Anyone interested in the information technology field should consider becoming a database administrator (DBA).

Database administrators are highly trained tech gurus who utilize cutting-edge software to store and organize their company's critical data. DBAs play an important role in coordinating the systems that data analysts use for translating numbers into strategic business plans.

In today's digital world, DBAs are in high demand to ensure organizations can easily access information on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphone apps. They're also being hired to create tough databases that can withstand the threat of cyber security breaches. According to the BLS, the employment of database administrators is expected to rise by 11 percent, creating around 13,400 jobs through 2024.

The following is a brief job profile showing what database administrators do.

Responsibilities of Database Administrators

Database administrators control the development of a company's databases to keep vital data available only to users with authorized access. DBAs work closely with information systems managers to customize database solutions to corporate needs. System DBAs oversee technical aspects of database administration, including debugging code and upgrading software. Application DBAs focus on managing a specific application working with the database. Typical daily duties for database administrators are securing organizational data, restoring lost data, creating new user permissions, testing modifications, merging old databases, and conduct performance tuning support. It's the responsibility of DBAs to continually monitor their database systems to ensure efficient, error-free functioning.

Work Environment for Database Administrators

The BLS reports that the United States employs 113,770 database administrators in a variety of workplace settings. The highest percentage (15 percent) works in the computer systems design industry, especially data processing firms. Other DBAs find jobs in private corporations, financial institutions, insurance companies, retail stores, healthcare facilities, and universities with large databases. Some database administrators are self-employed as independent contractors to consult with several companies for their IT needs. Nearly all DBAs work a full-time schedule, but one-fifth works overtime beyond the normal 40-hour work week. Ongoing maintenance of databases requires DBAs to remain on call and quickly remedy any access errors.

Education Requirements for Database Administrators

Becoming a DBA requires holding at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited, four-year higher education institution. Most database administrators have majored in information technology, management information systems, computer science, or information security. Some select universities will confer a baccalaureate degree in data administration. Going the extra step to attend graduate school can expand your DBA job options, especially when advancing into management. Master the database languages of SQL, OQL, XQuery, and SQL/XML. After graduation, you'll begin building your resume with entry-level jobs, such as data analyst or software developer. Certification can also help pave the path to promotion. Microsoft offers the Certified Database Administrator (MCBA) credential. There's also the two-test IBM Professional DBA Certification program.

Database administrators are IT professionals who utilize their outstanding analytical thinking skills to organize data in a meaningful pattern that's easily retrievable. DBAs watch over the database's performance to fix minor errors before major consequences set in. The U.S. News and World Report has recognized database administrators for having America's #6 best technology job. Not only is the field growing, but it's providing a lucrative annual yearly salary of $84,250. Now that you know what a database administrator does, you can determine whether planning security measures to protect organizational data is your calling.