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What is Database Administration?

Database administrators are responsible for ensuring that data is ready and available to users in whatever company they work for. They also ensure that this data is safe from people who have bad intentions.

You can gain a number of jobs related to information technology with a degree in database administration, but many graduates become database administrators (DBAs) or architects. The professionals in this field mostly create and/or organize data storage systems. From financial information to shipping records, they deal with many data types. They also ensure authorized personnel can quickly access data when needed. Many of these professionals keep a close eye on database operations to ensure that systems are operating properly. When problems occur, they provide support.

The responsibilities of database administrators can vary widely depending on the industry and the size of the employer. A typical job description includes backing up important information, preventing data loss, restoring data, testing modifications, and updating permissions.

You may also choose to specialize in certain areas as a database administrator. A system database administrator and application database administrator are two of the most common specialties. Physical and technical maintenance of databases is done by system database administrators. Upgrades and bug patches are also installed by these professionals when needed. A database administrator who focuses on specific applications, on the other hand, is known as an application database administrator. Their job duties include managing all database-related applications and writing or debugging associated programs.

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Database Administration Education in Indiana

Indiana’s top 10 industries are diverse, ranging from transportation and warehousing to manufacturing. And each one of these industries needs capable database administrators to ensure that all their information is correct, that it is in the right place, and that it gives information to the professionals who need to access to it.

The top five industries and their annual income in Indiana are:

  • Manufacturing ($100.7 billion)
  • Real estate, rental, and leasing ($36.3 billion)
  • Educational services, healthcare, and social assistance ($35 billion)
  • Professional and business services ($31.7 billion)
  • Finance and insurance ($21.2 billion)

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The next five largest industries range from wholesale trade to transportation and warehousing. Each one of these also needs to have competent and skilled database administrators to function properly. Some industries manufacture vehicles, bodies for buses and trucks, and vehicle parts. If any of these manufacturers didn’t have database professionals, they may not be able to maintain their product output, keep track of custom builds or customers, and more.

Computer-focused occupations have either maintained their employment or they have seen it grow. As an example, computer network support specialists have seen their profession’s employment grow by 7.6% in recent years, and database administrators and architects have also seen a growth of 6.1%. Notably, computer programmers have seen their employment rise by 16.8%, significantly more than many other occupations, and the overall employment for computer and mathematical occupations stands at 63,090.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment of database administrators and architects will grow by 8% between 2020 and 2030. This is about the same rate of growth for all occupations. Approximately 13,900 job openings have been predicted to open up each year of the decade. This employment number is related to companies needing to replace workers who have gone to other jobs or left the labor force, along with the creation of new positions.

Associate Degree in Database Administration (AS)

While there are degree programs of this type located in Illinois, students from Indiana may also be able to commute or earn their online degrees from Indiana community colleges or universities. One available program is focused on computers & information systems, which may lead a community college graduate to a future career or higher-level degree in database administration.

Students who want to become database administrators in Indiana may be able to take this degree program and either begin an entry-level job or transfer their current credit hours to a bachelor’s degree in the field. Graduates may also find jobs in software, hardware, or programming.

At the entry level, graduates of these program may choose to begin their professional careers as programmers, analysts, technical support specialists, operations specialists, or database support.

Bachelor’s Degree in Database Administration (BS)

Indiana college students interested in working with computers and data may choose to enter an Indiana university’s School of Informatics and Computing or any computer science program with a relevant degree. In the programs offered, they will be exposed to data science and should be able to gain the skills required for a database administration career.

Students majoring in these types of programs develop the digital competency they need to find an attractive position. They may also learn how to design databases so that they can be involved in every aspect of the field, from start to finish. Students will also learn about the ethical and social implications of data management. People in the U.S. have long been worried about their personal data being used for ill intent.

Once students complete their degree programs, they may choose to begin working in this field or they may decide they want to earn a master’s degree in database administration.

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

Graduate students working toward their Master of Information Science (MIS) degree should consider what they want to do after graduation. Graduates may move into positions as information architects, database administrators, database analysts, information managers, library systems administrators, or managers of information systems.

In these programs, students not only learn about database management and business topics and fundamentals, they will also learn a great deal about managing subordinates and methodologies for creating new databases and updating old databases with new technology. Subjects of study may include business analytics, supply chain management, and inventory management, among other. Career options for graduates may include corporate information technology, consultant work, supply chain management, and business analysis.

PhD/Doctorate Degree in Database Administration (PhD)

There aren’t many database administration doctoral degrees available, but students might find a number of other computer science or data-related degree options available at this level. For example, students may choose to enter a PhD program in Data Science.

