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What is Database Administration?

Ohio is an economically diverse state. Food production is a vital industry in the state, encompassing 14% of the jobs in the state. The industry also earned $105 billion in 2010. In the northwestern area of the state, there are auto assembly and auto parts plants. And it is projected that jobs in the automotive industry will grow by 19% by 2028. Manufacturing, another top industry in Ohio, rose 12% between 2012 and 2014 and contributed $99.8 billion to the gross state product in 2014.

By using specialized software, database administrators work with data, storing and organizing it for their employers. This data may involve customer shipping records or financial information. They ensure data is available to users when needed and that it is secure from unauthorized access.

A database is the foundation of many software applications. Working behind these databases are professionals who have the talent and knowledge to store, organize, and manage data. Some of these individuals may create databases from scratch, while others maintain existing systems.

They build databases depending on the needs of the organization and ensure that the database operates smoothly. They may develop modifications to an existing database, fine-tuning and upgrading them as needed. It is also a major part of the database administrator’s role to ensure that security has been put in place to protect the most sensitive data. They also resolve complex problems, both within the database and within the systems used for retrieving information, meaning attention to detail is vital.

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Online Database Administration Education in Ohio

Despite not being among these top industries in the state, data needs grow annually. Nearly every industry makes use of data and databases. This means that, without database administrators, these industries may not have been able to grow at the rates they have. Database administration is a hugely popular career field in technology and an important part of business administration these days. A database administrator is that person heavily relied upon by managers, supervisors, and executives in an organization to help gather, organize, and make data available, as well as ensuring that it is protected.

Organizations have electronic databases where they store customer information, financial data, marketing information, patient data, and more. If they don’t have a database administrator (DBA), it will be difficult to manage these databases, expand them when necessary, restrain access to only those who have permission to access the data, etc. This could lead to data loss, excessive downtime of the system or lost work time as employees have trouble finding the information they need, and security breaches. All of this can and does impact operations, which is why, as data becomes a more and more common asset, database administration professionals become ever more important in every industry.

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Online Associate Degree in Database Administration (AS)

One Ohio university offers an associate degree in applied business, though there are many associate degrees that could begin to prepare you for this career. You could earn an associate degree in computer science, information technology, computer science technology, information assurance, and more. There are a huge variety of technical programs that help students gain skills in important areas such as computer networking, hardware, databases, computer programming, website development, and security. These programs will also help you to develop soft skills which make interacting in a business environment easier. Soft skills include understanding ethical behavior in the workplace, written and oral communication, troubleshooting, logic, and time management.

Students in these degree programs may have different areas of interest. These might include database management, application development, or another career within the umbrella of computer science. Once students graduate, they should be able to find entry-level positions in website design and development, programming, computer networking, database support, and more. They may work as network technicians, website developers, network technicians, help desk support analysts, computer support analysts, or entry-level programmers. No matter your area of interest, earning an associate degree can give you a great foundation for entry into a career that you love.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Database Administration (BS)

This level of education is the most commonly earned degree these days. While you might not need a bachelor’s to get into the computer science, database administration, or cyber security fields, you will likely need one if you are looking to move into a higher-level, supervisory role. Luckily, there are even more options for students at this level. Those looking to complete an online database administration bachelor’s program can find them in all the same fields available as associate degrees, as well as many more options for concentrations. In a database administration degree at this level, you should complete curriculum that teaches students about supporting an organization’s computing infrastructures and meeting their needs for well-organized data.

Along with learning the technical skills, students should develop other skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, career management, oral/written communication, professionalism and ethics, teamwork and collaboration, and leadership. Bachelor’s degrees usually take around four to six years to complete, though it may take as much as two years less time if you completed an associate degree and are able to transfer most or all of your credit hours toward your new program. You should definitely check for programs that have transfer agreements before completing an associate degree if you think you are going to want a bachelor’s eventually.

Online Master’s Degree in Database Administration (MS)

Graduate students are often earning database administration degrees that will help them move into management, gain new skills so that they can shift their career in a new direction, or hoping to increase their pay. If you’ve already found a career in database administration or another computer science field, you may be interested in something like a Master of Science in Information Systems or another program that can give your resume a boost. There are many options for master’s degrees at this level if you are looking for specialized knowledge. These programs may be offered through a university’s college of business or may be found in their computer science department, depending on their focus. A master’s of this type will be focused on specialized knowledge and how that knowledge fits into the business world.

