Online Database Degrees: Overview of Learning Options

Learn about online degrees with Database courses. Get an overview of the program types, requirements and course descriptions available for this field.

Essential Information

Database management is usually a concentration available in a bachelor's or master's degree program in a field such as computer information systems. These programs are commonly available online. Most bachelor's degree programs can be completed totally through distance learning. Many master's degree programs are offered completely online as well, but some are available in a hybrid format that requires visits to campus in addition to online classes. Few programs call for internships.

Bachelor's degree programs in computer information systems with a database management concentration include basic information on database design, administration and programming. Students should enter the program with some general computer knowledge.

Master's degree programs in computer information systems offer concentrations in database technology. These programs are more advanced and prepare students to manage database systems on a large scale. Most master's degree programs take about two years to complete.

Bachelor of Science in Database Management

Database management is usually offered as a declared concentration within a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) program, such as a B.S. in Computer Information Systems. These programs prepare students to be versatile technicians within information technology organizations. Students focus on concepts such as database design, administration, programming and user-interface construction. Bachelor's degree programs are available fully online and require a high-school diploma. Due to the nature of these programs, students must be proficient in basic computer skills.

Information and Requirements

The typical length for an online database management program is about 120 credit-hours, which can be completed in 3-4 years. While students can access online material at their convenience (often through the Blackboard program), most programs adhere to strict weekly schedules that students must keep pace with. Many courses require students to log onto webinar programs, where they can communicate with their peers.

Common Courses

Because programs in database management are concentrations of B.S. degrees, many course offerings are common to multiple fields of information technology.

Database Systems

Students in an online course in database systems use a relational database system model to understand the design and management of many types of database systems. Subject matter includes structured query language (SQL), data definition language, relational theory, query optimization and sequences. Students often are required to design and construct their own functioning database systems.

Database Applications

An online course in database applications involves the study of the basic structure of databases, including forms, menus, tables, queries and reports. Students learn about the integration of these fundamental concepts in larger Web-based applications.

Systems Analysis

This course teaches students to determine the requirements of a business' information management system. Through the construction and maintenance of various software systems, students utilize different analysis techniques to determine the optimal database configuration for various users.


Master of Science in Database Technology

An online Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in database technology prepares students to maintain, administer, analyze and design database systems on a large scale. Students learn to implement their thorough knowledge of information management systems within a business-oriented framework. Prospective students typically must hold a bachelor's degree with an established minimum grade-point average, and, in some cases, they must take the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) or a similar test.

Information and Requirements

The range of credit hours needed to complete an online database technology program varies greatly, from 32-48. Programs are available completely online; however, some schools allow students to combine online courses with traditional face-to-face courses in a hybrid curriculum. Through the use of a Web browser and the Blackboard Vista system, students can access online course material, which typically consists of lecture videos, PowerPoint animations and discussion forums. Many institutions prepare students with the self-discipline and time management skills needed for online learning through orientation sessions prior to enrollment.

Common Courses

Advanced Database Systems

Students in an online course in advanced database systems study the design, implementation and management of various relational database models. Topics in SQL, data recovery, indexing, concurrency control and database management are studied, in addition to current issues in database systems.

Advanced Database Management

An online course in advanced database management focuses extensively on advanced SQL, extensible markup and stylesheet languages, query optimization and object-relational databases. Students are often required to complete an original term project that displays a thorough implementation of the wide range of topics covered in this course.

Data Mining

This online course in data mining teaches concepts in the application, techniques and archetypes of data mining. Topics include data preprocessing, decision trees, clustering, data cleaning and association rule mining.


Career Information for Graduates

Database systems exist in almost every industry. Consequently, there are many career opportunities in information technology, database administration, network administration and other related fields. Students who complete a database management bachelor's degree program are qualified for many entry-level occupations, including software developer, database administrator, network administrator or database administrator. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of database administrators was projected to rise by 11% between 2014 and 2024.

Students who graduate with a master's degree in database technology are prepared for a wide spectrum of positions within the computer science field, most notably that of database administrator. As of May 2015, the annual median salary for this position was $81,710, with a range from $45,460 to $127,080, according to BLS statistics. While database administrators are in demand in many industries, the highest salaries in 2015 were paid in securities and commodities exchanges, agents and managers for public figures and air transportation.

Online computer information systems bachelor's and master's degree programs typically offer concentrations in database management or technology. Students learn about database systems, applications and management techniques.


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