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What is Database Administration?

Are you considering enrollment in a database administration degree program in Colorado? If you enjoy working with computers and are interested in obtaining or honing skills related to database updates, storage, security, and troubleshooting, this may be a good major to pursue.

The information technology field is highly valued and diverse, with numerous employment opportunities available across almost every industry. Graduates often find work with various companies, organizations, and institutions, as well as government bodies. Top jobs include computer and information systems manager, computer network architect, computer programmer, and computer systems analyst.

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Database Administration Education in Colorado

Earning a degree in database administration can prepare you for a wide variety of jobs. In most cases, hiring committees expect candidates to have some form of higher education. The amount of education you need will depend on the type of position you plan to pursue. Most jobs in this field require, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree database administration, computer science, or a related major.

As you consider the programs available, you may find offerings at the associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral levels. Always ensure your selection will meet education requirements for your desired job.

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Associate Degree in Database Administration (AS)

Associate degrees in database administration are available for people interested in gaining entry-level employment or preparing for further education in a bachelor’s program. This degree may be adequate to qualify graduates for work as database coordinators, programmer analysts, or database analysts, but only so long as candidates also have prior professional experience. Possessing relevant certifications may also enhance employment opportunities. Because most database professionals have bachelor’s degrees, it can be more difficult for individuals with associate degrees to find jobs.

An associate degree in database administration can, however, be extremely beneficial to those who want to earn a bachelor’s degree later on. Graduates receive an introduction to the field and can transfer all applicable credits to four-year colleges and universities afterward. As community institutions tend to charge less in tuition, this course of action often costs significantly less than a traditional education.

Most associate degree programs in accounting consist of 60 credit hours of coursework and take full-time students approximately two years to complete. They often teach students how to assess, organize, and store information in database servers. Instruction will likely cover topics such as theory of databases, configuring server platforms, Linux, networking concepts, and basic computer repair.

Bachelor’s Degree in Database Administration (BS)

Most data administration professionals earn bachelor’s degrees, as they provide a broad introduction to the field, as well as instruction in all the major skills necessary to lead a successful career. Bachelor’s degree graduates will find employment more readily and are likely to be promoted more quickly. Some of the most common employment opportunities include database administrator, database specialist, application developer, and network engineer.

While programs focused solely on database administration are somewhat common online, on-campus learning opportunities may be limited. Students can enroll in information or computer-related subjects as an alternative.

Most bachelor degree programs in database administration consist of 120 credit hours of coursework and take full-time students approximately four years to complete. Program content varies, but many include a variety of fundamental information technology concepts including systems analysis and design, database management, programming languages, and relevant legal issues. Instructors may also help students develop knowledge and skills in Python and Java programming.

Those planning to pursue more advanced degrees will need a bachelor’s degree in order to apply. Most colleges and universities require graduate candidates have a four-year degree before admittance.

Master’s Degree in Database Administration (MS or MC)

Master’s degrees in database administration and computer science are ideal for individuals who plan to pursue managerial roles at larger companies or organizations. Graduates will be qualified for advanced job placement, are likely to earn higher salaries, and are often promoted more quickly than those with lower-level degrees. Common employment opportunities include network administrator, computer and information systems manager, computer network architect, and computer systems analyst. It‘s important to realize that professionals at this level do tend to have more responsibilities in the workplace.

Most master’s degree programs in database administration consist of about 30 to 60 credit hours of coursework and take full-time students approximately two years to complete. Students often dive much deeper into computer science and information systems topics, which is why firms with large databases tend to prefer them.

PhD Degree in Database Administration (PhD)

Few database administration jobs require an education beyond the master’s level. In fact, there are no doctorates or PhD degrees offered specifically in database administration. Those interested in further academic progress will have to choose to pursue enrollment in a management information systems, information studies, or business administration program. However, any of these options may include some additional instruction in collecting, analyzing, and converting data for various science, business, financial, and marketing purposes.

Graduates from a doctorate or PhD program will be qualified to apply for some of the highest-level positions available in research, management, and policy. Colleges and universities also require professors to have a doctorate in order to instruct classes. Programs generally consist of between 90 and 120 credit hours and take full-time students four to seven years to complete.

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Become a Database Administration in Colorado

The first step in becoming a database administration professional in Colorado is determining what your personal academic and career goals are. Once you know the type of job you plan to pursue, you can research which knowledge, skills, and training will be necessary to succeed. This ensures you select the correct academic program.

