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What is Database Administration?

Nevada is a state long known for gambling and good times. However, its economy is a lot more than casinos, hotels, and fine dining restaurants. While arts, entertainment, and hospitality related businesses do top the list of top Nevada industries, the top five also includes real estate, professional business services, retail trade, and social services including education, healthcare, and social assistance. Such a diversified bunch of industries have much in common, however.

For example, these industries all rely on technologies such as networking, software, and databases to maintain competitiveness in the market. Even construction, which is the seventh largest industry in Nevada, relies on databases. Large developers need a database to track their inventories, employees, payroll, rent payments, and other details of their business. In fact, not only do these businesses need a database, but they need customized data solutions that allow them to model their data, secure their data, and run analytics on their data.

Thus, Nevada has a high demand for database professionals. Larger firms may employ database administration experts to work as part of their team, but smaller businesses may outsource their database needs to independent IT firms or even freelance database wizards who work from home via a Wi-Fi connection.

Nevada's colleges and universities have risen to meet the challenges of this technological economy. They strive to attract the very best IT professors and research faculty to build the strongest database degree programs possible. They may also offer their database degree programs online so that students in far-flung parts of Nevada, or any state, can reap great academic benefits.

Online Database Administration Education in Nevada

Additionally, database administration degree programs seek to hire database experts from the state itself. These may be database experts who work in the bustling hospitality industry or elsewhere in the Nevada economy. These faculty members can help students by offering real world examples of how to use a database to track, say, guest accommodations using various variables such as time of year, size of room, cost of the stay, and length of the stay. They may also be experts at tracking how well the games of chance perform under certain conditions or how to populate a casino floor with enough diverse machines to maximize revenues.

Ultimately, students who desire a long and successful IT career in Nevada can feel confident in pursuing a database administration degree in a local college or university.

A database administration professional is a technology worker who helps build, support, and maintain databases for their employer or client. They typically have a strong background in computing and information technology. Most have at least a working familiarity with SQL or one of its offshoots and many specialize in a specific vendor's database technology such as Microsoft, Apple, or Cisco, among other choices.

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Since database administration professionals work on computers, they can work from virtually anywhere. Prior to COVID, many were working from home and, now that people can return to offices, many database professionals are not. As long as they can access their databases from home, there is no true need for them to be in any specific location, much less an office building. For that reason, many database pros have been working as independent contractors for many years. Some even travel the globe while keeping tabs on their databases in the United States.

Online Associate Degree in Database Administration (AS)

Students can start a brilliant career in information technology with an associate database administration degree from their local community college. There are also community colleges in far-flung locations that offer online database administration associate degrees. Either way, with a two-year degree, a student can land an entry-level position in an IT department that can lead to very big things indeed.

Those who earn an associate database administration degree might later consider earning a certification in their preferred database technology. This choice might be influenced by their employer or the overall job market. A survey of job listings indicates that firms are looking more for certain technologies, such as Cisco database technology, and those looking for work in the field will definitely profit by earning appropriate certification.

While some may choose a certification without earning a college degree, most employers will prefer those who have some academic credentials. After all, even a two-year degree imparts vital soft skills, such as written communication skills, that can make a big difference in the corporate world.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Database Administration (BS)

While tech workers tend to rely on their skills more than their degrees, a bachelor’s database administration degree will grab the attention of an employer. A bachelor’s degree also provides more exposure to deeper issues in database administration, design, and management than a two-year degree. Furthermore, an academic IT degree provides students with a fundamental, research-based understanding of the technology involved.

Students in a four-year database administration degree program also have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge with courses in other, related disciplines. Some may want to delve deeper into programming or coding and will take computer science. Others might want to know more about data analysis and how to manipulate big data sets. They can take advanced statistics courses on top of their introduction to statistics or even data science, if that is available in their Nevada university. Later, students can build on their academic and work experience to apply for a master’s degree program, or even an MBA.

Online Master's Degree in Database Administration (MS)

To take a career to the next level, many professionals will know that they need a master’s degree. In database administration, there are many options. Some will choose a program that is specific to database administration, while others might widen their scope a bit. Those students might dive into a master’s in data science, computer science, or earn an MBA with a concentration in one of those field or database administration specifically.

While an MBA may sound a little incongruous for an IT professional, it makes perfect sense for those who want to move into management. It’s also a flexible degree that offers many different concentration areas and the possibility to pursue another graduate degree in tandem with the MBA. Thus, an MBA student could spend the first year studying general business principles and topics, and then take database administration for their concentration. They could also choose computer science or data science so as to work in business analytics. Other students might opt for a dual MBA where they earn a graduate degree in an IT specialty along with the MBA. A dual MBA program typically takes three years, and it is advised that students not work during that time.

