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What is Database Administration?

Some students are heading to college and planning to enter a computer science degree program, but there are other options under the computer science umbrella that can allow you to specialize right out of school, such as a career in database administration. You could also focus on other areas, such as a cyber security career or a career in software development; there are plenty of options but database administration is a great, versatile choice. The time during your undergraduate studies is likely to provide you with a great opportunity to gain an introduction to all of your various options. But, for those who think that they want to earn a database administration degree in South Dakota, here you’ll find all the information you will need to decide if this is the right focus for your future career.

Database administrators provide services to organizations in many South Dakota industries. And, depending on which industry they are in, they may help top managers and executives in their organizations to peruse and understand the data held within their database. The work or database administrators and analysts allows executives to make better decisions that are critical to an organizations’ finances and future.

There are many industries that shine in South Dakota and company executives and owners cannot make decisions without knowing the story the data tells. And this is impossible without a database administrator, whether or not they perform any analysis work, they ensure that the data is entered correctly, stored properly, accessible to the right people, inaccessible to the wrong people, and generally useful.

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Online Database Administration Education in South Dakota

The database administrator also ensures the database is secure from cyber-attacks. They tune the database so that it runs efficiently, ensure database recovery with regular backups, and they can also run queries and reports.

Finance and insurance companies rely heavily on financial data management. DBAs work with processes and tools, assisting their organizations to know where their financial data is and how to find what they need. Healthcare organizations also rely heavily on organized data; after all, patients go to more than one medical provider, especially if they have health issues requiring the services of a specialist. A good DBA can work with multiple systems and find and compile data from different sources.

Data runs organizations. Without it, they would be hard-pressed to quickly find the information they need to answer customer questions or make decisions regarding the future of the company.

This is where the database administrator comes in; they manage data within an organization’s IT systems. This role is vital; it can help company chiefs and managers to weigh their options and make critical financial decisions using data and modeling and it can also help a company to maintain good relationships with customers.

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A database administrator, or DBA, must stay current with developments in this field of IT, they work to keep the organization’s data storage architecture up to date so that they are able to use the best options for the needs of the company, and they may oversee a team of data entry workers or data scientists or analysts.

Online Associate Degree in Database Administration (AS)

Students at the associate level are introduced to theory and application in regard to database administration. They also learn about real-life networking environments during these programs so that, once they graduate, they are able to find employment in the field in a variety of roles in IT.

An online database admin associate degree generally takes four semesters, or two years, to complete and students will benefit by attending a program that offers hands-on experience. By gaining this experience, they can learn to apply classroom theories to the real-world problems, which can also be simulated in a classroom. In the first year, students develop a solid foundation of the basics and networking concepts, as well as completing most of their general education requirements.

In the second year, students are often challenged to adapt to changes in the computing world. At this point, they may also go into more complex networking problems and complete courses that will help them develop programming skills and learn about security and the administration of complex networks. This learning prepares them for work within an organization upon graduation, though it’s good to know how competitive your area is, because it can be difficult to find a position with only an associate degree.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Database Administration (BS)

Those students who aim to earn a Bachelor of Science in computer science could opt to focus on a degree in computer information systems or database administration. A focus on data management is vital to every sector of industry, whether they are tracking customer data, marketing data, project outcomes, accounting information, or any other piece of information that can help a company.

These higher-level degrees also include training in technical processes which allow an organization to develop a more competitive advantage and software that may not be covered at a lower level, such as an associate degree. Students who plan on a career in tech can use this degree to take undergraduate courses in programming languages, database administration, application development, networking, data analytics, systems analysis, and project management, as well as others.

These degree programs teach students about .Net programming and client and server-side web programming, how to use SQL and other database software that can let them to work with data, find out about the newest technologies, and more. Better yet, a bachelor’s degree is more competitive than an associate degree and can allow you to take courses that will help you find a position in the field immediately.

Online Master's Degree in Database Administration (MS)

Online graduate students who earn degrees in computer science position themselves for roles in designing and developing new computer systems and applications for various industries or businesses if they focus on software development. They could also prepare for science-related positions in academia, computing research, or high-level industrial roles.

Research areas offered from various colleges, business schools, or universities can include software engineering, computer networks, medical image processing, cluster computing, parallel processing, computer security, GIS, applied computing, and much more depending on your area of interest and previous experience.

Students and professionals can choose database administration graduate schools offering master’s degrees or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus on computer science or leadership can aim to work in top positions throughout the business world.

Students earning an MBA can often choose from a variety of available concentrations, allowing you to gain a fundamental education in business while also increasing your knowledge in your chosen concentration.