After identifying and completing the necessary educational requirements, which is generally a bachelor’s degree, you may also benefit from pursuing one or more certifications and/or licensure. Credentials can help you stand out among other job candidates during the hiring process. Additionally, specialized credentials can qualify you for a pay increases and could lead to additional promotional opportunities.

In most cases, certification in this field is offered directly by software vendors or vendor-neutral providers.

Some of the most prominent options for database administrators include:

  • Oracle Certified Professional – Oracle 9i Database Administrator
  • Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA)
  • Oracle 9i Database Administrator – Professional (OCP)
  • Oracle Database 10g Administrator Certified Professional
  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP)
  • Computer Service Technician (CST)
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
  • SAP Certified Technology Associate

Certification is not required to become a database administrator, but some companies and organizations require professionals to become certified in the products they use most frequently. You should always find out which database platforms are most popular prior to choosing which certifications to pursue. Some companies and organizations utilize little-known or obscure systems, however, making it essential to research potential employer needs carefully as well.

Careers for Database Administration Graduates

There are a wide variety of positions available to database administration graduates, especially those with bachelor’s degrees, specialized credentials, and experience with the latest technology. Whether you are interested in entry-level employment or management, Colorado has numerous professional opportunities for current and aspiring data administration professionals.

Salaries and responsibilities will vary, but some of the most common career options include:

  • Database Administrator
  • Payroll Administrator
  • Administrative / Office Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Information Technology Manager
  • Database Administrator (DBA)
  • Data Analyst
  • Data Processor
  • Database Engineer
  • Account Coordinator
  • Quality Manager
  • Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer
  • Computer and Information Systems Manager
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Marketing Manager
  • Computer Network Architects
  • Database Security Manager
  • Web Developer
  • Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
  • Director of Operations
  • Database Administrator
    Database administrators are responsible for installing, assessing, and maintaining software used to manage company or organization databases. They also ensure that employees have rapid access to the data they need. These professionals also set user privileges, optimize system performance, and troubleshoot issues as they arise. According to PayScale, database administrators make an average base salary of $73,350 per year.
  • Web Developer
    Web developers are responsible for building websites for their employers. They write, modify, and debug software for companies and organizations, as well as write code to create web pages and access databases. These professionals also test new software before incorporating it into company or organization websites. According to PayScale, web developers make an average base salary of $60,100 per year.
  • Computer Network Architect
    Computer network architects are responsible for the design and maintenance of network requirements and capabilities. They assess system integrity, monitoring progress, and escalating issues to administrators or supervisors at the company they work for. These professionals also implement new technologies and monitor their performance. According to PayScale, network architects make an average base salary of $121,200 per year.

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  • Marketing Manager
    Marketing managers are responsible for supervising and assisting in the creation of various advertising and merchandising campaigns for the companies or organizations they work for. They can be assigned a single product or multiple products, as well as entire product lines, brands, or companies. These professionals also often work with product managers, monitor program performance, assist in market research studies, and recommend new program implementation. According to PayScale, marketing managers make an average base salary of $66,300 per year.
  • Information Technology Manager
    Information technology managers are responsible for supervising a company or organization’s computer infrastructure and any potential, related areas of concern. They often assist in the development of data storage infrastructure, as well as access protocols and rules. These professionals may oversee teams of other network technology and security professionals. According to PayScale, information technology managers make an average base salary of $88,950 per year.
  • Data Analyst
    Data analysts are responsible for utilizing data to acquire information about specific topics. They regularly perform surveys, interpret the results, and then present their findings to company or organization executives. These professionals frequently create and utilize display charts for presentation purposes, but may also organize information gathered in online databases. According to PayScale, data analysts make an average base salary of $61,750 per year.
  • Director of Operations
    Directors of operations are responsible for managing the employees that work at a company or organization. They ensure all workers are being productive, as well as focusing on defining company goals and establishing improvements. These professionals may also negotiate with vendors and sellers or take charge of making production purchases. According to PayScale, directors of operation make an average base salary of $93,050 per year.
  • Quality Manager
    Quality managers are responsible for ensuring that the products produced by their company meet client or consumer demands. They often direct the checking of items to verify quality during the production process and correct any mistakes. These professionals also track warrantee, auditing, and customer feedback in order to improve standards in the future. According to PayScale, quality managers make an average base salary of $82,050 per year.

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