Database Management Careers

Read on to learn about typical courses, resources, and careers in this field.

Staff Writer

2022-09-0825 min read

Almost every industry uses vast amounts of data to ensure smooth business operations. Departments across organizations store and use data to improve their operational efficiency, product development, marketing, research, financial planning, and documentation.

The increased demand for database-as-a-service opens more doors to database management roles, making this the perfect time to pursue this career path. But before diving head first, you must understand the field and what it offers.

This resource explores database management careers, degree options, salary figures, job outlook, and other helpful information to improve career prospects.

Read on to find everything you need to begin your database management journey today.

Why Choose Database Management?

A database management career is a lucrative and fulfilling path if you're keen on programming languages and love organizing and managing data. You can find entry-level jobs that leave room for career advancements and growth.

Besides working in the tech industry, you can explore career options in other sectors like finance, healthcare, insurance, telecommunications, and more.

Database management jobs also command high salaries, with the highest-paid professionals earning over $100,000 yearly.

So, if you possess strong analytical, communication, and troubleshooting skills, a database management career will put them to good use.

How to Start your Database Management Journey

Getting a degree from an accredited institution is a step in the right direction for your database management career. An associate's degree opens the door to entry-level positions, while a bachelor's helps improve your skillsets.

Advanced degrees like a master's and doctorate equip you for upper management positions and academia.

Education Requirements

Associate Degree

An associate degree includes foundational knowledge, principles, database management languages, and more.

Most programs offer courses like the intro to computer applications, system analysis, and programming essentials. And you can transfer into a four-year program with an associate degree for further studies.

Bachelor's Degree

This program offers courses like data analysis, information security management, project management, website development, and more. Several colleges also train students in Oracle and Structured Query Language (SQL).

With a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, you can apply for job roles like database administrator, systems analyst, database developer, and more.

Master's Degree

A master's degree in database management helps you specialize in biomedical informatics, health finance, social networks, and more. In addition, it allows you to advance your skills and knowledge of database design and information structures.

With a master's degree, you can qualify for upper-management roles with increased responsibilities and benefits.

Doctorate in Database Management

This highest level of database management education creates unique and prestigious job opportunities in this field. While you don't necessarily need a doctorate to enjoy a lucrative and successful database management career, it leads to roles in academia or research.

Most doctorate database management programs usually take 4-6 years to complete.

Employment Prospects

Database management students have numerous job prospects after graduating from an accredited college, from entry-level web developer roles to computer and information systems positions.

The need for database managers increases daily as more businesses adopt cloud computing practices to improve their operations. These professionals design and manage databases to reduce the time spent retrieving data and increase productivity.

Database Management Career Forecast

The Labor Department predicts positive job growth for database management occupations. Database administrative roles have over 11,000 openings and are estimated to grow by 9% within the next decade.

The advent of telemedicine and data analytics in healthcare to drive improved care means health informatics are in high demand. As the volume of health information data grows, so does the need for professionals to analyze and manage them.

Information security analysts have over 19,000 job openings yearly, with projections showing a 35% increase from 2012 to 2031. It's no surprise since most organizations take data privacy issues seriously.

How to Boost your Database Management Career

Thanks to the vast nature of database management careers, there are always new heights to reach. Of course, a bachelor's degree paves the way for lucrative roles, but continued education and learning new skills help advance your career.

A postgraduate degree qualifies you for various managerial roles, while certificate programs help increase your skills and bolster your credentials.

Several colleges and universities offer multiple kinds of certificate programs that take a year or less to complete. They even have flexible online courses that allow you to juggle work and studies.

Certifications from certified professional bodies like Microsoft and IBM show employers that you have the necessary skills to excel at your job.

Lucrative Database Management Career Paths

Database management is a diverse and extensive field with several career paths and job prospects in multiple industries and sectors.

These are some of the high-paying roles in the field.

Database Administrator

Database administrators handle all activities related to database systems and work in various industries. They control everything database system-related and demand a high level of expertise in their field.

A bachelor's degree in database management and similar IT courses qualify you for this role.

