Is a Computer Databases Degree Right for You?
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If you are detail oriented, diligent and interested in working with different technologies, you should consider pursuing a computer databases degree. The field involves problem solving, research and consistent work with different database technologies. Though some schools offer standalone computer databases degrees, others provide it as a concentration within a major. For example, many computer science degrees offer databases as a specialization.
Advice for Earning Your Computer Databases Degree Online
If you own a computer at home and you prefer learning at your own pace, an online degree may be suited to your needs. When you are enrolled in online programs, you can study course material at your own convenience. The most important step in choosing an online college is making sure the school is accredited. This ensures that it is being held to a high standard of education and increases the chances that potential employers will look at your degree favorably. Because of the nature of the computer databases field, it is a good idea to get internship or work experience while pursuing your education.
As a student in these programs, you will develop a solid understanding of how to create databases, integrate data from external sources and logically store a company or organization's data. You will learn how to design and program data into a given storage program and explore the different technologies available, as the field is constantly being updated with new programming software. Required courses include computer programming, algorithm design, information security, database architecture and technical communications. After completing these classes, you can usually specialize in database security, information systems and optimization, or database planning and development. As in any other program, you will still have to take some core courses outside the major, such as English, history and humanities.
Common Career Paths
There are many job opportunities for graduates of computer databases degree programs. You can choose to work for the government, in the banking sector, in the health care industry or for a private company. Common careers include (but are not limited to):
These administrators manage, categorize, store, secure, sort and use data within a system. They use data management software to help them do this efficiently. They look for ways to constantly improve the database, either by transitioning to new systems or by implementing fixes in the current one. Administrators also help other users interact with and access the database by assessing their needs and trying to meet them.
Employment of computer systems administrators is projected to expand 28 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their median annual salary was $69,160 in 2010.
Information Systems Manager
Information systems managers work in a broader capacity than database administrators. However, their job is similar in that they manage how systems deliver information to users. These managers are vital to the successful transfer of information within companies and organizations as well as helping them process external information. The systems they set up are meant to make the technology the most efficient in helping the organization meet its goals.
Employment of information systems managers is expected to increase 18 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their median annual salary was $115,780 in 2010.
Computer Security Specialist
These specialists use their understanding of computer security to create safe databases, networks and other information systems to keep company or organization information confidential. They assist other users in maintaining computer security. They help companies and organizations respond to security breaches and work to save data that has been compromised by hackers and cyber attacks. They can also aid criminal investigations by providing evidence that could help investigators solve a cyber crime case. Security specialists must keep up with the latest technological innovations in computer science so that they can provide their company with the best protection possible.
Employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their median annual salary was $75,660 in 2010.