How to become a Database Administrator: Career Guide

How to become a database administrator Career Guide

Job opportunities of database administrator are constantly growing, and this will continue in the near future. DBA positions provide high salaries with positive huge opportunity of expansion. If you are really serious and professional then your job security is great. It is not a boring work rather challenging and stimulate your intellectual level.

In this article, we are going to deep drive in the topic database administration. It is much easier becoming a database administrator compared to five years back.

This article will provide you detail answer of the question, how to become a database administrator, by focusing on several essential areas of database administration.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Database administrator definition or meaning
  2. How to become a database administrator
  3. Database administrator average salary
    • Database administrator entry level salary and jobs
  4. Database administrator jobs availability
  5. Database administrator job description
  6. How to Start a Career in Database Administration
  7. Database Administration career types
  8. How to become a database administrator without a degree
  9. Where Can I Work as a Database Administrator?
  10. Database administrator Degree and Certification
  11. Database administrator skills
    • Required Hard Skills
    • Needed Soft Skills
  12. How Do I Find a Job in Database Administration?

1. Database administrator definition or meaning

Database administrator is the authorized individual responsible for maintenance of database to keep it alive and perform the needed operations.

A database administrator is assigned for installation, backups, configuration, designing database, performance monitoring, data modelling, trouble shooting and security of database.

The DBA is always careful of protection of database and minimizing the data loss.

2. How to become a database administrator

Database Administrator is an exciting career and pays good salary even at starting. But this job is not about fun or playing. This career is only for the serious professional because you are going to handle the data of an organization, which is the most valuable treasure for the organization. So never expect that they will allow you to play with their data.

This is the reason most of the companies does not take an entry level database administrator, it’s simple because they don’t want to take any risk of their data.

Becoming a database administrator is not too difficult or rocket science but you must know it is not too easy also. In order to become a successful DBA you need to have a serious learning spirit, desire to work hard and practice along with patience.

If you are focused then you will surely reach to your career destination.

Here are the 9 Steps to become a database administrator:

Step # 1 : Fix your Goal

Step # 2 : Take a quality course and follow your instructor

Step # 3 : Installation of Database

Step # 4 : Learn Structure Query Language or SQL

Step # 5 : Learn the concepts of Database

Step # 6 : Let the official online documents be your best friend

Step # 7 : Build a regular habit of practice

Step # 8 : Network with professionals like you

Step # 9 : Connect with the people of your profession in the online platforms

Step # 1 : Fix your Goal

Before jumping in learning, ask yourself that are you a person who can be responsible to take care of the most precious assets of an organization, which is data.

This career really demands seriousness. So fist of all, prepare your mind and then fix your goal, where you want to be in days to come.

Step # 2 : Take a quality course and follow your instructor

I would always recommend you to go for an online bestselling or highly positively rated course, to get an instructor who will guide you through step by step. This way you save a lot of time from wasting by doing bunch of unnecessary mistakes and breaking your head.

There are many online learning platforms to go through and find the best course with quality teaching.

Step # 3 : Installation of Database

In order to work with data, first you must install a relational database management system like Sql Server, MySQL or Oracle in your computer. There are many other database management system but these are some popular one.

Decide which one you want to learn and according to that install it.  These companies provide free lightweight version for trying like Sql Server Express or Oracle Express. Installing them is easy. If you face any trouble take help from the course or video tutorials available in different learning platforms.

Step # 4 : Learn Structure Query Language or SQL

In order to access database you Structure Query Language is used, that’s why in the beginning you must learn SQL for becoming a database expert. Most Relations DBMS system can be accessed by the query language. Make sure one thing that SQL is vital for learning Database Management.

You can follow the guidance in W3schools. It is free and great place to learn from. Even most of the instructor recommends W3schools.

Step # 5 :Learn the concepts of Database

Now is the time to understand how a query is processed and executed. Learn about the primary key, foreign key, database logs, backup and restore error code and many more concepts.  

Get a good book on concepts of database because it is easier to follow a book to understand the concepts than video. These concepts of database are not applied to any specific database management system rather they can be applied to any relational DBMS. There can be some little differences.

More clear and better understanding you have on the concepts of database better performance you can do with database.

Step # 6 : Let the official online documents be your best friend

When you are learning, remember to always go to the official documents rather than going to some blogs or unofficial sites. Blogs or unofficial sites can have back dated or error documents but the official document will be up-to-date and with least errors.

So, if you are learning Oracle DBA, then make sure you follow the Oracle official documents, do not follow the third party documents.

The official documents provide all the documents that you are required to learn. So let these official documents be your best friend during the journey of your learning and even later.

