A Career in Database Administration – A Guide

Database administration is one of the most challenging professions. The safe and sound administration of a database is a big responsibility and those who have the capacity to cope up with an immensely demanding profession can certainly excel in the field of database administration. If you are one of them, a career in this field will be perfect for you. But, before you consider a career as a database administrator, commonly called a DBA, you should assess yourself to know whether you have the interpersonal skills and many other knacks and abilities to take up this job. In order to do the self-assessment, you need to know about the requirements of becoming a DBA. This article will tell you about all of them and give a little bit of extra information too. Let’s start the discussion.

Why are database administrators required?

Database administrators or DBAs are required to ensure that

  • The information in the database is properly defined and is unswerving to various user groups
  • Users can access information seamlessly in the form which is convenient to them
  • There is no breach in data security and that all information can be recovered in the hour of emergency.

There are many more responsibilities of a DBA. You will know about them in the later part of the article.

What are the academic requirements to become a DBA?

The first step to qualify for a DBA job is to acquire a bachelor’s degree in any one of the following disciplines.

  • Computer software
  • Computer science
  • Information Technology
  • Electronics
  • Mathematics

If you have already obtained a bachelor’s degree in Applied Sciences and wish to qualify for the job of a database administrator, you do not need to fret since it is possible to enter into this career with a degree in Applied Sciences. Applied Sciences is a relevant discipline and so are software engineering and computer studies.

After the bachelor’s degree, it is not mandatory to pursue a master’s degree in the same discipline. If you have high grades at the graduation level, excellent IT skills and interpersonal abilities and a bit of experience in the IT industry, you can easily land up a good entry-level job in a renowned concern. But, you should also be aware of the fact that higher education always helps to advance in career. With higher qualifications, you can utilize the career advancement opportunities by honing your skills, increasing your proficiency and enriching your knowhow. When it comes to promotion, the candidate with steady and superior performance and with highest qualifications and certifications will be deemed fit to get promoted and get a whopping salary hike.

A few years of work experience in the IT industry is required to start a career as a database administrator. So, after completing the bachelor’s degree, you should look for significant job opportunities in the vast sector of information technology.

There are various courses that can supplement your academic credentials and offer you an edge over many other aspiring DBAs. For example, you can enroll into a certification course in business intelligence, data platform or Oracle database. If you wish, you can get certified in all these niches one by one.

In your endeavor to prepare yourself as a successful database administrator, you can obtain a professional qualification. Make sure to choose an affiliated and recognized institution for achieving the qualification. In fact, it is important to verify the accreditation of a University or any other educational institution at all levels. Otherwise, you will find yourself in a hapless situation if you come to know later that the University from which you have acquired your degree is not accredited. So, do research to avoid such terrifying stumbling blocks in career.  

What are the other crucial skills required?

Apart from educational qualifications, an aspiring database administrator has to demonstrate the following skills and abilities in order to be considered perfect for the role of database administrator.

  • Knowledge of the principles of database structure design
  • Awareness of the significant data manipulation languages
  • Good understanding of laws and regulations related to data protection
  • Communication skills
  • Team-working skills
  • Networking and negotiation skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to analyze
  • Time management skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Capability to adapt to different situations
  • A flexible attitude towards work
  • Organizational ability
  • Ability to work beyond the usual working hours and work under pressure to meet deadlines
  • Capacity to create and retain business relationships with customers
  • Strong business awareness with specialization in the business needs of IT
  • Eagerness to stay updated with the new technological developments

Below are mentioned the responsibilities that you have to shoulder as a database administrator.

  • Recognizing the requirements of the users and tracking user access and database security


  • Ensuring smooth accessibility of data for end-users


  • Keeping track of the performance of the database and working hard to offer rapid response to front-end users


  • Overseeing the management of back-end data


  • Planning the design of a database structure


  • Helping in the rendition of the design into a particular data model


  • Working on the design to fulfill all system storage needs


  • Setting up database management system and analyzing its versions


  • Ensuring strict compliance with the rules and regulations related to data protection


  • Preparing database documentation


  • Tracking and keeping control over the privileges given to users


  • Preparing backup and retrieval plans



  • Making sure that the storage processes are running aptly


  • Working in a team with database developers and IT project managers


  • Maintaining regular communication with application development department and technical support staff to assure the security of database


  • Identifying new and useful applications and installing them


  • Modifying the applications that have been already installed so that they are up-to-date and helpful


So, here is a brief guide to shape your career as a database administrator. Be confident and work hard to be successful in this profession. 

Views: 648

Comment by Tim Spagnola on October 19, 2014 at 7:33pm



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