CAREER GUIDE FOR DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR

SOC Code: 15-1061

Pay Band(s): 6 and7              (Salary Structure)

Standard Occupational Description: Coordinate changes to computer databases, test and implement the database applying knowledge of database management systems. May plan, coordinate, and implement security measures to safeguard computer databases.

Database Administrator positions in the Commonwealth are assigned to the following Roles in the Information Technology Specialist Career Group:

Information Technology Specialist III

Information Technology Specialist IV

While Database Administrator within the Commonwealth are all located within the Information Technology Specialist Career Group, individuals may want to pursue other opportunities within the Commonwealth depending upon individual training, education, knowledge, skills, abilities, and interests.   

Other Career Group(s) that may be of interest are:

Architecture and Engineering Services

Audit and Management Services

Computer Operations

General Administration

SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE, ABILITIES AND TASKS

(Technical and Functional Expertise)

Skills
Note:The technical and functional skills listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Database Administrators commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the skills listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

  1. Writing computer programs for various purposes.
  2. Using mathematics to solve problems.
  3. Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  4. Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
  5. Teaching others how to do something.
  6. Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
  7. Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  8. Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  9. Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  10. Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Knowledge

Note: The technical and functional knowledge statements listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Database Administrators commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the knowledge listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

The Knowledge of:

  1. Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  2. Business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  3. Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  4. Structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Abilities
Note: The technical and functional abilities listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Database Administrators commonly recognized by most employers. Typically, you will not be required to have all of the abilities listed to be a successful performer. Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

The Ability to:

  1. Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  2. Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  3. Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  4. Choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  5. Arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  6. Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  7. Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  8. Generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  9. Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  10. See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Tasks
Note: The following is a list of sample tasks typically performed by Database Administrators. Employees in this occupation will not necessarily perform all of the tasks listed.

Tasks

  1. Develop data model describing data elements and how they are used, following procedures and using pen, template or computer software.
  2. Develop standards and guidelines to guide the use and acquisition of software and to protect vulnerable information.
  3. Establish and calculate optimum values for database parameters, using manuals and calculator.
  4. Modify existing databases and database management systems or direct programmers and analysts to make changes.
  5. Plan, coordinate and implement security measures to safeguard information in computer files against accidental or unauthorized damage, modification or disclosure.
  6. Review procedures in database management system manuals for making changes to database.
  7. Review project requests describing database user needs to estimate time and cost required to accomplish project.
  8. Review workflow charts developed by programmer analyst to understand tasks computer will perform, such as updating records.
  9. Select and enter codes to monitor database performance and to create production database.
  10. Specify users and user access levels for each segment of database.

INTERESTED?

Like people, occupations have traits or characteristics.  These characteristics give important clues about the nature of the work and work environment, and give you an opportunity to match your own personal interests to a specific occupation.  When you choose a job in an occupation that matches your own interests you have taken an important step in planning a successful and rewarding career.

The Database Administrator occupation has Investigative, Conventional and Realistic characteristics as described below:

Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

LICENSURE, REGISTRATION, OR CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

Generally this is not required for Database Administrator positions in state government.

Certification is a way to demonstrate a level of competence in a particular field. Some product vendors or software firms offer certification and require professionals who work with their products to be certified. For example, one method of acquiring enough knowledge to get a job as a database administrator is to become certified in a specific type of database management. Voluntary certification also is available through various organizations associated with computer specialists.

EDUCATIONAL, TRAINING, AND LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES 

The Department of Labor provides the following information:

With the Internet and electronic business generating large volumes of data, there is a growing need to be able to store, manage, and extract data effectively. Database administrators work with database management systems software and determine ways to organize and store data. They identify user requirements, set up computer databases, and test and coordinate modifications to the systems. An organization's database administrator ensures the performance of the system, understands the platform on which the database runs, and adds new users to the system. Because they also may design and implement system security, database administrators often plan and coordinate security measures. With the volume of sensitive data generated every second growing rapidly, data integrity, backup systems, and database security have become increasingly important aspects of the job of database administrators.

For database administrator positions, many employers seek applicants who have a bachelor's degree in computer science, information science, or management information systems (MIS). MIS programs usually are part of the business school or college and differ considerably from computer science programs, emphasizing business and management-oriented course work and business computing courses.

Database administrators must be able to think logically and have good communication skills. Because they often deal with a number of tasks simultaneously, the ability to concentrate and pay close attention to detail is important.

Database administrators may advance into managerial positions, such as chief technology officer, on the basis of their experience managing data and enforcing security.

