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Is an Online Database Administration Program Right for Me?

As with any job, not all individuals may find themselves suited to the database manager task. This profession usually requires long hours in front of a computer screen, and at least a cursory interest in computer science. Depending on the type of employment, being a database administrator may also involve some knowledge of the hardware on which digital information is stored, or a security clearance if the data being stored is especially sensitive.

While some companies may outsource their database management work to subcontractors or smaller firms, many large organizations now employ their full-time managers. Because of the increased reliance that many organizations have on their databases, the responsible administrators may be expected to be on call or work outside of regular office hours to troubleshoot or fix an issue with a vital storage system.

If you are an individual who is passionate about digital technology, this may be the right profession for you. Below is a list of vetted online programs that can help gain a foothold in the industry, and learn some of the basic tasks and techniques of digital database management.

Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Database Administration

A bachelor’s degree is typically considered the ideal starting point for a career in database administration. These programs are geared toward individuals who may not have any real-world experience in working with digitized storage beyond their personal usage, and will involve basic courses in computer science as well as curricula that are specific to this profession. The following online programs are fully accredited and may serve as a starting point for individuals looking to enter this career.

Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University is a private, Christian university headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. GCU hosts many online programs, and is considered a major provider of distance education to students from across the country. GCU hosts a bachelor’s of science in applied business information systems.

According to the university’s homepage, courses include introductory classes to programming, IT storage technology, as well as the ethical considerations that go along with managing data that may be sensitive or proprietary.

  • Location: Phoenix, AZ
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Expected Time to Completion: 36 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $17,800 per year

Purdue University-Fort Wayne

Purdue University in Indiana is arguably one of the most prestigious universities to have broken into the online learning space in the last couple of years. Purdue offers a bachelor’s of science in information systems, which is specifically geared towards the profession of database management and analytics. Students at Purdue benefit from the cachet of the Purdue name, and may qualify for the sizable scholarship opportunities the school offers.

  • Location: Fort Wayne, IN
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Expected Time to Completion: 36 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $280 per credit

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University is a school with a fairly small campus but a large footprint in the online learning environment. SNHU offers a bachelor of science in health information management, which is particularly geared towards prospective students with an interest in database management for the healthcare sector. The need for database management in the medical environment is particularly high, as caregivers increasingly benefit from the availability of vital information at the touch of a button. At $330 per credit, SNHU’s program is one of the most affordable on this list.

  • Location: Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Expected Time to Completion: 36 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $330 per credit

Online Master’s Degree Programs in Database Administration

A master’s degree represents the natural progression after a bachelor’s degree for anyone who is looking to significantly boost their chances of employment, enter the field at a higher position, or be interested in the subject from an academic standpoint. The following fully accredited master’s programs are available online and provide a sampling of some of the educational options available to distance learners.

University of Maryland

Through its “global campus,” the University of Maryland offers a fully online master’s degree in database systems technology. UM’s program includes courses on computer systems architecture and infrastructure, data modeling, and security. Students seeking a master’s degree in database systems technology through the University of Maryland are expected to complete a capstone project as part of their graduation requirements.

  • Location: Adelphi, MD
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $524 per credit

Boston University

Boston University is located in the Massachusetts metropolis of the same name, and hosts a sizable online learning program in addition to its on-campus instruction. BU offers a fully online master of science degree in computer information systems, with a concentration in database management and business intelligence.

This 40-credit program may be of particular interest to individuals who are looking to bring their skillset to an enterprise corporation or with an interest in marketing, as it places a particular emphasis on those environments and so-called data mining, in which large data sets are evaluated with a particular focus on creating value for their owners.

  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $480 per credit

Florida Institute of Technology

Florida Institute of Technology is located in Melbourne, on the sunny Atlantic coast of Florida. However, students from all over the country can benefit from the fully online master of information technology with an emphasis on database administration. Although FIT’s program does not exclusively emphasize the business world, much of its curriculum is focused on database management and administration for corporate and business clients. At $620 per credit, FIT’s program is among the pricier options in this list.

  • Location: Melbourne, FL
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $620 per credit

Online Database Administration Certificate Programs

Certificate programs represent a middle ground between a bachelor’s degree and a master’s program, or they may be available to individuals without a college education. Certificates can be attained in a comparably shorter amount of time and may serve to impart the relevant knowledge and information required for employment as a database manager. This option may be of particular interest to individuals who have already completed a computer science degree and are looking to sharpen their skills in database management.

UCLA

The University of California at Los Angeles is one of the largest public universities in the nation and offers a certificate in database management through its extension program. Prospective students may benefit from the prestigious UCLA name and the numerous internship opportunities offered by the program. UCLA’s database management certificate program comprises three required courses and five electives and emphasizes the use of SQL for database management.

  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $8,760

University of Denver

The University of Denver’s University College hosts a certificate program in database design and administration that can be completed online or through the university’s online learning program. Prospective students can choose between a four-course or a six-course program, with a relative price difference of roughly $4,000. The four-course option can be completed in as little as 6 months, while students choosing the more substantial option should expect to complete it in a year.

  • Location: Denver, CO
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Expected Time to Completion: Six to 12 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $12,896 to $19,344

Berkeley Extension

Berkeley (Extension) is another well-known California school that now hosts extensive options for distance learning. Among its offerings is a certificate program in data administration and management that consists of eight courses, two of which are electives.

Berkeley University’s certificate program is open to everyone, including individuals who have not completed a university degree. While Berkeley recommends that participants have some familiarity with a programming language, entering the program is not a requirement. At an estimated cost of $3,600, Berkeley’s program is the most affordable on our list.

  • Location: Berkeley, CA
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges
  • Expected Time to Completion: Six to 12 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $3,600

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