You can check out the documents in other blogs or other sites later, once you know the right one from official site.

Step # 7 : Build a regular habit of practice

It is not the installing database or reading of document makes you a Database administrator rather tireless and dedicated heart of practice makes you a successful Database Administrator.

Make habit of practicing regularly for a quality time. Once you learn the concepts now is the time to practice to make database design, backup and recovery, upgrade, migration and all the other things that will be your job.

If you are following any course or instructor than be dedicated to complete all the task by practicing for enough time.

Step # 8 : Network with professionals like you

Remember the African Proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Becoming a successful database administrator is travelling a far journey so it is required that you go with the people having same journey like you.

It is vital that you keep yourself updated with the latest technology related to Database. Find the user group like SQL Server, Oracle or any other database you are willing to be expert in. Participate in the meetings or workshops and network with the professionals like you. You will gather much new information from the user groups and ultimately all these will help you to move ahead towards better database administrator.

Step # 9 : Connect with the people of your profession in the online platforms

Be a member of the Facebook pages, forums, blogs or any other platforms related to database administration.

You will learn many new things or ideas from others blog related to database. Help others and get help from others, that’s how we all grow together.

Read the blogs related to database and you too write blogs with your experience and knowledge. You can share the problems you faced and how you solve them by simply writing blogs on blogger or wordpress, which are free and easy to use.

If you follow all the above mentioned steps, surely you will be becoming a successful database administrator in the days to come.

3. Database administrator average salary

Salary of a database administrator depends upon many factors like location (if big and expensive city then salary range also will be higher), Level of experience (you can easily expect better salary with the experience of couple of years in handling database), Knowledge in the field and certification also play important role for your salary.

If you want to get real good salary from good and reputed companies than work on your practical skill and gather certification with practical knowledge.

Data base Administrator’s Salary in USA

According to indeed.com, the average salary for a database administrator in the United States is $98,122 per year.

The average salary for a database administrator is $70.97 per hour in the United States, according to indeed.com.

Here is some data according to Glassdoor.com.

  • Pyramid Technology Solutions SQL Database Administrator salaries – $80,000/yr
  • Virtue Group SQL Database Administrator salaries – $99,243/yr
  • Bluewolf SQL Database Administrator salaries – $65,487/yr

Data base Administrator’s Salary in India

According to PayScale, Database administrator gets an average salary around Rs 458,317 per year. Oracle DBA’S get little more salary than this around Rs 491,431 per year.

 

The salary of Oracle Database Administrator in some of the best companies are:  (According to Glassdoor.com)

  • CSC – Rs 957,600/yr
  • Mphasis – Rs 851,200/yr
  • Accenture – Rs 802,988/yr
  • Tech Mahindra – Rs 355,557/yr
  • Wipro – Rs 512,800/yr
  • IBM – Rs 605,244/yr
  • TCS – Rs 530,000/yr

• Database administrator entry level salary and jobs

According to Payscale.com, The average salary for an Entry-Level Database Administrator (DBA) in USA is $55132.

An entry-level Database Administrator (DBA) in India get an average salary of ₹296,395 with less than 1 year experience.

4. Database administrator jobs availability

Here is a list of top job websites with Database Administrator job vacancies.

  • linkedin.com — 5,000+ Database Administrator jobs in United States (51 new)
  • Indeed.com — 169 Database Administrator USA jobs
  • Dice.com — 6267 available on Oracle DBA jobs
  • TimesJob.com — 40248 Database Administrator Jobs in India
  • Naukri.com — 5791 Database Administration Jobs
  • Shine.com — 19865 Database Administrator Jobs available in India

5. Database administrator job description

The most important jobs of Database Administrator are:

  1. Security Maintenance
  2. Recovery of Data or Backup
  3. Performance Tuning
  4. Periodic Maintenance of Database
  5. Capacity planning for growing data

• Security Maintenance:

Maintaining the security of data is most important. So, a Database Administrator keeps the data safe and secure by making sure that only needed people can access the data and keeping the unwanted people untouched from data. 

Security issues such as password policy and fixing the security bugs are taken cared by Database Administrator.

As a DBA you must be ethical in your duties by carrying integrity in handling the data. You should resist the temptation of looking at the data and misusing it.

• Recovery of Data or Backup:

Any unwanted incident can take place at any time, If anything wrong take place with the data then it is the Database Administrator who need to recover the data.

Keeping the back up of the data for prevention of data lost is compulsory.

So, as a DBA you need to learn to keep your mind cool during any issue happens with the data.  Bringing the data back in case of any accidents is a crucial and major responsibility of a Database Administrator.

