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What is Database Management?

Wyoming is the most sparsely populated state in the nation. The vistas in Wyoming are amazing because there is so much open land. However, Wyoming is also a powerhouse in certain industries. In particular, Wyoming is home to the 11th largest mining, quarrying, and oil/gas extraction industry in the nation. For other fields, Wyoming falls at or close to the bottom of the ranks. However, it is 39th in transportation and warehousing, indicating that, despite the empty plains, there is still some strong business activity.

A database administrator is a technology professional who works on databases for their employer or client. They essentially oversee the functioning of the data that drives business. This can include matters related to how the data is structured, search queries on the database, access to the database, and other database security issues.

Database administrators need to have a working knowledge of SQL and/or its offshoots, which is the language family that forms most databases. It may also be advantageous to also know a language such as Python or R, which are used to parse and aggregate data in ways that are useful to analytical teams. However, the primary work of a database administrator involves maintaining and updating the database itself.

The work environment of a database administrator is often a business office in a skyscraper or office park. However, in the post-COVID environment, many database administrators work from remote locations. Given that geography is less important, some database administration professionals even work from overseas. As long as they can access the internet and their database, they can get their work done in a timely manner.

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Online Database Management Education in Wyoming

One thing this means is that Wyoming likely has a low cost of living, which can be very beneficial for remote workers and others, including database administration professionals. When a tech worker is able to earn a salary comparable with higher earners elsewhere while keeping their cost of living low in the beautiful Wyoming landscape, it can help a lot. This is one reason why it might be a good idea for tech-savvy Wyoming citizens to pursue a degree in information technology with a focus on database technology.

Given that Wyoming's economic landscape is dominated by mining and warehousing, there may be plenty of need for database professionals in the local area. After all, those fields rely on keeping track of numerous data points to be successful. A strong database administration should be able to get to work immediately when they graduate from a Wyoming college or university with a degree in database administration.

The state legislature is also working with its state colleges and universities to strengthen and develop information technology degree programs, including database administration. To do this, they provide funding that augments student tuition and other money that goes to recruiting the very best database professionals in the nation. Information technology departments seek out top academic talent.

IT departments also look for experienced IT professionals from Wyoming itself. When they are able to hire database professionals from the local economy, students often benefit. After all, Wyoming has unique landscape. IT professionals who have successful careers in Wyoming are able to enlighten students in ways to emulate their success in the unique local industries.

Online Associate Degree in Database Management (AS)

Tech wizards who are eager to launch a career should consider an associate database administration degree. Students who augment their two-year database administration degree with certifications and internships can expect to land a very nice entry-level position. Further, a Wyoming community college degree can have a number of advantages that aren't available from a four-year college or university.

The primary advantage most will see is the cost advantage of a community college degree. Wyoming community colleges charge far less for credits than their four-year counterparts. On top of that, many community colleges are now offering courses, and even entire database administration degrees, online. Finally, all community college degrees require that students complete the core college curriculum, which provides a well-rounded liberal arts education that can benefit any worker. Savvy database administration students will use their elective courses to study related topics such as accounting, computer programming, and mathematics.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Database Management (BS)

A bachelor’s database administration degree may be the optimal credential for launching a career in this IT field. Students with an associate database administration degree can build on their achievement with two years of study that focus clearly on their major field. During the course of a bachelor’s database degree, students can dive deeper into topics related to database administration while broadening their horizons with a minor concentration and perhaps an internship or two.

In a four-year database administration degree program, students might be able to take courses that count toward their major while offering an element of specialization. For instance, some may take special topic courses in cyber security or cryptography that will help them protect their databases later in their career. Others might take a minor concentration in mathematics or computer science. Students who are overwhelmed with all the choices available in a four-year database administration degree program should discuss their goals with an academic advisor from the appropriate department.

Online Master’s Degree in Database Management (MS)

The technology sector is increasingly competitive every year. This means that students should consider walking from their undergraduate graduation straight into a graduate degree program in database administration or even an MBA program. A master’s degree will provide the needed expertise that employers want to see in their IT departments. In fact, many undergraduate information technology departments offer an accelerated master’s degree. Then there's the option of a dual MBA.

While many MBA programs offer concentrations in IT or database administration, a dual MBA can be even more powerful. This option lets students complete a MS in database administration while simultaneously working toward their MBA. Students who pursue these two degrees separately need four years, but a dual MBA program is structured to take only three years. Furthermore, a dual MBA program is more cost effective while offering the same or better benefits in the workplace.

