Students interested in earning a bachelor’s degree in database management may already be aware that databases are used in most of today’s organizations. If a business is involved in E-commerce, it has a database. If a business maintains customer information, it has a database. And, because even more companies around the world are using data mining and Bid Data as a resource, they need database administrators, or DBAs for short. Students study a range of courses when they focus on database management including database management and information systems, project management, systems analysis, operations management, management processes, human behavior, fundamentals of financial management, and more.
A bachelor’s in database management is a four-year degree, though students who have either transferred from a community college or earned their associate degree may be able to complete its educational requirements in only two years. This level of degree can be designated as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS). A BA stresses credits in liberal arts, while a BS usually stresses credits earned in the hard sciences.
What are the Educational Requirements of a Database Bachelors?
Generally, students are required to earn 120 credits, though some universities may require a few more credits (124 to 128). Students are also usually required to complete a list of general education courses before moving on to their core courses in their database management major. Some students may wish or need to earn minors; these have fewer credits students must earn before graduation (between 18 and 24). With a major in database management, a good minor might be finance or general business.
Students are eligible to graduate once they have completed all classes with acceptable grades, usually a C or higher is required for major courses, though some general education courses are taken pass/fail. They may also need to meet a GPA requirement - usually 2.0 or higher.Read More
In general, it takes students four years to earn their database management degrees, though some students may need additional time in school due to the challenging nature of their degree programs or because they must take time off in the middle of their program. Database management degrees are science- and tech-based, falling within the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) category and usually fall under the heading of a Bachelor of Science. Students who decide to take the lowest number of required credits each semester will have to spend longer to earn their degrees. If they want to earn their degree a little more quickly, they can add extra classes each semester or they can take a class or two each summer.
Where Do You Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Database Management?
A bachelor’s degree is the most common degree people use to start their careers. Students usually earn their bachelor’s database management degree while attending four-year colleges or universities. However, there’s more to it than that. Being the most common type of degree earned, bachelor’s are available from a huge number of institutions across the U.S. Database management bachelor’s degrees can be earned from community colleges, private and public universities and colleges, career and technical colleges, and even online-based colleges and universities.
No matter where you plan to attend school, earning a bachelor’s database management degree could be as easy as attending a local satellite location for your state’s largest university or walking to your living room and logging into your classes online. This is true of degrees in many areas of expertise, but even more so for database management. As all of the expertise you need will be virtual skills in specific software programs, you should be able to complete all of your required education from a remote location, unless you must take a lab science program for one of your general education requirements. So, that means that there’s nothing holding you back from finding a program close to you and jumping right in.
Online Vs. Traditional Education in Database Management
With the world growing more complex, some students may find that an online degree is their best option. And the percentage of college students signing up for at least one online class has gone up to 33.5%, which is an all-time high according to the “Grade Change: Tracing Online Education in the United States” survey from the Sloan Consortium.
Students in online programs may have class schedules that are either synchronous (everyone in the class is online at the same time) or asynchronous (students can complete their work at a time that is convenient for their schedule). You may think that online courses are easy or vastly different from campus classes, but they are just as challenging as their on-campus counterparts and thought of just as well; this is part of what makes the degree a good investment.
Online students are usually taught by the same professors who are teaching the same on-campus database management courses. While traditional classes are taught in the same format that students have used for decades - students go to the physical campus and meet together with their professor or instructor in the classroom, where they discuss the materials planned for the day – online courses use the same instructors, the same books, the same materials, and provide the same competencies to students who complete a degree program online.
What are the Prerequisites or Admission Requirements?
First-year students who are still in the application process will need to submit a variety of documents to the schools they are considering. Not all schools require the same things, but nearly all will have a set application process that you must follow if you want to have a chance of getting in. Documents which might be required include the application for admission (usually available online), official (sealed) transcripts (which are requested from your high school or associate degree program), an application fee, a personal essay, ACT/SAT scores, recommendation letters, etc. Those entering college right after high school may be required to have a high school diploma or GED and have a specific cumulative GPA (for those schools with higher admission standards). There are unlikely to be specific requirements for a database management bachelor’s degree, unless you are coming from an associate degree program that did not require the prerequisite general education courses.
A community college might waive the application fee for those who live in the area or are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Colleges that have high admission rates may not require ACT or SAT scores or may have lower standards for them. And many schools no longer require an in-person interview or a school visit in order to accept a new student. However, that doesn’t mean that the application process is easy. Many students start applying to schools early in their senior year because of the sheer amount of work that goes into applying for just a few schools.
If the student is transferring from a different university, they’ll also need to request their college/university transcripts be sent to the new institution. First-year students (and transfer applicants with less than 30 credits earned) may also need to submit their ACT or SAT testing results.
Why Earn a Database Bachelor’s Degree?
The content difference between a bachelor’s database management degree and a master’s can be significant. A master’s degree is more complex and focused, allowing for there to be more courses in business and focused on management. The number of required credit hours for a master’s degree is lower mainly because students will have already completed their general education credits when they earn their bachelor’s in database management. However, before pursuing their master’s degrees, students are required to earn a bachelor’s.
