Is a Computer Databases Degree Right for You?

An online bachelor’s degree in computer databases is a good fit for students who are interested in a career in computing that has less of an emphasis on theory and more of an emphasis on practical applications in the workplace. Students who seek these programs should be highly-organized and comfortable with technology, but willing to learn new strategies for data organization. Bachelor’s degrees in computer databases train people for roles in database administration, a career that entails installation, configuration, and upgrading of software; backup and recovery of data; database security; optimizing database performance and capacity; and troubleshooting database issues, according to Tech Republic.

Advice for Earning Your Computer Databases Degree Online

A degree in computer databases online is seldom offered as a stand-alone degree program; it is more common to find a broader degree in computer science or information technology with a concentration in database management or administration. Prospective students who already have work experience in database administration or technical certifications should choose a school that will allow them to earn college credit for the knowledge that they demonstrate through those certifications or work experience.

This will help them save money on tuition by not having to take courses on material they already know. We recommend choosing programs that allow students to earn technical certifications along the way that will add depth to their resumes and make them more marketable job candidates after graduation.

Required Courses

Students in these programs will develop a solid understanding of how to use different database platforms and database management systems to logically store a company or organization’s data. You will learn how to design and program data into a given storage program, explore database server architecture, and perform capacity planning. Some courses that are common to online bachelor’s degrees in computer databases include:

  • Systems Analysis & Design
  • Programming Languages & Concepts
  • Database Administration & Architecture
  • Data Mining & Data Warehousing
  • Database Systems & Design

Common Career Paths

Graduates of computer databases degree programs work in nearly every economic sector, including government, private business, health care, schools and universities, and nonprofits. Salaries for those who work in database administration will vary by their level of experience, the size and type of their employer, and the region of the country they live in. Common careers include (but are not limited to):

Database Administrator

  • Expected Growth: 31%
  • Average Annual Salary: $77,350

Database administrators (DBAs) manage, categorize, store, secure, sort and use data within a system. They use data management software to help them do this efficiently and 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.

Most DBAs have a bachelor’s degree in a computing-related field and many enter the field after working in careers as database developers or analysts, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The above job outlook and salary average were provided by the BLS.

Computer and Information Systems Manager

  • Expected Growth: 18%
  • Average Annual Salary: $125,660

Computer and information system managers direct the work of IT teams at organizations. They lay out goals for their IT team and lead implementation of those goals, perform cost-benefit analyses of hardware and software upgrades for management, and make sure an organization’s databases and networks are secure. Job titles in the field include chief information officers, chief technology officers, IT directors, and IT security managers.

A bachelor’s degree in a relevant area of computing is a typical requirement, although many of these managers hold an MBA or other master’s degree, the BLS explained. The employment growth projection and salary average provided above were drawn from the BLS.

Computer Systems Analyst

  • Expected Growth: 22%
  • Average Annual Salary: $82,320

Computer systems analysts examine an organization’s problems in data processing and make recommendations as to how they can be improved. They may either develop strategies for how a company can maximize the efficiency of their current computer systems or provide a range of options for upgrading their systems, taking into consideration both costs and benefits. Job titles for these analysts might include systems analysts, systems designers or architects, software quality assurance analysts, and programmer analysts.

Bachelor’s degrees are not required to enter the field, as programming and technical expertise can be gained outside such a program, they are common for the profession, the BLS explains, and a bachelor degree in computer databases could set you apart from the competition for good jobs and make it easier for you to advance in the field. The above job growth projection and salary figure for computer systems analysts was provided by the BLS.

Information Security Analyst

  • Expected Growth: 22%
  • Average Annual Salary: $81,670

Information security analysts are responsible for making sure a company’s computer networks and systems are secure. They may develop a system of standards the company should abide by to protect their data and networks, identify and mitigate potential security threats, and install software designed to boost security. Information security analysts may also establish a backup plan so that a company can continue to function in the event of a disaster or serious security breach.

A bachelor’s degree in a relevant area of computing is typically required for such positions, although some positions do require an MBA or master’s degree, the BLS explained. The job outlook and salary average provided above are available through the BLS.

Network and Computer Systems Administrator

  • Expected Growth: 28%
  • Average Annual Salary: $74,270

Network and computer systems administrators are in charge of a company’s local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), Internet/intranet systems, or a portion of the company’s Internet or intranet system. These administrators make sure these networks and systems are available to everyone at the company; provide maintenance, support, and troubleshooting if there are any performance issues; and fix any problems with a company’s servers.

While a bachelor’s degree is common for those who hold these administrator jobs, it is not always required; an associate degree and relevant certification and work experience may be all that is necessary to obtain work in the field, the BLS explained. The above job growth and average salary statistics were provided by the BLS.

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