How to get started with a career as Database Administrator?

The huge buzz about how data is going to change the way companies conduct their business might have tempted you also to cross roads with a career in this field. There might be times when thoughts must have crossed your mind about what exactly database administrators do and how once becomes one. This post will educate you on the same.

A look at the job trends in the IT industry, and it will be clear that database administrators are in great demand right now. With the ongoing information explosion and advent of Big data on the technology scene, the importance of someone who can efficiently manage the data and keep a track of it all has risen in the recent times. This is the precise reason that a Database administrator’s job would continue to remain one of the hot favorites.

From the top management to an executive level employee of a company, everyone understands how important it is to manage a company’s data.  In the information age, data is driver of most business operations and therefore, database administrators are the key components of every workforce, however small or big the company might be.  If the flow of information is hindered by any whatsoever reason, there is a risk of every business operation getting jumbled up which might result in reduced productivity, and bad reputation for the organization.

What work does a DBA do?

The various work responsibilities of DBAs include creating new database, data warehousing, and maintaining database performance to expected levels. A DBAs role is categorized as per the type of database they handle, the process that they use to administer the database and the Database management system they employ. The type of work being performed by the Database Administrator depends on the nature of the organization where they are employed and what exactly their role demands of them. While junior DBAs handle administration better, those senior in position are trusted with advanced functions such as data architecture, strategy and design.

A typical work day of a Database administrator will see them performing one or more than one of the following activities:

  • Installing and testing new database management systems.
  • Monitoring the performance of the database so as to provide fast responses to front-end users
  • Controlling access permissions and privileges
  •  Working in close coordination with IT project managers, programmers and other technical staff
  • Developing, managing and testing back-up and recovery plans

Given the number of roles that a DBA has to fulfill, he or she should be an apt multi-tasker who can work well within a team. Teamwork is an indispensable asset this and the better they are able to gel with the team members more are the chances of being highly successful administrator. This has to follow a demanding schedule with little regards to the daily 9 to 5 job. There will be times when you will have to stretch for days together or forego your holiday weekends when an important activity is happening. This is the challenge that most DBAs face, of making themselves available during holidays in favor of performing administrative work to minimize the downtime during off hours.There are many well recognized institute offering certification training of data management.

dba administrator

Education path to follow

The easiest way to get rolling with a career as DBA is to pursue a major in computer science and follow it with some relevant experience. While a computer science degree is not absolutely necessary, employers are increasingly becoming finicky while selecting candidates. Certifications are an easy way of getting oneself acquainted with the various programs used in database administration. These certifications can be in MySQL, Oracle or DB2. The certifications are provided by the database vendors like Microsoft, IBM and Oracle. Ranging from basic to programming skills to administration, these certifications are becoming the de rigueur method of being viewed as a qualified professional in this field.

How to get the job?

Most DBA jobs are occupied by professionals who have experience in working with databases in different capacities. While some start their career as application programmer, there are others who start as a network support engineer. Once these professionals familiarize themselves with the concepts of database management through relevant classes and certifications, they are promoted to the positions of DBAs.

What is the future like?

More data means more employment opportunities for DBAs. The job prospects of database administrators are expected to grow at a rate of 31% from 2010 to 2020, better than most other occupations. Rapid growth will be supported by better salaries. The current average salary of DBAs is around $74,000, per annum, which can easily rise to $100,000 by adding a couple of certifications.

 Author Bio:

Saurabh Tyagi is a web enthusiast and a blogger who keeps an eagle eye on the trends of the Indian job industry. She writes on the latest happenings in the job industry and offers useful career advice. Her blogs and articles on bank jobs or jobs in India offer exclusive and related information.