Online PhD Degree in Database Administration (PhD)

A PhD or doctorate in database administration is a ticket to a different type of success. Students who have completed their master’s database administration degree, or one in a closely related specialty area, will know exactly what sort of degree program they need. A PhD can be highly specialized, so some may earn a PhD in data science while others may do their doctorate in mathematics, computer science, or even cryptography. There are many possibilities.

When choosing the best PhD program, it's vital to research the faculty to see if there are members that will support the research you want to pursue. This is very important not only for one's general coursework but it's also an absolutely necessary when it comes time to proposing and writing a dissertation.

After graduation, a PhD can be put to good use in academia. Not only can the degree help a person land a full-time professorship, but many work as research faculty. There are even private corporations that hire PhDs to conduct research for them.

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Become a Database Administrator in Nevada

There are many ways to become a database administration professional in Nevada. The field doesn't require any specific degree, certification, or license. It can be learned on one's own using little more than a book and an internet connection. In fact, there are many IT training courses that anyone can take, regardless of age or academic standing. Many of these courses are designed to prepare students for passing a certification examination, which many employers list as requirements or items they strongly advise for all candidates.

However, it's always advised to pursue a traditional educational path. This journey can begin as early as high school. There are now charter schools that focus on STEM subjects for their students. Even non-charter high schools offer more and more computer courses that can help students prepare for the working world. Those who are especially drawn toward database administration, or any other tech subject, can augment their schoolwork with affordable, or even free, courses that help pave the way to a rich career.

As high school winds down, students should start looking for a database administration degree program. For those who are eager to dispense with schooling as fast as possible, an associate degree may be the best way to go. Many community colleges will offer database administration or other IT degree programs. These take students a mere two years of full-time work to complete. Some students may even have time to work alongside their studies. Those who are in the working world may be advised to seek an entry-level position in an IT department or in some business that relies on databases for its business.

However, a bachelor’s degree in database technology may be a better launchpad for a successful IT career in the long term. Four-year students can augment their IT courses with work in higher mathematics, including statistics, or programming courses that will help with building a database using SQL. Some may even dabble in data science so that they have a strong foundation in analyzing big data troves.

Apart from formal academics, students should also keep their eye on the various certificates available to those in the database field. Hiring managers find these professional credentials very impressive. Not only do they prove that the candidate has learned specific technologies, but they also show that they have developed their knowledge and skills in order to maintain the credential.

Careers for Database Administration Graduates

  • Administrative/Office Manager:
    These workers may not often be thought of as database professionals. However, they may often use a database and may find their position shifting toward more and more maintenance and oversight of their firm's database. This job often needs typing and organizational skills, but those with academic experience in database technologies will have a leg up in the hiring process.
  • Information Technology Manager:
    IT managers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree, and those with an MBA or other master’s database administration degree are sure to be prepped for upper-level management jobs later. In this position, a thorough knowledge of at least one part of the firm's IT picture is necessary, such as databases or networking, and the candidate should also have strong leadership and managerial skills.

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  • Database Administrator (DBA):
    This job title can involve any one of a number of database technologies. Some firms will want a DBA with a Microsoft certification while others prefer Cisco, Google Cloud, or Amazon Web Services. There is also a call for those who can build databases on Linux servers or Apple hardware. The strongest candidates will likely have a bachelor’s degree in database administration and/or a certification in one of the technologies mentioned above.
  • Data Analyst:
    Business runs on data. Retailers need it to understand trends in consumer behavior and financial institutions need it to analyze how markets react. These professionals are also found in public health, sociology, economics, and many more fields. To thrive in this position, professionals will need a background in statistics, data science, and computer science. It will also be helpful to know programming languages, such as Python or R.
  • Information Security Analyst:
    This is a field that is in high demand. Sometimes called cyber security, InfoSec analysts spend their time analyzing a firm's cyber security protocols. To qualify for these jobs, those with a degree from a Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) will likely find top billing. The CAE is an accrediting agency created by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Chief Information Security Officer (CISO):
    This is a top-level executive position that often comes as the very peak of one's career. Many hold this position as one of their top career goals. These C-level professionals need to have many years of experience in IT and IT management. It's highly likely that they will also need an MBA or some other graduate degree in a technology field such as databases, networking, programming, or cyber security.
  • Payroll Administrator:
    To succeed in this position, candidates need a strong familiarity with database technologies. This is especially true for those in larger organizations, where it's impossible to track employees without needing large troves of data. Often found in the human resources department, a payroll administrator also needs strong accounting skills.
  • Web Developer:
    Web developers are often confused with web designers. However, they are quite different. A web developer is concerned with the back-end code of a website, whether on the world wide web or on an internal intranet. Developers often are charged with linking websites to large databases. For instance, a web developer will write the code that tracks inventories for an E-commerce operation.

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