Microsoft Certified Database Administrator: Job Info & Requirements

Discover what type of work a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator performs. Learn about educational requirements and salary as well as employment outlook to make an informed career decision.

Career Definition for a Microsoft Certified Database Adminsitrator

Microsoft Certified Database Administrators (MCDBA) are simply information technology professionals who have passed a specific exam in order to earn the SQL 2000-based MCDBA credential. Individuals with a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator credential typically work as SQL database administrators, database analysts, database developers or computer scientists. They are involved in database design and programming, security configuration and server maintenance.

Education Bachelor's degree in computer engineering or science preferred, four-part exam must be passed for MCDBA certification
Job Skills Communication, independent and team player, problem solving, eye for detail
Median Salary (2015)* $81,710 for database administrators
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 11% for database administrators

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

First, in order to earn a MCDBA certification, the computer professional must pass a four-part exam. The first three areas are broken up into SQL server administration, SQL server design and Windows server networking. For the fourth part of the MCDBA exam, the individual must elect a Microsoft server product in which to show competency. Once the individual earns the Microsoft Certified Database Administrator credential, he or she may have a better opportunity for securing employment or advancing within a company. While having a MCDBA credential is certainly an advantage, many companies prefer that a database administration applicant also have bachelor's degree in computer engineering, computer science, management information systems or another related field. Even more consideration may be given to an individual with a MBA.

Skills Required

Microsoft Certified Database Administrators must be able to communicate effectively in technical terms and on a business level. The individual must be independent but must also be a team player. Additionally, a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator should have a keen eye for detail and be adept at problem solving.

Career and Economic Outlook

In 2015, the median annual wage for all database administrators was $81,710, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Some of the highest-paying areas include California, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. The BLS estimates that database administration employment may grow by 11% for the years 2014 through 2024.

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Alternative Careers

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Network Administrator

For those interested in operating and maintaining network equipment instead of databases, becoming a network administrator could be the right fit. Network administrators explore communication technology needs, hook up and operate networking equipment, test and analyze operational performance, upgrade and repair machines and manage user permissions. Depending on the employer and technology, a computer certificate may be sufficient or a bachelor's degree in computer engineering may be required. Network and computer systems administrators should experience employment growth of 8% during the 2014-2024 decade, according to the BLS, and cloud technology advancements will drive some of the demand for these professionals. As estimated by the BLS in 2014, approximately 382,000 network administrators worked in the U.S. and earned $77,810 in median annual compensation for 2015. Top-paying regions for these professionals include Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia.

Computer Systems Analyst

If exploring ways to improve an organization's computer technology and managing the installation process sounds intriguing, a career in computer systems analysis should be considered. Systems analysts examine current systems and plan ways to improve functionality. Additionally, they present recommendations to management for approval, determine what equipment should be used, manage installation activities and prepare user documentation manuals. A bachelor's degree is necessary to work in the field, but non-computer majors may be acceptable if an applicant has programming or information technology experience. However, an MBA may be required for more technically advanced positions. In 2014, approximately 567,800 computer systems analysts worked in the U.S., and earned a median annual salary of $85,800 in 2015, according to the BLS. Strong employment growth pf 21% for systems analysts is projected by the BLS from 2014-2024, with almost 119,000 new jobs opening up during this period. Individuals working in Washington, D.C., California, and Virginia receive the highest pay for this career.

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