• Performance Tuning:

Ensuring that the data queries are responded to the user in the expected time depends on many performance factors. So a Database Administrator must know the techniques for performance improvement to make sure that the database works smoothly and expectedly.

To become a good Database Administrator, you need to learn to troubleshoot the problems of performance and making the big piles of data to be responded very quickly.

• Periodic Maintenance of Database:

As a Database Administrator you need to take care of the maintenance part of the database periodically by upgrading, migration of the data to different platforms, exporting and importing data, keeping the database as bug free as possible.

You need to keep your attention on database regularly to keep it most healthy and improved.

• Capacity planning for growing data:

Data is going to grow and become bigger, so planning for the capacity for the data is very vital to meet the demand of the resources.

You need to become answerable for the need of storage needed for the next year.

6. How to Start a Career in Database Administration

If you are willing to start your career as a database administrator then I would suggest you to learn MS SQL Server, you will learn SQL regardless. You will never regret for learning it.

There are many online courses available to start the journey in career. Take a quality course and follow your instructor.

7. Database Administration career types

  • Database Administrator
  • SQL Database Administrator
  • Oracle DBA Administrator
  • Computer And Information Systems Manager
  • Systems Development
  • Project Management
  • Network Management
  • Database Architecture.
  • Computer Systems Analyst

8. How to become a database administrator without a degree

Even though database administration is all about learning the skill it is not about gathering degrees, employer may require high school diploma or studied in college.

Gathering some certification along with practically learning the skill will enhance your job opportunity. There are many certifications available on database administration.

You can also learn database administration by pursuing some online courses.

Learning the real practical skill to perform the job in the best manner with certification is capable to land you a DBA job. 

9. Where Can I Work as a Database Administrator?

As a database administrator you can work in several places like in:

  • government sectors
  • financial institutes
  • retail business
  • IT companies
  • Health sectors
  • Schools or Universities
  • Manufacturing industries
  • Companies providing database solutions

10. Database administrator Degree and Certification

Most of the IT jobs require a bachelor’s degree in computer science. But remember only having a bachelor degree is not enough for getting a Database Administrator’s job.  Most Database Administration job requires having professional certification, which you can gather during or post degree.

Here are some certifications that can provide you job security and high pay:

  1. IBM Certified Database Administrator – DB2
  2. Microsoft SQL Server database certifications
  3. Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL 5.7 Database Administrator

11. Database administrator skills

Becoming a Database Administrator requires to learn some hard skills and soft skills. Learning the hard skill take time and require a lot of practice.

• Required HARD SKILLS for Database Administrator

  1. SQL is a computer language organizes all data management systems. You need to have very Good command on SQL.
  2. In order to become a Database Administrator you need to learn MySQL, Microsoft SQL, Oracle Database and IBM’s DB2.
  3. You mustknow at least one programming language(C/C++/java).
  4. Learn HTML, as it is the back bone of web pages.
  5. Knowledge of OS platform on which the product runs

• Needed SOFT SKILLS for Database Administrator

  1. You must love the data and analyzing them.
  2. Need to have business knowledge to combine the technical and business knowledge together for better productivity.
  3. Strong in communication skill as you needs to communicate with other people in the industry.
  4. Identifying the problem and eliminating it using your creativity and skill.

12. How Do I Find a Job in Database Administration?

Handling data is one of the most important works in an organization so you really need to prove that you are skilled practically to take care of the precious data.

When you completed course and certifications, practice the skill unless you become real confident.

Once you are confident to handle the job, join in a Database Administration internship program to proof your future employer that you are actually skilled and little experienced to handle their job.

Then you can apply for the Database Administration job in several job portals and be ready for facing interview.

Display all your expertise to your future employer and get the job of Database Administrator.

Conclusion

This article ‘how to become a database administrator’ provided you a lot of information, hope you enjoyed the guide.

Now let us put our focus on the main takeaways:

Data is really precious jewel for any organization, so remember they will never let you play with it. You must be professional and skilled to handle the data.

In this article, you have learned how to take the first step for becoming a database administrator to getting a real job.

There are huge vacancies available for this job post with high salary. And it will hopefully increase in the days to come because data will always remain the precious gem so the need of database administrator will never be decreased.

  • Pick a good online course and follow the instructor.
  • Put all the skills in your pocket.
  • Practice regularly and complete some real projects.
  • Get certification for proving your learning.
  • Go for internship for developing your skills.
  • Face interview and impress your future employer with your knowledge and skills.
  • Get the job and celebrate the success.

If you have any question or suggestion, feel free to write in comment section below. I will try my best to answer you as soon as possible.

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