Bachelors In

Database Administration Degrees

The complete guide on what you’ll learn, job prospects, university programs, and saving time and money.
Grant Aldrich
on April 28, 2021

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With a bachelor of science in database administration, you’ll gain the skills needed to pass the Oracle DBA certification exams and become a certified database administrator. Database administrators are crucial to modern businesses that rely on the storing, acquisition, and analysis of big data, and database administration graduates are well-prepared to take on roles in DBA development and maintenance.

What is a Degree in Database Administration?

Databases are the heart of modern computing. They’re used to store health information for doctors and insurance companies, financial information for banks, and big data for massive internet corporations like Google and Facebook. With a bachelor’s degree in database administration, you’ll learn to develop the databases used to make online self-servicing possible, to enable data-driven decision-making, and to serve content to online visitors. You’ll also learn how to secure, recover, and backup database information.

In addition to learning how to develop and manage databases, students also study structured query language (SQL). SQL can be used to mine data for important insights, allowing DBAs to retrieve, sort, and display data. With the knowledge you gain from data mining, you can provide suggestions that increase company profitability, identifying patterns in high costs or delays. This skillset is prized by modern businesses because DBAs can provide a wealth of information that allows businesses to grow and succeed.

What Courses Would I Take For a Major in Database Administration?

  • Foundations of Application Development
  • Computer Platform Technologies
  • Object-Oriented Analysis and Design
  • Database Design and Management
  • Network and Telecommunication Management
  • Cybersecurity and Information Assurance
  • Cyber Law and Ethics
  • Introduction to Unix/Linux Operation System

What Jobs Can You Get with a Degree in Database Administration?

Database administrator jobs are expected to grow at a rate higher than average in the coming decade as a result of the needs of businesses in many industries to store and make sense of data. Growth is expected to be particularly high in the software as a service (SaaS) vertical. Many startups and technology companies are offering database administration services through cloud platforms, and DBA will be in high demand for those companies as they seek to build and refine their offerings.

How Long does it take?

A bachelors in Database Administration will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at OnlineDegree.com that could transfer to universities in the US.

Online Database Administration Degree

Computer science-related academic programs are some of the most commonly offered online programs available at universities.  The internet-based nature of these technological fields, and the familiarity of the instructors and students to this learning mode, make it ideal for an online degree. Earning a bachelors degree in database administration will require completing around 120 credit hours. Some schools may require completing a graduation project as well which can be in the form of independent study, seminars or internship.

You may also choose to earn an online master’s degree if you already have a computer science bachelor degree. Master’s programs include around 40 credit hours which are normally completed within 18 – 24 months.

*All salary and growth data is based on the recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at BLS.gov for a Database Administrator DBA


What Can You Do With a Database Administration Degree?

Database administration is a relatively new career that is getting more popular with the massive increase in data requirements from governments and companies. It is also very important for the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The role of a database administrator is to maintain, manage and plan for the growth of the data systems needed by a company or organization. This also includes maintaining the security of the database against cyber-attacks or data breaches. It is a highly rewarding and prestigious job but it requires highly skilled and knowledgeable administrators. The job can get very complicated with larger databases that can be distributed between remote places in different countries. You can get an idea about the complexity of the databases when considering the data stored by companies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google. The databases for these companies are larger than 100 petabytes which is around 100,000 terabytes.

What Does a Database Administration Student Learn?

Database administration is considered a sub-division of computer science. Students are expected to develop a solid knowledge of the computer science including the hardware and software sides. The program would also include courses related to management and data analysis. The following list shows some of the courses that are common to database degree programs:

  1. Computer hardware: this is the foundation for building your database and managing the data storage and processing resources. Hardware aspects will also include other aspects as the energy consumption, cooling and physical mounting of the data storage systems.
  2. Network fundamentals: databases are integral part of modern networks. Learning network fundamentals aims at delivering the stored data in an efficient way to multiple users distributed over remote locations.
  3. SQL database development and C++ programming: these are the most important programming languages used for creating applications for the database interface. They are used to create files, tables and indexes as well as keeping the database flow and integrity. Knowing how to work with these programming languages is essential for database administrators.
  4. Object oriented programming: this is one of the models used for programming that follows the principals of encapsulation, data abstraction, polymorphism and inheritance.
  5. Web servers which are the devices used for hosting websites and essentially databases as well as connecting these websites to users.
  6. Learning more advanced techniques as machine learning and artificial intelligence that are used to analyze the big data available from larger databases. Students will also learn the techniques used for cloud storage as an important growing trend.
  7. Students will also learn courses related to data security, coding and decoding.

Now I have the Database Administration Degree…where can I work after graduating?

Database administration is a high tech specialized profession. In the current age of information technology, the demand is growing faster than the average of all other occupations and it is expected to grow more in the coming years. It is highly rewarding career but it also comes with great responsibility since small mistakes can lead to huge consequences similar to what happened with the major data breaches from Facebook, Instagram or other platforms that hosted millions or even billions of users.

The skills and knowledge of database administrators also qualify them to other related professions:

  1. Computer and Information Systems Managers: this is very similar to database administration but it is not confined to databases but includes computing systems.
  2. Software developers: database administrators have the knowledge of the most versatile and advanced programming languages allowing them to efficiently develop other programs.
  3. Computer Network Architects: planning the structure of the network and their data storage and processing resources.
  4. Information Technology Support Analysts
  5. Cyber security analysis:  can serve as consultants to evaluate the cyber-security measures taken by clients, websites or programs to ensure the safety of stored data against cyber-attacks.
  6. Financial analysts and market research analysis: the availability of big data is a huge advantage for making accurate evaluation and prediction of the market.
  7. Web developers

Should I Choose a Database Administration Degree?

Studying computer-related sciences is a passion for many people and crucial for today’s (and tomorrow’s) economy. Studying database administration is not limited only to the computer skills such as programming or hardware, it involves developing a number of skills that are useful for everyone including:

  1. Meticulous attention and care to details
  2. Time management and ability to prioritize tasks
  3. Problem solving skills
  4. Troubleshooting
  5. Detailed analytical skills
  6. Keeping attention to the overall picture of the system

Best Jobs for Database Administration Degrees

Database administration graduates most commonly find work as DBAs, but there are other opportunities to consider as well. With a bachelor’s degree, you may have more education than some of your coworkers, which may make you more qualified for promotions in IT director or CTO roles. You may also find work in network engineering, IT security, web and application development, or programming.


How to save time and money

Our mission is to help you to avoid paying full price for college. We want your Database Administration degree to be affordable and accessible. Here’s how you could save:

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Get a Certificate in Database Administration First

A bachelor’s degree isn’t necessarily a requirement to find work in this field. In fact, many employers simply look for Oracle DBA certification as a prerequisite. By earning a certificate in database administration, you can gain the knowledge and skills needed to pass the Oracle certification exam and begin working in your field. This will shave as many as three years off of your education and tuition fees, and if you choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree later, your credits may even transfer.


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About the Author
Grant Aldrich
Grant founded OnlineDegree.com with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.

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