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What is Database Management?

Are you considering pursuing a career in database administration? Those who intend to work in Kansas should strongly consider earning degrees from colleges or universities located in the state. Online learning options make it possible to study remotely from nearly anywhere with internet access, but local institutions often provide the most geographically relevant educations. Many schools have established relationships with top employers nearby, ensuring they know which information and skills are more important to cover. This also often results in more internship and job funneling opportunities for students and graduates.

The job outlook for database administrators and architects in the United States is decent. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for these professionals is expected to increase by 8% from 2020 to 2030. This is about as fast as the national average for all occupations. The field will likely see approximately 13,900 job openings each year, including those that become available due to current workers retiring or transferring to different positions. It’s expected that demand for qualified workers of this type will remain relatively steady. Again, this is largely due to the fact that almost every industry utilizes data systems for organization and storage purposes, making database administrators a necessary job. Projected growth for this field will mostly be caused by an increasing need for highly trained and skilled experts capable of meeting the data requirements of growing and expanding companies. It’s also becoming much more common for database storage and maintenance to be offered as a service, which will likely continue to drive up the number of employment opportunities available in Kansas and throughout the country.

Information is the ninth largest industry in Kansas, accounting for $6.5 billion of revenue each year. Additionally, many of the other top industries in the state are highly dependent upon database administration professionals. Manufacturing, real estate, business services, finance and insurance, educational services, and health care all utilize information maintenance and storage services.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kansas employed 940 database administrators and architects in May 2020. The annual mean wage offered to individuals in these professions in the state was $91,960, which is significantly higher than the annual mean wage of $56,310 reported for all occupations.

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Database Management Education in Kansas

As a degree major within the information technology field, database administration is most appropriate for individuals interested in and capable of working with computers. Students enrolled in these programs typically spend a lot of time developing skills related to database updates, storage, security, and troubleshooting. Most businesses rely heavily on professionals who are knowledgeable about data storage systems, making the knowledge gained highly valuable to potential employers in almost every sector. In fact, graduates are likely to qualify for a wide variety of employment opportunities across numerous industries with different types of companies, organizations, institutions, and governing bodies. Some of the top positions sought by graduates include computer and information systems manager, database administrator, computer network architect, computer programmer, and computer systems analyst.

A degree in database administration can lead to a wide variety of jobs related to information technology. Many graduates do, however, choose to pursue employment as database administrators (DBAs) or architects. This type of work typically entails creating and/or organizing systems to store and protect potentially sensitive data such as financial information, medical records, and customer shipping receipts. These professionals are also typically responsible for ensuring that authorized personnel can have easy and secure access stored data whenever it is needed. Additionally, database administrators may monitor database operations to ensure systems are functioning correctly. Finally, when issues do arise, they provide technical support until the problems are resolved.

It’s important to realize that daily tasks and responsibilities can vary significantly from one position to another. This is because, as previously mentioned, database administrators can work in a variety of industries. Several factors may impact the type of work expected, including employer size and preference. Some of the most common duties include backing up important information, preventing data loss, restoring data, testing modifications, and updating database permissions.

Database administrators may also have opportunities to specialize their training and work. Two of the most common specialties are application database administrators and system database administrators. Application database administrators typically focus exclusively on databases for specific applications. They manage all the applications that work with their databases, as well as write or debug associated programs. System database administrators, on the other hand, are responsible for the physical and technical aspects of databases and the systems that are required for them to run. They commonly install upgrades and patch bugs to ensure everything functions properly.

Some of the top employers for database administrators and architects include computer systems design, education services, and insurance companies. Despite working for a variety of different industries, working conditions are relatively standard, with most employed full-time. These professionals also tend to be good communicators, attentive to detail, analytical, and organized.

In most cases, employers expected database administration professionals to have some form of formal education. Whether candidates have degrees in database administration, computer science, or related majors, higher education of some kind is almost always necessary. The type of degree needed, however, is highly dependent upon the position sought. Colleges and universities in Kansas offer relevant programs at every level, from associate to doctoral.

To ensure you are adequately prepared, research the type of position you plan to pursue ahead of time. This will help you determine the level of education necessary moving forward. It’s worth noting, however, that most jobs in the field require at least a bachelor’s degree.

Associate Degree in Database Management (AS)

An associate degree in database administration may be useful when attempting to gain entry-level employment. Many information technology jobs require candidates have bachelor’s degrees or higher, but there are some entry-level positions available to associate degree graduates. Top employment prospects include work as database coordinators, programmer analysts, and database analysts. Graduates who have prior professional experience in the field will have more opportunities.

Instead of joining the workforce after graduation, many associate degree holders choose to continue their educations by enrolling in bachelor’s programs. As associate degrees generally serve as an introduction to a field, students can gain basic knowledge and determine whether or not they wish to pursue database administration as a career. If so, it’s easy to transfer credits earned from accredited community colleges to four-year institutions. This can significantly decrease remaining requirements and is often more economical.

Most associate degree programs in database administration consist of 60 credit hours of coursework and take full-time students approximately two years to complete. Every curriculum is different, but most schools design coursework to be intentionally broad. Professors are likely to touch on methods of assessing, organizing, and storing information in database servers, as well as database theory, server platforms configuration, Linux, networking concepts, and basic computer repair.

Bachelor’s Degree in Database Management (BS)

As mentioned above, the majority of data administration professionals have bachelor’s degrees in database administration, computer science, or a related topic. Graduates from these programs generally possess all the major skills necessary to lead successful careers in the field as database administrators, database specialists, application developers, and network engineers.

