As companies collect, store, analyze and disseminate ever-increasing volumes of data, jobs for qualified database administrators are projected to increase faster (15%) than the average growth rate for all occupations.

Through 2022, opportunities nationwide should be stronger for database professionals seeking employment in the hospital industry (48%) and the cloud computing field (43%), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Although a bachelor’s degree is typically a minimum educational requirement for database administrators, businesses and organizations with larger data needs may prefer candidates with a master’s degree specializing in database management, the BLS notes.

In addition to educational qualifications, technical proficiency and industry certifications, so-called soft skills can be important factors in a database administrator’s effectiveness and career advancement. These attributes can include problem-solving ability, analytical thinking and communication skills.

Let’s take a closer look at a few of the common soft skills:

Communication

Database administrators must explain complex ideas in clear and concise terms as part of reports and recommendations shared with employees and executives throughout a company. They also provide assistance to users and management, and coordinate with technicians and programmers, which requires well-developed interpersonal skills.

Database administration professionals should be able to identify and extract key insights from data in order to demonstrate how these findings can boost company performance. Excellent reporting and technical writing skills are often necessary, as is the ability to determine user needs or technical solutions from data, documents and other communications.

Organization

Data that is organized logically and effectively is easier for users to access, leading to better database performance. By contrast, a poorly organized database can slow access, which may cause user frustration and decreased productivity. Superior organizational skills allow database administrators to structure backup, recovery and other procedures in a way that positively impacts the database. This, in turn, can help organizations avoid downtime and financial losses.

Analytical

Analyzing large amounts of data – and determining which data is relevant – is an integral aspect of database administration and data science. Database professionals must be able to recognize patterns in unstructured data and create quantifiable recommendations and solutions.

Creativity

The emergence of mobile technology, big data, cloud computing and the Internet of Things is bringing rapid change to the field of information technology and database management. As new streams of data are captured, it may be necessary for database administrators to be creative and innovative in order to develop new procedures for collection, storage, security and application.

Business-Focused

A keen understanding of business objectives and strategies is a vital aspect of determining appropriate database administration policies and procedures. In order to ensure effective data analysis, database administrators should know the processes and indicators that drive profit and business growth.

Problem-Solving

Troubleshooting accounts for a large part of a database administrator’s functions. These professionals can be tasked with resolving issues related to data integrity, backup and cybersecurity, with the goal of preventing data loss and mitigating database malfunction.

In this growing field, database administration professionals may find that well-developed soft skills are an important component in career advancement, along with technical proficiency and educational qualifications.

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