What is Database Administration?
Missouri may be famous for its history in the agricultural sector, but the state is rapidly becoming a major player in the modern, technological economy. The state's top industry is professional and business services, which includes a range of tech-dependent sub-sectors. Included in this area is database management, which is increasingly reliant on technology solutions for companies who are striving to remain relevant and competitive.
Missouri's economy is not only for those in professional and business services. Their top industries include manufacturing, real estate, educational services, healthcare, and social assistance. Rounding out their top five is the financial and insurance sector. All of these areas require high-tech solutions in order to operate with utmost efficiency.
A database administration professional is a tech worker who specializes in how and where their firm stores their vital data. Database administration professionals may spend a great deal of time working on database security and encryption, but they can also maintain the database. Database professionals also build new databases, tweak database code, bolster search functionality, and more. On an average day, database professionals will likely test their database and conduct general maintenance, including adding new data or otherwise ensuring that the database is up to date.
Online Database Administration Education in Missouri
Since database administration is conducted solely over the computer, a database administration professional can work from virtually anywhere. They also might be called to work non-standard hours. After all, a busy E-commerce business may do a lot of sales overnight, which can require that a database professional monitor the traffic and see that the inventories, etc. are updated. Database professionals may also need to attend meetings with the rest of their IT team or even with other parts of the firm.
To ensure that Missouri's economy keeps pace with the rest of the world, the state has many colleges and universities that train young minds to tackle modern problems. Missouri has many top-notch public and private institutions of higher learning that help students master programming languages, hardware issues, and database technologies. Students are taught by faculty members who keep current with the latest database technologies and research.
Many Missouri faculty start teaching after working within the local economy. After a long career in database administration, those with at least a master's degree may transition into teaching as a second chapter to their professional life. These faculty members can help students address issues that are particularly pertinent to the Missouri economy.
Missouri's colleges and universities have also expanded to offer the precise degree options students need. For IT students who are eager to work with database technology, there is a graduate certificate program that is perfect for them. Some may choose information security as a focus area, but there are also those who are more interested in how business intersects with technology. These students may pursue management information systems or health information management. No matter what specialty area a Missouri student desires, there is sure to be an on-campus or online college degree or certificate for them.
Online Associate Degree in Database Administration (AS)
A two-year community college degree can be the perfect launchpad for a career in information technology. The courses covered in these degree program will be perfect for landing an entry-level position with a terrific firm. They can also be a great compliment to non-academic courses or professional certificates.
When a database professional completes their associate degree, they can always use those college credits to apply for a bachelor’s degree. As for the skill sets they acquire in these degree programs, many database professionals are able to add on to those by completing certificate programs in SQL, Python, or R, depending on their professional need. Many will earn certificates in specific technologies such as Microsoft technology, Cisco Systems, or Linux.
An associate degree also makes good sense because it only takes two years to complete and can be dramatically more affordable when students attend a public, community college.
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Database Administration (BS)
An online bachelor’s degree in database administration is often considered to be the best choice when starting a career. Bachelor's degree programs allow students to dive deeper into their subject matter than associate programs. For database students, they might complete projects that involve building whole new databases working with a variety of database platforms such as Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, Linux, and MacOS. Further, a database administration student can complete a minor concentration in subjects such as computer science, cyber security, or even mathematics, each of which will complement their focus on databases.
A good idea for bachelor’s database administration degree students is an internship. Practical experience can be a great boon upon graduation, as it proves their ability to perform in the working world. Some students might even pick up side gigs helping small businesses with their databases. Not only will this be a terrific way to build a resume, but these students can graduate and already have work in their field.
Online Master’s Degree in Database Administration (MS or MC)
An online master’s database administration degree is a sure way to boost a career to the next level. Students who pursue an MS in Database Management will acquire new skills and insights that will take their work to a new level. The degree is also likely to pave the way to promotions and raises. However, an MS isn't the only option available for database professionals.
Many IT and database workers decide to return to graduate school for an MBA. While this may seem like a drastic transition, IT professionals can use their MBA to bolster their IT resume. In fact, those who are eyeing a position in upper management may use their MBA to get ahead and to perhaps make it all the way to the C-suites. Note that an MBA can include database administration as a concentration in the second year. Some programs may also offer a general IT concentration or other, related fields such as cyber security or computer science.