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. Class requirements can vary, but students can expect instruction to focus on foundational concepts related to information technology. Common topics covered include analysis and design, database management, programming languages, and relevant legal issues. In many cases, those enrolled will also spend time developing skills in Python and Java programming.

Prospective students should keep in mind that there are relatively few bachelor’s degree programs that focus solely on database administration. Most four-year institutions offer degrees in other information technology or computer-related subjects. Database administration majors are much more prevalent online, however.

Graduates may want to take their education even further by enrolling in master’s degree programs. This will require maintaining a minimum grade point average (GPA) and achieving adequate GRE test scores.

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

Few entry-level jobs in this field require master’s degrees in database administration, computer science, or a related subject. They are, however, recommended for individuals planning to pursue managerial roles at larger companies or organizations. Other benefits of earning a master’s include higher salary potential, more advanced job placement opportunities, and faster promotion. While there are many positions available to graduates, some of the most common options include network administrator, computer and information systems manager, computer network architect, and computer systems analyst.

The majority of master’s degree programs in database administration consist of about 30 to 60 credit hours of coursework and take full-time students approximately one to two years to complete. Curriculums vary, but students should expect instruction on several computer science and information systems topics. While some of the topics covered may be the same as at the bachelor’s level, professors will explore information provided in significantly more depth.

PhD/Doctorate Degree in Database Management (PhD)

PhD and doctorates in database administration are rarely required by employers and, as a result, there are very few colleges and universities offering these degrees. There are, however, still opportunities for further learning. Those interested in studying related topics more usually choose between programs in management information systems, information studies, or business administration.

Programs generally consist of between 90 and 120 credit hours and take full-time students four to seven years to complete. These programs are likely to include instruction in collecting, analyzing, and converting data for various science, business, financial, and marketing purposes. Independent research, as well as writing and presenting a dissertation are likely requirements before graduation.

Graduates at this level are generally qualified to apply for some of the highest-level positions available in research, academia, management, and policy. Those striving to become higher education professors at regionally accredited institutions will also require degrees of this type.

Become a Database Manager in Kansas

The first step in becoming a database administration professional in Kansas is identifying your ultimate career goals. Identifying your ideal position in the field will help you determine the level of education necessary to find employment.

Once you have earned your degree(s) in database administration, computer science, or a related topic, you may want to consider pursing one or more certifications and/or licenses. While not always required, many employers give preference to candidates with additional credentials. Other potential benefits include higher salary prospects and faster promotions.

In some cases, certain certifications or licenses may even be required for specialized positions, especially those that utilize unique products and technologies. In fact, remaining informed about and trained in the use of popular database platforms should be a top priority, as it can make it easier to determine which credentials will be most useful.

There is no single certifying body for database administration professionals. Instead, most certifications are offered and administered by software vendors or vendor-neutral providers.

Some of the most commonly sought credentials 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

Careers for Database Management Graduates

  • Database Administrator
    Database administrators install, assess, and maintain information databases and the software used to keep data secure and safe. They are generally responsible for setting user privileges, optimizing system performance, and troubleshooting issues as they arise. These professionals also ensure that other employees are able to easily and quickly access the information needed to perform their jobs. According to PayScale, database administrators make an average base salary of $73,350 per year.
  • Web Developer
    Web developers primarily build websites for their employers. They write code to design web pages and make database access easier. These professionals may also work with software; writing, modifying, and debugging issues as needed to ensure simpler and more widespread use in the future. According to PayScale, web developers make an average base salary of $60,100 per year.
  • Computer Network Architect
    Computer network architects design and maintain networks based on the needs of the companies they work for. They assess system integrity and monitor progress, escalating issues to administrators or supervisors when necessary. These professionals may also be responsible for testing, introducing, and monitoring new technologies as they are implemented. According to PayScale, network architects make an average base salary of $121,200 per year.
  • Marketing Manager
    Marketing managers oversee and help with the development of advertisement and merchandise campaigns. They may be responsible for monitoring performance and coordinating market research studies for single products, multiple products, entire product lines, brands, and/or companies. These professionals also recommend new campaigns and collaborate with other professionals. According to PayScale, marketing managers make an average base salary of $66,300 per year.
  • Information Technology Manager
    Information technology managers oversee computer infrastructure for the organizations that employ them. They typically help in the development of data storage systems, notifying leadership of potential areas of concern throughout the process. These professionals also sometimes oversee other network technology and security professionals and assess overall the effectiveness rules and regulations. According to PayScale, information technology managers make an average base salary of $88,950 per year.
  • Data Analyst
    Data analysts analyze company data related to specific topics of interest, presenting their findings to relevant stakeholders. They often conduct surveys and are responsible for formatting results into easy-to-understand charts and online databases. These professionals may also meet with top executives regularly to share relevant information. According to PayScale, data analysts make an average base salary of $61,750 per year.
  • Director of Operations
    Directors of operations supervise the productivity of employees working for their respective organizations. They generally help define staff goals and recommend procedural improvements as needed. They may also be responsible for making production purchases and negotiating with vendors and sellers. According to PayScale, directors of operation make an average base salary of $93,050 per year.
  • Quality Manager
    Quality managers make sure that the products produced by their employers meet consumer demands. They oversee the assessment of items, perform regular quality checks, correct mistakes, track warrantees, perform audits, and track customer feedback. These professionals may also be responsible for improving company standards. According to PayScale, quality managers make an average base salary of $82,050 per year.

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