Best Online Master’s in Database Management Programs

Browse our ranking of the best online master's in database management programs, and learn more about the discipline and the career opportunities.

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by Doug Wintemute

Updated April 22, 2022

Reviewed by Monali Mirel Chuatico

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As organizations increasingly collect, store, and use information, the demand for database managers grows. These professionals help protect and put data to better use, a priority for most organizations in the ever-advancing technological landscape. A master's in database management prepares learners to oversee complex databases, along with other information technology systems.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 13% growth for computer occupations between 2020 and 2030, 5% faster than the rate for all occupations. Many of the top online schools have developed various computer science specializations to capitalize on this growth. The often accelerated and flexible schedules of online learning even allows graduate students to complete their two-year programs while still working.

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Ready to start your journey?

The promising growth outlook and salary potential of the data management field helps prospective learners justify high training costs when choosing to attend graduate school. Here, we examine this program more closely. In addition to ranking the best online master's in database management, we explore common courses and popular career paths.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Database Management Program?

To best prepare for graduate school, prospective students should know what the typical online master's in database management looks like. In general, these programs feature between 30-45 credits and run for 1-2 years. While every program format is different, many online programs offer flexible schedules and independent study options to accommodate all types of learners.

Most students enter these graduate programs with a strong computer background. They build on their technical expertise and skills with significant research and practical training via virtual and on-campus labs. The programs often feature internships, which online students can usually complete virtually or at a location near them.

Though most master's in database management programs award an MS degree, some MA options may be available. These programs likely differ very little in their core training, but they usually feature different electives. In some cases, MS degrees provide more technical-focused training, whereas MA degrees take more theoretical approaches.

Prospective students may also encounter concentrations in their programs. Typically, database management is a concentration of its own within a computer science degree. Yet some master's in database management programs offer their own specializations, such as business intelligence or database architecture.

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Degree Programs.

Featured Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Database Management Program?

Database Design

In this course, students learn how to design and implement databases for organizations. The training examines methods for identifying organizational needs and user requirements, along with how to design a model based on these demands.

Data Analytics

Students in this course learn how to gather and analyze various datasets. They also learn how this information can be used to improve business forecasting, evaluations, risk assessments, and decisions.

IT Strategy and Management

This course teaches students how to evaluate an organization's IT needs, find solutions, and develop a realistic approach to reaching its goals. The training examines methods for connecting IT systems and strategies to the organization's overall mission.

Information Systems Analysis

Students in this course learn how to analyze an organization's information systems and needs. Learners look at ways of using this information to design, research, and provide solutions.

Database Backup and Recovery

In this course, students learn to design data backup and recovery systems and plans for organizations. Some training may delve into security measures for database managers as well.

What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Master's in Database Management Program?

According to our graduate admissions guide, master's program admission requirements may include a bachelor's degree, professional experience, and a certain GPA minimum. Specific requirements for online master's in database management programs will vary by school.

Below, we detail the most common elements of a database management application. Other requirements, such as an interview, may be possible.

Application

Prospective students provide their personal information and indicate their program of interest on the application. They also provide most, if not all, of the other application elements listed below. While graduate applicants can use various college application systems, they usually apply directly to the school of their choice.

Test Scores

Many schools require standardized test score results from applicants to help streamline the candidate comparison process. The specific tests and scores required vary by school and program. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has led many institutions to offer test waivers, prospective learners may still find value in a GMAT or GRE prep course to help boost their scores.

Letters of Recommendation

Most college applications require prospective students to ask for letters of recommendation from at least three current or former teachers and employers. These letters address the applicant's preparedness and how well-suited they are for graduate training. The more relevant the referral is to the program of interest the better.

Resume and Work Experience

In addition to highlighting relevant work experience, a college application resume can provide information about an applicant's personal drive and professional interests. While some programs require a specific amount of experience in the field, others just want to see demonstrations of work ethic and perseverance.

Essays

Writing a grad school essay can be one of the most important parts of an application. At the master's level, prospective students usually use these essays to identify their research and study interests. They also address why they want to attend that particular school and study under that faculty.

Official Transcripts

All schools require applicants to submit official transcripts in their applications. These records show what courses the candidate has completed, the grades they received, what prerequisites they need, and if they qualify for any transfer credits. Our transfer guide can help prospective students maneuver through this process.

What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Database Management Degree?

Career Outlook

Organizations use information to better understand customers and markets and improve their products and services. The growth in data applications has created a significant demand for specialists in this field. As a result, the BLS projects 8% growth for database administrators and architects between 2020 and 2030, along with more than 13,000 annual openings in the field.

