Database administration entails designing, administering, and maintaining databases for organizations. In addition to storing and organizing personal and/or financial information, database administrators also spend a great deal of time planning security measures to minimize unauthorized access and data loss. Those who want to enter this challenging, yet rewarding field typically begin their training with an undergraduate degree. Upon graduation, prospective administrators can either enter the workforce or increase their skillset and marketability by pursuing a graduate degree.
Why a Master’s Degree?
To enter this technical field, most employers prefer applicants who have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in database administration or another related discipline. However, some employers require additional education or a higher degree for upper-level and managerial positions. In this case, many students pursue a pre-master’s certificate in database administration or a master’s degree to fulfill this educational requirement. Even if a graduate degree is not a requirement for your job, it is still a very valuable degree to earn. Not only do database administration grad students possess advanced knowledge in the areas of database management systems, networking, and operating systems, but they also receive exceptional professional training.
Getting Into a Master’s Degree Program
To enter the master’s degree database administration program, all applicants must meet the minimum educational requirements defined by their school. Although admissions criteria varies from program to program, most graduate students need to have the following:
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- Passing score on the GRE or GMAT
- Minimum required GPA
Inside a Database Administration Master’s Degree Program
The course load and length of master’s degrees vary based on the program and discipline. However, most full-time online master’s degree database administration programs can be completed in two years. Grad students in this field can expect to take classes in advanced database, managing IT projects, database administration, and system design and development. Some online programs may require a capstone project, thesis, or another summative assessment.
Online database administration degrees are designed like most distance programs; they deliver course content and lectures through a variety of electronic formats. Online grad students can access their courses, assignments, notes, and grades through a learning management system, like Blackboard or Moodle. Although rare, some distance master’s degree database administration programs require occasional face-to-face meetings or workshops for activities or assessments.
What’s Next for Database Administration Master’s Degree Holders?
Graduates of the database administration program generally have optimistic job prospects. Their advanced knowledge and higher-order skills make master’s degree holders excellent candidates in many career fields. Graduates typically go on to become database administrators or network and computer systems administrators. The database administrator’s job is to manage databases for organizations, while network and computer systems administrators are responsible for maintaining an organization’s computer networks, such as LANs, WANs, and intranets. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of database administrators and network and computer systems administrators are expected to grow faster than average, thanks to the increasing demand for newer, faster, and more secure technology. Both occupations experience favorable salaries, especially those who are qualified and up to date on the latest technology.