Both bachelor's and master's-level programs are available, and some schools offer these programs online. Bachelor's degree programs related to database management include coursework in computer programming, enterprise database systems and database management systems, and they can prepare students for careers as database administrators. Students should have their high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for these programs.
Master's degree programs may include more technical courses and allow students to receive hands-on training in database technology and specific database technology systems, such as SQL or Oracle. Graduates of these programs may be prepared for management-level positions related to database management and information technology. To apply for a master's degree in database management, students should already possess a bachelor's degree.
Bachelor's Degrees with Database Management Coursework
Types of bachelor's degree programs that offer an emphasis or focus on database management might include a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems, a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology or a Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information Science. Students in these programs typically gain a strong foundation in computer programming, quantitative methods and technology so that they may organize, store and retrieve data through database management systems. In addition, students learn to analyze and explain computer operating and software systems. Generally, admission into such a program requires the completion of high school or a GED program.
Students often learn business topics, including accounting, business law and operation management, as a foundation for the program. Other foundational coursework might include professional writing, finite math and accounting basics. Coursework specific to the field of database management may include information networking, network design, and Java programming as well as the following:
- Information systems planning and policy
- Enterprise database systems
- Computer theory
- Database management systems
- Network security
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Master's Degrees with Database Management Coursework
Master's degree programs, such as a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems or a Master of Science in Information Systems, often offer students the opportunity to specialize their studies in database management. Through such a program, students learn to solve business challenges through the application of information technologies. Students may also receive hands-on experience with database technology systems, such as Oracle or SQL.
To be considered for acceptance into a graduate program, students are usually required to have a bachelor's degree. In addition, some programs may require prerequisite introductory coursework in information technology.
Generally, master's degree programs with an emphasis on database management feature coursework in information systems fundamentals. Database management course topics completed throughout the curriculum may include database security, IT strategy and management, information systems analysis and design, and quantitative methods for information systems in addition to the following:
- Information structures
- Business data communication and networks
- Database design and implementation for business
- Data mining and business intelligence
- IT security policies and procedures
- Database programming for the web
Popular Career Options
Upon program completion, students might consider a technical or management position. Management positions related to database management might include a career as a webmaster, chief privacy officer or chief information officer. Careers also involving database management skills might include:
- Database administrator
- Database programmer
- Business intelligence (BI) analyst
- BI developer
- Information engineer
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for database administrators, as reported in May 2015, was $81,710. The BLS also states that employment in the career is predicted to grow by 11% between the years of 2014 and 2024.
Certification for database administrators is voluntary, although it may be preferred by some employers. Most certification is offered through vendors such as Microsoft. For example, the company offers the Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA) designation for IT professionals who have at least one year of experience using Microsoft SQL servers. IBM and Oracle offer similar certifications.
Database management can be studied in a bachelor's or master's degree program in information systems, information technology and similar fields. Students in these programs can gain hands-on skills in database technology and computer programming. Potential careers for graduates include database administration, information engineering and more.