Online PhD Degree in Database Administration (PhD)
A PhD in database management, computer science, or a related field such as mathematics can boost an IT career. Many high-tech startups are looking for professionals who have this level of academic achievement to help them create the best products possible. Some tech PhDs even find private sector positions that carry on from their academic work. They may be hired to conduct research, which is essentially paying for the very work they were doing in school.
Many technology PhD students even leave their programs before completing their dissertations and are still in a better position than when they started. This is because they often discover that their research can be put to a practical application that will make them a lot of money. After all, if they aren't interested in landing a tenure-track teaching or research position in academia, why would they continue with such an arduous project? Furthermore, when they apply their research to a personal project, they can ensure that their ideas remain private and proprietary.
Become a Database Administrator in Missouri
Given the high demand for IT and database administration professionals in Missouri, there are many young students who are interested in this field. Since there is no state licensure required to become a database administration professional in Missouri, or elsewhere, there are many ways to pursue this career. Some pursue database administration as self-taught professionals who never took a single academic credit after high school and others earn a PhD.
For starters, it's vital to determine that this is the right path to follow. Database work is highly technical and requires strong mathematics and analytical skills. These can often be identified early in life. In fact, highly talented students might even start learning higher-level computer skills as soon as they are interested. Since there are many affordable, and even free, learning resources online, budding database professionals can get to work as soon as they are ready.
One language to get started with is SQL. Note that SQL has many variants, but learning the core language is a great way to get started. Since coding can be difficult to learn, some start with Python, which is a terrific tool for sorting data and is relatively easy to learn on any computer hardware. These languages can be learned online via free or very affordable classes. Some classes are free but allow students to pay a fee to receive a certificate of completion. While the certificate won't be convertible into college credit, it can be a great addition to a resume.
Students can also pursue their technology studies in high school. Some districts support charter schools that focus on STEM subjects, including computer science and information technology. For those who love computers and desire a career in IT, this can be a terrific way to get started. Some may find that what they learn in high school has a lasting relevance in their academic and professional careers. After high school, students should seek out the best database administration degree in Missouri.
Database professionals should all consider pursuing tech-specific certificates if they want to have long-term success. Some options include a certificate in Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco, or Linux, to name a few possibilities. Even database professionals with a master's degree from one of Missouri's colleges or universities may need such a certification in a specific technology.
Potential Careers for Database Administration Graduates
- Administrative/Office Manager:
For those who are seeking a career in database administration, this position may be a terrific first step. Many office managers are involved with their IT department or may even have some IT duties on their plate. Those with an associate degree in database administration may find it very easy to land this position.
- Information Technology Manager:
After three to five years in an IT department, workers may be promoted into a managerial position. Those who have management in their sights as a career goal should consider taking management courses in college or part-time at night or online. The best qualified IT managers will earn an MBA with an IT concentration.
- Database Administrator (DBA):
To land this position, technology workers often need a degree in database management or a certificate that attests to their skills. Administrators oversee a database and maintain it over time. This may involve tweaking SQL code, updating search engines, or even overseeing the construction of a whole new database architecture.
- Data Analyst:
These technology workers are focused on analyzing large troves of data for their firm. To excel in this position, analysts will need to know a programming language such as Python or R, which are two of the primary languages used for parsing big databases. Data analysts often have computer science degrees, but some are known to have mathematics or IT degrees.
- Payroll Administrator:
These human resources workers have strong accounting skills on top of a keen attention to details. Payroll professionals will need to have an expert grasp of database technologies. After all, every pay period they will need to access a database of employees and their pay scales.
- Database Engineer:
These technology workers are engaged in building, growing, and maintaining databases for their clients or employers. To excel in this position, workers will need to know how to program in SQL and perhaps a few other languages, including SQL variants. Engineers may also need five or more years of experience and an impressive portfolio of previous database work.
- Web Developer:
Often confused with web designers, web developers are concerned with the back end of a website. They integrate many tools that protect their firm's security, including database security. They also may include database search tools on the website, manage user permissions for the site, and more.
- Chief Information Security Officer (CISO):
This position is often the crowning achievement for a database professional. CISOs usually have a long list of professional certificates that attest to their abilities in the InfoSec area. These professionals may also need to earn a master's degree or MBA. To ensure maximum success, aspiring CISOs may consider a dual-MBA that combines cyber security or computer science along with their MBA work.
- Information Security Analyst:
Security analysts often come from the world of IT and have a list of cyber security certificates that attest to their skills. Analysts will need to have a mastery of topics in cyber security, though their work may be more administrative than purely technical.