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How To Become A Database Administrator: Degree And Career Guide
The world revolves around data, whether it is personal and confidential data, or data that is accessible to anyone, every organization and every individual will tell you how important it is to make sure your data is not hacked or stolen.
Granted, the importance of data control is more important in larger corporations, but as an individual, you'd be devastated if your phone were wiped of all its saved content.
Given the importance of data in large organizations and given the sheer magnitude of data that these large organizations have, it may take a lot of effort to control, sort, and protect this data. We all know how hard it is to sort out our own desktops on our personal computers, doing this for thousands of files can be overwhelming.
However, an expert in the field, whose sole role is to store, organize, and manage data is a database administrator.
To become a database administrator, you would first need to obtain the relevant qualification which would be a bachelor's degree in computer science and technology, gain direct experience, gain insight into computer languages and programs, and then begin your job search.
Let's delve a bit deeper into this career path and have a look, in greater detail, at the steps you would need to take to pursue this career path.
What Is A Database Administrator?
As the name suggests, as a database administrator, it is up to you to manage all the data storage and security of a particular organization. This would mean implementing maintenance processes to update storage servers, granting, and denying access to appropriate individuals, and implementing security processes in place to make sure that private data is never leaked and that hackers can never access this data.
The data that is housed by an organization is usually data that cannot and should not be shared. This could contain company financial details, employee financial and personal details, and even client financial and personal details.
It is up to the database administrator to make sure that they stay ahead of any hackers and any potential risks by knowing what digital trends exist, what updated security processes exist, and how to keep the entire organization safe.
In many cases, only certain people are allowed access to certain data within an organization. It is up to the database administrator to make sure that access is customized so that those who need to access certain data can easily access it, and those that can't access it have restricted access.
Having an understanding of database management, they would also need to be able to use multiple management tools and be able to merge different elements of these tools to optimize digital processes for an organization's data needs.
Additionally, data security isn't just about making sure that you aren't hacked or that people don't access and sell the company's data. Instead, it also includes doing regular data backups, making sure that storage is sufficient, and that no data is lost along the way.
As mentioned, in this role, you aren't just doing this backup for one person, but sometimes for hundreds and thousands of employees. This often means that you won't be able to go to each person's computer backing it up to a company drive, independent hard drive, or the cloud, but instead that you would need to perform backups on multiple computers using the appropriate remote software.
What Skills Do You Need To Be A Database Administrator?
There are several hard skills and soft skills that you would need to be successful and to thrive as a database administrator. The hard skills that you would need would be to know and understand how to use and operate different programming tools, depending on the tools and requirements of the organization in which you work.
You would need to know and understand how to work with and operate Linux, Oracle, and Microsoft programs, and you would need to be able to effectively conduct data analysis on internal data operations. You would also need to be able to interpret this data and implement streamlined processes to optimize the management and administration of this data.
The soft skills that you would need to have to thrive as a database administrator are to have superior analytical skills, be extremely business-minded, have problem-solving skills, and you would need to be extremely organized. Additionally, since you may probably be working in a large organization with multiple people, you would need to have outstanding communication skills and you would need to be able to work as part of an internal team.
Where Do Database Administrators Work?
In most cases, they will work as part of a large organization. This may mean working in an office and in a traditional workspace. However, given the nature of their role and the fact that remote organizations also need database administration, this role could be executed remotely, provided the individual has access to the appropriate remote operations programs and processors.
Steps To Become A Database Administrator
Step One: Obtain Your Qualification
The first step toward becoming a database administrator would be to work toward gaining your bachelor's degree either in computer science or information technology. This will equip you with the coursework needed to succeed in the role of a database administrator.
Step Two: Gain Work Experience
You would need to be able to effectively apply the knowledge that you have acquired to a live work environment. The best way for you to gain experience is to either enroll for an internship while you are completing your qualification, or you would need to apply for an entry-level role as soon as you graduate from your degree program.
Step Three: Learn The Languages
You would need to learn computer languages and you would need to master the programs and platforms that are most commonly used by large corporations.
Step Four: Begin Your Job Search
Once you have the background knowledge and skills to pursue this career, you can then begin your job search as a database administrator.
What Are The Salary And Job Outlook For Database Administrators?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), database administrators and architects earn a median annual salary of $101,000. Additionally, overall employment is expected to see a projected 9% growth over the next decade. About 11,500 job openings will become available on average each year.
What Are The Growth Prospects Of A Database Administrator?
If you gain more than five years of experience, coupled with your qualifications, you will qualify for senior-level or management roles. You could consider pursuing the role of an IT manager and you could later qualify to be considered for the role of a chief technology officer if that is what your career goals entail.
What Is The Work Schedule For Database Administrators?
In many cases, database administrators work the usual nine-to-five schedule. They also work in traditional office settings and even in server rooms.
Is It Worth It To Become A Database Administrator?
When you consider the earning potential and the job outlook for a database administrator, the prospects for a career as a database administrator are really quite great and it is a worthwhile career to pursue.
If you have always found great fascination in maintaining and protecting your own personal data and you would like to consider doing this on a much larger scale, then perhaps the career of a database administrator is exactly the career for you.
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