Earning an online database management degree can help you develop technological skill sets that are applicable to a variety of industries.
Most of today’s industries collect data, including business, finance, healthcare, education, and entertainment. So, professionals who can manage this data are in high demand. Nearly every business, institution, and government agency needs a database administrator.
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Because technology has become a part of daily living, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an increase in demand for computer and IT occupations over the next decade.
Online Database Management Degrees
A database management degree focuses on the organization, storage, recording, security, and analysis of data. This is slightly different from a computer science degree, which typically focuses on the techniques and technologies used for data analysis.
Online database management degrees can go by a variety of names, such as database administration, network administration, or even management information systems.
A database management program will typically cover how to:
- Create and manage different types of databases
- Troubleshoot errors
- Utilize databases to help institutions function effectively
- Protect an organization’s data from outside threats
- Write computer programs
- Mine for data
Database administrators manage a business’s data. They can influence how data is collected, how it’s stored, and how it’s used to grow a business.
Data can contain very sensitive information regarding an institution’s past, current, and future clients, their audience, and even their competitors. So, data administrators provide a very important service, building or maintaining the software needed to manage and protect this data.
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Their job protects not only the business but also the people that the data represents. A database administrator’s aim is to make it easy for users to find the information they need while ensuring the systems perform as they should.
Some database managers might maintain a company’s database system, while others might write and program code to build the applications. As a database manager, you might perform research, design database structures, or analyze data to make business recommendations.
A business’s data is a very valuable commodity. Data can affect every aspect of a business, and businesses will often go to great lengths to collect, analyze, and protect it.
So, a database administrator possesses highly sought-after skills and knowledge, creating ongoing demand for their services. This, in turn, creates a job market where above average pay is the norm.
Database Management Careers & Salaries
An online data management degree can open the door for a variety of occupations working with computers. A degree never guarantees a job, but earning a bachelors degree in this field can help you qualify for entry-level employment.
Professionals with training in database management tend to work as database administrators, computer and information systems managers, data scientists, IT architects, or computer programmers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information technology occupations are expected to experience 11% job growth over the next ten years.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$151,150|
|Computer Network Architects||$116,780|
|Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers||$110,140|
|Information Security Analysts||$103,590|
|Computer Systems Analysts||$93,730|
|Operations Research Analysts||$86,200|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrators||$84,810|
|Web Developers and Digital Designers||$77,200|
Database administrators, or DBAs, can work in both the private and public sector. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer systems design and related services are the largest employers of database administrators.
Any business or organization that uses data needs someone to manage it for them. This means DBAs can work in a variety of industries, such as healthcare, finance, education, government, and business.
Database Management Curriculum & Courses
Some schools offer database management majors, while others offer a database management concentration within an information science or computer science major.
Typical coursework often includes:
- Data Analytics: In this course, you’ll explore the different tools and techniques used by data analysts.
- Database Design: You’ll learn to create, secure, and implement operational databases.
- Data Management Applications: You’ll learn how to create and modify databases and will be introduced to MySQL.
- Database Server Administration: This course explores the configuration, administration, and installation of database servers.
- Data Visualization: This class teaches advanced data visualization tools and how to present the data to different audiences.
- Foundations of Data Management: This course is an introduction to data management, including terminology, concepts, and language.
- Information Security Management: This class teaches you how to secure computer systems by identifying vulnerabilities and potential threats.
- Information Systems Management: This course covers how organizations use information systems to improve their decision-making process.
- Introduction to Data Science: You’ll be introduced to the data analysis process in this course.
- Project Management: You’ll learn to oversee scheduling, budgeting, and communications of a large-scale information technology project.
Online degrees in database management can have varying coursework, depending on the program and school.
How to Choose an Online Degree in Database Management Program
Choosing a database management program can be daunting. Which school should you enroll in? How do you know if it is a legit online program?
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Not all schools are created equal. When searching for the right program for you, it can help to ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I want to attend online or on-campus? If you need a flexible learning experience, you might want to consider online studies.
- Is it regionally accredited? Accreditation can impact financial aid, whether credits are eligible to transfer, and your ability to earn graduate degrees and certifications.
- How much does the program cost? Are financial aid and scholarships an option?
- Is it hard to get into? It can be beneficial to make sure you qualify for admission before applying.
- How long does it take to earn the degree? Does the program offer a fast track or allow you to move at a slower pace, if need be?
- Is the school known for its database administrator program? Some schools may have reputations of offering great programs.