Database administrators and architects also earn very competitive wages, making median annual salaries that more than double the median annual wage for all occupations. Changing and new technologies, such as cloud services, should continue stimulating growth in the field.

Database management professionals can also pursue several other promising computer-related occupations, such as management, networking, and analyst positions.

See what a master's in database management can do for you. Learn more about database management careers.

Career Paths

Database Administrator and Architect

Database administrators and architects design and build systems to collect and store data. They protect, organize, and manage the information, while making it accessible when needed. These professionals also make upgrades to the system and ensure that all the information is accurate and untampered.

Median Annual Salary: $98,860

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Computer and information systems managers take care of an organization's computer-related activities. They help meet organizational goals, handle the department's staffing and technological requirements, and design and implement system upgrades when needed. These professionals also provide input regarding the organization's technological contributions, strategies, and budgets.

Median Annual Salary: $151,150

Computer Systems Analyst

Computer systems analysts help organizations improve the effectiveness and performance of their computer systems. They evaluate system operations and then research, design, and implement improvements. These professionals incorporate projections, organizational requirements, and system demands when suggesting solutions.

Median Annual Salary: $93,780

Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts ensure that an organization's information and systems are secured. They evaluate the system protections and look for vulnerabilities. They then research and implement possible solutions. Analysts may also develop security best practices for organizations to follow and provide training or advice to in-house information technology administrators.

Median Annual Salary: $103,590

Computer Network Architects

Computer network architects design and build networks for organizations based on their specific communication requirements. These professionals may perform various tests to determine the current system's weaknesses before looking for an upgrade or redesign solution. They incorporate traffic and user needs into their designs, along with any budgetary and equipment limitations.

Median Annual Salary: $116,780

Database Management Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

For graduates who do not wish to enter the workforce after graduation, several realistic continuing education pathways are available. One pathway is a doctorate in database administration. Professionals with this level of training can pursue postsecondary teaching and advanced research and development positions.

Graduates can also pursue a doctorate in various other computer-related disciplines, such as cybersecurity, software development, and computer engineering. They might also tackle an industry or vendor certification to enhance their skills in the field or with a specific technology.

How Do I Choose an Online Master's in Database Management Program?

Cost

Most prospective students consider cost when choosing a program, but the true program cost will provide the most accurate picture. This takes into consideration all fees associated with the training, along with any lost income. They should also think about comparing costs of online and on-campus programs, in-state and out-of-state programs, and private and public schools.

Program Format

Prospective students need to find a program format that suits their lifestyle and scheduling needs. For example, learners who need a flexible study schedule might want to compare synchronous vs. asynchronous delivery. Moreover, busy students or those who need to graduate within a specific time frame may want to compare full-time vs. part-time programs.

Location

For prospective students choosing between online or on-campus studies, location might only seem important for the latter. Yet, online learners may still need to satisfy on-campus requirements for their degree. They may also qualify for in-state tuition rates in some out-of-state schools.

Accreditation

Accreditation is one of the most important elements in a school decision. According to our online college accreditation guide, accreditation can impact federal financial aid, postgraduate certifications, and employment.

Some employers may view programs with accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology favorably, though program accreditation isn't mandatory for master's database management programs.

Student Support

Prospective students should also investigate the type of student services their potential school offers. Programs like internships and practicums, academic support services, and college mentors can lead to success for learners. Online degree-seekers should look for specific online student services and opportunities, such as online tutoring, wellness, and career services.

Best Accredited Online Master's in Database Management Programs

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Best Online Master's in Database Management Programs

  1. Regis University
    Location

    Denver, CO

    Tuition

    $23390

    Regis is a private Jesuit university that offers a 36-credit MS in data science. The program boasts a curriculum with courses covering a variety of topics, such as machine learning, exploratory data analysis, and optimal decisionmaking. Students must also complete two practicum experiences in data science. Graduates are prepared for careers as data analysts, engineers, or architects.

    Students can choose to enroll in either asynchronous or synchronous courses. Asynchronous courses allow students to complete coursework at their own pace, making it an ideal choice for distance learners who work full time. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree that was earned within the past two years, and must have at least three years of experience in the field to be considered. Regis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  2. University of Denver
    Location

    Denver, CO

    Tuition

    $27723

    UD has expanded its online presence in recent years through the school's College of Professional and Continuing Studies. The school offers a variety of distance learning programs, including an online master's in database management program with a concentration in database design and administration. The curriculum includes courses covering topics such as data warehousing design and web-enabled information systems, as well as a capstone project or seminar.