Online PhD Degree in Database Administration (PhD)

Among the many doctoral programs offered all over the US, there are options from university Departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, which have a solid focus in academics, research, the design of new computer languages, and much more. These degrees can lead to roles in academia, business, and more.

The main emphasis in these programs should be considered before you sign on. You can use them to improve your knowledge in an area in which you are already well versed, or you can choose to gain expertise in a newer field and expand your knowledge. Scholars often begin their degree with a focused career path.

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Become a Database Administrator in South Dakota

Data helps organizations to function. However, for this to happen smoothly, professionals have to manage every byte so that it is entered properly, gets to its destination, can be analyzed with ease, and can help executives make needed decisions.

Database administrators don’t need to gain any licensure in order to be able to work in the industry, but they may want to obtain certifications that can help them fine-tune their skills and communicate to potential employers that they are the right person to hire.

Database administrators should have a degree in computer science, might benefit from an engineering background, and should definitely have some familiarity with coding and knowledge of service management. Many professional certifications can help database administrators to communicate their skills to prospective employers. Here are just some options.

  • Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Associate (OCA)

    This certification offers basic concepts in database administration. Students or professionals learn about the newest in Oracle Database and learn when to apply these skills, such as in Oracle audits, preventive controls, and multitenancy.

    To qualify for this certification, professionals or students should have passed a minimum of one Oracle Database SQL exam, as well as the certification exam. Professionals interested in this certification are able to find preparation material for free on the Oracle University site.

  • Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Professional (OCP)

    This certification should be second in the sequence, as it helps professionals to build on what they learned in the OCA program. Professionals should hold the OCA, then take either Oracle Database 12c, Managing Multitenant Architecture or Backup and Recovery Workshop.

  • Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Master (OCM)

    This program is highly challenging, intended only for those DBAs at the highest administrative level. Before preparing for this exam, professionals should be familiar with carrying out highly complex activities: Clusterware and performance management, for example. They should complete two prior Oracle Database courses to be eligible to take the OCM course and the exam.

    As you can see, there are plenty of options, and these are only those available from one specific vendor.

Careers for Database Administration Graduates

  • Administrative/Office Manager

    An administrative manager is responsible for activities such as recruitment and training of new personnel and assigning job duties and office space. They plan out and coordinate administration procedures and systems and develop ways to refine work processes.

    Office managers oversee staff so that processes run smoothly and supervise administrative support. Duties may include basic reception duties and copy-editing documents, working on specific documents, and filing for one or more departments.

  • Payroll Administrator
    A payroll administrator takes charge of all payroll processes. They manage employee data and make sure time sheets are correct. They compute wages and ensure employees are paid correctly and on time.
  • Information Technology Manager
    This IT professional supervises, carries out, and maintains the computing needs of an organization. They make sure the network and systems operate effectively and securely and also make sure related applications, software, and hardware function at their optimal level.

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  • Database Administrator (DBA)
    A DBA builds database systems which are easily available and of high quality, depending on the role of end users. They also design and launch new databases which meet the information and viewing needs of each user. The DBA also defines users and enables the distribution of data to users in the correct format.
  • Data Analyst
    This professional works directly with data. They collect and clean it, then they interpret data sets so they can answer questions for executives or find the answer to a problem. Data analysts work in business, government, finance, science, criminal justice, medicine, etc. Their insights help executives make better decisions for their organizations.
  • Database Engineer
    This database professional designs databases and maintains them. They increase the capacity of data storage, troubleshoot functionality problems, review reports on database performance, and read user reports.
  • Quality Manager
    This professional begins and carries out inspections, testing, evaluations to ensure that their organization’s products comply with organizational standards. They also collect data in these inspections, as well as determining the cleanliness of the production line (if applicable). They analyze inspection data and the production line so that the organization offers the highest level of service possible.
  • Information Security Analyst
    This security professional is responsible for the design and launch of security systems, which protect an organization’s computer networks. They work to keep cyber-attacks from affecting any area of the organization and may help establish and maintain high security standards. They may install security software and document security issues they discover.
  • Computer Network Architects
    These professionals are responsible for designing and building data communication networks. These include intranets, wide area networks (WANs), and local area networks (LANs). The connections these architects build may be small, connecting just two offices, or they may create next-generation networking capabilities for their employers. This may even be a cloud infrastructure, built to serve several customers.
  • Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
    A CISO is responsible for setting governance and security practices, which make it possible for the organization to operate risk-free as it carries out its business operations.

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