The Highest-Paying
Database Management Careers: 2021 List

Database management is one of the most versatile tech disciplines in the world. Apart from the attractive salaries available in this field, database management skills can open doors to career opportunities across industries. The highest-paying data management careers can be found in the tech, healthcare, finance, supply chain, and education industries.

You can become a database administrator, information security analyst, and more with this guide. It also includes details about the education you need to launch your career and entry-level positions you can get with little to no experience.

What Is Database Management?

Database management is the process of organizing, storing, and managing data on a computer or other software-based system. It covers the entire life cycle of data, which means you should be familiar with data governance, data integration, data warehouses, and data lakes.

Centralized, distributed, and federated systems are the three primary forms of database management systems. These data management systems can be cloud-based or hardware server-based. The kind of database management system you use depends on the industry and the company you work for.

Database Management Job Outlook and Salary Potential

Database management positions in the United States are projected to grow by 10 percent between 2019 and 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also reports that there will be 145,300 database administrator positions by 2029. Database management jobs are set to grow at an impressive rate compared to average projections.

According to BLS, the national average salary for database administrators is $98,860. This means they make about $48 hourly. Salaries could be higher or lower depending on several factors like location, job title, industry, and job description.

At a Glance: Highest-Paying Database Management Careers

While the job description is similar across industries, some workers earn more than others. The table below contains a list of the most rewarding database management careers in the United States.

The job growth projections below refer to the growth in job opportunities between 2019 and 2029. All data below has been sourced from the BLS unless otherwise stated.

Job Title Projected Job Growth Median Pay
Computer and Information Systems Manager 10% $151,150
Computer and Information Research Scientist 15%* $126,830
Data Scientist 15%* $119,413**
Network Architect 5% $116,780
Database Developer 22% $110,140
Chief Technology Officer (CTO) 4% $107,680
Information Security Analyst 31% $103,590
Database Administrator 10% $98,860
Computer Systems Analyst 7% $93,730
Teacher (Post-Secondary) 9% $80,790

*Job growth information has been sourced from BLS data on computer and information research scientists.
**Salary information has been sourced from ZipRecruiter.

The Best Database Management Careers: 2021 List

The Best Database Management
Careers: 2021 List

Keep in mind that not all database management roles require a degree in database data science. You can get some of these positions even if you have a degree in computer science or a related field. Take a look below at the best database management careers in 2021.

Min. Education Required: Master’s Degree in Database Administration, Data Science, Computer Science, or Information Technology

These managers direct tech-related activities for an organization. They guide IT teams during the day-to-day running of the company. An IT manager may also have a say on who gets hired in the department by actively contributing to the hiring process. IT managers approve new products ahead of replacements and new installations.

Apart from their technical skills, managers need business acumen and knowledge of accounting. They are often tasked with determining if a particular tech-related project is worth the price. They may also need to negotiate with other companies during the purchase of computer systems.

Min. Education Required: Master’s Degree in Data Science, Computer Science, or Information Technology

These experts are typically required to have advanced degrees in computer science, data science, or a related field. They work in the research and development department of companies, studying computing problems and providing solutions. Computer and information research scientists work in the medical, tech, science, and business sectors.

As a computer and information research scientist, you will be required to develop new database technology and find innovative uses for existing ones. Even if they may not manually create the technology, they work side by side with engineers to complete the development process.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science, Computer Science, or Information Technology

Some entry-level data scientist positions are available to those with a Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science. However, hiring companies usually look for candidates with more education. If you have a bachelor’s degree and are looking to upskill to find a more lucrative career, consider attending one of the top data science bootcamps of 2021.

Data scientists use a range of algorithms, scientific methods, and innovative systems to extract insight and make predictions from raw data. If you choose this career path, you will analyze, process, and model data to get actionable results. You can work across industries that rely on data as long as you have the required skills.

A data scientist must pay attention to details and work well with others. You also need to be adaptable, ready to learn new strategies, and excited to master emerging technologies in your field.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering, Computer Science, or Information Technology

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related field, you can land a rewarding career as a computer network architect. Your primary duties include building and maintaining data communication systems. This includes but is not limited to wide area networks (WANs) and intranets.

Network architects are expected to know everything about an organization’s short and long-term objectives. This allows them to develop custom-made data network systems. They are also in charge of securing these systems and preventing cyber attacks.

A computer network architect should be detail-oriented and have leadership, organizational and interpersonal skills. They should also have analytical minds that allow them to choose the most effective systems for an organization.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science, Computer Science, or Information Technology

These experts are often called database programmers, and they are responsible for organizing and securing data using computer software. They typically work with software developers, designing, developing, and modifying existing databases for organizations.

Database developers monitor database performance to ensure that it is secure and only authorized parties have access to the information. When an organization updates its database, the database programmer will be responsible for merging the old database with the new one without compromising security or losing critical information.

The most popular database language used by programmers is Structured Query Language (SQL). You need to have excellent communication, analytical, and problem-solving skills. You also need to pay attention to details.

Min. Education Required: Master’s Degree in Data Science, Computer Science, or Information Technology

With a master’s degree, you can become the CTO of a tech company or a technology department. You will be responsible for everyone in the department. You will also focus on generating policies that will help the company take full advantage of technology. As the CTO, you would be the executive head of the entire technology department within a company.