This in itself is a good reason to earn a bachelor’s degree, in general. And when it comes to database management, the bachelor’s degree can get you far. This primary degree opens up many more options for those who have completed it. Graduates from these degree programs may choose to earn a master’s or MBA with a concentration in database management in order to keep their degree progressing forward. Your decision to earn any degree really just depends on your long-term goals.
However, no matter what area you focus on, it is more than worth it to earn a bachelor’s degree. Those who enter into the workforce directly out of high school earn a national average of around $37,000 per year. Of course, there are outliers and those who didn’t even finish high school who go on to start their own businesses and succeed. However, most people won’t do that. Most people need a higher education to help them move up in their careers, specifically to get into management positions. Those who graduate and earn any bachelor’s degree earn an average of closer to $50,000 every year. And only those who earn a bachelor’s can earn a higher-level degree, such as a master’s, which can mean you can earn over $100,000/year. Those who complete a bachelor’s in database management degree earn an average of $74,500 annually, according to Payscale.com.
Why a Degree in Database Management?
The database management field is wide open for those who earn a degree. Database managers and other tech professionals who are skilled in these areas are the right people to handle the immense amounts of data that a company can produce. A database manager has the tools and knowledge needed to get to the data, work with it, then divide it into smaller pieces of information that the company can use. Once this has been done, stakeholders and people in the C-suites will be able to make better decisions, with the knowledge to back them up.
Database managers can find careers in supply chain management, logistics, finance, healthcare, business, and more. Their work in breaking company-owned data into manageable chunks can also be a part of information security for networks and business databases.
Along with a degree, a database manager needs to earn the right certifications. These might include CIW and CompTIA. When a hiring manager sees an applicant’s resume has these certifications or others, they will be much more likely to call that person in for a job interview versus an applicant with the same degree but no certifications.
What’s Involved and What Will You Learn?
A bachelor’s degree in database management helps students to learn about the best practices in managing data for enterprise. These degree programs also teach students how to prepare data so that businesses can make use of it; database managers can also offer a variety of types of analysis that can be offered from the data the company already gathers. By knowing what the data means, the business’ top managers will be able to help the company increase its productivity and performance, not to mention its profitability.
Once students are ready to graduate, they will be able to create and design a database according to user requirements and prepare data for analysis. They will be able to carry out web analytics, perform other statistical analysis, and work on data mining. Students who have definite plans to work with database management may be able to customize their degree programs so that they do a better job of helping them reach their goals and pursue their interests.
Database management majors will graduate with a good understanding of the theory and design of databases. They should know how data can and should be stored and classified. They also need to understand how different datasets are related and various database languages, such as Structured Query Language or SQL. Students who graduate from a bachelor’s in database management degree will leave with the knowledge and skills they need to get into the workforce or to continue with their schooling, perhaps earning their masters in database management before they start their career or while they gain experience.
- Legal and Ethical Environment of Business
- Programming Languages & Concepts
- Business Writing
- Principles of Financial Management
- Systems Analysis and Design
- Database Management Systems
- Project Management
- ASP.NET Web Application Development
- Web Scripting
- Advanced Database Management
- Database Administration & Architecture
- Database Systems and Physical Design
- Data Mining and Data Warehousing
- Bachelor’s Internship
What to Consider When Choosing a Bachelor’s Program for Database Management
Students need to understand what accreditation is and how it affects them. Accreditation is the process by which colleges and universities prove that they can offer a high-quality educational program by meeting and surpassing educational standards. Schools must seek out accreditation in order to be able to prove to prospective students that their programs are worthwhile.
Institutional accreditation means that the entire school is recognized as offering top-notch education. Programmatic accreditation means that a specific degree program or department has been recognized for its ability to offer students the education they need in a specific area. There is no specific accreditation for database management degrees, but you might consider looking for ABET accreditation of the computer science department. This may include accreditation for courses that are a part of your database management learning.
For several reasons, accreditation is vital to a student’s future success. First, students who wish to transfer from an unaccredited school won’t be able to transfer their earned credits to a school that is accredited. Second, federal financial aid programs refuse to grant financial assistance to students in unaccredited schools or programs because their quality is unknown. Finally, if a student decides to go to graduate school, they may not be able to do so after graduating from an unaccredited school. Certifications are the same way—certification programs won’t certify students from unaccredited schools. Even employers will know if the school you attended is accredited and may be wary of offering a position to someone who graduated from an unaccredited institution.
Further Database Management Education
As a student goes into a master’s degree in database management, they know they are taking their future career into their own hands. In this program, their courses will be much more focused on mining and analyzing data. Students may also express their interest in moving up in the field and find that they may have the opportunity to interact more closely with the leaders of the company they work for through mentoring.
One potential program offering is the Master of Science in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in Database Management and Business Intelligence. After graduating from this program, students will have the experience and knowledge within the design and implementation of operational databases. However, master’s degrees in this field may fall under a variety of titles, so you should be wary of what programs you consider. Make sure that whichever one you choose will help you achieve your career goals.
