A database administrator degree can be completed through an online or on-campus program at an accredited university. Some colleges may offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in computer science, with an emphasis in database administration. Online universities often offer degrees in information systems and technology that give students the option of majoring in database management. Those who wish to pursue a database administrator degree should research the college or university, its courses, and professional certification options.
Prior to applying for admission to a database administrator degree program, a prospective student might want to consider the program's entry requirements. Many schools have admission qualifications such as minimum grade point averages (GPA), letters of recommendation, former degrees or diplomas, and standardized test scores. For example, in the United States, entry into an undergraduate program may require the completion of a high school diploma or G.E.D, and acceptable SAT scores. Gaining admission into a master's program in the United States is usually more competitive and requires letters of recommendation, moderate to high GRE® scores, work experience, and the completion of an undergraduate degree.
It is recommended that prospective students apply to at least three schools whether they are seeking an undergraduate or graduate database administrator degree. This helps degree seekers increase the odds of getting accepted into a desirable program, while remaining competitive in their search. After receiving one or more acceptances, the next step to getting a degree in database administration is to consult with an academic advisor from the student's chosen university. Academic advisors can help review degree program requirements, register students for courses, and address any concerns.
After fulfilling the initial paperwork and registration requirements, it is up to the degree seeker to keep taking the classes that are needed for degree completion. For instance, undergraduate computer science degrees with a concentration in database systems may entail taking general education courses in calculus and programming. A database administrator degree that helps students achieve professional certification may require courses in networking, database design, and web design.
Graduate level degrees may call for the completion of a thesis or capstone project in order to graduate. The project and research paper may be in addition to the program's required courses or it may be taken as a separate course towards the end of the student's last term. Typical projects involve designing database management systems based on current technology and available software vendors. In some instances, thesis projects may be further developed into marketable products or start-up businesses.