Careers in Database Administration

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A very highly rated career right now is that of a database administration professional. Databases provide the backbone of many companies and software applications and such databases are of course run by actual people. These people are detail-oriented and highly organized. They are often called DBAs and they set up and run databases for companies and work hard to keep their most precious information secure from prying eyes.

Database Administrators use software to store and to organize data. This includes financial information and customers' shipping records. These professionals make sure that said data is available to users and the data is secure from any unauthorized access (“Database”).

“The work of a DBA varies according to the nature of the employing organization and the level of responsibility associated with the post” (“Database Administrator”). There is a long list of duties and responsibilities for a database administrator. They include: developing, managing and testing back-up and recovery plans; ensuring that storage, archiving, back-up and recovery procedures are functioning correctly; writing database documentation, including data standards, procedures and definitions for the data dictionary (metadata); establishing the needs of users and monitoring employee access and security (“Database Administrator”).

There are many important skills necessary for a career in database administration. Many employers look for experience in a related field, from one to five years (“Database”). Typically, there a few skills that every employer will need for a chosen candidate to possess: communication skills, the ability to resolve complex issues, attention to detail and a knack for problem-solving, and the ability to be on-call and work either part-time or full-time hours. They should be able to operate efficiently while fine-tuning, upgrading, and testing modifications in the data as needed. As well, they are also responsible for the implementation of security measures and in safeguarding the company’s most sensitive data (Marquardt). A Bachelor’s degree is generally expected for an entry-level position in database administration. This degree should be in a computer-related field such as computer science or management information systems. Some employers require candidates to have a Master’s degree as well, in business administration and a concentration in information systems (Marquardt).

The median salary for a database administrator in 2010 was $73,490 a year; this boils down to about $35 dollars an hour. In 2010 there were a total of 110,800 professional database administrators in employment. The unemployment rate stood at 1.3 percent in 2012 (“Database”). This is surely one of the greatest advantages of the job – a detail-oriented person has a chance to tune a marketable skill while being paid well for it.

A job like this is perfect for a person who is very organized and keeps to themselves – as they will be working with a company’s most private data. However, this means that such a person is supposed to keep their company’s secrets, whether they are good and bad. It is definitely a disadvantage of such a profession if a person is working with a company that has a few things to hide.

The world of database administration may not be as flexible a few other ‘top’ jobs, but it is a reliable career path. There will always be a need for companies to organize and keep their databases safe. The organizational skills of a database administration professional are able to keep a company’s information safe – it is a rewarding and safe career path.

Works Cited

“Database Administrator.” Prospects (UK). Feb. 2012. Web. 13 Nov. 2013. <http://www.prospects.ac.uk/database_administrator_job_description.htm>.

“Database Administrators.” Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jul. 2012. Web. 13 Nov. 2013. <http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/database-administrators.htm>.

Marquardt, Katy. “Database Administrator.” U.S. News and World Report. N.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2013. <http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/database-administrator>.