IT Career Profile: Database Administrator (DBA)

We are more thoroughly an enlightened people, with respect to our political interests, than perhaps any other under heaven. Every man among us reads, and is so easy in his circumstances as to have leisure for conversations of improvement and for acquiring information.

Benjamin Franklin

Database Administrator or DBA are responsible for database installation, configuration, and maintenance.  They are responsible for organizational information.  DBAs must monitor there systems for on-going performance issues.  In IT there are a few “on-call” positions and DBA is one of them.  Database performance and security are very important tasks in today’s organizations.  Data must be available and secure, these two items don’t always work together.  DBA’s need to co-ordinate upgrades and roll-outs with the development staff and Quality Assurance staff.  DBA’s should be involved too with planning and upcoming changes.  As a developer I understand how important it is to work together.  If the DBA doesn’t understand upcoming changes the system can fail or perform poorly.  This reflects the importance of communication in the organization.

DBAs work in many different relational databases.  Oracle, IBM’s DB2, Microsoft SQL Server are just a few.  DBAs work with Structured Query Language or SQL to query their database and get information.  As a developer I have become well aware of the powers in SQL.  DBA’s are usually monitoring systems and many programmers have written some poor performing queries that our DBA friends will help us with a new index or suggestions for re-writing.

The median salary for DBA is $75,190.  Training for DBAs may require a four-year degree in Computer Science or Management Information Systems.  Certifications are also available from all major database vendors.

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