Study Database Management: Masters Degree, Training & Online Info

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What will you learn in a database management program? Read about degree and certificate requirements, the pros and cons of a certificate and master's degree and potential careers.
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Database Management: Degrees and Training Programs at a Glance

Database management degrees are often found as concentrations under other degree programs, such as the Master of Science in Computer Information Systems. There are, however, also occurrences of graduate certificates and degree programs that are listed specifically as database management programs.

Graduates of degree or certificate program in database management can pursue a variety of job opportunities, including database administrators and software developers. The majority of these occupations require at least a bachelor's degree, though some do accept work experience and/or an associate's degree as a minimum requirement. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that most careers related to database management would see employment growth between 20120 and 2020. For example, network and computer systems administrators would see a 28% increase over this period, while database administrators would see a 31% increase.

Graduate Certificate Master's
Who is this program for? Individuals with previous training or experience in databases and analysis Bachelor's degree holders who wish to pursue advanced training in order to manage and design operational databases
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary) - Network and computer systems administrator ($74,000)*
- Database administrator ($77,000)*
- Software developer ($92,000)*
- Computer analyst ($82,000)*
-Similar career paths are found for master's degree holders, though it is likely more opportunities and the possibility of advancement increase at the master's degree level
Time to Completion 6 months-1 year, full time 1-2 years, full-time
Common Graduation Requirements - Approximately 12-16 credit hours
-Approximately 36-40 credit hours
Prerequisites -No education requirement to bachelor's degree (varies)
- English proficiency requirements
- Certain programs have specific class prerequisites
- Bachelor's degree
- Some programs may have math and other educational requirements
Online Availability Yes Yes

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

Graduate Certificate

Graduate certificate programs can help you gain the necessary credentials to advance within your current position and take on more responsibility. Many programs allow previous server courses to be applied toward the certificate, such as if you have previous training in Oracle or Microsoft SQL in order to satisfy any job requirements or to learn more databases. You can also find programs that only allow the certificate to be pursued on a part-time basis.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • You may be to apply the credits you earn through your database management certificate to a master's degree program in the field
  • Additional training beyond a bachelor's degree can help you pursue career advancement opportunities*
  • Programs can be completed in less than a year

Cons

  • You may be competing against applicants who have a master's degree
  • Courses may focus on one area of database management without providing broader training
  • If you have a bachelor's degree from another field, employers may still require a master's degree

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Courses and Requirements

Database management courses are orientated around data and database design, usage, efficiency and security. Some course topics you might cover while earning your database management certificate include:

  • Database design and implementation
  • Relational databases
  • Data mining
  • Data modeling
  • Database security
  • Oracle Database management
  • Writing queries using Microsoft SQL server

Online Degree Options

Database certificate programs are available online through accredited universities. You can find training through fully online certificate programs or hybrid programs that require you to attend campus for some of your studies. You can also find certificate programs that have on-site corporate teaching options. Whether studying online or on-campus, you will generally gain the same training and study through similar courses.

Getting Ahead with this Program

Choosing a program that provides training on multiple database management systems can increase your portfolio and job opportunities. You may also consider coupling your certificate program with professional certification, such as those offered by the Institute for Certification for Computing Professionals, Microsoft Corporation or Oracle Corporation. These credentials aren't generally required by employers, and can help you demonstrate additional training in database management or related fields. You may need a certain amount of experience in order to pursue these certification options.

Master's Degree

Master's degree programs, such as the Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in database management or M.S. in Computer Science with a concentration in database systems, can give you advanced training in designing and configuring various types of data. You can also cover the types of systems and programs you will encounter in the field. If you have previously earned a certificate in database management, you may be able to apply your credits to graduate degree program in this field.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Many programs offer weekend classes and online programs so that you can continue to work full-time while earning your master's degree
  • Some careers offer higher than average salary potential*
  • You will likely have more advancement opportunities in many of the career paths available with a master's degree*

Cons

  • There are certificate programs that take less time and are less expensive and may be adequate depending on your long-term goals
  • You may be applying for some positions and/or roles against applicants with a bachelor's degree and more experience
  • You may not see a change in earning potential as a result of this degree

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

Courses and Requirements

The courses and requirements of a master's degree program are similar to those in graduate certificate programs. You will cover advanced database management topics and other related courses similar to the following:

  • Information structures
  • IT strategy and management
  • Quantitative methods for information systems
  • Web application development
  • Enterprise architecture
  • Distributed software development and management

Online Degree Options

Online master's degree programs are available in database management. These graduate programs cover similar topics to on-campus programs, including strategy and management, application development and software systems engineering. Online graduate programs in this field are offered by accredited universities, and can still prepare you for entering or advancing in a database management career.

Getting Ahead with this Degree

According to the BLS, database administrators can pursue professional certification to gain an advantage over other applicants. Related credentials are available from certifying organizations and vendors across the country, including the Institute for the Certification of Computing Professionals, Cisco Systems, Inc. and Oracle Corporation. Pursuing professional certification may require having experience or passing an exam. Technical, computer, and team-working skills are also necessary, so choosing electives and spending time on improving these attributes can also help you stand out.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
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    2. Colorado Technical University

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      • Master: Computer Science - Database Systems
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      • MS in Computer Science
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      • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
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    5. Herzing University

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    6. Northcentral University

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      • Master of IT: Project Management
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    10. Southern New Hampshire University

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Featured Schools

Regis University

  • Master of Science in Information Assurance
  • Master of Science in Information Assurance - Cybersecurity Specialization
  • Master of Science in Information Assurance - IA Policy Management Specialization

What is your highest level of education completed?

Colorado Technical University

  • Master: Computer Science - Database Systems
  • M.S. - Information Technology
  • Master of Science in Computer Science

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Lewis University

  • MS in Computer Science
  • MS in Computer Science - Intelligent Systems
  • MS in Data Science - Computer Science

What is your highest level of education?

Georgetown University

  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management

What is your highest level of education completed?

Herzing University

  • MBA Dual Concentration: Healthcare Management and Technology Management
  • MBA Dual Concentration: Accounting and Technology Management
  • MBA Dual Concentration: Public Safety Leadership and Technology Management

What is your highest level of education?

Northcentral University

  • MSTIM - Computer Science
  • MBA - Applied Computer Science
  • MBA - Computer and Information Security

What is your highest level of education?

Saint Joseph's University

  • MS - Business Intelligence

What is your highest level of education completed?

American InterContinental University

  • Master of IT: Project Management
  • Master of Information Technology - Information Assurance and Security
  • Master of Science in Information Technology

Are you a US citizen?