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What is Database Administration?

A degree in database administration frequently leads to a career as a database administrator (DBA) or architect. These professionals are generally responsible for creating and/or organizing systems that store and protect a variety of data, from financial information to customer shipping records. Database administrators are more specifically accountable for ensuring those with proper authorization can easily and readily access the information stored as needed. They also monitor database operation to verify systems are performing properly and provide support when necessary.

It’s important to realize that exact job tasks will vary depending on several factors including job title, industry type, and employer size. Some of the most common tasks include backing up important information, preventing data loss, restoring data, testing modifications, and updating database permissions.

Database administrators can also specialize in certain tasks, with two of the most common specialties being as system DBAs and application DBAs. System DBAs are responsible for the physical and technical aspects of databases. They are the ones who ensure everything is functioning properly, installing upgrades and patch bugs as necessary. Application DBAs focus solely on databases for specific applications or sets of applications. They manage all the applications that work with their databases, as well as write or debug associated programs.

Database administrators and architects can find employment within by many different industries and company types. Most professionals in this field work full-time and are employed by computer systems design, education services, or insurance companies.

The most valuable skills utilized by those in this field include:

  • Attention to Detail
  • Organization
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Communication

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Database Administration Education in Florida

Are you considering enrollment in a database administration degree program in Florida? If you have an aptitude for and enjoy working with computers, it may be a field worth exploring. This is especially true if you are interested in obtaining or honing skills related to database updates, storage, security, and troubleshooting.

Information technology is a diverse field with a wide variety of employment opportunities available. Because most businesses rely heavily on data storage systems, skills in this area are also highly valued across almost every industry. As a result, graduates are often able to find work within all types of companies, organizations, institutions, and government bodies. Top jobs include computer and information systems manager, database administrator, computer network architect, computer programmer, and computer systems analyst.

Job outlook for database administrators in the United States is quite promising. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for these professionals is expected to increase by 10% from 2019 to 2029. This is faster than the national average and will help account for approximately 12,800 additional job openings throughout the country. As nearly every sector within the economy moves toward and continues to utilize data systems for organization and storage purposes, the need for highly trained and skilled experts in this field will increase. Offering database storage and maintenance as a service is also becoming increasingly popular and will likely contribute to an increase in the number of opportunities in the field.

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Florida is home to a booming tourist industry, but the state is successful in many other areas as well. Information is rated number 10 among the state’s top industries and brings in $41.6 billion in revenue each year. Again, however, many other industries depend on database administration professionals to function successfully. The state’s biggest industries – real estate, business, education, healthcare, retail, and wholesale – all utilize data maintenance and storage services.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida employed 7,300 database administrators and architects in May 2020. This is more than most states. In fact, Florida employs more database administration professionals than all but four other states. The annual mean wage offered to individuals in these professions in Florida is $96,300, which is significantly higher than the national median.

Because information technology, and specifically database administration, is widely utilized by almost every industry, it’s not difficult to find colleges and universities that offer related degree programs. While many institutions throughout the nation have reputable and accredited programs, those planning to work in Florida should certainly consider enrolling locally. Local schools are more familiar with what employers in the area expect from new hires and can better prepare graduates to meet state certification and licensure requirements.

Earning a degree in database administration can prepare you for a wide variety of jobs. While some jobs require limited education or formal training, most employers expect and give preference to applicants with degrees. The amount of education you need, however, will depend on the type of position you plan to pursue.

The majority of employment opportunities in this field require, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree in database administration, computer science, or a related major. Colleges and universities tend to offer applicable degrees at the associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral levels. It’s important that you carefully consider each option prior to applying.

Associate Degree in Database Administration (AS)

People interested in gaining entry-level employment or preparing for further education in a bachelor’s program will benefit most from earning associate degrees in database administration. While many positions require a bachelor’s degree or higher, graduates from associate degree programs can find work as database coordinators, programmer analysts, and database analysts as long as they also have prior professional experience.

Most associate degree programs in database administration consist of 60 credit hours of coursework and take full-time students approximately two years to complete. Instruction tends to focus on methods of assessing, organizing, and storing information in database servers. Common course subjects include theory of databases, configuring server platforms, Linux, networking concepts, and basic computer repair.

While employment opportunities may be limited after graduation, earning an associate degree in database administration can be beneficial to those who plan to earn a bachelor’s degree. Graduates receive an introduction to the field and all applicable credits can easily be transferred to four-year colleges and universities for credit towards the more advanced degree later. This is particularly helpful to individuals trying to spend less money, as community colleges tend to cost less than four-year institutions.