These are just some of the questions you may want to ask yourself as you explore various database management programs. You may have more to add to this list.
How to Become a Database Administrator
The path to becoming a database administrator can be pretty straightforward, but you’ll likely need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university to gain entry-level employment.
Here are a few steps that can help you get started:
- If it’s not too late, start with your high school classes. You can try to take advanced math classes, computer science classes, and business classes. You may also choose to attend computer science summer camps and after-school programs.
- Learn a programming language. If possible, you can learn a programming language, such as Structured Query Language (SQL), before attending college. If you can’t, it’s okay. You will often learn a programming language in your undergraduate program.
- Search for database management programs. You can explore various programs to find the one that is the best match for your needs and goals.
- Complete all program requirements. Some programs will culminate with an internship.
- Obtain professional certifications. You may want to specialize, depending on what you want to do with your database management degree. A professional certification can demonstrate your competencies or your specialized training to potential employers.
After you earn your degree, you can start looking for a job. If you want, you can also pursue a graduate degree. Workers with graduate degrees often qualify to earn higher wages than those with bachelors degrees.
A graduate degree may also qualify you for more prestigious positions and allow you to receive more specialized training, by earning an on-campus or online masters in health systems management, for example. You can also join professional organizations to network with other database managers in the field.
Before applying to a program, you can check the school’s website or contact the admissions office to find out exactly what is required during the admission process.
Most undergraduate programs require the following:
- High school diploma or GED certificate
- SAT or ACT scores (only some schools require them)
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal essay
Every program is different, so it’s strategic to do your homework before applying. Some schools only admit students at certain times of the year, so you can also check on admission dates. It’s beneficial to pay attention to all admissions deadlines as well. You don’t want to be denied simply because you missed a deadline.
When searching for an online database management program, it’s beneficial to verify that the schools you’re looking at are accredited.
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Regional accreditation signifies that a school has met the educational standards set by an independent accrediting agency. The school’s accreditation status will often inform you of the legitimacy of their programming.
Regional accreditation is beneficial because:
- It can be a precondition for financial aid.
- It can impact the transferability of your credits.
- Many professional certifications require an accredited degree.
- Employers often look for accredited degrees on job resumes.
You can visit the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to see if your school or program is accredited.
Certifications can be offered by software vendors or neutral certification providers. Some database certifications include:
- IBM Certified Database Administrator – DB2
- Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate
- SAP Certified Technology Associate
- MTA: Database Fundamentals
- ICCP: Certified Data Professional
These are just a few of the many certifications available. Although professional certifications are not always mandatory, they may be required by some employers. Certifications not only show expertise and dedication to the field, but some employers ask their database administrators to be certified in the products they use.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Financial aid can come in many forms:
- Federal and state financial aid. Based on eligibility, the government awards grants that do not need to be repaid. To see if you qualify, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Scholarships. Many businesses, clubs, nonprofit organizations, and schools award need-based and merit-based scholarships. Database administration students may qualify for any number of different technology scholarships.
- Student loans. You may qualify for federal student loans or other subsidized and unsubsidized loans.
Searching for financial aid can take some effort. You may want to start your search with your high school office or the college you are enrolling in. They might have a list of available scholarships. You can also search online or reach out to community businesses and organizations.
Database Management Professional Organizations
Professional organizations can introduce you to other database managers and help you develop professionalism and expert knowledge.
The following organizations offer community memberships and support, continued education and trainings, certifications, and in-person events:
- Data Management International (DAMA)
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Networking with other database managers may open doors for career advancement and further education.
Is Database Management a Good Career?
Yes, database management is a good career for many professionals. Computer experts are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an additional 531,200 new computer and IT jobs over the next ten years, at an expected growth rate of 10%. Database administrators are also expected to experience 10% job growth.
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Having professional training in database management can also open the door for a wide variety of computing, management, and IT jobs. The median salary for database administrators is $98,860, and the median for all computer and information technology occupations is $91,250 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
What Does a Database Administrator Do?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, database administrators use specialized software to store and organize data. They make sure the data is available to users and safe from everyone else.
Their job duties typically include:
- Ensuring the security of data
- Preventing data loss
- Ensuring databases operate properly
- Administering databases
- Making and testing database structure modifications
- Consolidating old databases
More specialized database managers might install upgrades or fix program bugs.
What Degree Do You Need to Be a Database Administrator?