However, if you are working in a traditional business, you may want to consider earning an MBA instead of a master’s. Both degree types take around the same amount of time, but an MBA will have a strong focus on business knowledge. This can help you to earn more traditional managerial or supervisory roles when set alongside your existing database administration foundation. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in business analytics, management information systems, or another pertinent field may be just what you need to earn your next promotion. These are available from university’s college of business and there are a huge variety of concentrations available. Keep looking until you find one that’s perfect for your needs.

PhD Degree in Database Administration (PhD)

Those who earn a PhD may be positioning themselves for lucrative careers post-graduation, though it’s important to note that very few business positions actually require a PhD. These degrees can help you establish yourself as an expert if you are hoping to move into consulting or they can prepare you to succeed in academia.

Become a Database Administrator in Ohio

Many careers require professionals to gain licensure or credentials outside of their education, but those who wish to enter database administration have options. No state requires any kind of licensure to work in this field, though businesses will want you to have some credentials that prove that you are able to work with the systems they employ. This usually requires that you earn vendor-specific credentials, though there are some others that may be of interest to you, depending on your career path.

Professionals in any area of databases are likely to find a position quickly. However, it is those database professionals with post-degree professional certificates who may find the widest range of career opportunities. These certifications can stand as proof that database administrators have the necessary skills, regardless of their level of education. Note that there are many, many certifications in computer science and this is a very small selection. Find the ones that best fit your career or are required by an employer in whom you are interested.

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  • Microsoft DP—900 (Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals)
    This program and the exam are more for newer database administrators and students rather than more advanced professionals. To gain certification, they should use the Azure system as they study and practice, using this as professional development.
  • MongoDB Database Administrator
    This certification and exam are specialized for database administration teams working on non-relational databases (also called NoSQL). While these aren’t commonly deployed databases, it is still in use and you may find that this certification can benefit you. This credential is related to two specific platforms: the MongoDB Database Administrator and MongoDB Developer. The study courses go over the basics of the server and database administration; candidates also go over system programming, basic JavaScript, and software development. This platform gives DBAs a high degree of freedom as well as easy scalability.
  • Enterprise DB Postgres Certification Program

    This software is an open-source offering. Because of this, no certifications are directly available from the PostgreSQL development team but a third-party certification is offered by EnterpriseDB.

    This program offers both associate and professional certifications. The professional course requires the candidate to complete the associate exam and offers a more advanced knowledge of the software, going over areas in benchmarking and replication; it also covers the management of systems.

Careers for Database Administration Graduates

  • Information Technology Manager
    An IT manager holds responsibility for carrying out and maintaining an organization’s computing needs and supervising members of the IT department. They make sure that every computer system, its hardware, software, and applications operate effectively and securely.
  • Database Administrator (DBA)
    A database administrator assembles database systems, aiming for high availability and quality of data. They create and launch databases in agreement to the information needs of end users. They determine what access each user will have and ensure data distribution to the correct user, as needed and on time.
  • Data Analyst
    Data analysts may be responsible for collecting data and cleaning it up, but mostly they interpret data sets and look for answers to questions. These professionals can be found in business, government, finance, medicine, science, and criminal justice.
  • Database Engineer
    The role of a database engineer includes designing databases and maintaining them. They add more capacity for data storage and, when a database isn’t functioning correctly, they troubleshoot the issues. To ensure optimal functionality, the engineer reviews the performance of the database and user reports.
  • Computer and Information Systems Manager
    These professionals, also called IT managers or IT project managers. They plan and coordinate computer-related activities within the organization. They may decide the IT goals for the organization and they put computer systems or software into effect to ensure goals are met.
  • Information Security Analyst
    This analyst is responsible for ensuring the computer networks and systems of an organization are safe from outside attack. They plan security measures and put them into action. Many of their duties echo those of other cyber security professionals - monitoring the networks of an organization looking for security breaches, for instance.

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  • Computer Network Architects
    A computer network architect creates and builds data communication networks. They are responsible for building several types of networks, from intranets to local area networks and wide area networks (LAN and WAN). They should have wide knowledge of the organization’s business plan; this way, they are able to design a network that allows the organization to meet its goals.
  • Database Security Manager
    Data security managers ensure that data is protected while it is in the possession of a user, protecting it from a cyber-attack. They use digital and physical methods to protect data, monitor the acquisition of data, how it is used, stored, retrieved, and deleted - they need to verify data has not been corrupted at any of these points.
  • Web Developer

    A web developer creates websites which are both secure and functional; they also ensure that websites are attractive and easy to use.

    The developer should know HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript and other coding or programming languages; create website applications and test them; collaborate with others; present the design specifications; work with other designers, including graphic designers; maintain and update websites; troubleshoot issues; monitor traffic; and stay current on technology.

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