Database administrators set up and maintain systems that store, manage and extract data. In database-related degree programs, students take courses in operating systems, programming languages and computer architecture. Some programs also include business and management coursework. Generally, getting a bachelor's degree requires 120 credit hours or four years to complete.
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Bachelor's Degree in Database Administration
To declare a major in computer science, a student may need an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in computer science, or equivalent courses in computer science and general education taken during the first two years of attendance at a 4-year college or university. Programs may require a certain minimum grade-point average (GPA) in all previous courses or a minimum GPA in specified computer courses. Students of database administration master the fundamentals of software programming, internet communications and network administration and become adept in the use of Oracle and other relational database-management systems. Typical course topics cover:
- Computer hardware
- Network fundamentals
- SQL database development and C++ programming
- Object-oriented programming
- Web servers
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Most employers prefer database administrators who have, at minimum, a bachelor's degree in computer science and a demonstrated willingness to learn new systems, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), (www.bls.gov). The BLS reports that, as of May 2015, database administrators earned median annual wages totaling $81,710; the top-paid ten percent earned $127,080. Job prospects for these workers will be above-average in the coming years.
Continuing Education Information
For a working database administrator, the best route to advancement may be a master's degree in computer science with an emphasis on database management, especially if this is combined with hands-on business management experience. Professional certifications in certain software packages can also enhance job opportunities.
Bachelor's degrees with a focus on database administration provide a solid foundation for entry-level positions in the field. Candidates desiring to obtain managerial positions may wish to pursue master's degree programs.