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What is Database Administration?

Database administrators may be able to find employment in one of the many organizations all over the state, such as pharmaceutical or biotech companies. All different kinds of organizations may need employees who hold a degree in database management in order to maintain their important stores of client information, customer payment data, patient medical information, and more.

Other industries, such as professional and business services, also have need of database administrators. This industry earned $100.9 billion in a recent year and makes use of large amounts of data storage in order to track their clients and customers and to make data-driven decisions. Healthcare, educational services, and social assistance; manufacturing; finance and insurance; retail and wholesale trade; transportation and warehousing; and information are all top industries in the state, and they all have reason to maintain large databases. These industries may hire database managers themselves, or they may make use of the growing third-party database management industry, which focuses on maintaining other company’s data.

A database administrator (DBA) focuses their efforts on creating database standards and policies and maintaining them, as well as managing the availability and performance of a database. This includes management of incidents and problems. They monitor the usage of the database, response times, concurrency levels, and transaction volumes. They may also manage database security problems, forensics, and audit trails. They may implement event triggers, which sound if a database develops issues in performance or integrity.

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Online Database Administration Education in New Jersey

So, does a DBA need to have experience, education, or knowledge in cyber security? At one New Jersey university, students majoring in Management Information Systems are required to take courses which can allow them to enter a tech career working as an information security analyst or database administrator. The curriculum of a DBA often includes cyber security and database design courses, among other subjects, and graduates may choose to follow a career in either profession.

A database administrator must have a variety of talents and skills that they can put to use in their career. First, they must have excellent reasoning skills so that they can develop specific or general conclusions based on the data they track. This often requires excellent analytical skills, which you can develop during your time in school.

This professional may build a data storage systems, or they may come in after the system has already been built and be responsible for protecting and maintaining the system. If necessary, they must be able to migrate a data system into a new format when the company grows or changes its focus.

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The appetite for data today means that more and more of it is being generated. Once it exists, data has to be put into logical order and then kept available for those who need it. The DBA assures data is accessible and secure and that it has been sorted into groupings that can be used to obtain information.

Online Associate Degree in Database Administration (AS)

Prospective students who are interested in a career in database administration may be interested in attending community college before making their way into the workforce or into higher education. They may earn an associate degree (Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, or Associate of Applied Science) in computer science or information technology, depending on the school and specific program they choose.

Students in these degree programs are exposed to database management and computer programming skills at a foundational level. You may not be able to work as an IT manager or gain much in the way of certifications with this degree, but you should have a base level of knowledge upon graduating with your degree. Altogether, students at this level will take a variety of general education courses (which should include nearly everything you need to take during your first two years of a bachelor’s degree) as well as a variety of core courses. These core courses may focus on programming languages, database systems analysis courses, and more. Learning these and other processes can prepare the student for a position in an IT department or they may choose to transfer to a four-year university.

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Online Bachelor’s Degree in Database Administration (BS)

Bachelor’s degrees that support positions in database management include Bachelors of Science, Arts, and Applied Science. These may be general degrees in computer science or information technology, or you might find a more focused degree in computer information systems, computing, or database management itself.

These degrees must maintain their focus on up to date and innovative technology in order to ensure that their students have everything they need to succeed. Database management students will engage with the theoretical material and analytical tools they need to know and should have the opportunity to learn and practice real-world skills. Upon graduation, students will be ready to move into an entry-level career or enter a master’s program. You may find work as an application programmer, network or database administrator, or even in healthcare management or informatics.

Graduates will have skills that may also allow them to use both technical and business skills as cyber security specialists, IT entrepreneurs, or data analysts and they may choose to work in a non-technical position such as systems analyst, business analyst, or project manager.

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Online Master’s Degree in Database Administration (MS)

Some schools will offer specific master’s degrees, such as a Master of Science in Business Information Systems. This type of degree program can link business and technology fields. Many advanced degree options are focused on such skill linking and students are able to practice new skills and real-world situations, using these learning experiences to gain the skills they will need once they graduate.

In these degree programs, students are exposed to software that is in common use and they learn how to use analytical skills in decision-making. These are skills that they will use frequently on the job.

Graduate students who are looking to move up in their current company or to change careers may want to consider earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus in database administration or another pertinent field. These types of programs are an excellent way for those in IT to move into business administration & management quickly. Students can also benefit from corporate partnerships between business and universities. Programs are often designed so that students, classmates, professors, and networking alumni become business partners, mentors, and advisors.