    Courses are delivered asynchronously online, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers as database managers, database administrators, or systems analysts. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 2.5 to be considered. However, they do not need to submit GRE or GMAT scores. Transfer students can apply credits earned at another accredited institution towards their degree, as long as it was earned with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

  3. DePaul University
    Location

    Chicago, IL

    Tuition

    $27126

    DePaul is a private Catholic university located in Chicago. The school offers a 52-credit MS in information systems degree with a database administration concentration. This program includes coursework that combines a broad foundation in information technology with more specific studies in enterprise data management and enterprise cloud computing.

    Most coursework is delivered asynchronously online, although most students in this master's in database management program choose to blend online courses with on-campus coursework. Asynchronous courses allow students to complete coursework at their own pace, making it ideal for adult learners who work full time. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 2.5 to be considered. However, they do not need to submit any standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, or have prior work experience.

  4. National University
    Location

    La Jolla, CA

    Tuition

    $24924

    Based out of La Jolla, California, National is a private college that offers over 100 online programs, including an online MS in computer science program that includes an 18-quarter unit specialization in database engineering. The curriculum includes database-related coursework on topics like advanced database programming, database management systems, and database installation and configuration. Students must also complete two project courses, which are three-month projects in which students solve “a real problem for a real client against a time deadline” while working in a team with other students.

    Courses are delivered asynchronously online, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers as database administrators and engineers. Applicants to this online master's in database management program must have earned a bachelor's degree in a relevant field to be considered. However, students with a different degree may pass a course challenge exam to earn admission.

  5. The University of West Florida
    Location

    Pensacola, FL

    Tuition

    $12206

    UWF is a regional university with a nationwide online presence. The school offers a variety of distance learning programs, including an MS in computer science degree with a specialization in database systems. The 30-credit curriculum includes courses on several topics, such as SQL, big data, and database programming. All students must also complete a capstone that involves building software for a database.

    Most courses are delivered asynchronously online, although there are some proctored learning requirements. UWF evaluates each application holistically, meaning there is no minimum undergraduate GPA requirement. However, competitive applicants usually have scored at least a 370 on the MAT or a 145 on the quantitative GRE section and a 150 on the verbal section. Graduates with a master's in database management from UWF are prepared to pursue database engineer/administrator roles with local and regional companies and other governmental agencies.

Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Database Management Programs

Is a master's in database management worth it?

Yes. An online master's in database management offers applicable in-demand training. Graduates can access many promising computer and information technology occupations, a sector that the BLS projects will add more than 665,000 new jobs between 2020 and 2030. This field also earned median annual wages of $91,250 in May 2020, nearly $50,000 more than the median annual wage for all occupations.

For many, the value of an online degree comes from the flexibility it gives students. Not only can learners study more easily around their schedule, but they can also access more school and program options. This added selection improves their chances of finding a strong match.

What can I do with a master's in database management?

Graduates with a master's in database management can pursue many careers within the computer and information technology sector. While the best-suited positions might be as database administrators and architects, graduates can also qualify for roles as information security analysts, computer and information systems managers, and computer systems analysts.

After completing the program, graduates also have the option to continue their training. They can pursue a doctorate in database management or in another computer-related field. Some learners might tackle a certification, which can help them with specific employers and organizations.

Are database management graduates in demand?

Yes. Database management graduates are in high demand with employers in many industries. The BLS projects the addition of more than 13,000 new data administrators and architects between 2020 and 2030. Database management graduates may also qualify for various other computer occupations, like information security analysts, a field in which the BLS projects 33% growth between 2020 and 2030.

Much of the demand stems from a growing number of applications for data in organizations around the world. Businesses store and use consumer and market data for many different uses, such as improving performance analysis, operational effectiveness, and forecasts.

How much money can I make with a master's in database management?

A master's in database management can lead to many high-paying occupations. According to the BLS, database administrators earned median annual wages of $98,860 in May 2020. The top 10% of earners in the field made more than $155,660 in that same period.

As in most fields, wages can vary considerably depending on the industry. In data processing organizations, for example, these professionals earned a median of $108,520 in May 2020. In comparison, they earned a median of $78,890 in educational services that year

What are the highest paying jobs with a master's in database management?

While the actual salaries available to database management graduates depends on the specific employer and location, computer systems managers tend to earn the highest wages across the board.

According to the BLS, computer systems managers earned $151,150 in May 2020. During that period, the top 10% of earners in the field brought home more than $208,000.

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