Bachelor’s Degree in Database Administration (BS)

Most data administration professionals earn bachelor’s degrees, as this is typically the minimum level of education required by most employers in the field. This type of degree provides a broad introduction to the field, as well as instruction in all the major skills necessary to gain a successful career. Graduates are generally prepared for employment as database administrators, database specialists, application developers, and network engineers. A bachelor’s is also necessary for those interested in pursuing a master’s degree in the future.

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 and related fields consist of 120 credit hours of coursework and take full-time students approximately four years to complete. Every program is different, but most provide instruction related to a wide variety of fundamental information technology concepts. Common course subjects include systems analysis and design, database management, programming languages, and relevant legal issues. Instruction may also include assignments to 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)

While unnecessary for many entry-level positions, master’s degrees in database administration and computer science are ideal for individuals planning to pursue managerial roles at larger companies or organizations. Graduates enjoy many benefits including advanced job placement opportunities, higher salaries, and faster promotion. Common employment options include network administrator, computer and information systems manager, computer network architect, and computer systems analyst.

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. Every curriculum is different, but many cover computer science and information systems topics in significantly more depth.

PhD/Doctorate Degree in Database Administration (PhD)

PhD and doctoral degrees in database administration are not typical and, as a result, are not required by most employers. Those interested in pursuing further education in the field will have to enroll in management information systems, information studies, or business administration programs. Programs of these types are likely to include additional instruction in collecting, analyzing, and converting data for various science, business, financial, and marketing purposes, but it will not be the degree’s primary focus.

Programs generally consist of between 90 and 120 credit hours and take full-time students four to seven years to complete. Graduates will be qualified to apply for some of the highest-level positions available in research, management, and policy. Professionals hoping to become professors at colleges and universities will also require doctorates.

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Become a Database Administration in Florida

The first step in becoming a database administration professional in Florida is determining your ultimate career goals. If you know the type of job you plan to pursue, you can more easily identify the level of education necessary to apply for it in the future. Your aspirations directly dictate the knowledge, skills, and training you will need to be successful.

Once you have completed the necessary educational requirements, you are likely ready to begin applying for employment. However, choosing to pursue one or more certifications and/or licensure may also prove beneficial. Specialized credentials will help you stand out among other job candidates during the hiring process and can lead to more lucrative positions.

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

While certification is not required to become a database administrator or architect, some companies and organizations do require professionals become certified in the products they use most frequently. As a result, it’s important to know which database platforms are most popular prior to choosing which certifications to pursue. Some companies and organizations utilize little-known or obscure systems, which makes it essential to research potential employer needs carefully prior to applying.

Careers for Database Administration Graduates

Database administration graduates will qualify for a wide variety of positions in Florida. This is especially true for those with bachelor’s degrees, specialized credentials, and experience with the latest technology.

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 install, assess, and maintain software used to manage information databases for the companies or organizations that employ them. They set user privileges, optimize system performance, and troubleshoot issues as they arise. These professionals also ensure that employees have easy and rapid access to data when they need it. According to PayScale, database administrators make an average base salary of $73,350 per year.

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  • Web Developer
    Web developers build websites for their employers. They are often responsible for writing, modifying, and debugging software, as well as writing code in order to create web pages and access databases. These professionals also test new software to ensure it is ready for widespread company or organizational use. According to PayScale, web developers make an average base salary of $60,100 per year.
  • Computer Network Architect
    Computer network architects design and maintain network requirements and capabilities. They assess system integrity, monitor progress, and escalate issues to administrators or supervisors as necessary. 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.
  • Marketing Manager
    Marketing managers supervise and assist in the creation of various advertising and merchandising campaigns for single products, multiple products, entire product lines, brands, and/or companies. They monitor program performance, assist in market research studies, and recommend new program implementation. These professionals also often coordinate efforts with product managers. According to PayScale, marketing managers make an average base salary of $66,300 per year.
  • Information Technology Manager
    Information technology managers supervise a company or organization’s computer infrastructure and alert leadership to any potential, related areas of concern. They often assist in the development of data storage infrastructure and access the effectiveness of associated protocols and rules. These professionals may also 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 utilize data to acquire information about specific topics. They often interpret results after conducting surveys and organize findings using display charts and online databases. These professionals are often responsible for presenting relevant information to company or organization executives. According to PayScale, data analysts make an average base salary of $61,750 per year.
  • Director of Operations
    Directors of operations manage company or organization employees, ensuring that all workers are productive. They often help to define goals and recommend procedural improvements. These professionals may also negotiate with vendors and sellers or make production purchases. According to PayScale, directors of operation make an average base salary of $93,050 per year.
  • Quality Manager
    Quality managers ensure 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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