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Santillano, Joy

A position as a Database Administrator (DBA) is a well-paying and highly fulfilling career. Positions for database administrators are expected to grow by around 46,000 per year (Smith, 2010). It is important for college students to understand this career field because there are many reasons why this position is so appealing. However, it is not an easy position to obtain, and there are some drawbacks.Those that are willing to put in the hard work and effort can enjoy the perks of a challenging career that is not bound by any one particular industry.

Wikipedia.com defines a Database Administrator as "a person responsible for the design, implementation, maintenance and repair of an organization's database.... The role includes the development and design of database strategies, monitoring and improving database performance and capacity, and planning for future expansion requirements. They may also plan, co-ordinate and implement security measures to safeguard the database." As a database administrator, you will be familiar with such software and systems as  SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft Office Access. This position is ideal for those who like to trouble-shoot and problem solve. This career is appealing to those who want to see what their hard work has built and then watch it grow and benefit their company(Derousseau, Keegan, Lee, 2010).

The most appealing aspect of this position to college students deciding on their career choice is the high pay. According to an article in the publication, Money, database administrator is the seventh best job in America, in a list of 100. The median pay for a database administrator is $93,000, topping off at about $129,000. The growth of this field is estimated at 20% over the next 10 years (Derousseau, Keegan, Lee, 2010). Another positive aspect is that you can work in basically any industry. Every company, in every industry, is going to have an abundance of data that needs to be maintained and organized. Whether you want to be a part of a company that works in Finance, Technology, Health, or Government, there is a need for a database administrator for them and many more. Companies will continue to accumulate more and more data, which is why database administration is the second-fastest-growing industry of this decade (Derousseau, Keegan, Lee, 2010).

San Jose State University offers Bachelors programs in Management Information Systems and Accounting Information Systems, as well as a Masters degree in Information Science, all of which can be used to obtain a position as a Database Administrator. Many other universities, including The University of Phoenix, offer undergraduate and graduate programs for database administration. Although certifications are not required for this field, Microsoft, Oracle and Sun Microsystems, along with many others, offer certifications for becoming a database administrator (degreedirectory.org). They may not be required, but they will definitely give your resume more appeal and make you a much more desirable asset to a company.

It is important to mention that database administration does have its drawbacks. Being such an integral part of an organization, and being that database systems are usually an aspect of a business that a company may not be able to function even an hour without, this position can be highly demanding. When things go wrong with the database, you will be called out of bed, pulled away from an anniversary dinner, or be forced to sneak out of your daughter's dance recital, and forced into the office to bring the database back into operational status. However, this type of urgency and excitement may also be what people might like most. Another downside is that, with technology constantly evolving, a database administrator must continue their education on a constant basis to stay current on all technological advances pertaining to his or her field. This may mean constantly learning new programs possibly having to obtain new certifications. This may be appealing to those who like learning and crave a little change from time to time. One final drawback to mention is the threat of corporate outsourcing. This is a threat in almost any industry and any career you choose. However, some companies feel that the risk of outsourcing such an important position outweighs the financial benefit (Derousseau, Keegan, Lee, 2010).

For those still deciding on a career choice, database administration is definitely a option to look into. It offers great pay along with the opportunity to continually learn and grow. It is a challenging and rewarding position that gives you the option of choosing between almost every industry. The hard work required to master this position is paid off with the satisfaction of building and maintaining a database essential to the operations of an organization.


Database administrator. (2010, November 26). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:51, December 2, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Database_administrator&oldid=399032726
Derousseau, Ryan, Keegan, Paul, Lee, Anne C. (2010 November). The 50 Best Jobs in America. Money, 39(10), 86-94.
Smith, Anne K. (2010 November). New Jobs, New Skills. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, 64(11), 31-33.