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What is Database Administration?

Database administration is a vital part of arranging, storing, and protecting data. In Michigan, manufacturing plants and the big three automakers rely heavily on their data administrators.

Other industries which rely heavily on these professionals include the largest industries in the state: real estate, rental, and leasing; retail and wholesale trade; educational services, healthcare, and social assistance; transportation and warehousing; professional and business services; finance and insurance; and construction.

Along with storing data and ensuring that it is easily accessible by employees, database administrators play an important role in keeping their data protected, an ever growing. In Michigan, about 123,000 professional database administrators were employed in as of May 2020. Their annual mean wage at that time was around $88,800 on average.

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Online Database Administration Education in Michigan

Database administrators (DBAs) can work in just about any organization that uses data and databases. This means they are almost everywhere, in a huge variety of industries. From E-commerce companies and social media to healthcare organizations, DBAs can find work all over. This includes computer systems design companies, insurance carriers and related services, educational services at the state and local levels, data processing and hosting services, and more.

Databases hold financial, proprietary, and personal information, such as healthcare data. This is part of why database administrators are so important. They ensure that all data is available to users (employees, managers) and make sure it is secure from unauthorized access (cyber security attacks).

This role may also go by several job titles, such as database administrator (DBA), systems manager, database analyst, database coordinator, management information systems director (MIS Director), database programmer, or information systems manager.

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A DBA arranges databases depending on an organization’s needs, ensure the database is functioning efficiently, fine-tune and upgrade, and test modifications when needed. They may also put in place security measures to protect the most sensitive data the organization has.

DBAs are relied upon to resolve difficult issues, which means that they need to be able to pay close attention to the smallest details.

Online Associate Degree in Database Administration (AS)

Some Michigan community colleges offer Information Technology Professional programs. These have been developed for two types of students: those who are not experienced in the field and want to find an entry-level position in IT and those who already have experience. You can take one of these programs to move up into an IT management role or a project management position. This second type of student needs to have a wide foundation of technical knowledge, while the first will gain all the skills they need to get started in the field.

Students obtain experience and skills in Windows, word processing, presentations, spreadsheet applications, database management, networking, programming, and web design. They should also gain experience with various types of computer software and hardware used in business, government, and industry.

Graduates may be able to find entry-level positions as business analysts, web developers, database administrators, programmers, and network administrators.

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Online Bachelor’s Degree in Database Administration (BS)

Undergraduate graduates at the bachelor’s level should be able to find positions in the field that can lead to a life-long career. Even better, graduates of a bachelor’s degree program in database administration can choose from a wide range of careers in this and similar fields.

Most bachelor’s students earn a computer science degree, in which they may choose a database administration concentration. A computer science major is an umbrella major with many tech-related majors underneath it including database administration, web development, computer networking, and more. Graduates can work as data scientists, UX designers, DevOps engineers, database administrators, data engineers, or analytics managers.

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Online Master’s Degree in Database Administration (MS)

Students planning to earn a graduate degree may do well with a Master of Science in Computer Science Information Systems or they can choose to earn an MBA with a concentration in database administration or a similar specialty. One thing you might want to consider is whether a program welcomes students who do not have a computer science background. Most master’s programs require that you already have an educational background and/or experience in the field before you can gain admittance.

Once they graduate, students may be ready to move into positions as administrators, programmers who lead technology teams, analyst, designers, and developers. Many of these types of master’s degrees can be earned on-campus or fully online. Distance learners receive the same high-quality education as students on-campus and students can often choose to tailor their program and learning experience using on-campus, online, or hybrid learning.

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Online PhD Degree in Database Administration (PhD)

Doctoral students earning their PhD in Computer and Information Science develop research skills, professional education, and engineering practice. There aren’t many database administration programs at this level, so it’s best to focus on a closely related program. Most universities offering degrees at this level focuses their programs on the continuing need for relevant research in computer and information science, developing computational professionals, and providing students with access to advanced technical skills and knowledge.

Students may focus on research, addressing society’s needs for scientific and engineering professionals who have vital high-level knowledge, technical skills and abilities, and more. They can use these programs to carry out original, high-quality research.

PhD students may be able to select concentrations in data management, software engineering, data science, and systems and security. After defending their dissertations and publishing their research, students graduate and can move into research careers focusing on computer and information science.

