Online Degrees in Database Administration

Many undergraduate and graduate degrees thrive on person-to-person interaction. While database administration students may occasionally be required to work in groups, the electronic atmosphere of database administration makes it ideal for online degree programs. Learn what it takes to earn an online degree in database administration.

Interactive technologies such as Adobe Connect, Blackboard and WebCT make connecting over distance more feasible, especially in the realm of database administration degrees. Students are able to easily interact with each other and with the professor. Likewise, professors have the ability to send lectures, notes and assignments to students, and assignments can be easily submitted through electronic avenues.

Self-Paced vs. Real-Time

Distance learning programs in database administration are usually offered in one of two types: self-paced and real-time. Self-paced programs allow students to work through coursework and degree requirements at their leisure. Real-time programs are more traditional and require students to combine schedules with professors and other students to complete assignments at fixed times.

Equipment Standards

An online degree in database administration requires a higher scale of technology than most other online programs. Most require a computer, a steady internet connection, word processing software, and the ability to watch videos. Database administration students may be required to get a brawnier machine, specific software development programs and tools for accessing computer hardware. Check with a school’s department administrator for more details, including information on specific technology requirements.

Student Profile #1 - Samantha

Samantha truly enjoys the ins and outs of database administration. Her associate’s degree formed a knowledge and experience base, which she used to get into the workplace. Her fulfilling, two-year experience was the main factor in her decision to return to school and pursue a bachelor’s degree.

Online Associate Degree in Database Administration (2 years)

Online associate degrees in database administration create a foundation for students who are eager to get into the workforce. Year one offers general classes in English and Calculus, as well as introduce core topics such as IT project tools and web design. Year two finalizes the degree with advanced programming and database queries. The following guide profiles the coursework within four semesters of an associate’s degree in database administration.

First Semester (Freshman) Credits Overview
English Composition I 3 Provides basic instruction in writing and analysis of Prose.
College Algebra 3 Modeling and problem solving using linear, quadratic, polynomial, rational functions, exponential, and logarithmic functions, equations, and inequalities; graphing, systems of equations, and matrices.
Logic and Design for IT 3 An introduction to Information Technology, including trends and career opportunities.
Operating Systems 3 An introduction of how operating systems work and examines the building blocks of all modern operating systems such as processes, threads, file systems, input/output, memory management, and security.
Network Fundamentals 4 Provides the basic knowledge and skills to implement a simple local area network, including the OSI network model, topologies, transmission media, network devices, Ethernet technologies, IP addressing, and subnets.
Second Semester (Freshman) Credits Overview
English Composition II 3 Provides instruction in rhetoric, academic research, critical reading, and written analysis of text.
Lab Science Elective 4 Students can choose from any number of Advisor-approved science courses.
IT Project Tools 3 Provides basic knowledge and skills to be an active member of an IT project team.
Website Design 3 Provides the knowledge and skills to create and manage websites using tools such as Dreamweaver and Dynamic HTML.
Introductory Programming 4 Introduction to the Java programming language. Structured program design is emphasized.
Third Semester (Sophomore) Credits Overview
Intro to Speech Communication 3 Introduces the major areas of human communication, emphasizing public speaking, interpersonal, and small group skills.
Fine Arts/Humanities/Social Sciences Elective 3 Students can choose from any number of Advisor-approved Arts/Hum/SS courses.
Advanced Programming 4 Advanced programming techniques and concepts are presented using Java programming, to include inheritance, polymorphism, graphical user interfaces, event handling, exception handling, files and streams.
Data Modeling 3 Introduces database design by performing conceptual data modeling to support information requirements.
e-Commerce Technology 3 Introduces student to the role of how information technology supports business goals, and from a technical perspective, the issues of electronic commerce.
Fourth Semester (Sophomore) Credits Overview
Lab Science Elective 4 Students can choose from any number of Advisor-approved science courses.
Fine Arts/Humanities/Social Sciences Elective 3 Students can choose from any number of Advisor-approved Arts/Hum/SS courses.
Database & Queries 4 Introduces the student to Structured Query Language (SQL) and how to utilize SQL to retrieve information from a database.
Network Client Support 4 Covers hardware and software installation and configuration issues for network client PCs.