Average Salary

According to the Labor Department, most database administrators in the US earn a median annual salary of around $98,000. However, the lowest 10% of earners made less than $54,000, while the highest 10% made over $155,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Managing data integrity

  • Designing and building new databases

  • Writing schema to decide database accessibility

  • Improving query processing performance

  • Managing data validation checks

  • Backing up and restoring data to prevent loss

  • Securing organizational data

Industries Employing Database Administrators

More businesses and organizations are adopting dedicated cloud services, meaning more openings for database administrators. Here are some industries with the highest concentration of database administrators in high-paying roles:

  • Computer systems design and related services

  • Data processing, hosting, and affiliated services

  • Healthcare and insurance

  • Educational services; state, local, and private

  • Retail and eCommerce

Health Informatics

Health informatics or medical informatics use information technology to improve patient-physician relationships and safeguard medical data. Professionals in this field can specialize in multiple areas of information technology.

A minimum of an associate's or bachelor's degree qualifies you for some health informatics roles. But, you can get more lucrative positions with advanced certifications and postgraduate education.

Average Salary

The median wage for health informatics is around $51,000 yearly, with the highest 10% making over $100,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Data collection, processing, and storage for health records and applications

  • Design and develop medical support systems

  • Manage and code health information data

  • Organize and update clinical databases or registries

Industries Employing Health Informatics

  • Healthcare facilities

  • Pharmaceutical companies

  • Insurance carriers

  • Professional, scientific, and technical services

  • Educational services; state, local, and private

Database Developer

Database developers design and program computer databases to fit the needs of different companies and organizations. Professionals in this field have excellent analytical and communication skills and understand programming languages like SQL.

You can work as a database developer with a bachelor's degree in computer science, database management, or any related field.

Average Salary

According to Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and PayScale, database developers earn over $80,000 yearly. Entry-level positions make around $60,000 or more.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Design and implement computer databases

  • Manage data integrity

  • Ensure data is stored and processed intelligently

  • Define guidelines for data backup

  • Monitor database performance

Industries Employing Database Developers

  • Hospitals and healthcare institutions

  • Insurance carriers

  • Computer systems design and related services

  • Data processing, hosting, and affiliated services

  • Educational services; state, local, and private

Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts handle data protection in physical and electronic forms across multiple industries and sectors. They monitor data networks for security breaches and conduct investigations when they occur.

Average Salary

Information security analysts earn over $100,000 annually, with the lowest 10% of employees making around $61,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Test and evaluate systems

  • Research the latest IT security trends

  • Gather feedback from users to improve systems

  • Monitor networks for data breaches and investigate possible threats

  • Check for network vulnerabilities

  • Prepare reports and documentation on security protocols

  • Create disaster recovery plans for organizations

Industries Employing Information Security Analysts

Many companies and industries employ information security analysts to protect their databases in the face of data hacks and security breaches.

Some of the top-paying industries include:

  • Remediation and other waste management services

  • Computer systems design and related services

  • Securities and commodity contracts

  • Information sectors

  • Finance and insurance

  • Management of companies and businesses

  • Administrative and support services

Computer and Information Research Scientists

Professionals in this field perform research and design new computer architecture that improves the efficiency of computer hardware.

Technological advancements like faster computing and improved information security are thanks to these scientists.

Computer and information research scientists are usually master's degree holders since the role deals with more theoretical and complex algorithms. Ph.D. holders get higher-paying positions.

Average Salary

BLS cites this role as one of the highest-paying tech jobs, with over 3000 openings yearly.

Computer and information research scientists earn annual median wages of around $130,000, at $63 per hour.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Explore computing problems and create theories and models to solve them

  • Research and test new applications

  • Present their findings in published journals

  • Invent new computing methods, languages, and tools to improve user interactions with computers

  • Design and perform experiments to test software systems

Industries Employing Computer and Information Research Scientists

Sectors with the highest employment rates for Computer and Information Research Scientists include:

  • Computer Systems Design and Related Services

  • Federal Executive Branch (OEWS Designation)

  • Software Publishers

  • Scientific Research and Development Services

  • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools

  • Other information services

Computer Systems Analyst

The education requirements for computer systems analysts vary based on the industry and job role. However, a bachelor's degree in computer and information technology or other related fields is the minimum for this position.