Most entry-level positions require a bachelor’s degree in computer science, database management, management information systems, or a related field. Some students begin by earning an IT associates degree and then work up from there.
If you want to work in a larger firm, or you want to manage or supervise developers and analysts, a master’s degree may be preferred. Certification is not always required, but it can be useful. Certification in database administration is usually provided by a product vendor or a software firm.
What Is a Database Management Degree?
A database management degree is a subdiscipline of computer science, focusing on information technology, information security, data organization, and metadata management. Professionals with a database management degree tend to work in roles that are focused on managing information, like database administrator or data scientist.
Database management graduates can often qualify for many of the same jobs as general computer science graduates. Those with a database management degree, though, may also find more specialized employment in database administration.
What Can You Do with a Database Management Degree?
A bachelor’s in database management can help pave the way for a career in information technology. A database management degree can lead to opportunities in nearly any industry, including education, healthcare, and finance.
Almost every business and organization collects data of some sort. This data is often highly sensitive, and someone needs to collect it, manage it, analyze it, and protect it. That’s where the database manager comes in.
Common jobs in this sector include database administrator, information systems manager, computer programmer, and information security analyst.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Database Management Degree Online?
A bachelor’s degree often consists of 120 credit hours. It generally takes 4 years to complete if you follow a traditional, 16 week semester and attend full-time. If you follow an 8 week semester and stay continuously enrolled year-round, you may finish in less time.
Online degree programs typically offer more scheduling flexibility than on-campus programs. This can often enable students to set their own pace, whether they want to pursue fast track options or want to enroll part-time.
Is a Database Management Degree Worth It?
Yes, a database management degree is worth it for many students. Organizations are collecting more and more consumer data, used to better serve their customers. They cannot afford for this highly sensitive, personalized data to be mishandled or misused, so there is a great need for highly skilled database managers.
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Employment for database administrators is expected to rise 10% over the next ten years, and 11% job growth is projected for computer and IT occupations in general (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Universities Offering Online Bachelors in Database Management Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Capella University offers a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a minor in Data Management. The program can be completed online and requires students to complete a final capstone project. Those interested in the program must submit proof of a high school diploma or an equivalent degree.
Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Colorado Christian University offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Technology with an emphasis in Database Management. Students must complete 120 credit hours to graduate. Classes are 5, 7, or 10 weeks long. Applicants may apply online with proof of a high school diploma or an equivalent certificate.
Colorado Christian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
DeVry University offers a Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems with a specialization in Database Management. The program is offered online and requires students to complete 124 credit hours to graduate. Applicants must provide proof of a high school diploma with a GPA of 2.0 or higher or the equivalent.
DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
Liberty University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems with a Database specialization. The program requires students to obtain 120 credit hours to graduate and can typically be completed in 3.5 years. Applicants must have a high school GPA of 2.0 or higher.
Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Old Dominion University offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Information Systems and Technology. Students may either take the full program and complete 120 credit hours or use it to complete an already started degree. Applicants may apply online through the school’s website.
Old Dominion University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Massachusetts—Lowell offers an online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. Students must complete 120 credit hours to graduate.
A focus in Arts and Humanities, Management, Social Science, or Math, Science, and Engineering must be added. The school offers rolling admission and requires applicants to have a high school diploma or the equivalent.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Maine—Augusta offers an online Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems. To graduate, students must complete 121 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Those interested in the program must submit an online application with copies of their high school transcripts.
The University of Maine at Augusta is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Phoenix offers a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. The program can typically be completed in 4 years and requires students to complete 120 credit hours. Classes are 5 weeks long and taken one at a time. Applicants must have a high school diploma or the GED equivalent to be eligible for the program.
The University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Western Governors University offers a Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics and Data Management. The program consists of 38 courses and can typically be completed in 6 months. Applicants must submit proof of previous IT coursework or give proof of having at least 2 years of work in the field.
Western Governors University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Getting Your Degree in Database Management Online
If you are looking for a lucrative career in a fast-growing market, then you might benefit from the specialized training in a database management degree program.
Database managers work hard to protect the integrity of data that’s collected, stored, and analyzed by organizations in nearly every industry. Their job is to keep that data safe from misuse. If you have an analytical mind and a meticulous attention to detail, then this career path might be a good fit.
Online information technology degree programs can allow you to learn remotely and to better balance your studies with your lifestyle. If you want to join the in-demand field of information technology, you can get started today by exploring online database management programs from accredited universities.