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Completing an online master’s in database management degree program can help further students’ understanding of database management in particular and computer science in general. Such a degree is usually not required for a job as a database manager, but a graduate education can help students get more senior-level positions within the field, which often offer exceptionally high salaries.

Compared to the future salary potential, this graduate program is very affordable. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that the average graduate school tuition is $20,513 per year. And because these online programs can be completed in as little as one year via an accelerated program, it may not take long to complete the degree and enter the workforce.

How to Choose an Online Master’s in Database Management Program

Choose your area of study

Master’s in database management degree programs are typically available in a Master of Science (MS) format. These programs usually do not offer any separate concentrations or areas of study, but students can customize their graduate education by taking electives that align with their interests. If you already know exactly what you would like to do once you graduate, look for a program with courses that match your career goals.

Research schools and programs

Chances are that more than one online master’s in database management program looks appealing, so it’s important to set criteria to narrow things down.

You should only consider institutions that have been approved by a DOE-recognized regional accrediting organization, such as the New England Commission of Higher Education or Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. These organizations evaluate schools to ensure they provide students with a high-quality education. Those who attend a school that isn’t regionally accredited may be unable to access financial aid or transfer credits to another institution if needed.

Also, professors who have established names in database management will have the experience necessary to offer a higher-quality education, and they can help students network and either break into this field or further their current career.

To learn more about any schools that you’re interested in, you can visit the school’s website, contact an admissions counselor, follow the school on social media, or attend an in-person or virtual open house.

Prepare for tests and applications

Most online master’s in database management programs no longer require students to submit GRE scores. If GRE results are necessary for the application, remember that it can take up to three months to study for the exam and up to 15 days to receive test results, and this timeline may affect which schools students can apply to because of application deadlines.

The online applications will also specify other materials students may need to submit, including undergraduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. Each school and program have their own set of application requirements before submitting an application, you should always contact an admissions counselor to ensure you have the most accurate information regarding requirements and deadlines.

Select your program

After narrowing things down to a select group of online master’s in database management programs, students must identify the one that best suits their academic and vocational needs.

Before making your final decision, review your needs and goals again. Do you plan to attend school full-time or part-time? Are you only interested in 100% online programs, or are you fine with a hybrid program that has a few in-person requirements? Some programs offer asynchronous courses, which can be completed at your own pace, while others only offer synchronous courses, which involve remotely attending lectures and completing assignments at the same time as other students — which of these two online learning formats do you prefer? Your school should accommodate your scheduling needs and learning preferences.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Even students who can pay for their master’s in database management without taking out loans should still complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year. In addition to federal loans, many grants and scholarships consider FAFSA completion a prerequisite.

To discover additional aid opportunities, contact the school’s financial aid office and inquire about aid available via the school or the state. Those who already work in the field should see if their employer offers tuition assistance benefits as well.

Best 50 Accredited Online Master’s in Database Management Programs

Best Online Master's in Database Management Degree Programs

Regis University

University of Denver

DePaul University

National University

University of West Florida

Boston University

Florida Institute of Technology

University of Maryland at Baltimore County

New Jersey Institute of Technology

Northwestern School of Professional Studies

University of Maryland Global Campus

Bellevue University

Southern New Hampshire University

Austin Peay State University

University of Southern California

Lewis University

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How We Rank Schools

Our research focused on master’s-level programs in information systems or information technology with a database management emphasis. The most common degree awarded in this field is a Master of Science (MS).

One of our primary criteria was that programs be offered entirely or primarily online. Several programs can also be completed on-campus, and students may have the option of completing their degree through a combination of in-person and online classes. Also, we only included schools with regional accreditation to ensure the programs meet high quality standards.

We evaluated each program’s reputation, outcomes, faculty, flexibility, and cost. Then, we calculated an Intelligent Score for each program on a scale of 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

What Can You Expect from an Online Master’s in Database Management Program?

The online master’s in database management degree is very specialized and is designed to build upon a strong foundation of computer knowledge. Most online programs offer virtual labs to give students hands-on opportunities to practice the technical skills they learn.