Some industries offering more technically complex jobs may require a master's degree or other certifications.

Average Salary

Computer systems analysts make over $90,000 in median wages, with Oil and Gas Extraction sectors paying over $150,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Configure software and hardware and design new systems

  • Test systems and networks

  • Consult with managers and clients

  • Analyze systems costs and benefits

  • Research and appraise new technologies

  • Write instruction manuals and train end-users

Industries Employing Computer Systems Analysts

Some top-paying industries that employ computer systems analysts include:

  • Oil and Gas Extraction

  • Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing

  • Computer Systems Design and Related Services

  • Insurance carriers

  • Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services

  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals

  • Scientific Research and Development Services

Web Developers

Web developers in this field create websites that utilize best practices in IT architecture.

Full stack and back-end developers interact more with databases, making these roles high in demand. You can qualify for this job with an associate's or a bachelor's degree and a thorough understanding of several programming languages.

Average Salary

Most web developers earn a median annual salary of around $77,000, with about 17,000 job openings projected yearly.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Manage database administration assignments

  • Boost website traffic and consumer engagement with user-centered experiences

  • Troubleshoot website problems

  • Work with database administrators to determine the website's data content

Industries Employing Web Developers

These top-paying industries have some of the highest concentration of web developers:

  • Management of Companies and Enterprises

  • Specialized Design Services

  • Monetary Authorities-Central Bank

  • Sound Recording Industries

  • Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services

  • Publishing Industries

Operations Research Analysts

Professionals in this field evaluate and manage data to improve business operations in various sectors.

Operations research analysts are usually academics with mathematical capabilities, problem-solving, and analytical skills. You can qualify for this role with a bachelor's and master's degree.

However, some positions may require a background check and security clearance to handle sensitive information.

Average Salary

The median annual pay for most operations research analysts is over $80,000, with top industries paying over $160,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Develop practical solutions with statistical analysis, predictive modeling, and simulations

  • Track and analyze business metrics

  • Analyze data and extract relevant information

  • Design and test models and analytical tools

  • Write reports and memos to explain findings and provide recommendations

Industries Employing Operations Research Analysts

These top-paying sectors have some of the highest concentration of operations research analysts:

  • Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing

  • Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services

  • Finance and Insurance

  • Federal Government

  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Computer and information systems managers direct and handle computer and IT-related activities for organizations and firms.

The minimum requirement for an entry-level position is a bachelor's degree in computer science or other IT fields. However, professionals with postgraduate degrees and sufficient work experience get higher-paying roles.

CIS managers in most companies usually advance to higher positions like chief information officer or technology officer.

Average Salary

Computer and information systems managers earn over $150,000 yearly in median pay, with the highest 10% of employees making over $200,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Manage and direct other IT professionals

  • Analyze the company's technological needs and recommend upgrades

  • Assess costs and benefits of company projects

  • Manage maintenance and installation of computer software and hardware

  • Handle training on new software and equipment

  • Ensure network security

Industries Employing Computer and Information Systems Managers

High-paying sectors with computer and information system managers include:

  • Finance and Insurance

  • Information Technology

  • Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing

  • Software Publishers

  • Management of Companies and Enterprises

  • Natural Gas Distribution

Data Scientist

Data scientists help various organizations understand and utilize large amounts of disparate data. These professionals play vital roles in multiple industries, from predicting new diabetes treatments to identifying national security threats.

Data scientists combine computer science, statistics, analytics, and modeling to make informed business decisions for organizations.

Average Salary

Glassdoor ranks data scientists in the top 10 best jobs in the US, with over 10,000 job openings. According to Indeed and PayScale, the median annual salary for this role is around $100,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Design algorithms and data models

  • Extract, clean, and interpret data

  • Create data modeling processes

  • Integrate and store information

  • Analyze data to uncover patterns and trends

Industries Employing Data Scientists

Some of the top-paying data science industries include:

  • Finance sectors

  • Healthcare and insurance

  • Hospitality and telecommunications

  • Transportation

  • Supply chain and retail

Pros and Cons of Database Management Careers

Database management roles are lucrative, high-paying, and lead to long and fulfilling careers. However, there are a few cons to consider.