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Become a Database Administrator in Michigan

There are no state or legal requirements to gain certification or licensure in order to find work in this field. However, the database management field is focused on provable skills. Therefore, database administrators who have the knowledge and experience to move up should try to earn certifications. Having these achievements on your resume can get you noticed. Before or after graduating, students may take certificate programs and earn any certificates they think they might need. Here are just some of the options.

  • IBM Certified Database Administrator

    IBM leads the world in database products. From DB2 to IBM Open Platform, database administrators and other database professionals have a wide range of products from which to choose. IBM offers a range of certifications such as Database Associate, System Administrator, Database Administrator, Application Developer, and others.

    DB2 is an intermediate certification that focuses on some of the more routine administration duties and basic SQL. The creation of database objects, databases, server management, security, monitoring, and availability are also covered.

  • Microsoft SQL Server

    This certification has a wide range of tools and add-ons a DBA may find useful. These include data-driven applications, business intelligence tools, and data warehousing. The company has taken steps to change its certification program to be role-centric, focusing more on the roles a DBA fills and what they need to be successful in a specific technology job. This is a major change from its former technology-based focus.

    Four certification tracks are available: Developers, Solution Architects, Administrators, and Functional Consultants.

  • Oracle Certified Associate — Oracle 9i Database Administrator

    This certification blends training, testing, and experience to ensure that professionals have a strong grounding and expertise in Oracle 9i Database techniques. These include performance tuning, backup and recovery, and administration.

  • Microsoft Certified Database Administrator

    By taking this certification and exam, DBAs are able to show their ability to design, implement, and manage Microsoft SQL Server 2000 databases. Professionals who earn this certification demonstrate to employers and customers that they are able to effectively lead in this field. The certification also provides them with the option of upgrading their certification to support Microsoft SQL Server 2005 should circumstances require it.

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Potential Careers for Database Administration Graduates

  • Information Security Manager

    An information security manager role is one that IT professionals rise to after years of working in an organization’s IT chain of command. This manager is vital in both the IT and information security departments. They are the brain of both teams and they can supervise and manage the operations and direction of both departments, making higher-level decisions and maintaining a team of information security experts. Those experts take care of the hands-on tasks and changes needed day-to-day.

  • Database Administrator (DBA)

    This professional manages and maintains the company’s databases. This includes creating and following data management policy and making sure that the databases are functioning correctly and have been backed up in case of memory loss or cyber-attack.

    Often, the DBA is the first person to address database issues that develop and they may be responsible for maintenance and troubleshooting. DBAs need to be top-notch problem-solvers, able to communicate well in several data manipulation languages, hold broad knowledge of each database under their supervision, and have strong technical skills and administrative aptitude.

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  • Database Engineer

    Database engineers design and maintain databases, increasing the capacity of data storage and troubleshooting database functionality problems. They also review database performance and user reports, write new support programs and scripts, and troubleshoot database code.

    A successful database engineer should show knowledge of the best practices in database management and experience in a closely related role. They should be able to translate their database optimization skills into the efficient flow of information through the organization.

  • Quality Manager

    A quality manager is responsible for monitoring and evaluating internal production processes. They examine products, ascertaining their quality, engage with customers, and obtain product feedback.

    It is this manager’s responsibility to make sure all products and services meet quality standards before they are sent to market. They should also understand customers’ expectations and needs and outline quality standards and develop quality control processes.

    On the production line, the quality manager supervises staff and monitor production standards. They inspect the quality of the raw materials used and, if products fail to meet quality standards, they reject them. They also produce statistical reports on quality standards and report to upper management on quality standard issues.

  • Computer and Information Systems Manager

    A computer and information systems manager plans, coordinates, and directs computer-related activities within an organization. They are responsible for determining the IT goals of the organization and putting in place computer systems to meet these goals.

    Their responsibilities include analyzing the company’s needs, recommending potential upgrades, planning installation and maintenance of hardware and software, determining costs and benefits of new projects, justifying funding, planning the work of other IT professionals, negotiating with vendors, and more.

  • Information Security Analyst

    Information security analysts analyze and implement security systems which protect the organization’s computer networks from cyber-attacks by monitoring the organization’s computer networks, looking for security issues, installing security software, and documenting security issues or breaches. They also help to establish and maintain security standards.

    They work with the security team, testing and uncovering network weaknesses. They fix vulnerabilities so high-security standards may be maintained.

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