Some graduate students may prefer to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in management information systems, database management, or something similar. A graduate with this degree can become a highly sought-after job candidate due to their business knowledge and prior work experience. Students will nearly universally be expected to have gained some work experience before beginning a program such as this. Add in their accumulated technical skills and a business owner knows they have someone who will be a real advantage to their company if they hire a graduate from one of these programs. These professionals may help with enterprise resource planning (ERP), management information systems (MIS), transaction process systems (TPS), decision support system (DSS), or executive information system (EIS).
Doctorate or PhD
A PhD in Data Science allows students to learn how to work with industry partners and faculty to use large amounts of data in solving real-world problems. They will analyze and capture the data, search it and share it, and store and transfer it. Next, they will query and visualize all of the data. Some potential practical uses:
- allowing “smart” cities to use data to make policy changes for society’s well-being
- using predictive analytics to point out cyber threats
- using big data analytics to help improve the healthcare outcomes of an individual or group
Students who graduate from these programs are usually looking to get into research or academia. Though academic positions are more common among PhD graduates as a whole, the research arena is wide open for those entering this particular field.
Database Management Certification Options
Earning a certificate in database administration may be exactly what a professional needs to move their career forward. These are especially helpful for those who are already in a career and don’t want to take the time out of their schedule to attend another degree program. After all, you may not necessarily require an entire degree to move forward. If a professional is trying to compete for a specific position, a certificate in a particular type of software or analysis program may be all they need to tip the scales in their favor.
Certificate programs can allow you to learn how to better use SQL or even design, build, and support the systems that allow database managers to work with data. Certificate students may learn object-oriented concepts and modeling, be introduced to data warehousing (storage), as well as distributed and object-oriented database processing.
The outcomes of earning a certificate in database administration are good. One in four professionals earned a salary increase after beginning a certificate program. Eighty-five percent believe that earning a certificate helped them to advance their careers. After completing a certificate program, 50% switched careers and 85% would recommend a certificate program to others who are considering one. Available programs include some of the following.
- Advanced Database Management Concepts
- Network Communications with TCP/IP
- Relational Database Management
Available Careers for Database Graduates
This position requires that a professional reach maximum efficiency and take advantage of the full range of features and benefits of the database systems.
Lease & Database Administrator:
This professional creates an abstract for critical lease provisions and inputs them into the AMT lease database. They also manage co-tenancy and exclusive violations.
IT Database Administrator:
This position requires that the database administrator work as a member of the IT team. They provide operational and technical support.
Computer Network Architect:
This position is required to create data communication networks. They usually hold a computer science or related bachelor’s degree and have work experience.
Computer and Information Systems Manager:
The professional in this role manages IT staff. They also install and manage computer systems. Computer and information systems managers should have a bachelor’s degree and related work experience.
This person creates computer systems, applications, programs. They normally hold a computer science bachelor’s degree and have completed training in critical programming skills.
Computer Systems Analyst:
This professional studies computer systems, working to increase their efficiency. They identify and resolve problems within the computer systems. These professionals need both IT and programming skills.
Your salary expectations will rely heavily on the career you have earned, what position you fill, where in the country you work, and your level of expertise.
For database administrators (DBA) who don’t move beyond a bachelor’s degree, they may still earn an attractive annual salary. A database administrator with a bachelor’s degree earns an average of $73,000 annually. This is quite an attractive wage, especially considering that those who have been in this position long enough may earn as much as $110,000. And this can also depend on your work location; those who live in Chicago earn more than database administrators who live in Denver.
Management consultants with a bachelor’s degree in database management earn around $88,000 annually. This increases to $144,000 after they have been in their field for the majority of their career.
Oracle Database Administrator (DBA)
Even without a master’s degree in database administration, database administrators with experience in the Oracle system earn an average of $96,000 annually. Early in their career, they earn around $63,000.
Database analysts earn a median annual salary of $62,000. After they have been in this position for several years, this increases to $93,000. While they may not have earned their master’s in this field, they can still earn an attractive salary.
Senior database administrators earn a median annual salary of $110,000. At the height of their career, they may be earning as much as $139,000 annually.
The job outlook for database administrators is predicted to increase by 10% between 2019 and 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is much faster than most other occupations are seeing increases.
The increased data needs of organizations in sectors across the economy are driving this employment growth. Database administrators are needed to help organize company’s data and to present it to stakeholders in a format they are able to understand.
Additionally, because database-as-a-service is becoming more and more popular, third parties are able to carry out database administration over the internet. This means the employment of database administrators who are employed by cloud computing firms in the hosting, data processing, and related services industry will only increase.
Looking at network and computer systems administrators, the employment of the professionals in this field is projected to increase by 4% between 2019 and 2029, which is about as fast as for all other occupations. The demand for IT workers is also high and will continue growing as firms continue investing in faster and newer technology and mobile networks. The growth of IT in healthcare is also continuing to rise.
Computer Science Degrees & Career Paths