Here are some upsides and downsides of exploring a career in database management.


  • Good job security

  • High earning potential and numerous job prospects

  • Remote-friendly

  • Transferable skills and high job satisfaction.


  • It's a high-stress role

  • Health complications from a sedentary lifestyle

  • The top-paying jobs require specialized training or certifications

  • The slightest error could cause disastrous outcomes

  • Working overtime or at night to rectify issues.

Skills You'll Gain With Your Database Management Degree

A database management degree equips you with essential skills to enjoy a successful career after graduation, from project management to data visualization and communication skills.

Here are some of them:

Adequate IT Ethics

Database managers deal with sensitive data and have to make socially conscious decisions that affect a large group of people. And that's where IT ethics come in handy.

These frameworks explore ethical issues surrounding new and current technologies and how to make informed decisions.

In the same way, doctors and medical professionals take the Hippocratic Oath to preserve life, while database managers have the DBA Code of Ethics. After all, with great powers comes immense responsibilities.

A database management degree helps you develop strategies to access risks and decisions that respect the privacy and freedom of users.

Fluent Technical Communication

Understanding and articulating complex concepts and methods to non-technical users is a vital skill for database managers. As a result, many programs teach students to communicate with all kinds of users through oral and written formats.

Professionals with fluent technical communication skills can create user guides, manuals, and document that effectively explains organizational best practices.

Database managers with efficient technical communication skills can quickly learn new technologies and convey the meaning to end users in lay terms.

Project Management

This skill is essential for all tech managers and requires candidates to earn certifications from accredited project management institutes.

Data management students learn to coordinate and motivate their teams to deliver data solutions without exceeding the budget and before the deadline.

Utilizing project management skills helps professionals to capture, refine, and track all information on a project. In addition, it delivers repeatable processes, techniques, and guidelines to manage tasks and IT personnel involved in the project.

Adequate project management skills mean you can quickly resolve various issues without sacrificing time or funds.

Data Visualization and Analytics

As a data manager, you can also provide business intelligence and manage computer databases and networks for your organization. Acquiring data visualization and analytics skills make it easy to explore and summarize datasets.

Data visualization tools help transform data and trends into engaging stories that lighten a company's decision-making process. With graphical representations of boring data, shareholders and managers can coherently interpret large amounts of data.

Database managers with data visualization and analytics skills play invaluable roles in various organizations and firms, making them a hot commodity.

Computer Infrastructure

Most database management programs teach students to examine computer software, hardware, and network components, as part of their foundational courses. In addition, database managers can predict data outcomes by understanding the development lifecycle methodologies of computer systems.

It also facilitates the process involved in physical database designs and database implementation.

How to Prepare for a Database Management Career

1. Earn a College Degree

While some entry-level IT positions don't require a post-secondary degree, getting a college education is best to prepare for a database management career. Your education level and skillsets impact the kind of job roles you get, your earning potential, and career advancements.

Most employers favor candidates with bachelor's and master's degrees for top-paying management positions in this field.

You can start with an associate degree if you don't have enough time to commit to a four-year program. And after that, you can transfer your credits to earn a bachelor's degree.

Pursuing a master's degree helps broaden your IT knowledge and qualify you for upper management roles. And, if you're interested in academia or research positions, a doctorate would satisfy that urge.

You don't need to go all the way immediately. Start small, and go from there.

2. Learn Different Computer Languages

Programming skills are transferable to every industry, so your career prospects increase with each new language you learn. It also helps that most programming languages improve your problem-solving and syntax skills.

Learning coding languages like SQL and Python paves the way for efficient data analysis and visualization. These skills help create complex dashboards and reports, making data more accessible for end users.

Also, get familiar with computer languages like Apache, Java, HTML, programs like Oracle and Microsoft Access, Linux, and UNIX platforms.

3. Get Background Experience with IT Support Roles

After earning your bachelor's degree, you can get relevant IT experience from entry-level computer support and system administration roles.