Since it is an executive position, you will need many years of management experience before you can get a position as a CTO. You will work closely with other executives to make major decisions.

You need to be a charismatic leader who knows how to take charge and manage a team while keeping the best interests of the organization in mind. This requires good communication skills and a strategic mindset.

Min Education Requirement: Bachelor’s Degree in Cyber Security, Computer Science, or Information Technology

An information security analyst focuses primarily on securing databases and computer systems. They analyze systems consistently to make sure that there are no flaws and data remains secure. It is one of the fastest-growing database management and information technology careers, with expected job growth of 31 percent.

A security analyst examines the existing systems and decides which software, firewall, or security patch would be ideal for maximum security. They also assist other members of staff. You will need good communication skills and problem-solving instincts. If you want to become an information security analyst, you should also have a bachelor’s degree.

Min Education Requirement: Bachelor’s Degree in Database Administration, Data Science, Computer Science, or Information Technology

A database administrator is an information technology specialist who is charged with sorting and securing data for an organization. They ensure that the database management software runs efficiently without glitches or unplanned interruptions. The information could include financial records or customer information.

Apart from maintaining existing systems, they install and revamp database management systems. They also train other employees of an organization to use new database systems and optimize its overall performance.

While a Bachelor’s Degree in Database Administration is important for this role, you can also succeed with a degree in information technology, computer science, or a similar field. You also need to have excellent leadership, collaboration, and problem-solving skills.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Information Technology

Computer systems analysts are IT specialists who bridge the gap between information technology and business. They analyze computer systems, compare them to business strategies, and recommend the most efficient options to maximize performance. Depending on their findings, they may be required to design new database systems.

During the installation of new systems, computer systems analysts ensure that everything happens smoothly and according to the company’s specifications. Computer systems analysts are always researching and testing new technologies to add new, advanced features.

You need to be a creative and analytical thinker if you want to thrive as a computer systems analyst. It’s also essential that you have interpersonal and communication skills. You will be working closely with others in the IT department while liaising with management.

Min. Education Required: Master’s Degree in Data Science, Computer Science, or Information Technology

With a master’s degree, you can secure a job as a post-secondary school instructor. You can teach database management at community colleges, bootcamps, traditional universities, professional development programs, and more. Apart from teaching, you will be responsible for grading exams and assessing the ability of your students.

You must have innovative ideas if you want to apply new and improved methods of teaching. You will need to develop instructional plans, lessons, and work directly with management to build curriculums. Teachers should have excellent interpersonal skills. They must be empathetic listeners, ask purposeful questions, be patient, and be self-confident.

What Education Do I Need to Pursue a Career in Database Management?

Employers typically require a Bachelor’s Degree in Database Administration, Computer Science, or related fields. However, you may find an entry-level position if you have an associate degree from a community college. You can get a bachelor’s degree in four years from an in-person or online university.

If you want to advance your career and seek out managerial positions, you will benefit from getting a graduate degree in database management. Professional certifications will also help you gain more recognition among your peers and prospective employers.

Common Entry-Level Database
Management Jobs

If you have an associate or bachelor’s degree with no work experience, you will likely be able to secure an entry-level position. You’re not going to earn as much money as an experienced database manager, but these positions offer vital work experience and a doorway into your industry of interest.

Junior Database Administrator

Entry-Level Pay: $62,008

You will have similar responsibilities as a regular database administrator, but you will earn less and work under supervision. As you gain experience and prove yourself, you may be able to receive a raise or promotion to a senior-level database administrator.

Entry-Level SQL Developer

Entry-Level Pay: $57,161

You can get a job as a SQL specialist even if you don’t have any prior experience. You must be a master of SQL programming, HTML, JavaScript to develop quality database solutions. If you are interested in database development, this is a great starting point.

Junior Data Analyst

Entry-Level Pay: $51,686

A data analyst gathers and analyzes data to draw meaningful conclusions. As with most other junior positions, these professionals work under the guidance of senior data analysts. They may be tasked with smaller projects or act as a member of an analysis team.

Entry-Level Market Research Analyst

Entry-Level Pay: $49,611

Market research analysts analyze findings on consumers and the sales market to predict a product’s success. They use business intelligence skills and tools to perform their duties. This is a good choice if you are interested in both business and database management.

Computer Support Specialist

Entry-Level Pay: $44,918

These experts provide technical support for clients and employees within a company. These professionals can offer face-to-face support or work over digital channels like social media and email. They may also help people via phone calls.

Can I Study Database Management Online?

Yes, you can learn database management online. If you opt for a university degree, Baker College, Liberty University, and Western Governors University provide fully online Bachelor’s Degrees in Database Management. The curriculum structures for these online programs are similar to traditional schooling making the two options equally effective.

You can also take database management courses on massive open online course (MOOC) platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and edX. These online schools and classes are more flexible than in-person schools. While most online degrees are instructor-led, stand-alone courses are often self-paced.

Should I Pursue a
Database Management Job?

Yes, you should pursue a career in database management. As you can see from the content above, these jobs all have positive future projections and high salary prospects. The fact that you can find a job in any industry that relies on a database system for daily operations helps too.

Since there are several related disciplines with just as many job prospects, switching from database administration to another tech career would be a breeze. If you want to build a lifelong career, getting an education in database management is the first step in the right direction.

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