Become a database administrator

Manage the efficiency of a company's computer system with a job growth of 15% by 2022

What is it?
Is it right for me?
How do I get there?

A database is a structured set of data on a tech device that should be accessible in various ways.

A database administrator is an IT professional who installs, configures, upgrades, administors, monitors and maintains the security of databases in a business.

They work closely with IT project managers, database programmers and operational team members to ensure database integrity and security.

Database administration roles can vary depending on the type of database, processes involved and the capabilities of the database management system that's adopted.

A database adminstrator's tasks include:

  • Monitoring user access
  • Responding quickly to front end users
  • Planning conceptual designs for future databases
  • Defining logical designs so they can be used in a specific data model
  • Ensuring database meets system storage requirements
  • Installing and testing
  • Ensuring adherence to the Data Protection Act
  • Writing database documentation
  • Managing permissions
  • Implementing back up and recovery plans

The US expects to employ an additional 34,000 database administrators by 2016.

The role of database administrator requires a broad arc of knowledge, including development, system administration and sometimes management.

Good communication skills are crucial for this role because the database adminstrator must communicate and present ideas across teams, with a working knowledge of all areas.

A database administrator is often the unsung hero of an IT department and should only be noticed when there are security breaches of company databases - the consequences of which can be far reaching, so need to be resolved quickly and professionally.

The ability to work well under pressure is vital when dealing with the hundreds of different applications and systems most companies have as integral to the way they work.

Other character traits of a database administrator are:

  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Tactful
  • Natural problem solver
  • Assertive
  • Decisive
  • Approachable
  • Business savvy

The highest paying skillsets for database administrators are Linux, SQL, Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server.

Starting salaries begin at £22,000 per year, with senior professionals, depending on what area they specialise in, earning £55,000+, so it's a lucrative and rewarding career path to take.

To start out in database administration a candidate needs a working knowledge of SQL and database management systems such as relational, object oriented and XML.

Previous experience in IT support, programming or web development is also looked for by prosepective employers.

Professional certifications enable a database specialist to work their way up the career ladder, with Oracle certifications in particular being recognised around the globe.

Average salary

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