In addition to virtual labs, some online graduate programs may require students to complete labs on campus. While this offers students a valuable chance to practice database management, it’s essential to factor in the time and money necessary to travel to a nearby campus to complete these labs.

Most of these online graduate programs are designed to be completed in two years by full-time students. Students can sometimes complete an accelerated program in as little as one year. However, if students need more time, most programs offer flexible scheduling so students can complete coursework on their schedule.

Potential courses you’ll take in an online master’s in database management degree program

  • Data Management and Database Design. This course provides a data-centric examination of key database and data management concepts, including data modeling and entity relationships. The course helps students understand alternative data models, data normalization, SQL, and much more, with a dual focus on engineering and business applications.
  • Data Science Engineering with Python. This course offers a deep dive into the Python programming language. Throughout the class, students will master completing complex calculations and vector manipulations while fostering a greater understanding of space efficiency and fixed data types. Remember that incoming students should already have a high degree of programming and mathematical knowledge.
  • Designing Advanced Data Architectures for Business Intelligence. This course focuses primarily on teaching students how to design and develop advanced data architectures from various data sources, including structured, unstructured, and semistructured data sources. Students will learn more about databases such as NoSQL, cloud integration, and data virtualization.
  • Big Data Architecture and Governance. This course covers how to create an accurate road map for organizations that need a reliable database, including how to hit target benchmarks established by management.

What Can You Do With an Online Master’s in Database Management?

Career outlook

In today’s digital landscape, data is the lifeblood of businesses and organizations. Managing and leveraging data effectively is essential for making informed decisions and achieving operational excellence. An online master’s degree in database management equips individuals with the expertise to design, implement, and optimize data systems.

Indeed, the rapid growth in data generation, storage, and utilization across industries has led to an increasing demand for professionals who can manage and secure this invaluable resource. A master’s degree in database management opens up many career options, each focusing on different aspects of data management and database technologies. Here are some common career paths within the database management field:

  • Database administrator or architect — Design databases, ensure databases are secure and operating efficiently, and keep user permissions up to date.
    • Median annual salary: $112,120
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 8%
    • New job openings projected: 10,200 annually
  • Information systems manager — Assess an organization’s technology needs, plan IT projects, and hire and supervise IT staff.
    • Median annual salary: $164,070
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 15%
    • New job openings projected: 46,900 annually
  • Information security analyst — Monitor networks, identify vulnerabilities, train staff on how to prevent security breaches, and recommend security upgrades.
    • Median annual salary: $112,000
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 32%
    • New job openings projected: 16,800 annually

Online Master’s in Database Management Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online master’s in database management degree program?

To apply to an online master’s in database management program, students can access the online application and follow its instructions. This application will specify any paperwork that will be required, including GRE scores, undergraduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, and application essays.

Not all applications have these exact requirements, so check everything carefully to avoid omitting something important. If there are any lingering questions or concerns, contact the admissions counselor for prospective schools — this allows students to get direct answers from the most authoritative source.

How much does an online master’s in database management degree cost?

While the National Center for Education Statistics reports that graduate school tuition is $20,513 per year, costs may be higher or lower depending on certain factors.

For example, a private school education will be more expensive than a public one, and programs with more required credits will likely cost more. Additionally, attending school part-time may be more costly because semester fees can add up.

How long does it take to earn an online master’s in database management degree?

Most online master’s in database management degrees are designed to be completed within two years by students who are attending full-time. If attending part-time, it could take three years or longer, depending on students’ schedules. Conversely, those who take an accelerated program may be able to complete everything in only one year. Regardless of what kind of program students apply to, the most important thing is finding a program that works best with their current schedule.

Is an online master's in database management worth it?

A master’s degree in database management provides a pathway to a rewarding and impactful career where professionals play a crucial role in managing and optimizing data systems, supporting critical business operations, and enabling data-driven decision-making in various industries.

With the exponential growth of data, there is a substantial demand for experts who can manage and optimize databases. Data professionals often earn competitive salaries due to the specialized skills and expertise they bring to organizations.

Earning a master’s degree online offers numerous benefits, making it an attractive option for individuals seeking advanced education while balancing work, family, and other commitments. Also, you’ll be able to choose a program that aligns with your interests and career goals regardless of your location.

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