Microsoft Access education comes in the form of Associate of Science in Database Application Development or a Certificate in Access Application Development. Associate's programs in database application development are two years long and typically broader in scope than what the certificate level offers. Many other information technology and general education courses are included in associate's programs. Certificate programs that specifically cover Access tend to be shorter (less than a year) and focused almost solely on database topics.
In order to enroll in either program, students need to have a high school diploma or GED. They must also have satisfactory SAT or ACT scores with a minimum high school GPA. Students are expected to be familiar with Windows and Access prior to enrolling and will likely need to complete a capstone project focused on elements of design or identifying requirements for functional databases to graduate.
Certificate Programs in Access Application Development
The certificate program teaches students database creation tools, relational database concepts, and query design. Students learn how data is stored, managed, and accessed in databases. Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is explored, along with implementation procedures. Access certificate curriculum covers creating and managing queries, creating tables, and manipulating data. Completion of a certificate program prepares a graduate for transfer to a 2-year community college or 4-year university.
Coursework in an Access certificate program addresses the basic requirements for building databases and implementing the functionality of the original concept. Much of the coursework is hands-on training and might include:
- Application development
- Report design
- Interface design
- Query design
- Concepts of relational database design
- Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)
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Associate's Degree Programs in Database Application Development
This associate's degree program prepares a student to work in the IT industry. Deeper knowledge of information technology sectors gives a graduate more career opportunities in the industry. An associate's degree in database application development program is based on use of the Microsoft Access application. Students learn the theory, methodologies, tools, principles, and practices associated with relational databases.
Coursework for the associate's degree program requires general education courses and lower-level electives, though it focuses on database application development. Emphasis is on analytical, logical, and critical thinking and may include the following topics:
- Access Visual Basics for Applications (VBA) programming
- Relational databases with MS Access
- Data presentation with Crystal Reports
- Advanced Access relational databases
- Database concepts and theory
Popular Career Options
Graduates with knowledge of database applications and the ability to run queries, work with data in an Access environment, and the ability to create tables and Crystal Reports have several options in the job market, including:
- Database administrator
- Database engineer
- Relational database designer
- Relational database systems manager
- SQL database administrator
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) projected growth of 11% for database administrators during the reporting decade 2014 through 2024. This is faster than average for all occupations. Prospects for employment are good due to a limited supply of qualified workers. The implementation of advanced technologies in companies and organizations can provide additional job opportunities. BLS reports also show that the median income for database administrators was $81,710 in 2015.
Associate's and certificate programs are available to educate students on the uses and features of the Microsoft Access programs, as well as other useful software related to it. Graduates from both programs have valuable knowledge that can find them work in a number of companies.