Data Management Degree Program Summaries

Oct 20, 2019

Essential Information

Associate degree programs in data management concentrate on computer systems designed to store, organize, manage and retrieve business data. At the next level, bachelor's degree students learn mathematic analytical skills, foundational business concepts and computer science theories. Finally in graduate programs students focus on high-level information management theory. Courses in Web applications, data mining, networking, programming and systems analysis are commonly offered in both undergraduate and graduate programs. Online courses are sometimes offered, typically at the master's level.

Associate's Degree in Data Management

Designed to give students a basic understanding of computer systems and their capacity to store or otherwise manipulate business data, associate degree programs in data management prepare students for entry level positions related to database management. A high school diploma or GED and prerequisite coursework in a variety of subjects are typically required. Here are some common database and information management core and support classes typically found in an associate's degree program in data management:

  • Database modeling and relational design
  • Computer networking
  • Oracle SQL and programming
  • Linux and UNIX
  • Systems analysis

Bachelor's Degree in Data Management

The bachelor's degree programs in data management are available in majors such as information and computer science (ICS), business information management (BIM) or management information systems (MIS). A high school diploma or GED is typically required. Depending on the school, honors programs, second major programs and independent research opportunities are also available. The bachelor's degree curriculum primarily covers advanced study of business, accounting, information technology, math and systems design for data management. Classes include:

  • Statistics
  • Global technology
  • Business law
  • Marketing research and systems
  • Management principles

Master's Degree in Data Management

Master's degree programs, such as the Master of Science (M.S.) in Information Systems, M.S. in Information Management or M.S. in Data Management and Analysis, focus on high-level information management theory, analysis, integration, application, research and practice. Programs are often interdisciplinary, with combined focus in business related concentrations like economics, e-business or telecommunications. A bachelor's degree is required for entry.

Some schools offer an executive degree program designed for students with professional experience in the field. Full-time, part-time and distance learning options are available. The coursework in these programs focuses on high-level data management education, and often includes hands-on learning experiences in specific software and techniques. Some common classes are listed below:

  • Developing Web applications
  • Data and Web mining
  • Information security, systems and structures
  • Scientific computing
  • Parallel computing

Popular Career Choices

An associate's degree program in data management provides entry-level opportunities in the industry. Some career choices include:

  • Database administrator
  • Database developer
  • Application designer

A bachelor's degree can prepare graduates for entry- to mid-level careers in the data management field. Some opportunities include:

  • Systems consultant
  • Project manager
  • Data communications analyst

Employment Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment was expected to increase by 9% from 2018-2028 for database administrators ( The BLS also reported an expected 5% employment increase for network and computer systems administrators from 2018-2028. In May 2018, the mean annual wages were $92,030 for database administrators and $87,070 for network and computer systems administrators.

Continuing Education Information

Doctoral programs are available for data management students, typically as a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in computing or computer science. These programs provide the highest level of studies in the concentration and include a culminating dissertation and defense. A Ph.D. can also offer more employment opportunities in research, teaching and development-related positions.

Students who complete a data management degree program may find work in the data management field in positions such as systems consultant or project manager. Coursework typically includes computer networking, business law, and management principles.

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