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Online PhD Degree in Database Administration (PhD)

Doctoral candidates may have trouble finding programs focused on database administration, but they should have no problem finding a program where they can enroll in a PhD program in management information technology or another business or computer science related concentration.

Candidates are often expected to have the following:

  • Basic knowledge in calculus, computer science, probability, linear algebra, and statistics (depending on the degree)
  • A master’s degree in industrial engineering, computer science, or information technology (depending on the degree)
  • A willingness to spend at least some time on a physical campus with their teachers/mentors and perhaps other students

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During these programs candidates may land assistantships for research and teaching. These opportunities are intended for candidates who have specific interests in research.

Become a Database Administrator in New Jersey

Database administrators are not required by the state to hold any specific licensure or certification. However, any computer science professional who takes the time to earn certifications will position themselves well for job offers or promotions to more senior managerial positions. Here are just a few certifications that can help you succeed in your career.

  • Microsoft Certified Azure Database Administrator Associate
    This certification is for entry-level database administrators who are knowledgeable in SQL. The certification requires the DBA to demonstrate their ability to use T-SQL in completing administrative tasks, allocate data resources and use them, develop and use a High Availability and Disaster Recovery environment (HADR), and automate tasks.
  • Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL 5.7 Database Administrator
    Candidates can choose to earn an Oracle MySQL Database Administration or the MySQL Developer certification. The Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL 5.7 Database Administrator certification recognizes DBAs who are able to install, optimize, and monitor a MySQL Server, configure its replication, apply security, and schedule and validate database backups.
  • Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Professional
    This higher-level certification helps to build on the basics that have been offered in entry level certifications. It is also a steppingstone to the higher-level Certified Master qualification. DBAs may find it suitable if they are more experienced and considering moving up to a more senior administrative role.
  • Certified PostgreSQL DBA (CPSDBA)
    This open-source system is used by over 5,000 companies around the world. Clearly, earning this certification means you may field more job offers. While this certification is both vendor-neutral and entry-level, it is still valuable. DBAs will prove proficiency in system architecture, topics in advanced customization, management of database clusters, maintaining and upgrading databases, basic creation and management of a database, and monitoring and guarding data.

Careers for Database Administration Graduates

  • Information Technology Manager
    An information technology manager controls the technical aspects of the organization. They develop business plans, monitor network security, and supervise online operations. This manager may also plan and coordinate much larger projects including installing and upgrading hardware and software, implementing websites, programming, and systems design. They also oversee other IT employees such as software developers, systems analysts, and support specialists.
  • Database Administrator (DBA)
    DBAs use their database administration skills every day. They make sure that every organizational database (customer information, financial, and others) is up to date and use policies and procedures to help protect against data loss. If something goes wrong, they resolve any problems.

    Their duties ma also include building database systems, designing and launching databases to fit end users’ needs, defining who acceptable users are, and supporting data distribution to the correct users.

  • Data Analyst
    This professional collects data and stores it. Data may reflect market research, logistics, sales numbers, linguistics, or other information. A data analyst has the appropriate technical experience to allow them to ensure that data is high-quality and accurate; they then process and design data layouts to be able to present it to organizations, businesses, and people so they can make good decisions.

    Working with master data, the analyst creates, updates, and deletes it as needed. They manager user roles, commission and decommission data sets, develop reports and analysis, and process confidential data and information as guidelines instruct.

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  • Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer
    A QA engineer develops tests which point to issues with software before a product launches. They may also report the results to stakeholders. Then they work with programmers to fix bugs or issues in the program. The first responsibility of a QA engineer is to stop defects.
  • Computer and Information Systems Manager
    A computer and information systems manager analyzes needs for an organization’s computer system and recommends possible upgrades. They supervise the installation and maintenance of hardware and software for the organization and negotiate with vendors for hardware and software and ensure network security. They stay current on new technologies and oversee training for new equipment or software.
  • Information Security Analyst
    This security professional designs and carries out the implementation of security systems, which protect an organization’s computer networks from cyber-attacks, and they help to establish and maintain security standards. This professional also monitors the organization’s computer networks for security issues and investigates breaches and other cyber security incidents. They must have demonstrable experience with computer network penetration testing and techniques.
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