Associate's degree programs offer study in database design, data warehousing and enterprise systems. A two year associate degree program can prepare you for careers in database development or administration. Four year bachelor's degree programs cover coursework in information storage, Internet databases and data security. After completing a program, you will be prepared for jobs like data analyst, database designer and database manager. Master's degree programs focus on database management systems, information storage and data security. A two year master's degree program will prepare you to work as a database administrator, and it also prepares you to seek certification in the field.
For associate and bachelor's degree programs, you will need a high school diploma or GED to enroll. Schools also prefer that you have some basic computer knowledge and mathematics skills. To enroll in a master's degree program, you need to have a bachelor's degree in a related field, possibly with prerequisite coursework.
Associate Degree in Database Technology
An associate degree program in database technology provides training in how to create, maintain, and update database systems. Topics include data security, database management, database architecture, and the roles database administrators play. Students develop an understanding of database models from the perspective of both users and programmers.
Associate degree requirements incorporate general education credits with the database technology curriculum to provide a comprehensive education. Core database topics include:
- Structures Query Language (SQL)
- Database design
- Oracle programming
- Data warehousing
- Enterprise systems
Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology - Database Administration
This degree program provides instruction in the principles, concepts and tools used to administer and secure database systems. Students are introduced to data mining, organization, queries, archiving, and disaster planning. Students become familiar with various database management systems, including Oracle, DB2, and SQL language. Some programs require applicants have a level of math through algebra, while others expect a full four years of high school math through pre-calculus.
In addition to developing technical skills in database technology, program coursework provides students with the problem-solving and communication skills needed to apply their technical skills in business environments. Common topics covered within the database administration curriculum include:
- Database design
- Database management systems
- Information storage
- Internet databases
- Data security
- Backup and recovery management
Master of Science in Database Technology
Master's degree programs in database technology provide advanced training in how to use and manage database systems. Students explore the various tools and techniques used to gather, store, secure, and access information. In-depth knowledge of database processes, applications, and structures is emphasized. Acceptable undergraduate majors for admission into the program include computer science, information technology, database administration and network management.
Program coursework incorporates laboratory experiences to provide students with opportunities to apply and practice the principles and techniques of database management. Course subject matter includes:
- Warehousing design
- Database development
- Relational and distributional database systems
- Database security procedures
- Computer networks
- E-commerce database applications
Popular Career Options
Database technology positions are available with a wide array of employers, including government, corporate, healthcare, and small business organizations. Possible job opportunities for associate's degree graduates include:
- Database technologist
- Database developer
- Database administrator
Individuals with a bachelor's degree in database administration are prepared for entry-level employment within the field. Common positions include:
- Data analyst
- Database designer
- Database manager
- Database administrator
Employment and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected the employment of database administrators to increase by 9% during the 2018-2028 decade (www.bls.gov). The BLS cites a growing need to keep information secure as more and more databases are connected to the Internet as one of the main causes for such an increase. As of May 2018, the BLS reported that database administrators earned a median annual income of $90,070.
Certification options for database administrators are vendor-specific. For example, professionals working with Oracle software would benefit most from the Oracle Certified Professional program leading to the Oracle Database Administrator Certified Associate credential. Other certifying organizations include Microsoft and MySQL. Although certification is voluntary, the BLS reports that a majority of employers view these certifications as industry standard and require the certification of their employees.
Associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees are available for students wishing to earn an education in database technology. Graduates are prepared to become database designers, database administrators, or other related careers.