Those who choose to complete a PhD program may want to make new data discoveries, be involved in research, or teach up and coming students in the field from a tenured position. PhD students learn advanced new skills that allow them to develop new solutions to problems in data research, which can have an impact in other fields.

Graduates of these programs might work as directors of research, strategic innovation managers, data scientists, or senior data analysts.

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Become a Database Administrator in Indiana

Luckily, those looking to work in database administration never have to worry about state certification or licensure of any kind. Unlike accounting specialists and counselors, there aren’t any state or federal requirements to work in this field. Not that you shouldn’t consider certification if you are looking for promotions in the field. Professional certifications can get you far.

Professional certifications in one of several areas of database administration may assist DBAs in learning new skills they need for their roles. These certifications may also help them to land a new job whenever they believe it is the right time to take a new position or help them get a promotion they’ve been eyeing.

As DBAs consider different certifications, they should think about the database-related roles they have in mind. While some of these certifications may help, you’re likely to find that certain certifications are hot in the industry, while others won’t do much to help you get ahead. Here are just a few of the many options available to you.

  • IBM Certified Database Administrator (DB2)
    This is an industry standard for DBAs and is intended for database administration professionals who need to use DB2 on Windows, Linux, or Unix. DB2 is considered to be an intermediate credential for basic SQL, routine administration, and the creation of new databases and database objects.
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Fundamentals
    This is an entry-level certification which Microsoft offers for DBAs. It validates their command of data concepts that use Microsoft Azure data services. This certification also demonstrates their knowledge of how these databases work using PostgreSQL and MySQL languages.
  • MCSE: Business Intelligence
    This certification validates a DBA’s expertise in the design, creation, and optimization of business intelligence solutions using Microsoft SQL Server.
  • MTA: Database Fundamentals
    This MTA program has one database-related examination. The certification is a good choice for database management students or for entry-level professionals who want to move into database support.
  • Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate Certification
    This certification lets database professionals show their knowledge of the basics of SQL concepts, particularly as they use it to work with the Oracle Database server. It is designed to show the DBA’s competency using SQL, tables, data modeling, and other relevant tasks.
  • IBM Certified Database Associate
    This certification is for DBAs who want to demonstrate their understanding of two relational database management systems: the Informix and the DB2. Having basic knowledge of SQL, database security, database creation, and transaction isolation will help you earn this certification.

Careers for Database Administration Graduates

  • Administrative/Office Manager:

    This professional is in charge of supervising the administrative team and ensuring that day-to-day office functions are carried out in an efficient way. The administrative manager may help HR hire, train, and evaluate team members as well as developing and improving policies, systems, and procedures.

    Office managers are also responsible for managing and overseeing the administrative duties in an office, though they are usually focused on greeting visitors and maintaining an inventory of office supplies so that the company continues to run smoothly.

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  • Operations Manager:

    This manager is vital to the smooth function of upper-level management, ensuring that the organization performs at its highest potential. The operations manager may oversee one or several areas within the organization. They aim to reduce costs and keep operations moving smoothly.

    They may also manage other important department leaders and guide groups of employees, ensuring they complete assigned tasks and goals are met. In short, operations managers have to keep a big-picture viewpoint at all times.

  • Information Technology Manager:

    An information technology manager holds one of the most vital positions in an organization. Their main concern is the implementation, supervision, and maintenance of the organization’s computing needs. They also have to be sure that computer systems, hardware, applications, and software are secure against outside attack.

    IT managers should have a detailed knowledge of the best practices of the IT industry and should be able to show a track record of information analysis, effective technical management, and a full understanding of computer hardware and software.

  • Database Administrator (DBA):
    DBAs are responsible for the maintenance, coordination, control, and operation of the database system for their employer. It’s their responsibility to ensure the system is secure and accurate. They are responsible for authorizing access to the database and may work on configuration, migration, database design, security, backup, troubleshooting, and data recovery.
  • Quality Manager:
    Quality managers are responsible for ensuring that every product the organization makes meets appropriate quality standards before they are shipped out. They are responsible for understanding their customers’ needs and expectations on this subject, as well. They may outline quality standards for the organization’s products and create quality control processes.
  • Information Security Analyst:

    These professionals are responsible for planning and implementing security measures that protect a company’s computer networks and systems. As cyber-attacks and threats continue to grow, the responsibilities of this professional keep growing.

    These analysts are responsible for monitoring their company’s networks for security breaches, investigating a violation when one takes place, and monitoring data encryption programs and firewalls as they work to protect sensitive data. They and their team may also carry out penetration testing to find vulnerabilities in the systems before a cyber-thief breaks in.

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