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5 Things to Expect from Modern DBA Roles

Andreea Clair
ECEMEA Marketing Manager

Database technology is moving forward in giant leaps. This makes DBAs across the world wonder how these technical advances will affect their job prospects.

Through data findings covering the changes of DBA roles worldwide, Oracle University has identified a few key takeaways that DBAs need to consider when taking on the challenge of developing a career in this ever-evolving domain.

For a quick overview, check out the full DBA infographic here.

How will DBA employment change by 2026?

Talent shortage within today’s IT industry continues to be an issue for employers, and will perpetuate as technology demands keep increasing.

According to a 2016 Gartner survey, an estimated 1 million computer programming jobs in the US are expected to go unfilled by 2020.

So how will DBAs be affected?

Current DBA salaries across the globe can be an indicator for a good career prospect, but what trumps the financial aspect is that DBA roles will continue to be an important part for companies making extensive use of a database.

Such employers will keep searching for a dedicated professional to ensure the company’s database remains in proper working order - the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Data Sources already confirms that DBA employment is expected to have increased by 11% in 2026.

What will be the biggest priority for DBAs?

Today’s DBAs are compelled to rise above the quantitative nature of their role to a more qualitative outlook at how database expertise can help the overall business, and the market demand in this sense will continue to grow in time.

As automation has brought an end to numerous of the repetitive tasks that DBAs were once responsible for, modern DBAs need to focus on learning how to become true advisors of the business.

A DBA can deliver more value by understanding the company’s business model and advising on what data is most valuable to the business, Jeff Erickson explains in Three Ways To Energize Your DBA Career In The Cloud.

More and more businesses have started transitioning to a hybrid IT strategy, while 92% of IT professionals believe adopting Cloud technology is important to the long-term success of their company, according to this recent SolarWinds survey.

This means that those who want to pursuit a career as a DBA will have to make a priority out of preparing to manage the migration and database implementations in the Cloud sooner or later.

What is the greatest challenge to be expected within a DBA role?

As technology environments become more complex, so do the skills required to perform a DBA role. The task of maintaining these roles exclusively at a DBA level is getting difficult, and will ultimately turn into a challenge that every modern DBA needs to face at some point in their career.

Both development and DBA teams need to start working even more closely than before and agree that customer experience is the foremost key performance indicator of an application. Only by partnering and exchanging knowledge can they altogether deliver best of breed performance tuning opportunities to improve the overall customer satisfaction level.

This brings us to the upcoming point, which is the importance of learning new skills and taking continuous DBA training within a modern DBA’s everyday work.

How will training impact the role of a DBA?

 

The next generation of DBAs will have a more significant role than ever. However, in order to conquer the challenges yet to come, the training component within their professional development can no longer be overlooked.

To rise above the market demand, businesses need to become as effective as possible when it comes to enabling their staff to acquire new skills.

  • Gartner highlighted that untrained users take up to 22.5 hours to achieve the same skill level that it takes a trained employee 5 hours to achieve.
  • As modern DBAs will need to focus more on innovation, rather than mundane tasks, proper training ultimately becomes the only ace up their sleeve to remain at the cutting edge of their profession. 
  • DBAs preparing for a career involving the Oracle Database - a complex database that is not easy to learn a trade - need to equip themselves with a detailed know-how in order to be successful in this particular field.

But with the new Oracle Database 12c R2, Oracle University has turned the tables and has made acquiring such skills significantly easier.

The Oracle Database Upgrade Learning Subscription is the newest digital training solution that helps DBAs effectively and easily upgrade existing databases to the latest release, and any following releases as the Oracle Database continues to evolve. 

What will employers be looking for in a DBA role?

It is becoming clear both for companies and employees that newly acquired skills will be the ultimate differentiator within the next job interview. One in four IT workers are worried that their skills could become obsolete, according to a recent FastCompany publication.

This concern also arises from the fact that hiring managers will always be looking out for top qualified professionals, and as their business demand increases, the hiring compromises they are willing to make will get smaller and smaller.

So then how can modern DBAs validate their skills to employers?

  • A CompTIA report outlined that 92% of employers agree that IT certifications help ensure credibility of IT employees.
  • Moreover, 88% of IT professionals say they would recommend certification to a colleague when discussing a career or advancement in their field, confirms the Pearson VUE Certification Survey from 2016.              

Oracle Certification has therefore become a powerful tool for DBAs to validate their expertise, and its utility will continue to rise proportionally with employment expectations.

This is why Oracle University has invested in helping DBAs worldwide differentiate themselves from other candidates through the Database Upgrade Learning Subscription. It comes along with the opportunity to take two Oracle Database 12c R2 upgrade certifications exams.

Obtaining an Oracle certification can be a competitive advantage indeed, but that’s not all to the success of the next generation of DBAs.

When thinking about the dynamics of such jobs, and what is to be expected in terms of career prospects on a long term, only one fact remains crystal clear: technology doesn’t stand still, and neither should you.

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