What is a Database Administrator?
A Database Administrator protects a company’s data from illegal access. They safeguard the business, employee, and consumer information. They organise and store data in specialist software and look for any security threats or problems that they can address before they become a problem.
Database Administrators are masters in storing and organising data so that users can get the information they require while keeping unwanted visitors at bay. These IT specialists are critical in numerous businesses that gather and retain sensitive, private data, including banking, transportation, and healthcare. Database Administrators direct the creation of new databases by examining the necessity for the database, outlining the goals it is designed to achieve, and identifying its users.
They monitor the database’s functioning and make adjustments when it is set up. Because many users rely on databases to complete their daily tasks, database managers backup systems on a regular basis. This is to prevent data loss and set procedures to assure the integrity of data that enters the system. When problems arise, they investigate and, in certain cases, resolve them. The majority of Database Administrators work for computer system design, data hosting, and data processing firms. There are additional roles available in insurance firms, banks and shops, educational institutions, and healthcare organisations.
Responsibilities for a Database Administrator can vary according to their specialisation and the company that they work for. Generally, Database Administrators are expected to :
- Create database systems with high availability and quality based on the specialised function of each end-user.
- Design and implement databases in accordance with end users’ information needs and views.
- Define users and enable data distribution to the appropriate user, in an appropriate format, and on time.
- Use high-speed transaction recovery techniques and backup data.
- Minimise database downtime and manage parameters to provide fast query responses.
- Provide proactive and reactive data management support and training to users.
- Determine, enforce, and document database policies, procedures, and standards.
- Conduct regular tests and evaluations to ensure data security, privacy, and integrity.
- Monitor database performance, implement changes and apply new patches and versions as needed.
The average UK salary for a Database Administrator ranges from £24,000 to £70,000.
Like with many other occupations, the salary for a Database Administrator is heavily influenced by the company that they work for, specialisation and geographic location.
A Database Administrator in London earns an average salary of £41,875 per year.
Working hours and work location
Most Database Administrators work in computer design businesses or in sectors with extensive databases, such as educational institutions and insurance organisations.
The majority of Database Administrators are full-time employees.
Working hours are typically 37 to 39 hours per week, Monday through Friday, with occasional overtime. When maintenance and development work is needed, you may be expected to work overnight and on weekends.
What to expect
A Database Administrator examines data by interacting with computer software and hardware in order to process information, build software, enter data, or configure essential functionalities.
As part of the analysis process, they would break down the material into component sections and then discover the causes, underlying principles, or facts. After assessing the results of their investigations, they would be asked to find appropriate solutions to challenges. They process data by confirming it or coding it, tabulating, compiling, and/or classifying it.
A Database Administrator (DBA) keeps track of and documents information by entering it on magnetic, textual, or electronic media. They always use modern technologies and incorporate fresh information into their job. Communication with coworkers, supervisors, and/or management is required as part of the job, as is delivering relevant and competent advice to these or other groups on the system, processing, or technical topics. This is why communication abilities are regarded as advantageous for this position.
A DBA must talk properly and ensure that any relevant information or updates are received by those listening. A skill set in deductive reasoning, such as finding correct answers to specific issues, or understanding of ordering information by arranging data into certain rules, such as patterns of pictures, words, letters, or numbers, would also be required.
A Database Administrator would have advanced problem-solving abilities, such as appropriately analysing, solving, and implementing solutions. They would also secure the company’s information from unauthorised parties by implementing adjustments to any susceptible portions of their systems by constantly testing programs and repairing any essential flaws or vulnerabilities.
For most entry-level employment, Database Administrators must have a bachelor's degree in information science or computer science.
These specialists frequently require a master’s degree in Database Administration or information technology, depending on the size and complexity of their organisation or governing body.
After your academic studies, being certified in one or more commercial database systems is a smart idea. Your college degree may have taught you the fundamentals of database management and maybe some SQL, but this is just the beginning
Most businesses would prioritise employing personnel who have received certification and DBA training in the database software they use.
The following are just a few of the major players and their Database Administrator certifications:
- Oracle: Oracle DB Certified Associate, Oracle DB Certified Professional
- Microsoft SQL Server: MCSE (Data platform and Business Intelligence) and the older MCDBA
- IBM: IBM Analytics Certification
- MongoDB: Certified DBA, Certified Developer
- Cassandra: Certified Cassandra Administrator, Certified Cassandra Architect, Certified Cassandra Developer
Some of the skills that a Database Administrator should possess or acquire include:
must have skills:
- Hands-on expertise with database standards and end-user applications
- Proven working experience as a Database Administrator
- Excellent understanding of data backup and recovery, security, integrity, and SQL.
