The whole world is undergoing an information explosion right now. Database is required to maintain this vast amount of information base. Who are the guardians of these huge databases? You guessed it right. It is the job of database administrator to store, manage and protect information. Want an exciting career as DBA? Here is how you can be one too.
Ranked as the 7th best job of 2013 in the top 100 jobs list of CNNMoney research, a Database administrator is one of the most coveted IT jobs right now. If you have been window shopping the IT job market these days, you must have come across a number of ads seeking professional database administrators and developers. May be you yourself have thought of crossing over to this field. If you were looking for help to find out what it takes to become a database administrator, this post is the right place to start.
What are Your Chances of Getting a Job as DBA?
Your pursuit of getting an employment opportunity in this field will be heavily dependent on the three main tenants of job hunt. It is the ideal mix of experience, professional qualification and education that will get you noticed amongst the employers. However, most companies do not have any predetermined formula for making sure which candidate to select and which to reject. Some have a long history of working with top firms even without a proper college degree while there are others who are hired just on the basis of their excellent professional credentials.
Your chances of getting a job as DBA also depend on the prevalent supply and demand dynamics in the employment market. There are plenty of opportunities with a 30.6% job growth predicted over the decade from 2010-2020 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What does a DBA do?
A database administrator’s main responsibility is to look after the integrity of the data and protect it any kind of external interference. However, there are many other tasks that you will be expected to perform in the capacity of a DBA:
- Installing, Configuring, Upgrading: The installation and configuration of database software is the responsibility of the Database Administrator. To execute these tasks one must have knowledge of hardware prerequisites for an efficient database server. The DBA installs the database software, and configures it as per the settings of the hardware and the purpose being served. With time, the software requires patching and updating which is the prerogative of the Database Administrator.
- Backup and Recovery: In the face of an imminent database crash or breach, companies and users will have to face an information blackout, only if there were no backups. DBAs are responsible for developing, implementing and testing backup and recovery plan for databases. When the inevitable happens, the administrator comes to rescue and uses the backup strategy to return the database to operational status immediately.
- Secure the Database: Since all the vital information is stored inside the database, it is often the favorite target of hackers, cyber criminals and curious employees. The DBA has to understand the security model being used and ensure it is up and running all the time. He is responsible for setting up access controls. Authentication for setting up user accounts to control login to the database, authorization for setting permissions on various parts of the database and tracking who all accessed and used the database is a part of the complete security drill.
- Monitoring the Performance: As a database administrator you will keep a constant vigil on the database server and ensure it is free from all kinds of bottlenecks that are slowing it down.
How to Get the Job?
A degree in computer science is essential which can be followed by a specialized training or diploma course in DBMS. There are plenty of vendor certifications available in the market for the most widely used programs such as MySQL, Oracle and DB2. Pursuing any one of these will make your candidature for a top DBA job stronger.
What is So Great About it?
The pay, the growth opportunities and the future prospects all are bright for DBAs. While their annual median pay is one of the best in the technology world, ($87,000) with more data dependency we will be seeing a huge increment in the number of job opportunities for database administrators.