Overview - Database Administrators
Database Administrators use database software to store and manage information. They will often set up database systems and are responsible for making sure those systems operate efficiently (usually referred to as database performance tuning). They also make sure that the data they store is backed up regularly, stored effectively, and that the data is secure from unauthorized access. Ensuring the data is available, by maximizing database uptime, is also an important function of the database administrator.
Education Needed for Database Administrators
Database Administrators often have a 4 year degree in Computer Science or Management Information Systems (MIS). Knowledge of business functions is also important, as is the ability to communicate with other employees in the company in both technical and non-technical roles.
Database administrators will also often hold a certification for a specific database software program. Oracle database certifications are very popular database certification programs, high in demand with employers. Another popular certification is for the Microsoft Certified Database Administrator or MCDBA. The MCDBA is also one of the highest paying technical certifications.
Becoming a Database Administrator
The best way to become a DBA is to take the relevant classes and familiarize yourself with the specific, popular databases that are in demand. Becoming certified in a specific database program is a good way to show your skill level. Internships are often a great start to a Database Administrator career. Other technical support roles, such as System Administrators and Network Administrators, may easily transition into a Database Administration role by becoming certified as a Database Administrator.
Database Administrator Career Path
Database administrators often promote to a senior database administrator and then into a strategic management role within the company, such as a MIS Manager and eventually even on to a Chief Technology Officer role. Some DBAs specialize in a certain area, such as database security, and become experts in that particular area.