These jobs will provide experience in managing computer networks and systems. And, with the proper credentials and work experience, you can quickly climb the tech ladder to get your dream role.

4. Get Certifications from Software Vendors

Professional certifications from accredited vendors like IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle demonstrate that you have an in-depth understanding of software platforms.

Microsoft and IBM certifications involve two exams that cover SQL, database administration, DB2 platforms, and more. In contrast, the Oracle credential requires you to enroll in a course and take an exam afterward.

Since some of these credentials require renewals, you may retake the exams after a few years. This dedication will show employers you're more than capable of going above and beyond for an organization.

5. Specialize in a Specific Database Software

There are several sub-specializations under database management roles. It's now up to you to decide what path you wish to follow.

You choose to work with organizations to manage their internal databases and keep things moving smoothly. Or, you could focus on designing and creating databases for software development companies.

Yet, another database management field to explore is the Performance Database Administrator, who optimizes and improves database performance.

Whichever area of specialization you choose to explore, ensure you have the necessary skills and credentials to back them.

Database Management Resources to Help Your Career

It pays to keep your database knowledge and programming language skills sharp and updated. Thanks to Open Courseware, tools, online journals, and professional organizations, you can achieve your career goals without hassle.

Organizations like EDM Council, Digital Analytics Association, and Association for Clinical Data Management serve data managers and provide resources and training that improve their careers.

Open courseware from IBM, Stanford, University of Michigan, and more, explore various database management concepts and systems.

You can also leverage database management tools like:

  • MySQL

  • Aquafold Aqua Data Studio

  • MySQL Workbench

  • DbVisualizer

  • SentryOne SQL Sentry

  • ManageEngine Applications Manager

These professional tools allow you to download various open-source relational databases, design and enhance data, track system usage, and more.

How to Switch to a Database Management Career

Switching to a career in database management is easier than you'd think, especially if you already have a computer science degree or other IT-related fields.

Most companies with large databases usually require candidates with a master's degree or certifications in software systems and programming languages. As a result, your best bet is to enroll in an accredited institute to acquire a postgraduate degree in database management or information technology.

And if you're switching from a non-IT role, you need to get a bachelor's degree in database management or related fields. Joining a Bootcamp and learning a few programming languages also improves your chances of a successful career switch.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Database Management?

Database management explores the various actions businesses and organizations take to manipulate data to meet the required conditions during its lifecycle.

Professionals in this field employ tactics to protect organizations' data, avoid compliance risks, and keep data-driven applications performing optimally.

Database management systems control various databases, making storing, accessing, and organizing data easy.

What certification do I need for a Database Management career?

Most database management roles require a bachelor's degree in computer science, database management, or other information technology fields. However, some employers look for candidates with certifications for specialized roles.

Here are some certifications that offer competitive advantages over other job seekers:

Can I get a Database Management degree online?

Yes, you can.

Several accredited colleges and universities offer online database management programs, from associate to postgraduate. An associate degree lasts about two years and introduces students to core principles, methods, and database management languages.

Bachelor's programs offer foundational courses and train students in Oracle and SQL, while a master's degree paves the way to upper-level or managerial roles.

What fields can Database Managers work in?

Database managers can work in various industries and sectors, depending on their education, skills, and experience. Some lucrative database management fields include business and finance, IT, data processing, healthcare, educational services, and more.

Is there a high demand for Database Management majors?

Database management roles are in high demand, with over 13,000 job openings for database administrators and architects yearly, in the past decade. The BLS projects an 8% growth before 2030 and cites computer and information technology roles as one of the fastest growing jobs.

Thanks to the increased demand for database-as-a-service, professionals in this field can work in various cloud computing firms and industries.

Final Thoughts

Database management offers a variety of data-related jobs in several industries, from database administration to information security and data science. And since most organizations rely on qualified database managers to make data-driven decisions, there's a high demand for these roles.

It also helps that most database management jobs offer high earning potential. Data is the future, after all.

Are you fresh out of college and looking to explore database management, or do you wish to switch careers? If you answered yes to both options, this guide is for you, as it covers everything you need to succeed on this journey.

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