10 Ways to Build a Career as a DBA

An organization’s database is its most valuable asset. All the data generated within an organization, and the data it comes into contact with from the outside, is stored in a database. The data can be processed and analyzed to make informed business decisions, to keep an eye on latest trends, and to identify problems within the organization. If you are a qualified professional who can handle the tasks of managing, administering and securing these large sets of data in support of business-critical operations, you will never be out of a job.

With the expansion in e-commerce services and increased reliance of companies over data, job portals have witnessed a massive demand for Database Administrators (Database Programmers or Database Managers) in the last couple of decades. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted 11% national employment growth for database administrators, faster than the average for all occupations, during the 2014-2024 decade. Database Administration is a broad career that will continue to grow and develop.

Before we discuss how you can build a career as a DBA (Database Administrator), let’s determine what a DBA does for a living.

What is a Database Administrator?

A database administrator – also referred to as a DBA – is usually accountable for the databases of a particular company. As a DBA, the professional is responsible for the performance, integrity and security of a database.

The regular job responsibilities of database administrators include data security, both from hackers and corruption, and ensuring data is accessible to users (based on the user’s access authority level), and presented in an easy to review manner to pull into comprehensive reports. However, the job role may vary depending on the organization and your level of responsibility assigned.

Here is a guide to help those who want to develop their career as a Database Administrator:

1. Earn the prerequisite education: A bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems or the management of information systems (MIS) is a requirement for a DBA role. However, the demand is so high for database admins that some beginner data jobs need only an associate's degree (two-year) in computer science or information systems.

For managerial positions, aspirants with a master’s degree in computer science or database administration, plus certifications, are preferred.

2. Make a choice in technology – Microsoft or Oracle: Choose what you want to specialize in between the two major database management technologies – Oracle and Microsoftyou’re your research and talk to senior data professionals in your network. Usually, those who are familiar with Java choose Oracle and those who are related to .NET choose Microsoft. However, there is no such constraints and you can choose either depending on your preferences.

3. Learn SQL related to that type of database: Once you decide on the database management technology to choose, you should start learning the SQL terminology associated with that kind of database. However, both of these DBMSs run on SQL language, but the administration side of each technology is widely different from the other one.

4. Move to advanced SQL and important database topics: Move to the advanced topics once you are familiar with the basics. A DBA might not need to deal with topics like query optimization, database objects, database design and advanced SQL on every day basis at work, but knowledge about different areas of a database is of key importance in the career of a dataset administrator.

5. Gain knowledge about Database Administration: Effective administration of data is more than just writing SQL. Learn about other aspects of database administration that involves monitoring, installation, creating users, privileges, roles, and maintaining database security. But remember, that’s not all.

6. Develop the right DBA character traits: Skilled database administrators are required to manage huge workloads with ease and deliver them in strict deadlines. There is no magic formula to it but certain desirable qualities and traits, including excellent attention to detail, natural problem solving, tactfulness, good decision making, calmness, humbleness and easy approachability, make outstanding DBAs.

7. Cultivate public speaking skills: It is imperative for data administrators to communicate their message, concepts, and ideas in a clear and concise fashion that can be understood by the required audience. Public speaking opens you to new contacts in the community; infuse more confidence in you about your abilities; and improve your technical knowledge on a consistent basis.

8. A business minded approach: Nothing is more empowering for a company than knowing its DBA understands the business. Understanding of how your actions and deliverables, as a DBA, impacts your company’s business, and apply big picture thinking while prioritizing the job tasks can help you deliver more value to your employer and hence build a flouring career.

9. Be willing to learn. Be open to possibilities: A database administrator should be always eager to learn and grow. For this, you can spend time reading books & blogs, go to local community events and user groups, hangout in one of the active SQL Q&A forums, talk to senior-level DBAs about the issues you are facing. All this will result in enormous amount of learning for any level of data administration.

10. DBA certifications

Certifications are the icing on the cake. Adding certifications to your resume can help you unveil your career in a job that results in job satisfaction, choice, responsibility, and security. A certification is a great way to show your potential employer that you have an interest and understanding of the technology.

Entry-level and experienced professionals aspiring for Database Administrator jobs can become certified database administrators in Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle database management and help companies fill a huge number of job vacancies lying vacant in various commercial and non-commercial organizations. A good place to start with Microsoft SQL Server databases is QuickStart.

QuickStart – Acquire Skills to Get Hired as a Database Professional

QuickStart is a pioneer in providing IT skills training and dedicated to transforming careers by personalized learning experience through its range of online and classroom courses. For anyone who wants to kickstart his career and achieve new heights, QuickStart is the right place to acquire the skills you need to achieve your goals.

QuickStart provides a wide range of database administration training courses, including Administering Microsoft SQL Server Databases (MS-20462). This course focuses on what a professional needs to know in order to become an outstanding SQL Server DBA in his career path. This SQL Server Database Administration online course provides you knowledge and skills for the design, implementation, support and maintenance of SQL Server 2014 Database.

To make sure you get the best, QuickStart provides a team of extremely qualified MS SQL Server database experts to direct you on how to begin your career as a SQL Server DBA. Anyone with want to build his career as a SQL Server DBA can enroll in this course, which requires basic knowledge of the Microsoft Windows and working knowledge of Transact-SQL and relational databases.