Employers, hardware and software vendors, colleges and universities, and private training institutions offer continuing education. Additional training may come from professional development seminars offered by professional computing societies.

Expansion of electronic commerce—doing business on the Internet—and the continuing need to build and maintain databases that store critical information on customers, inventory, and projects are fueling demand for database administrators familiar with the latest technology.

The State Council of Higher Education lists many Virginia educational institutions offering programs in computer science on their web site: http://research.schev.edu/degreeinventory/inventory_

COMMONWEALTH COMPETENCIES

Competencies are a set of identified behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities that directly and positively impact the success of employees and the organization. Competencies can be observed and measured.  When consistently demonstrated, competencies make employees particularly effective in their work.  Competencies help lay out a road map to career success.  You can use the Commonwealth Competencies to help improve your individual performance by adopting behaviors that make high performing employees successful in their jobs. In this way, you can use the Commonwealth Competencies for your further professional development.

The Commonwealth Competencies are:

  1. Technical and Functional Expertise
  2. Understanding the Business     
  3. Achieving Results
  4. Serving the Customer
  5. Teamwork
  6. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  7. Leadership and Personal Effectiveness

The above competencies may be applied to employees throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.  They can be rank-ordered by agencies and hiring managers to represent the needs of a specific job.  The rank ordering will change depending upon the occupation, an organization's priorities, the actual job requirements, and the supervisor's preferences.

Career success is both about what you do (applying your technical knowledge, skills, and ability) and how you do it (the consistent behaviors you demonstrate and choose to use) while interacting and communicating with others.  Hopefully, by studying the Commonwealth competencies, identifying your developmental opportunities, and working to refine your own competence, you can take charge of your career!

For additional information about the Commonwealth Competencies go to: http://jobs.state.va.us/cc_planningctr.htm . For the competencies, we first list the competencies and then define each. Finally, we list competency indicators; to describe what successful performance looks like.

COMMONWEALTH CAREER PATH

Career opportunities in the Commonwealth are not limited to moving “up” to the next highest role and pay band, changing positions, or to becoming a supervisor.  That's because most roles describe a broad group of occupationally related positions that perform a range of work that requires increased knowledge and skills.  For that reason, Commonwealth roles describe the career paths within the same or higher-level role for the same or different Career Group.  The broad salary range and the Commonwealth's pay practices provide flexibility in recognizing career development and advancement. (Salary Structure)

For example: Database Administrator

PAY BAND

PRACTITIONER ROLES

PAY BAND

MANAGER ROLES

6

Information Technology Specialist III

   

7

Information Technology Specialist IV

6

Information Technology Manager I

   

7

Information Technology Manger II

   

8

Information Technology Manager III

Sample Career Path

Information Technology Specialist III

This role provides career tracks for Database Administrators. The first track is as a technical Consultant. The second track has Lead level responsibilities for instructing, directing, and monitoring the work of staff. These tracks can lead to supervisory responsibilities. Requires knowledge and extensive experience in data base administration. Supervisory levels also require leadership experience in the function.

Information Technology Specialist IV

This role provides a career track for Database Administrators that range from the highest level technical expert in a specialized area such as systems engineering, applications analysis, network analysis, and operating systems analysis, to supervisory level positions in systems engineering. Supervisory positions coordinate all activities of unit with multiple projects to meet project deadlines and budgets. They require knowledge and leadership experience in the functional area. Technical experts require comprehensive knowledge and extensive specialized experience.

Information Technology Manager I

This role provides a career track for managers in the equipment and applications specialty. They require knowledge and considerable leadership experience in network and computer systems administration.

Information Technology Manager II

This role provides a career track for managers in the field of Information Technology who has program direction with several units or sections. Directs, through subordinate supervisors, all program, operations, and staff in assigned area.  Requires knowledge and substantial leadership experience in network and computer systems administration.

Information Technology Manager III

This role provides a career track for executive director level positions in the field of Information Technology providing services to multiple state agencies in a multi-technology environment. Requires knowledge and extensive leadership experience in the functional area.

ADDITIONAL OCCUPATIONAL INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: 

O*NET (Occupational Information Network) 

http://online.onetcenter.org/gen_search_page

Virginia Employment Commission 

http://www.alex.vec.state.va.us/

Career One Stop

http://www.careeronestop.org/

Virginia Career Resource Network 

http://www.vacrn.net/

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society:

http://www.computer.org

System Administrators Guild:

 http://www.sage.org