Database management, also known as database administration, is a specialized technical field dedicated to data storage systems and the individuals who design, develop, and use them. Most companies and organizations today rely on databases to track accounting and finances, logistics, shipping, and other sensitive information. Database managers ensure that these records are secure, organized, up-to-date, and easily retrievable at any given time. Database managers are found across a range of industries, including business and management, education, healthcare, criminal justice, and law.

What are the best database management programs of 2020? Here are our top 5:

Rank School Location
1 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT
2 Baker College Flint, MI
3 University of Maryland Global Campus Adelphi, MD
4 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
5 University of Maine at Augusta Augusta, ME

2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Database Management Programs

At the college level, database managers typically earn degrees in fields like computer science and information technology. As the industry expands, a growing number of colleges and universities are offering specialized degrees or undergraduate minors in database management.

Most careers in the database management field are attainable to students with a bachelor's, and today, many students are choosing to earn their bachelor's in database management online. Web-based degree programs follow the same rigorous curriculum as traditional modules, and the asynchronous format used by most schools is convenient for students with part-time jobs, childcare duties, or other responsibilities that may interfere with campus-based learning.

Read on to learn more about database management as an academic discipline, and to discover what you can do with an online database management degree in the field.

Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle

Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, UT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 29%

WGU delivers an online bachelor's degree in database management and data analytics that prepares learners to take raw data and transform it into usable information. Students can also earn a Udacity Nanodegree — a key certification that helps secure high-paying jobs in the IT field.

This 36-course bachelor's in database management program covers topics like network and security, data manipulation, technical communication, and data science. Students also complete a capstone project to conclude their studies.

The program accepts students who possess an associate degree, at least two years of professional IT experience, significant college-level IT coursework, or a transferable IT certification. Nearly 70% of WGU students finish their bachelor's degree within two years. All distance learners pay the same tuition.


Baker College

Flint, MI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 19%

Located in Flint, Michigan, Baker offers an online computer science bachelor's degree with a concentration in database technology. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers as database and IT experts at a variety of organizations.

The 121-credit curriculum includes classes like computer architecture, trends in computer science, and net-centric computing. Participants also take 18 credits in the database technology concentration. Additionally, students complete two 150-hour work experiences, in which they learn skills from established professionals. Each of these experiences takes place over at least 10 weeks.

Applicants must submit their official high school transcripts or GED scores. However, Baker does not require applicants to provide ACT or SAT scores. Online coursework is delivered asynchronously, and all students pay the same tuition rates.


University of Maryland Global Campus

Adelphi, MD Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 15%

UMGC's information systems management bachelor's degree examines how database administrators collect, analyze, and communicate data to drive an organization's internal processes and growth strategies.

This 120-credit online program is delivered asynchronously. The curriculum includes a course on business continuity planning, in which students examine potential risks and create disaster recovery strategies based on an organization's needs and industry best practices. Learners are also required to complete a capstone project prior to graduation.

Students in this program may transfer in up to 90 credits from a regionally accredited institution. Eligible transfer students must possess a minimum 2.0 GPA across their previous 60 credits of college coursework.


Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

Liberty — a conservative, evangelical university located in Lynchburg, Virginia — offers a BS in information systems with a database management concentration. This program features all online classes and several start dates throughout the year.

Students in this 120-credit, ACBSP-accredited program learn to design and build effective data networks. They also become familiar with Cisco, Java, and Oracle. All participants complete an internship as part of the program, andmost can finish their degree within 3.5 years.

Applicants should hold a high school diploma or GED certificate and submit their transcripts. All distance learners pay the same tuition rates.


University of Maine at Augusta

Augusta, ME Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 18%

With an emphasis on database design, project management, and web application development, UMA's bachelor's degree in computer information systems prepares graduates for a variety of database management and IT careers.

The 121-credit program features concentrations in data science, information systems security, networking, software development, and web development. Students also complete an internship, during which they work directly with an experienced computer science professional. Most classes take place online using an asynchronous format.

To apply, prospective students must submit their official high school and/or college transcripts. However, the school does not ask applicants to provide their ACT or SAT scores.

