How to Get a Job as a Database Administrator
Database administrators must be savvy in the platform on which a given database operates, says Loretta Mahon Smith, vice president of communications for DAMA International, a nonprofit association for technical and business professionals. "Colleges turn out people who can build databases from a textbook, but all the analysis and design that goes into building a database [at the business level] is hard to learn in college—these are mostly things learned on the job," she says. Obtaining a certification for the employer's platform is critical, she says.
Interview Questions Submitted by Real Database Administrators
"How do you check and correct database corruption?" - Amazon.com Database Administrator Candidate (Location Unknown)
"Explain clustering vs. replication differences." - Agilone Database Administrator Candidate (Location Unknown)
"You have 10 tables that are truncated at the end of every day. They all grow simultaneously throughout the day. How do you avoid fragmentation problems?" - Two Sigma Database Administrator Candidate (New York, NY)
What is the Job Like?
Database administrators support multiple projects, so you'll need to be comfortable working independently as well as on a team. "You must be very good at multitasking, you need to have a strong attention to detail, and good time-management skills," says Mahon Smith. Database administrators typically work in offices, often spending long periods of time in front of a computer. A 40-hour work week is standard, but deadlines may require occasional evening or weekend work.
Real Reviews From Database Administrators
+"Salary and benefits are good. In most areas, accommodations for routine life / family issues can be easily made. Most technical resources are highly skilled and very good at what they do." - First Data Senior Database Administrator (Omaha, NE)
+"Lots of young, intelligent people. Very little dead weight, everyone works very hard." - GoDaddy Database Administrator (Denver, CO)
- "Hard work, this is not a leisurely place to work, and management has high expectation (with metrics)." - IP Soft Database Administrator (New York, NY)
- "Never can take time off...forced to work from home if I can go in to the office. Technical engineers are barred from talking to the business about projects, and the PM's aren't technically educated, so complex issues often get communicated incorrectly." - McAfee Database Administrator (Location Unknown)
Review information and interview questions supplied by Glassdoor.