Online Database Management Degrees

If you love working with data and want to learn how to apply data management concepts to all aspects of enterprises, then an online database degree may be an ideal fit for you. Online database management programs teach you the tools and know-how to design, program, administer, and secure databases. This academic path can lead to careers in database administration, information security analysis, and information systems management, among others.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this field is projected to grow 11% from 2014 to 2024, driven largely by the need for companies and organizations to store, organize, and secure data. An online database management degree will provide you with the flexibility to master the tools and techniques of this field at your convenience.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in database management, read on. We’ve provided a comprehensive guide detailing the various opportunities available to students earning their database programming degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level, including additional certifications you can earn to maximize your career potential.

Online Database Management Degree Overview

Degree Avg Degree Cost Avg Loan Default Rate Time Commitment Early Career Pay Mid-Career Pay Unemployment Rate
Associate $9,979 11.5% 2 years N/A N/A 8.3%
Bachelor's $17,026 16.6% 4 years $48,000 $85,000 4.3%
Master's $20,549 6.3% 2 years $79,000 $104,000 2.9%
Whether you are new to the field, or looking to advance in your current career, you should weigh the costs and time of getting a new degree against its benefits. There is no one-size-fits-all degree. The best choice for you will depend on your current educational background, financial standing, employment history, and area of interest. For instance, those with no experience may want to consider an associate degree, due to its shorter time commitment and lower cost. If finances are tight for you, then you should prioritize the student loan debt and default categories, as you will want to choose a degree that offers you the best chance of improving your financial standing with minimal risk. If your employer or someone else is paying for your education, then you might want to consider the degree that will offer you the highest salary. All salary information is sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and/or PayScale

While an associate degree in database management provides you with the foundation necessary to get started in this exciting career, most database administrators and IT workers are required by employers to have a bachelor’s degree. Prior professional experience in the field may help a candidate who does not have the requisite baccalaureate degree. However, larger companies will insist on at least a bachelor’s degree, and some require a master’s in addition to work experience. An online bachelor’s in database programming or an online bachelor’s in database management will help you meet that threshold.

Choosing Your Database Management Careers

Average Database Management Salaries

$131,600
$90,120
$77,810
$79,530
$81,710

Information Systems Manager

Salary: $131,600
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
15% 53,700 Bachelor's N/A

Information systems managers help determine the IT goals of an organization and plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities to accomplish those goals. They direct the installation, maintenance and upgrade of computer software, assess costs of new IT infrastructure projects and benefits, determine staffing, and negotiate with vendors. An online bachelor’s in database programming, informatics, or a related area is required as is experience in a relevant field. To be successful in this field you will need the requisite IT skills, business, leadership, communication, and decision-making skills.

Information Security Analyst

Salary: $90,120
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
18% 82,900 Bachelor's N/A

Information specialists design and implement measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems. Responsibilities include installing software, monitoring networks for breaches, researching the latest trends, and implementing protocols. The employment of information specialists is expected to grow much faster than average because of the need to protect information and systems from hackers. Earning a bachelor’s in database programming online will prepare you for this position, and experience in a related occupation is typically required. Being innovative, analytical, and proficient at problem-solving are necessary traits.

Network Administrator

Salary: $77,810
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
8% 382,600 Bachelor's N/A

Network administrators are tasked with managing the day-to-day operations of network and computer systems. They determine an organization’s computer hardware needs, install hardware and software, collect data to optimize performance, and maintain security, among other duties. A bachelor’s degree in computer network and systems administration or related area is required. Rapid advancements occur in the field, and administrators will have to keep up with those innovations and developments. You should have the requisite computer skills, be analytical, an effective communicator, and a problem-solver.

Database Programmer

Salary: $79,530
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
-8% 328,600 Bachelor's N/A

Database/computer programmers write and test code so that computer applications and software programs function effectively. Programmers typically have bachelor’s degrees in computer science or database programming degrees. They use computer programming languages such as C++ and Java to create and test code, update programs, and sometimes design software. Earning a bachelor’s in database programming online will provide you with the education and training to master these skills. To be successful in the field you will need to be analytical, detail-oriented, and have the concentration to spend long periods of time writing code. A slight decline in job growth is expected due to a trend among companies to hire programmers in countries where wages are lower. However, the high cost of managing projects overseas sometimes offsets any savings, and more companies are turning to programmers in the U.S. to fill positions.