Student Profile #2 - Gavin

Gavin knew exactly what he wanted to pursue when he enrolled in a database administration major- computer architecture. His passion drove him to find an internship during the summer after his junior year, and he never looked back, earning a job with the same company after completing his degree.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Database Administration (4 years)

Four to five years is the average timeline for the completion of a bachelor’s degree in database administration. The program teaches students advanced SQL, database application development, and database performance tuning. In their senior year, students usually engage in a capstone project, culminating and synthesizing the concepts they learned throughout the degree program. Typical junior and senior years of a database administration degree may look like the following:

Fifth Semester (Junior) Credits Overview
Advanced SQL 3 Presents advanced SQL queries and knowledge on how to write more efficient SQL queries.
Stored Procedures 3 Expands knowledge of SQL and introduces PL/SQL.
Data Warehousing 3 Introduces data warehousing concepts and technologies. Focuses on design and implementation of a data warehouse utilizing an enterprise level database.
Enterprise Java Programming 4 Opportunities to use object-oriented design techniques and the Java language to create applications utilizing database connectivity.
Probability and Statistics I 3 An introductory course in probability and statistics, including statistical terminology, descriptive data, linear regression, and probabilities.
Sixth Semester (Junior) Credits Overview
Database Administration I 3 Introduces database administration. Students learn to install, configure and maintain an enterprise-level database.
Database Application
Development
3 Development of database applications using Oracle forms and their deployment over the Internet.
Computer Architecture and
Operations
4 Introduces the organization of hardware and software within modern computer systems, examines the different levels of computer architecture and the functions performed at each level.
Writing for the Workplace 3 Study and practice of workplace communication required of professionals who write as part of their jobs, developing a sense of audience and purpose, writing in teams, and learning problem-solving strategies.
Survey of Calculus 3 Designed for students in majors other than the natural sciences, especially business and economics.
Seventh Semester (Senior) Credits Overview
Fine Arts/Humanities/Social Sciences Elective 3 Students can choose from any number of Advisor-approved Arts/Hum/SS courses.
History/Government Elective 3 Students can choose from any number of Advisor-approved Hist/Govt courses.
Database Administration II 3 Introduces database backup and recovery for an Oracle database.
Systems Analysis and Design 4 Exposure to the modern techniques and methodologies needed to plan, analyze, design and implement a computer based system.
IT Upper-level Elective 3 Students can choose from any number of Advisor-approved upper-level IT courses.
Eighth Semester (Senior) Credits Overview
Fine Arts/Humanities/Social Sciences Elective 3 Students can choose from any number of Advisor-approved Arts/Hum/SS courses.
Database Performance Tuning 3 Concepts and techniques of optimizing the performance of an enterprise level relational database.
Information Technology Security 3 Begins with examining the business continuity mandate for securing IT assets, moves through physical versus logical security.
IT Upper-level Elective 3 Students can choose from any number of Advisor-approved upper-level IT courses.
Capstone 4 Students from each information technology career cluster are aligned in teams and assigned a significant project that simulates experiences expected to be encountered in today’s workplace.

Student Profile #3 - Andrea

Andrea landed a job fine-tuning the performance of database systems after finishing her bachelor’s degree, but kept hearing about things she did not learn in her studies. The more she listened, the more she realized that she wanted to enter the specialty of data mining. A master’s degree in database administration took her where she needed to go.