Employment Outlook for Database Management Graduates

Job Placement

Due to high industry growth projections and a steady demand for qualified professionals, the employment outlook for computing and information technology professions is relatively high. The BLS shows that graduates with a bachelor's degree have an unemployment rate of 2.2%; by comparison, the national unemployment rate for all occupations is currently set at 3.5%.

U.S. News and World Report shows that Database Administrators have an unemployment rate of 1.1%, and the position is ranked among the top five for technology careers.

Earning a Living

In addition to a healthy job outlook, employees in the tech industry also enjoy relatively high earning potential. The BLS notes that employees in the computer and information technology industry earn an average of $86,320 per year.

However, salary expectations in technology vary by specific job titles, as well as other factors like company size and city/state of employment. The next table looks at career salary growth for database managers, database administrators and other professionals in related tech professions.

Occupation Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (1-4 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-9 years) Median Annual Salary for Experienced Employees (10-19 years) Median Annual Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ years)
Database Manager $51,000 $56,000 $70,000 $101,000
Database Administrator $63,000 $79,000 $90,000 $97,000
Database Developer $67,000 $80,000 $91,000 $100,000
Network Administrator $53,000 $60,000 $65,000 $69,000
Systems Analyst $60,000 $69,000 $76,000 $82,000

Source: PayScale

Database managers experience the largest growth in salary over the course of their career. Late-career database managers earn $50,000 more per year than entry-level database managers, on average. Salary increases over the course of a career for the other positions range from $22,000 to $34,000.

Career and Further Education Opportunities

Students who graduate with a bachelor's degree in database management will be qualified for dozens of entry-level positions, as well as select managerial roles normally reserved for candidates with a formal education background. Four of the most common career pathways for database management degree recipients are outlined below.

Database Administrators: Database administrators (or DBAs for short) use a wide range of tools and platforms to keep data ordered, updated and easily accessible. They also run software programs and applications to safeguard the information in these databases from hackers, computer viruses and other outside threats. Many DBAs work for computing and software companies, while others offer their services to insurance providers, banks and other non-tech organizations with consistent database needs.

Network and Computer Systems Administrators: These administrators oversee the day-to-day operations of computer networks and information systems. Their responsibilities include monitoring traffic, performing hardware and software upgrades, running tests and implementing security permissions when additional users need to be added. BLS projects average growth for this profession, although jobs for administrators in the computer services industry are expected to rise by as much as 31% between 2014 and 2024.

Computer Systems Analysts: Computer systems analysts are responsible for creating customized tools, platforms and applications for companies that hire them. First they must carefully research the company and learn about day-to-day operations; this background knowledge enables them to develop systems that are efficient, cost-effective and sustainable for the employees who plan to use them.

Computer Support Specialists: Consumer support specialists assist consumers with computing questions or needs. This catchall profession demands employees who are knowledgeable about software and hardware, applications, servers, networks and other individual computing components. Support specialists can usually be found at any company with employees that utilize computers; others may work remotely as desk-help technicians or provide on-call support services.

Occupation Median Annual Salary Projected Industry Growth (2018-28)
Database Administrators $90,070 9%
Network and Computer Systems Administrators $82,050 5%
Computer Systems Analysts $88,740 9%
Computer Support Specialists $53,470 10%

Source: PayScale

Professional Organizations

Making professional connections and learning about different approaches to database management is crucial to your success. Professional organizations offer a great entry point for students who want to learn more about their chosen career path. Below you'll find three of the country's most prominent organizations established for database management professionals. These organizations host networking events, provide online trainings, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates.

  • Data Management Association International: Founded in 1980, DAMA International today represents thousands of members worldwide. The association hosts more than 70 global chapters on six continents, and hosts dozens of international events every year.
  • DBA International: This nonprofit trade association currently works with employees of roughly 575 database-oriented companies. Membership benefits include discounted professional development courses, business planning guides and reduced entrance fees for industry events.
  • International Association of Administrative Professionals: Established in 1942, the IAAP today offers certification in areas like organizational behavior and strategic planning. The association's website includes a vast resource library, job listings and a comprehensive industry events calendar.

Financing Your Online Bachelor's in Database Management

Despite the relative affordability of online criminal justice master's programs, most students still need financial assistance. Students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available through nonprofit organizations, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.


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