Database Administrator

Salary: $81,710
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
11% 120,000 Bachelor's N/A

Database Administrators (DBAs) organize, store, and secure data using specialized software. A bachelor’s degree in database programming or computer science prepares professionals for this field, as does related work experience. The responsibilities of a DBA include backing up data, ensuring the database operates efficiently, making modifications to solve problems, and merging old databases into new ones. These are skills that can be developed through a bachelor’s in database management online or a bachelor’s in database programming earned online. To be successful in this field, you need analytical and communication skills, logical thinking, and a keen eye for detail.

Online Database Management Degrees

Associate

An associate degree in database management provides you with the foundation to get started in this career. Online database management programs offer you the opportunity to earn an associate degree in two years with flexibility, in addition to accelerated learning options. Associate-level online database programming programs provides entry-level training in programming, database administration, catalog coordination, etc., at a cost of under $10,000. This credential serves as a prerequisite for a bachelor’s degree, which increases job prospects and potential earnings in database technology. Graduates of an associate program will be prepared to earn their online bachelor’s in database management or programming.

Sample Courses
Database Recovery and Security, Queries and Report Resolution, Database Application Installation and Programming
Common Degrees
Associate degree in database administration, associate degree in computer science or information systems
Potential Jobs
Programmer, database administrator, database technician, catalog coordinator
Average Income
$79,530 for programmers, $81,710 for database administrators, and $77,810 for database technicians
Employment Prospects
From 2014-2024, 8% decline for programmers, 11% increase for database administrators, and 8% increase for database technicians

Bachelor’s

Most database administrators have a bachelor's degree. This credential will prepare you for IT administration in a number of settings ranging from companies, civil agencies, non-profit organizations to educational agencies. An online bachelor's in database programming, database management, computer science, computer information systems with a database systems concentration, or computer and informatics will qualify you for a career as a database administrator, data analyst, or database developer. Graduates who complete online database programming programs at the bachelor’s level will also be prepared to earn enter a master’s program.

Sample Courses
Human-Computer Interactions, Information Systems Architecture, Object-Oriented Learning, Web page Applications, Database Systems
Common Degrees
BS, database design and administration, BS, computer science, BS, information technology
Potential Jobs
Database administrator, data analyst
Average Income
$81,710 for database administrators and $80,110 for data analysts
Employment Prospects
From 2014-2024, 11% increase for database administrators and 34% increase for data analyst

Master’s

Although not required, some larger companies prefer their DBAs to have master’s degrees. The degree will prepare you to work with large amounts of data and the latest software and technology used to manage it. It is a two-year degree program in which students take courses such as database warehousing, data mining, database design, and information security. You will need to have a bachelor’s degree in database management, computer science, or a related field. Online database management programs give you the option to earn the degree at your own pace. Job prospects include database manager, network administrator, or consultant. Many students earn their master’s after earning a bachelor’s in database programming online.

Sample Courses
Database warehousing, Database Security, Database Performance Tuning
Common Degrees
MS, computer science, MS., information technology, MS, database design and administration
Potential Jobs
Database manager, network administrator or consultant
Average Income
$131,600 for database managers and $77,810 for network administrators
Employment Prospects
From 2014-2024, 15% increase for database managers, 8% increase for network administrators

Doctorate

A doctorate in computer information systems concentrating in databases puts the holder at the highest echelons of the profession. A PhD in database technology management or doctor of management degree in information systems are among the degrees that can be pursued in this field, focusing on concentrations such as database systems, operating systems, security, and networking. Earning a doctorate entails a seven-year program. Candidates should already hold database programming degrees.

