Database Administrator Certification: Certificate Program Overview

Research database administrator certificate programs. Learn about courses, career options, salary and certification to make an informed decision on your education.

Essential Information

Database administrator certificate programs are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Certificate programs at both levels can prepare students to work as programmers, application developers or network administrators. Undergraduate programs usually require that a student have experience with computers and some programming abilities; graduate students are required to possess a bachelor's degree and have a more expansive understanding of information technology on which to build. Certificate programs can take up to two years to complete.

Undergraduate Database Administrator Certificate

An undergraduate certificate program for aspiring database administrators should teach students how to implement, monitor, and backup data systems. Such programs may also prepare students to become certified database administrators, programmers, and application developers. Instructors may teach students about structured query language and the unique architecture of database management systems. For education requirements, schools may recommend that applicants have prior knowledge related to database administration as well as satisfactory grades.

Course Topics

Database planning, performance tuning, recovery techniques and administrative tasks are examples of areas that could be covered in an undergraduate certificate program. Specific program coursework could include the following:

  • Computer science
  • Data warehouse fundamentals
  • Relational database design
  • Computer networks
  • Business programming techniques

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that between 2010 and 2020 the employment of database administrators could increase by 31%, much faster than average when compared to other occupations ( This projection was due to the increasing need for organizations to store and have access to data. According to the BLS, database administrators earned a mean annual wage of $79,120 in May 2012.


Undergraduate certificate programs in database administration can be designed with the sole purpose of preparing students for certain certification examinations. For example, a certificate program that focuses on Oracle database administration provides students with a specific understanding of how to use Oracle database platforms. Graduates should be prepared to take Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) examinations. Other designations students could earn include the Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA) and the IBM Certified Database Administrator.

Graduate Database Administrator Certificate

Graduate certificate programs may be designed to focus on database administration basics as well as advanced tasks such as distributed transaction processing. Students may be able to tailor their course of study to their individual career goals and learn about related areas such as computer networking and artificial intelligence. It may take two years to earn a graduate certificate. Before being admitted, schools may require that applicants have programming experience and a satisfactory GPA, as well as a baccalaureate degree.

Course Topics

Classes could be taught by experienced professionals covering the business aspects of database administration. Students may also learn how to effectively communicate with customers, managers and peers. Other program coursework may include:

  • Application security
  • Parallel and distributed data management
  • Algorithms
  • Web-enabled information systems
  • Object-oriented databases

Popular Career Options

Database administrators create IT applications and both train and perform data analysis. Individuals with a graduate certificate in database administration hold a variety of job titles, which may include the following:

  • Database manager
  • Database architect
  • Systems analyst
  • IT database administration specialist

Continuing Education

Individuals who complete a graduate certificate in database administration can go on to earn a Master of Science degree in either database technology or database administration. These programs can sometimes be offered online. They can prepare students to design and implement large databases and perform research in specific areas, such as data analysis, data mining and database security.

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