Database administrators (DBAs) usually have a bachelor’s degree in an information- or computer- related subject. Before becoming an administrator, these workers typically get experience in a related field. Most database administrators have a bachelor’s degree in management information systems (MIS) or a computer-related field. Firms with large databases may prefer applicants who have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems. An MBA typically requires two years of schooling after the undergraduate level.

Database administrators need an understanding of database languages, the most common of which is SQL. Most database systems use some variation of SQL, and a DBA will need to become familiar with whichever language the firm uses. Certification is a way to demonstrate competence and may provide a jobseeker with a competitive advantage. Certification programs are generally offered by product vendors or software firms. Some companies may require their database administrators to be certified in the product they use.

Most database administrators do not begin their careers in that occupation. Many first work as database developers or data analysts. A database developer is a type of software developer who specializes in creating databases. The job of a data analyst is to interpret the information stored in a database in a way the firm can use. Depending on their specialty, data analysts can have different job titles, including financial analyst, market research analyst, and operations research analyst. After mastering these fields, they may become a database administrator and operations research analysts.

What are Database Administrators like?


Based on our pool of users, Database Administrators tend to be predominately investigative people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Database Administrators by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 931 Sokanu users

Are Database Administrators happy?


Database Administrators rank among the least happy careers. Overall they rank in the 22nd percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Database Administrator Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of Database Administrators

The most common degree held by Database Administrators is Business Management And Administration. 5% of Database Administrators had a degree in Business Management And Administration before becoming Database Administrators. That is over 1 times the average across all careers. Computer Science graduates are the second most common among Database Administrators, representing 4% of Database Administrators in the Sokanu user base, which is 1.5 times the average.

Database Administrator Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Database Administrator, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of Database Administrators % of population Multiple
Business Management And Administration 4.6% 6.5% 0.7×
Computer Science 4.4% 2.8% 1.5×
English Literature 2.5% 4.9% 0.5×
Communications 2.2% 3.3% 0.7×
Psychology 2.2% 6.9% 0.3×
Mathematics 1.7% 1.8% 0.9×
Political Science 1.7% 2.9% 0.6×
Biology 1.6% 3.6% 0.4×
Marketing And Marketing Research 1.6% 2.2% 0.7×
Anthropology And Archeology 1.6% 1.2% 1.3×
Economics 1.6% 3.9% 0.4×
Information Systems 1.4% 0.5% 2.8×
Environmental Science 1.3% 1.1% 1.2×
Liberal Arts 1.3% 1.9% 0.7×
History 1.3% 2.2% 0.6×
Accounting 1.2% 1.7% 0.7×

Database Administrator Education Levels

77% of Database Administrators have a bachelor's degree. 15% of Database Administrators have a master's degree.

No education 0%
High school diploma 0%
Associate's degree 8%
Bachelor's degree 77%
Master's degree 15%
Doctorate degree 0%

How to Become a Database Administrator

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