- Experience with database design, documentation, and coding
- Experience with DBA case tools (frontend/backend) and third-party tools
- Experience with programming languages API
- Problem-solving abilities and the capacity to think algorithmically
There are two basic ways to become a Database Administrator: focusing on Database Administration from the start of an IT career, or (more typically) starting in a general ICT profession, such as helpdesk service or development, and progressively gaining more Database Administration expertise.
In any case, being a skilled Database Administrator does not happen quickly; one must first learn specific skills that are also required in most ICT jobs.
When taken as a whole, being an entry-level Database Administrator might take anywhere between two and seven years. However, it will take at least another three years after you acquire your first Database Administrator position to gain any level of skill as a DBA.
And what about being an expert?
Surprisingly, most highly experienced DBAs avoid using the term “expert.” Why? Because they recognize how much they still don’t know and how much they continue to learn every day. And since there is always someone who knows even more, even in a highly particular sub-specialization of a Database Administrator, such as SQL Server on Windows.
Another reality about working as a Database Administrator is that you will constantly be learning something new. Software and platforms are always evolving. New non-relational databases, as well as new versions of old databases, present a constantly changing landscape that can be difficult to traverse without ongoing education. At the same time, because database administration covers so many other IT-related fields (such as systems administration, virtualization, networking, cloud computing, and so on), Database Administrators find themselves continuously learning new things throughout their careers.
What can I do with an IT Degree, is one of the most important questions to ask yourself when considering a career in Database Administration.
Just like the term “doctor” can refer to a wide variety of specialities, there is also a wide range of sub-specialisations for the Database Administrator profession.
The most frequent type is the Database Administrator, who works in-house or on contract for a company to maintain its internal databases running smoothly. However, Database Administrators can be classified into three main groups as follows:
- Database Administrators are the ones who construct and design databases in the first place.
They normally operate as part of a team, and they are often employed by a more specialist software development firm. That database is almost certainly part of a bigger application designed to meet a specific business purpose. In the commercial bank example, the software to manage its banking operations is most likely purchased or leased from an Information Communication and Technology (ICT) business that specialises in banking software. This banking software is supported by a database, which serves as the backend storage for all data and was created and built by a team of DBAs (better known as “database designers”). To create the many functionalities and modules of the application, they are likely to engage with business analysts and others who are intimately familiar with banking processes. This is to guarantee that the database structure reflects all bank services (loans, cash transactions, automated payments, ATM administration, and so on).
- A Performance Database Administrator, often known as a Tuning Database Administrator, is another sort of Database Administrator. This Database Administrator specialises in optimising and increasing database performance. Databases are sophisticated software applications. Simply explained, the fundamental structure of a database is made up of data stored in tables. Indexes, which look like the table of contents of a book, may then be used to speed up data access. DBAs aid in the optimisation of databases to make use of the actual or virtual hardware on which they are hosted. This necessitates the ability to partition data over many drives, configure the database to make better use of memory or RAM, and minimise network traffic for remote databases. In so-called “distributed configurations,” some databases are spread among numerous servers. Some databases can become so sophisticated that they require a DBA who is purely concerned with improving performance. A non-specialist DBA, on the other hand, is frequently sufficient for smaller, single-company databases.
- The Application DBA is a third sort of Database Administrator. This position focuses on integrating databases with the applications that make use of them. In order to navigate most databases, you’ll need to know how to use a certain query language. The Structured Query Language, or SQL, is the most widely used. The majority of users will not learn how to browse and utilise SQL; instead, they will use a front end application to complete the activities that are expected of them. This program is the banking software at a commercial bank (the users are only able to access the database via an application, which ensures data security). The application DBA’s job is to make sure that the database and the application that uses it are communicating effectively and that the results are accurate. When a user types in a customer’s name and clicks to view their bank account balance, the database displays the right amount rather than the loan balance, for example.
A career as a Database Administrator or manager is both rewarding and challenging. It also entails taking on considerable responsibilities as the data custodian for a business, as well as being in charge of transforming raw data into actionable insight.
Here are some MSc recommendations:
Delivered by the University of the West of Scotland, this course is delivered at the London Campus which means you will be studying at the centre of the UK tech industry. This one-year, full-time curriculum is designed for students who do not already have a background in IT or computing. The course will help you build much needed business-relevant IT knowledge and abilities and help you land that dream job in Database Administration.