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RESEAR.DOC

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  • 1. Shannon Glasmire Research Project – IMS 201 The rapid spread of computers and information technology has generated a need for highly trained workers to design and develop new hardware and software systems and to incorporate new technologies. Job tasks and occupational titles used to describe these workers evolve rapidly, reflecting new areas of specialization or changes in technology, as well as the preferences and practices of employers. One of the new and emerging positions is that of the data administrator. With the Internet and electronic business creating tremendous volumes of data, there is 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. Techies.com states that data administrators work with technologies such as FOCUS, SQL, Visual Basic, Powerbuilder 6, and Sybase. They determine user requirements, set up computer databases, and test and coordinate changes. It is the responsibility of an organization's database administrator to ensure performance, understand the platform the database runs on, and add new users. 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, and keeping databases secure has become an increasingly important aspect of the job for database administrators. Data administrators add value to their organization in many ways. As the business environment globalizes and speeds up, the importance of accurate data will become increasingly important. Without the services of a data administrator, companies will not remain competitive in the fast paced business world. Likewise, the amount of data that is being stored has increased in conjunction with the speed of business. Firms
  • 2. Shannon Glasmire Research Project – IMS 201 will gain a competitive advantage if they are able to store and extract information most efficiently. Many organizations strive to stay ahead of technology in order to remain competitive. Data administrators play an important role in companies goals and objectives by continuing to stay efficient with new technologies and information management services. Working Conditions The majority of database administrators work in the computer and data processing industry, although jobs in other economic sectors are increasing. There is a need for all businesses to use the skills of a data administrator to organize their business processes. Database administrators normally work in offices or laboratories in comfortable surroundings. They usually work about 40 hours a week-the same as many other professional or office workers. However, evening or weekend work may be necessary to meet deadlines or solve specific problems. According to the website www.techies.com, database administrators must be able to use one or several of the following systems: Windows NT, Oracle 8 Enterprise Server, TMS, PL/SQL, UNIX, Informix, DB2. Given the technology available today, telecommuting is common for computer professionals. As networks expand, more work can be done from remote locations using modems, laptops, electronic mail, and the Internet. Many data administrators are self-employed and work on a contractual basis. They may be hired by the government, or firms such as financial institutions, universities, and insurance companies. It is important for one to consider the amount of time spent in front of a computer terminal typing on a keyboard by a data administrator. Data administrators are susceptible to eye strain, back discomfort, and hand and wrist problems such as carpal
  • 3. Shannon Glasmire Research Project – IMS 201 tunnel syndrome or cumulative trauma disorder. However, these are risks associated with many jobs done by computer professionals. Training and Qualifications Technology is rapidly changing and it is important to be on the cutting edge of information and knowledge. Although technical knowledge is important, companies are looking for individuals who demonstrate excellent oral communication and interpersonal skills. Ability to work in teams, multitask, and handle responsibility is also important to employers. Database administrators must be able to communicate effectively with the individuals whom they work with such as computer programmers, managers, CIO’s, and other individuals with little or no computer background. In terms of education, a bachelor’s degree is important for most companies, although some may only require a two-year degree. However, for more technically advanced jobs, a graduate degree is preferred. Most employers seek individuals with a degree in computer science, information science, or management information systems (MIS). Many employers also look for individuals who have obtained their MBA focusing on information systems as more and more companies are turning to e-commerce for their business practices. Although a computer related degree is important, individuals with other majors are also obtain jobs as database administrators. Because many people develop advanced computer skills in one occupation and then transfer those skills into a computer occupation, a related background in the industry in which the job is located, such as financial services, banking, or accounting, can be important. Previous experience with logical and physical data modeling, mail order, fulfillment, and/or distribution experience is a big plus. Also, previous work on large-scale projects using SQL, Oracle
  • 4. Shannon Glasmire Research Project – IMS 201 and programming languages like Visual Basic and C++ will make individuals more employable than the average database administrator. Certification with Oracle or Microsoft technologies is especially attractive for individuals looking to be independent contractors or consultants. It is important that database administrators continue their education throughout their careers in order to stay abreast of the competition and remain competitive. Salaries Although salaries for data administrators remain competitive, many employees are seeking employment stability rather than increased earnings. Some applicants are willing to take a 15-20% lower salary to work at stable firms, says Rocky Parker, human resources officer at Nationwide Information Systems, the IT organization of Nationwide Insurance. According to Outlook 2002 from InformationWeek.com, starting salaries for database administrators will be up 4.8% from 2001 at between $83,000 – $114,000. However, this is not the median of starting salaries, which tend to range from $38,210 – $71,440. Job Outlook According to the National Workforce for Emerging Technologies, database administrative positions are expected to be one of the fastest growing positions between now and 2010. The demand for networking solutions to facilitate the sharing of information, expansion of client/server environments, and the need for computer specialists to use their knowledge and skills in a problem-solving capacity will be major factors in the rising demand for database administrators. In addition, the falling prices of computer software and hardware along with the need for firms to employ knowledgeable
  • 5. Shannon Glasmire Research Project – IMS 201 computer specialists will also increase the demand for database administrators. As network security becomes a greater concern with firms, data administrators will be needed to maintain high levels of security.

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