Database administrators are responsible for the storage and management of information in computer databases. Many database administrators earn degrees in computer-related subjects and then earn certification in database administration, which is sometimes required by employers to work in the job. You can earn a database administrator certification through software vendors, technical schools and computer organizations.
When seeking a database administrator certification, take into consideration your career goals to determine the best educational path for gaining certification. If you want to work or already do work exclusively with a specific database system, then becoming certified in the specific system might be more valuable than pursuing a more general database administration certification program. A database administrator certification for a specific vendor software often requires that you already have knowledge and experience working with the database software.
Getting a vendor-specific database administrator certification typically consists of taking an examination or examinations administered by the software vendor or an organization representing the vendor. The examinations measure working knowledge of the database software. Gaining the knowledge to pass the examinations can come from work experience or through training in the software from the vendor or a college or technical school. The requisite experience might also be gained through a combination of on-the-job and classroom training. It is important to study the requirements for the certification in which you are interested carefully as some may require that you have a specific number of years of work experience before you can take certification examinations.
You can find training classes through software vendors, colleges and technical schools that are designed to help people pass vendor certification examinations. The content of the training programs can vary depending upon the certification being pursued. Generally, though, training programs will cover topics in a way that is specific to the particular vendor's database software. Different vendors and school offer training in different ways, which might be online, in traditional classroom settings and in computer laboratories.
General database administrator certificates are offered that train prospective database administrators about the profession without the goal of helping them achieve certification in a specific vendor's software. Programs are often more introductory, introducing students to databases and what they do and the basics of administering them. Courses might include topics such as user management, how to create data warehouses, database management and security and other topics. More advanced courses might introduce students to the more popular vendor database software and teach them basics of the vendor-specific programs.