As more companies in all sectors of the economy continue to increase their data usage, the number of vocational opportunities for database administrators (DBAs) is projected to skyrocket in the coming years. These computer professionals are needed to index and present information in a fashion that makes it easy for analysts to understand. Job prospects are highly favorable within the health care industry, due to a widespread shift to store patients’ records electronically.

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Jongwook Woo)

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Jongwook Woo)

By 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of DBAs that work at medical and surgical hospitals to expand by 43 percent, a noticeable upturn in the number of installers that secured medical-affiliated jobs in 2012. In Los Angeles, top specialists earn in excess of $98,000, according to current figures.

Experts say L.A. offers a plethora of iron-in-the-fire opportunities for experienced DBAs, with a bachelor’s degree in database systems or database design and development.

“A database server is required for most businesses,” said Dr. Jongwook Woo, a professor at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA). “Therefore, a database administrator is needed while a business runs. And Los Angeles is a big city with tens of thousands of businesses.”

How is CSULA preparing the next generation of DBAs?

“We offer a Hadoop course, that addresses the market demand for big data skills. We also participate in the Cloudera Academic Partnership program, which gives our students hands-on experience. It’s what hiring managers are looking for.”

How has the need for highly skilled DBAs progressed since 2012?

“Open-source database structures have become quite popular. So, administrators need to know MySQL and Postgres. MySQL is a platform used by many high-profile websites, including WordPress, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Postgres is utilized by Microsoft Windows, among other operating systems.”

What is the best way to prepare for a sustainable career?

“Administrators need to take training courses to keep pace with the latest database trends.”

What is your message to endeavoring DBAs?

“You have to take a database course and study system administration. Then, you’ll need to participate in a real project as an intern or part-timer. Finally, a company will hire you.”

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to

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