Database Administrator

How to Become a Database Administrator
Database Administrator Job Description
Skills and Qualities of a Database Administrator
Database Administrator Salaries
Influential Professional Database Administrators
Leading Database Administrator Organizations
Top Cities for Database Administrator Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Database Administrator

There is not a common path to a career in database administration, but employers do seek individuals with formal college education. Prior, relevant work experience is crucial for entry into this field. Many jobs require a bachelor's degree, but some only require an associate's degree. Those entering this field with a four year degree usually have majored in computer science, information science, or management information systems, the last of which is usually part of a business program. Increasingly, employers are looking for candidates with a master's degree in business administration.

Professional certifications are available through software vendors, and are seen as the industry standard by many employers. Obtaining certification related to the software package used a given company will give a job seeker a competitive advantage.

What does a Database Administrator do?

Database administrators manage systems that help companies and corporations effectively and efficiently store, manage, and retrieve large volumes of data. Those in this field determine the best way to store the data of a given corporation and set up computer databases to address user needs. Many database administrators must update outdated systems or integrate old data into a new system. They test existing systems and make changes or troubleshoot problems when necessary. Database administrators keep the database system functioning properly and add or delete users as needed. Those in this profession are also usually responsible coordinating the maintenance of data integrity, back-up systems, and security with network administrators.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Database Administrator?

Database administrators should be able to think logically, concentrate, and pay attention to details because those in this field are often required to pay attention to several tasks at once. Database administrators are often asked to work as part of a team, and therefore should be able to effectively communicate their ideas to both other computer professionals, and those with no computer background.

Professional certifications, available through a variety of software vendors, are seen as the industry standard by many employers. Because technological advances come very rapidly in any field related to computers, those wishing to enter this profession should ready themselves for continuous learning throughout their careers.

How much do Database Administrators make?

The level of pay for database administrators depends on the level of education and experience an individual brings to the job. Other factors that impact earnings are the type, size, and geographic region of the employer. In 2006 the median annual earnings of all database administrators were $64,670 with the middle fifty percent earning between $48,560 and $84,830. The median annual earnings of database administrators working as computer systems designers were $72,510 and the median annual earnings of those in management were $67,680.

Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Edgar F. Codd (1923-2003) was a British computer scientist who invented the relational model for database management while working for IBM. In the 1960s and 70s Codd worked out his database theories, but IBM was slow to exploit the value of these theories until commercial rivals were already using them. Even without commercial success at IBM, Codd continued to develop his relational model. The Boyce-Codd Normal Form is named for him. In 1981, Codd received the Turing Award and in 1994 was inducted as a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.

Larry Ellison is the co-founder and CEO of Oracle Corporation, an enterprise software company. Oracle Corporation was founded in 1977 with $2000 of Ellison's own money. He was inspired by a paper written by Edgar Codd named "A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks." Oracle Corporation is named after its flagship product, the Oracle database which Ellison helped create when he worked for the CIA. In 2005, Forbes listed Ellison as one of the richest men in the world, with a net worth of $18.4 billion

What are some leading organizations in this field?

The Association for Computing Machinery, or ACM, is the world's largest computing society devoted to advancing computing as a science and profession. ACM has more than 82,000 members from industry, academia, and government organizations world-wide. ACM offers its members professional growth through career development, networking, and learning opportunities. In addition to sponsoring over 120 conferences each year, this organization puts out over 40 publications that contain original research and first hand perspectives from the world's leaders in information technology.

The primary mission of the Software and Information Industry Association is to promote, protect, and inform the industry. Membership in this organization offers companies networking opportunities where common interests and problems can be discussed. Members also receive access to current information on business models, public polices, and new technology. SIIA is an authoritative industry voice in Washington DC and has a successful record of protecting intellectual property. This organization provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education, and intellectual property protection.

What are the top cities for Database Administrator jobs?

Individuals looking for a career as a database administrator should have no difficulty finding employment in New York City or Chicago, Illinois. Other cities with good job prospects include Charlotte, North Carolina and Dallas and Houston, Texas.

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