors with more stringent personnel requirements should be prepared to undertake further training beyond college. Additionally, while certification is not usually required for early career positions, obtaining additional certification throughout one’s database management career can be important to helping secure promotions and raises. Some popular certifications in the field include the IBM Certified Database Administrator - DB2, Microsoft SQL Server database certifications, Oracle Certified Professional, Oracle Database 12c Administrator, and SAP HANA. Depending on each organization’s requirements, database management employees may find it helpful to obtain additional certifications in SQL or other data management languages as they gain more work experience.

Careers for Database Management

  • Computer and Information Systems Manager:
    Computer and information systems managers are in charge of planning, installing, and monitoring an organization’s portfolio of software and hardware. They are also in charge of supervising all of the organization’s computer and information technology needs, taking care to plan the organization’s information security and new technology budget.
  • Information Security Analyst:
    Given the incredible amount of personal and customer data that organizations process daily, information security analysts are important additions to an organization’s IT department. They will be in charge of monitoring network statuses and tracking down security breaches. They also help install and maintain important information security tools like firewalls and data encryption programs to help protect sensitive information.
  • IT Marketing Manager:
    To sell products and attract new customers, organizations hire marketing managers who actively plan and promote new products that the organization offers. Marketing managers will help create campaigns to shape public awareness of an organization's brand.
  • Computer Network Architects:
    For different departments across an organization to communicate information and share data, organizations must rely on the work of computer network architects. These individuals help design and build communication networks like local area networks (LANs), intranets, and wide area networks (WANs) that help computers transfer information within organizational boundaries.
  • Cyber Security Manager:
    Database and cybersecurity managers are in charge of developing and managing an organization’s cyber security strategy and systems. This can include disaster recovery, database protection, and software upgrades.
  • Web Developer:
    Web developers will help their employers build and maintain websites, which are increasingly an important source of information for clients and potential customers. They will also create site content and manage technological features on the website.
  • Chief Information Security Officer (CISO):
    The chief information security officer is in charge of the organization’s overall information security strategy. This will include responsibilities like planning employee security awareness training, developing secure business and communication practices, as well as identifying and maintaining security metrics.

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