Sample Courses
Data Mining, Database Design, Database Management, Algorithmic Theory
Common Degrees
DBA and PhD
Potential Jobs
University professor or researcher, computer information systems administrator
Average Income
$72,470 for university professors or researchers and $77180 for computer information systems administrators
Employment Prospects
From 2014-2024, 13% increase for professors or researchers and 8% increase for computer information systems administrators

Professional Requirements

IBM Info Management

IBM has numerous information management and database technology certifications, including LINUX, UNIX, Data Warehousing, and DB2 for z/OS. They certify that you are effectively trained in the use of the company’s software, often necessary for the effective implementation of a company’s data management initiatives. Once earned, the user has the right to display the information management professional certification mark.

Is it required?

Varies

How long will it take?

Varies

ICCP Certified Business Intelligence Professional

Writer: ICCP certified business, data and computer professionals. The main certifications are ​Associate Business Data Management Professional, Business Data Management Professional, Certified Business Intelligence Professional, and Certified Data Professional – Data Management, each with its own requirements.

Is it required?

Recommended

How long will it take?

Varies

ICCP Certified Data Professional

ICCP has developed a comprehensive set of certification programs for data scientists, certifying their proficiency in meeting the needs of clients to address an organization’s regulatory compliance obligations. ICCP has a number of certifications: Certified Data Professional; Certified Business Professional; Certified Data Governance Professional; Certified Big Data Professional; and Certified Data Scientist.

Is it required?

Varies

How long will it take?

Varies

Microsoft Technology Associate Certification

Those considering a career in technology may want to pursue Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) credentialing, an introductory Microsoft certification. It addresses fundamental technical concepts, validates your core technical knowledge, and enhances your technical skills. You must pass one of three tracks — IT Infrastructure, Database, or Developer — depending on your interests and career goals.

Is it required?

Varies

How long will it take?

Varies

MCSA: SQL Server

The MCSA: SQL Server certification will validate your skills in building and implementing databases and signifies that the designee is a database developer. There are three SQL Server certifications: MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development certification; MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration certification; and MCSA: SQL 2016 Business Intelligence Development certification.

Is it required?

Varies

How long will it take?

Varies

MCSE: Business Intelligence

The MCSE Business Intelligence certification shows you have the skills necessary for designing, building, and deploying SQL Server business intelligence (BI) solutions within organizations. It will qualify the holder of the certification for a position as a BI and reporting engineer. There are five required exams: Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014; Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 Databases; Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014; Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server; and Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server.

Is it required?

Yes

How long will it take?

Varies

MCSE: Data Platform

The MCSE: Data Platforms certification certifies your skills in SQL Server administration and in building enterprise-scale data solutions. It qualifies you for careers such as database analyst and database designer. There are five exams: Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014; Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 Databases; Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014; Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases; and Designing Database Solutions for SQL Server.

Is it required?

Yes

How long will it take?

Varies

MongoDB/NoSQL

MongoDB certifies Database Administrators (DBAs) and Application Developers. It is a trending occupation and a person with these skills is highly compensated. Those with the certification are versed in building and maintaining MongoDB applications. There are two exams: MongoDB Certified DBA Associate and MongoDB Certified Developer Associate.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

Varies

Oracle 11g

The Oracle 11g certification process teaches you “how to perform complex, hands-on activities through labs, study and practice,” according to Oracle University. To earn the certification you must follow two steps. Step 1: pass one of these exams: Oracle Database 12c SQL 1Z0-071; Oracle Database 12c: SQL Fundamentals 1Z0-061; Oracle Database 11g: SQL Fundamentals I 1Z0-051; or Oracle Database SQL Expert 1Z0-047. Step 2: You must take the Oracle Database 11g: Administration I 1Z0-052 exam.

Is it required?

Varies

How long will it take?

Varies

Oracle 12c

There are two steps to earn this certification. Step 1 is to pass one of four exams: Oracle Database 12c SQL 1Z0-071; Oracle Database 12c: SQL Fundamentals 1Z0-061; Oracle Database 11g: SQL Fundamentals I 1Z0-051; or Oracle Database SQL Expert 1Z0-047. Step 2 is to take the Oracle Database 12c: Installation and Administration 1Z0-062 exam.

Is it required?

Varies

How long will it take?

Varies