Database Programming Degrees: Bachelor, Associate & Online Course Info

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What will you learn in a database programming degree program? Read about degree requirements, the pros and cons of an associate's and bachelor's degree and potential careers.
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Study Database Programming: Degrees at a Glance

Database programming degree programs teach students the theories and application of principles related to database development. These programs are intended for students who wish to begin entry-level jobs in information technology or who wish to continue on to earn a graduate degree. While most entry-level computer systems positions require a bachelor's degree, it is possible to get your foot in the door with an associate's degree and work your way up.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the employment of database administrators will grow 31% from 2010 to 2020, which is considered much faster than the average job growth across all occupations. This is attributed in part to businesses' interest in gathering and collecting data. Database professionals must then be hired to organize and store all this information.

Associate's Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? Individuals interested in entering the IT industry or who intend to enroll in a bachelor's degree programThose who wish to pursue a career in information technology
Common career paths (with approx. median salary)* Most information technology careers require a bachelor's degree for an entry-level position.
- Computer support specialist ($48,000)*
- Computer programmer ($73,000)*
- Database administrator ($75,000)*
- Software developer ($89,000)*
Time to completion2 years, full time4 years, full time
Common graduation requirements - General education courses
- Electives
- Core course requirements
- Internship or externship
- General education courses
- Major courses
Prerequisites - High school English and algebra
- High school diploma
Online availability YesYes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2011 figures).


Associate's Degree in Database Programming

An associate's degree program in database programming gives you the education and training you need to begin a career in information technology and computer systems. You will learn how to design and maintain databases and software for any employer. Entry-level positions in information technology for those with an associate's degree are rare, but you may be able to start out with a lesser position such as a computer support specialist and work your way up. Additionally, you will be sufficiently prepared to enter a 4-year degree program in database programming if you choose.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Database professionals are in high demand*
  • Associate's degree programs offer a broad education in various database topics
  • These degree programs effectively prepare students for transfer to a 4-year program

Cons

  • A bachelor's degree may be required for most entry-level positions
  • Many associate's degree programs do not offer internships
  • Specialist jobs may be outsourced overseas

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Courses and Requirements

Most associate's degree programs require you to take general education courses in English, math and science. You will also be allowed to choose certain electives to supplement your education. The core courses in database programming may include:

  • Relational database concepts
  • Visual Basic
  • SQL programming
  • Database management application development
  • Programming with C++

Online Degree Options

Fully online associate's degree programs in database programming are available. These programs allow you to work towards your degree from the comfort of your own home and are ideal for working professionals or stay-at-home parents. Generally, the same coursework is required.

Stand Out With This Degree

The field of information technology is constantly changing, so employers like to see you keeping up with new developments in the field throughout your career. You are likely to begin in a small position with just an associate's degree, but advancement is possible if you are determined and motivated. Problem-solving skills should be honed, because database professionals are constantly trying to find new and better ways to organize data.


Bachelor's Degree in Database Programming

Rather than offering a bachelor's degree in database programming, many colleges and universities offer programs in computer information science with an option to specialize or concentrate on database programming. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, entry-level professionals in computer programming or database administration hold a degree in a computer-related field. These degree programs require you to complete mandated coursework and an internship in a field of your choice.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Database professionals are in demand*
  • Online programs are available
  • A wide computer information science education can lead to many different career paths

Cons

  • Degree programs that focus entirely on database programming are rare
  • 25% of database administrators work over 40 hours per week*
  • Job may be repetitive at times

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Courses and Requirements

Your coursework will span a variety of computer information science topics. You will also be required to complete general education courses. Common topics may include:

  • Information systems for management
  • Systems analysis
  • Java programming
  • Network security
  • PC database software
  • Operating systems concepts

Online Degree Options

Some colleges and universities offer bachelor's degree programs entirely online. The same graduate requirements are mandated, and you can expect to take similar courses. You may also be required to find and attend an internship.

Stand Out With This Degree

Any electives in database security can help you stand above the competition when job hunting. Additionally, it is vital that you are well-versed and stay up-to-date in the industry in which you work, so that you can understand the type of data you are handling.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Information Technology
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Data Management
      • BS - Business Administration - IT
      • BS - IT - Security
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Software Application Programming
      • BS - IT - Web Development
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Security Technology Concentration
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Network Management Concentration
      • B.S. - Information Technology Admin and Management With No Declared Minor or Concentration
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Keiser University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science - Cyber Forensics/Information Security
  • Online Programs Available
    4. American InterContinental University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Technology: Information Assurance and Security
      • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Utica College

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS in Cybersecurity - Cyber Operations
      • BS in Cybersecurity - Information Assurance
      • Online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Campus Locations:
    6. Virginia College

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Management Information Systems
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Southern New Hampshire University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS Information Technologies w/conc in Database Administration
      • BS Computer Science
      • BS in Accounting - Forensic Accounting & Fraud Examination
      • BS Business Studies in Computer Information Technology
      • Bachelor of Science Information Technologies - Des
      • BS in Data Analytics
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Excelsior College

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS in Information Technology [Without Concentration]
      • BS in Technology (Computer Technologies)
      • Bachelor of Professional Studies in Technology Management (Information Technology)
      • BS in Cybersecurity (Operations)
      • BS in Cybersecurity [Without Concentration]
      • BS in Information Technology (Cybersecurity)
  • Cambridge, MA

    Harvard University

  • Philadelphia, PA

    University of Pennsylvania

Featured Schools

Colorado Technical University

  • Bachelor: Information Technology
  • B.S. - Information Technology: Data Management
  • BS - Business Administration - IT

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Herzing University

  • B.S. - Information Technology: Security Technology Concentration
  • B.S. - Information Technology: Network Management Concentration
  • B.S. - Information Technology Admin and Management With No Declared Minor or Concentration

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Keiser University

  • Bachelor of Science - Cyber Forensics/Information Security

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American InterContinental University

  • Bachelor of Technology: Information Assurance and Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology

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Utica College

  • BS in Cybersecurity - Cyber Operations
  • BS in Cybersecurity - Information Assurance
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity

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Virginia College

  • Bachelor: Management Information Systems

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Southern New Hampshire University

  • BS Information Technologies w/conc in Database Administration
  • BS Computer Science
  • BS in Accounting - Forensic Accounting & Fraud Examination

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Excelsior College

  • BS in Information Technology [Without Concentration]
  • BS in Technology (Computer Technologies)
  • Bachelor of Professional Studies in Technology Management (Information Technology)

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