Online Master’s Degrees in Database Administration

A master’s degree in database administration focuses with laser-beam precision into one specialization of the field. Because of this focus, it often takes two years beyond a bachelor’s degree. Universities and colleges offer two separate tracks, and students can pursue one or the other depending on long-term goals. Students who see themselves continuing on to a PhD program may want to consider the thesis option. The thesis, a long and publishable paper, is reviewed by a board of professors and defended by the student. The non-thesis option may look more appealing to career-focused individuals, culminating with comprehensive exams or projects.

Each master’s specialization varies by institution, department and subject. It is important to seek out information and advice before enrolling in a program. Advisors are often experienced professors within the department and can help find a track that fits a student’s career and future goals. Due to the lack of continuity between database administration programs, pinning down the specifics can be difficult. The following is a solid representation of potential core course offerings and requirements:

Master’s Program Core Courses Overview
Orientation to Graduate Studies An introduction to the planning skills and work habits which create an atmosphere of graduate study success.
Information Technology Foundations A fundamental study of technology and its applications, as well as the economic and social issues they have raised.
Information Technology Infrastructure A study of systems analysis and design, using selected engineering and management science techniques and practices.
Information Systems Analysis, Modeling, and Design A study of systems analysis and design, using selected engineering and management science techniques and practices.
Information Technology Project Management An examination of the fundamental principles and practice of managing programs and projects in an information processing and high-tech environment.
Economics and Financial Analysis for Technology Managers A study of the financial tools managers use to assess the financial conditions of a firm.
Relational Database Systems An introduction to relational databases, one of the most pervasive technologies today.
Advanced Relational/Object-Relational Database Systems A continuation of the study of relational database systems, exploring advanced concepts.
Distributed Database Management Systems An introduction to the development of distributed database management, focusing on concepts and technical issues.
Data Warehouse Technologies An introduction to the concepts needed for successfully designing and implementing a data warehouse.
Data Mining An overview of the data mining component of the knowledge discovery process.
Database Security An overview of both the theory of and applications for providing effective security in database management systems.
Database Systems Administration An introduction to the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to successfully administer operational database systems.

Online PhD in Database Administration

PhDs often require four years beyond a master’s degree, filled with research, coursework and real-world experience. All this culminates in a long paper called a dissertation, which is reviewed by a board of experts and defended by the candidate. The paper, the review and the defense are all requirements to earn this coveted degree.

The requirements for a database administration doctorate program mirrors those of a master’s degree, and many institutions count master’s coursework toward the PhD. The variance usually lies in the number of classes a student must take and in the amount of research required to successfully defend a dissertation.

Schools with Database Programs

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SCHOOL NAME CITY, STATE STUDENT POPULATION SCHOOL TYPE TUITION PROGRAM TYPE PROGRAMS
University of Phoenix-Online CampusPhoenix, AZ307,871Private, 4-year$9,216Both
Associate
  • Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration
Bachelor’s
  • Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration
Associate - ONLINE
  • Associate of Arts with a Concentration in Information Technology/Database Development
Liberty UniversityLynchburg, VA64,096Private, 4-year$18,562Online
Bachelor’s - ONLINE
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management Information System Database
American Public University SystemCharles Town, WV50,838Private, 4-year$6,000Campus
Associate
  • Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician
  • Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration
University of Maryland-University CollegeAdelphi, MD42,713Public, 4-year$6,024Online
Master’s - ONLINE
  • Master of Science in Information Technology: Database Systems Technology
  • Master of Science in Information Technology:Database Systems Technology
North Carolina State University at RaleighRaleigh, NC34,767Public, 4-year$5,748Campus
Master’s
  • Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration
Utah Valley UniversityOrem, UT33,395Public, 4-year$4,122Campus
Bachelor’s
  • Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician
American River CollegeSacramento, CA31,750Public, 2-yearNRCampus
Associate
  • Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration
Western Governors UniversitySalt Lake City, UT30,970Private, 4-year$5,780Campus
Bachelor’s
  • Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration
Palm Beach State CollegeLake Worth, FL29,354Public, 4-year$2,358Online
Bachelor’s - ONLINE
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Management: Database Administration