Starting a career as a database administrator requires a combination of education, skills, and experience. The amount of data we generate has increased as the internet and technology have become more vital components of our lives. As a result, the demand for qualified database administrators who can manage this data has increased.


Database administrators (DBAs) are in high demand right now, and firms are prepared to pay enormous salaries to those who are qualified. A recent poll ranked database administration as the world’s fourth top technology job.


Starting a career as a database administrator comes with many promising opportunities that provide long-term job security and satisfaction.


In this piece, I will guide you through the details of this career and how to venture into it.


Who is a Database Administrator?


A database administrator is a computer and database expert who organizes, manages, stores and retrieves data for clients and businesses. They are in charge of maintaining the integrity and accessibility of modest to large databases or data sets. A database administrator oversees the management of a database and ensures that it is always accessible. They play an important role in ensuring that the data generated by businesses and users is secure and always available.


Steps to Starting a Career as a Database Administrator


  1. Obtain a Relevant Degree:

    You need to pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, information systems, or a similar discipline. This will give you the required core knowledge in data management and administration.

  2. Attend Boot Camps & Self-Study:

    A career as a database administrator can also be started without a bachelor’s degree in a related field. This is achievable through attending data science-focused coding boot camps and self-studying with online courses.

  3. Develop Technical Skills:

    Concentrate on understanding popular database management systems such as MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, and PostgreSQL and programming languages such as SQL, Python, or Java). Additionally, become familiar with operating systems such as Windows and Linux, which are widely utilised in database setups.

  4. Gain Practical Experience:

    Look for internships or entry-level work in companies that deal with databases. You can gain important experience by working as a data entry officer or a database assistant.

  5. Work on Personal Projects:

    Work on personal database projects to improve your skills. Create and manage databases, write queries, and experiment with different scenarios to gain a better understanding of real-world applications.

  6. Obtain Certifications:

    You can consider obtaining certifications from reputable organizations like Oracle or Microsoft. Certifications can enhance your credibility and demonstrate your expertise to potential employers.

  7. Build a Portfolio:

    Develop a portfolio of your practical projects, credentials, and any relevant professional experience. This can be given during job interviews and will highlight your strengths to potential employers.

  8. Join Professional Associations:

    You must join relevant professional associations and online database administration forums. Networking with professionals in the field might bring useful insights and opportunities.

  9. Develop Soft Skills:

    As a data administrator, strong communication skills are vital for collaborating with different teams effectively. Additionally, honing problem-solving and analytical thinking abilities will help you efficiently analyze and resolve data-related issues.

  10. Continue Learning:

    Stay informed of the newest database administration trends, technologies, and best practices. To keep your skills sharp, attend workshops, seminars, and online courses.


Areas of Specialization as a Database Administrator


  1. Cloud Database Administrator: You can specialise in database management for cloud systems such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
  2. Data Backup and Recovery Specialist: You can specialise in planning and implementing strong data backup and recovery methods, including maintaining data integrity in the event of a disaster or system failure.
  3. Database Management System(DBMS) Expert: You can focus on becoming an expert in specific database management systems like Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server or PostgreSQL.
  4. NoSQL Database Administrator: You can specialise in the administration of NoSQL databases like MongoDB, Cassandra, or Couchbase. They are often employed for dealing with unstructured and semi-structured data, and this specialisation is appropriate for organisations that deal with a variety of data types.
  5. Database Security Specialist: You can concentrate on database security and compliance. Your responsibilities will include adopting security measures, encryption, access restrictions, and auditing to protect sensitive data from unauthorised access or breaches.
  6. Big Data Administrator: You can concentrate on large data platforms such as Hadoop, Apache Spark, or other distributed storage and processing solutions. This specialisation is appropriate for organisations dealing with huge amounts of data and analytics.
  7. Data Migration Specialist: You can focus on data migration projects, which entail moving data from one database system to another or from on-premises to cloud environments while maintaining data integrity and causing minimal disturbance.


Universities You Can Study In


  1. Covenant University
  2. University of Nigeria, Nsukka
  3. University of Portharcourt
  4. Nnamdi Azikwe University
  5. University of Uyo
  6. Babcock University
  7. National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN)
  8. Nile University of Nigeria
  9. Nasarawa State University
  10. American University of Nigeria
  11. University of Ibadan
  12. Igbinedion University
  13. Lead City University


It’s important to note that obtaining a university degree is not the only path to becoming a Database Administrator. There are alternative routes that can lead to a career in this field. One option is to pursue online education that specifically focuses on Database Administration. There are various online courses and certifications available that provide in-depth training in database management systems, SQL, and other relevant technologies.

Ultimately, the path you take may depend on your individual circumstances, preferences, and learning style. Some individuals may find that a university degree in computer science or a related field offers a comprehensive education and opens up additional career opportunities beyond Database Administration. On the other hand, others might prefer the flexibility and practicality of specific online courses that focus solely on the skills needed for a Database Administrator role.

Regardless of the educational path chosen, gaining hands-on experience and practical skills is essential in this field. Internships, projects, or working on real-world databases can provide valuable experience and make you more marketable to potential employers

Places to Work


  1. Financial Institutions
  2. Healthcare Organizations
  3. Educational Institutions
  4. Technology Companies
  5. Government Agencies
  6. Consulting Firms
  7. Research Institutions
  8. Oil and Gas Companies


Salary of Database Administrators


The average salary of a database administrator in Nigeria ranges from N100,00 to N700,000 monthly. This may vary depending on the level of experience and organization being worked for.



In conclusion, while a university degree in computer science can be a solid foundation, it’s not the only way to become a Database Administrator. Online education specific to database administration or studying computer-related courses can also be viable paths to enter this field. Starting a career as a database administrator has a lot of perks including job opportunities and a juicy salary. This career is ranked the 15th best STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) job. However, it requires that you give in a good amount of hard work and consistency to achieve this career path.



Good luck.

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