The demand for adept database administrators will continue to grow in the years to come, opening up innumerable opportunities. A career in this domain comes with both challenges and excellent growth potential.
At a time when ‘Big Data’ is the buzzword, organisations are looking for novel ways to leverage their colossal data to yield some robust business benefits. Not surprisingly, this has led to immense demand for database administrators (DBAs) to manage the varied databases. Before getting into the nitty-gritty of making a career in database administration, it’s important to have a fundamental understanding of the role of a DBA.
A database administrator looks into the installation, backing up, testing and security of the production databases within an IT environment. A DBA also plays an important role in undertaking disaster recovery, performance tuning, instance cloning, or doing a basic back-up routine for the database. Industry leaders say that the job opportunities in this sector are tremendous. As Sai Phanindra T, corporate trainer of SQL School, Hyderabad, puts it, “DBA jobs are evergreen as the actual need for a database administrator comes into play once a given project goes live on the production environment. Though DBAs are required to assist the project development and testing teams during the life cycle of a project, the most critical aspect of the project implementation, i.e., the maintenance of a project, needs the database administrator.”
How important are DBAs for an organisation?
The job of a DBA in an enterprise calls for spontaneity and pro-activeness, as the administrator has to maintain back-ups and pull through data to ensure its accessibility at all times. Vinay Pandey, technical director, Oracle, Koenig Solutions, New Delhi, shares, “This job is vital for mission-critical systems like banks and financial institutions, where one cannot afford any loss of data. A DBA has to devise policies to maintain backups of databases so that there is no hindrance in the functioning of an organisation, in case of any casualty. Here are some of the roles that a DBA performs for an organisation:
- Devising a scalable, steadfast and flexible database that will help in enhancing the growth of the organisation.
- Doing away with the bottlenecks that hamper database transactions and ensuring that the database remains swift and receptive.
- Playing the role of the watchdog and ensuring that the organisation’s data is safeguarded. This means the DBAs have to chart out strong security policies involving the data as well as users accessing that data.”
Vinay Pandey also believes that since organisations are shifting to ERP and CRM applications, there has been a rise in the demand for DBA professionals.
Of pre-requisites and skillsets
A basic knowledge in software development languages is the foremost requirement for a DBA, as platforms like SQL Server are used in organisations. Poorti Srivastava, centre head, Astrid Solutions, Bengaluru, says, “Knowledge of software languages makes the job of DBAs easy to a large extent. Apart from being familiar with core database concepts, they should have logical abilities and should also be aware of all the features available in the database tool that they are using. The DBA should have the ability to interact with the database through query languages like SQL and PL/SQL.” With the rapid rise of data consumption, the DBA should have the skill to support more data. “The capability to foresee and implement the required database changes to accommodate the organisation’s growth is a must-have skill of the DBA,” feels Srivastava.
Importance of certifications
Certifications in DB administration certainly boost the employability of a candidate in the recruitment market, believes Isha Malhotra, director, Tech Altum, Noida. “Certifications demonstrate your commitment and seriousness towards your domain, and they do increase the employability of a candidate. However, the skills go beyond certifications as recruiters are more interested to know what candidates can do, rather than their certifications. So, it’s important to arm yourself with the right skillsets,” says Malhotra. The available certifications for MySQL are Oracle Certified Associate, MySQL 5, Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL 5 Developer, Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL 5 Database Administrator, Oracle Certified Expert, and MySQL 5.1 Cluster Database Administrator.
Some handy tips to get hired
If you wish to explore this interesting field as a career option, here are some tips:
- Work hard and smart
- Practice and then implement
- Keep yourself upgraded with every new release and version
- Know the current market trends