Online PhD Degree in Database Management (PhD)

There aren't many fields in the business world that reward a PhD, as a doctorate is often considered too intellectual and detached from the realities of business. However, IT departments love to hire a PhD who has done deep, cutting-edge research into database administration. Those who have done deep work in, say, data science or cryptography may be especially valuable in an IT department. On top of the usual employment benefits of a doctorate, a PhD in database administration can find more opportunities than even a peer with a master’s database degree.

For instance, a PhD is a great credential with which to leap into consulting. PhDs in consulting firms may be able to continue their research, and even write papers that are customized toward addressing the issues facing a specific client. PhDs also may take their expertise and credentials and start a consulting practice of their own. They can take other database professionals under their wing while attracting clients with their academic prowess.

Become a Database Manager in Wyoming

With the ubiquity of technology in our lives, it's little wonder that the tech sector is one of the fastest growing fields in the nation and world. This tech relies on more than just hardware and software, however. It all needs data to flesh it out and give all of those tools something to work with. Thus, database administration jobs are vital to any growing company.

However, it's not always clear as to how one becomes a database administration professional. In fact, there are so many ways in that it may seem difficult to know the best way to approach the field. However, the best way to start is with simple interest in computing and handling data. That may start early on, even in high school.

Those who discover a love of computers in their high school years are in luck. There are STEM-focused high schools that offer computing classes and, nowadays, there are loads of online resources for those who have a driving passion for the field. Given that most young people are likely more interested in building a website or video game than a database, they should dive into their passion. After all, even video games and websites rely on databases to function, or as part of their function. Video games need to store user data that compiles scores and other pertinent data points. Websites often need to pull from a database of images, text files, and coded pages.

High schoolers can seek extra instruction online. There are free and affordable courses online that can help them learn programming languages and other tech skills. High school students may even consider earning a certification in a programming language or other technical skills before they graduate. In fact, some high schoolers are able to earn extra money by doing small technical projects for people. Those who can set up and administer small databases will earn the sort of experience that future colleges and employers love to see.

Potential Careers for Database Management Graduates

  • Payroll Administrator:
    Large organizations often need dedicated people to take care of the day-to-day operations, such as payroll. Payroll administrators need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting and often heavy experience in database management. Payroll administrators will need to be able to analyze the payroll and present reports so knowledge of Python or R may be necessary.
  • Data Analyst:
    In our data-driven environment, few jobs are more important than data analysts. These tech workers often hold at least a bachelor’s degree in fields such as mathematics, computer science, and even social sciences. However, each needs to have programming skills that let them parse the data so that their colleagues can use it in meaningful ways.
  • Computer and Information Systems Manager:
    After several years in an IT department, it should be possible for you to move up into management. Information systems managers typically have at least a bachelor’s database administration degree or a master’s degree, though some have an MBA with a concentration in information technology. Though managers don't need to have specific technical expertise in every aspect of their department, they do need a strong familiarity and leadership skills.
  • Information Security Analyst:
    Cyber security is a pressing need for many public and private enterprises. To work in this field, a degree from a CAE-approved college or university is imperative. There are even community colleges that have CAE-approved InfoSec departments and cyber security degree programs. Most employers also want to see that candidates are certified in specific areas pertinent to their systems, such as with certifications in specific vendor software.
  • Computer Network Architects:
    Large firms and government agencies alike need extensive computer networks to facilitate their work. Some of these networks may span several floors of a high-rise while others include remote sites, including overseas offices. Network architects design and build the most efficient and secure networks for their clients or employers. Knowledge of information security issues, database management, and hardware capabilities is a must for these professionals.
  • Database Security Manager:
    Information security is a top priority for many firms. Their data drives their business and, often, their customers place enormous trust in them when they add their credit card numbers, email addresses, and phone numbers to their systems. Government agencies also need database security managers to help protect the nation's interests. In fact, the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Defense have enacted concerted efforts to recruit and develop effective cyber security personnel through the CAE accreditation program.
  • Web Developer:
    Web developers are often confused with designers, but the two are very different. Developers are more interested in a website's back-end code. They develop the structure of a website, code the search algorithms, design cookies, and more. This job can require a number of coding languages including, but not limited to java, Perl, PHP, Python, JavaScript, and SQL.
  • Chief Information Security Officer (CISO):
    This top-level position is often the crowning achievement of an IT career. Database administrators can earn this C-suite job with a master’s degree, often an MBA, and several certifications. InfoSec professionals should look for certifications on top of a degree from a CAE-approved degree program.

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