Database management is typically a concentration within a Master of Science (MS) program in Computer Science or a Master of Science (MS) program in Computer Information Systems. These programs prepare students to work with databases, computer systems and web applications. By specializing in database management, students prepare for work as database administrators, who design, implement and support a company's computer systems. These professionals play a key role in organizing and securing this information by using a variety of database technologies. Similar specialization options include systems management and database technologies. Prior to graduation, students must submit a thesis.
In order to apply to one of these two-year programs, students must hold a bachelor's degree in a related field. Relevant work experience, a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and a resume or curriculum vitae may also be requested.
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Master's Degree in Database Management
The curriculum of these programs is designed to provide students with a strong understanding of database design and structures, data mining and computer system architecture. Students learn how to develop, execute and improve complex data repositories. Common course titles include:
- Database design
- Information structures
- Database applications
- Database technologies for the web
- Information security
- Data mining and warehousing
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a median annual wage of $81,710 for database administrators in 2015 (www.bls.gov). Employment for database administrators is expected to grow 11% between 2014 and 2024, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Graduates of master's programs in database management can continue on to doctoral programs in related fields, including management information systems and computer science. Professional certifications can also be obtained, such as the Certified Data Management Professional (CDMP) designation from Data Management International (www.dama.org). Database administrators must successfully pass three exams to earn this certification, and they must fulfill periodic continuing education requirements in order to maintain it.
By pursuing a database management specialization within a computer science or computer information systems master's degree program, students gain the advanced technological skills they need for administrative positions in the field, high-level industry certifications, or doctoral studies in related areas.