Today, we’ll discuss how to start a career as a database scientist, which is one of the best jobs in the data analytics industry.
This guide will cover why you should consider a career in database science, what you'd be expected to do on the job, why you'll need to complete a related degree before attempting to land this job, and what you can do to improve your chances of success in the industry.
After you’ve read about becoming a database scientist, please fill out our information request form to learn more about our online Bachelor's Degree in Management Information Systems & Business Analytics or our online Master’s Degree in Data Analytics.
If you’re ready to get started, submit your application today.
What Is a Database Scientist?
A database scientist is someone who finds valuable insights in large datasets.
Data scientists help organizations make complex, difficult decisions by allowing them to analyze patterns and trends in big data, then react according to what the data suggests they should be doing.
In this way, data scientists can infuse data-driven decision-making into business strategies, ensuring that the organizations they advise are making the best possible decisions to reduce costs and maximize profits.
Common applications of data science include researching issues like consumer demand, purchasing activities, or other important trends that can have a significant impact on the business.
As a result, you’ll find database scientists employed virtually everywhere, in nearly every modern industry and organization, from Google to the United States Federal Reserve.
Database scientists need to be highly skilled with technology, statistics, and mathematics so that they can help organizations devise creative solutions for managing, manipulating, analyzing, and interpreting large datasets, then using those datasets to guide business strategy.
Is Database Science a Good Career Choice?
Absolutely! Indeed reports that database scientists are ranked among the top twenty jobs with the highest pay and fastest growth, and Glassdoor reports that “Data Scientist” is the 2nd best job title out of all possible jobs in America for 2021.
According to TowardsDataScience.com, data scientists are in high demand because organizations have learned that data-driven decision-making is a critical asset for succeeding in the modern economy.
This is an excellent career to consider specializing in, and one that you should seriously think about studying because of all the significant benefits that would come from getting into the field, including:
- Database scientists are highly-valued employees since they play a critical role at the organizations where they’re employed, helping drive organizational success by advising senior leadership on ideal business strategies.
- Database scientists can expect a great salary, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting their average salary at $126,830 per year as of May 2020.
- Demand for trained database scientists is expanding rapidly, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that employment in the field is expected to grow by 22% between 2020-2030.
If you want to do important, interesting work analyzing complex data sets to help devise creative solutions for complex problems, this could be the perfect job for you.
It's also a great role for anyone who is adaptable and curious, because as a database scientist, you'll get to work on a wide range of challenges, analyzing various types of data sets to answer a wide range of strategically important questions.
Finally, because database scientists are needed in almost every industry, you will have opportunities to transfer between organizations and do similar work in different sectors, which is a great opportunity to travel, work for different types of organizations, and get involved in different sectors.
What Are Some Common Job Titles for Database Scientists?
Just like any other complex field, many industry roles won’t use the job title “Database Scientist”, but may instead have more specific titles like:
- Database Administrator: These professionals are in charge of designing data models in a database system, implementing these designs, and testing them to ensure they perform their intended functions. In general, this role entails working with all three levels of technology involved in databases, namely logical, physical, and programming.
- Database Developer: Database developers create data structures and associated access routines for use by applications. They may be responsible for creating databases, designing table layouts, creating indexes, and writing queries, among other things. Some of their tasks are similar to those performed by database administrators, while others may be significantly different, depending on job role or project requirements.
- Data Analyst / Data Scientist: These professionals analyze and interpret data to discover business trends and patterns. They extract meaningful patterns, trends, and conclusions from raw data such as sales figures or product usage statistics to provide valuable insights for planning purposes.
- Data Architect: Database architects are responsible for designing the overall structure of a database system, including determining data modeling concepts such as entity-relationship diagrams. They create logical structures such as tables and columns, which allow developers to create physical structures with advanced tools like Erwin.
- Data Engineer: These professionals are in charge of designing data-intensive systems that are typically highly scalable. They do not typically deal with individual bits and bytes or database cells; rather, they ensure that large amounts of structured/unstructured data can be efficiently stored, retrieved, and processed promptly.
- Business Analyst: Business analysts are typically tasked with understanding how an organization's current business functions work to identify ways in which existing or future systems can be used to improve these processes. They may also be responsible for determining how information flows through different parts of the organization to make sure that everyone has access to the details they need to make better decisions, including what data is required at each stage of the process.
What Do Database Scientists Actually Do?
As the list above makes clear, database scientists may wear a lot of hats, but their primary role tends to be spearheading the process of using advanced data analysis procedures to improve business strategies.
To accomplish this goal, they use computer programs to store, manipulate, and analyze data. This can include traditional database systems, big data repositories, or cloud-based applications.
Because the job they perform is so important to organizational success, you can find database scientists working in virtually every industry, including media, healthcare, retail, finance, technology, or any other sector.
As a professional database scientist, you may be asked to handle tasks like:
- Using SQL to write queries and update data.
- Building databases to store information efficiently.
- Designing databases that meet the needs of an organization's operations cost-effectively while ensuring security and performance.
- Analyzing existing systems to ascertain whether they are effective.
- Exploring new methods or technologies that could help achieve goals.
- Collaborating with other teams across an organization to ensure optimal performance of databases.
Database scientists may also be asked to assess the effectiveness of existing systems, conduct research on new methods or technologies that may aid the organization in achieving its objectives, and collaborate with information technology teams to ensure optimal database performance.
This job requires advanced computing skills since these professionals must be capable of creating complex databases capable of storing huge sets of data, while remaining cost-effective, secure, and easily accessible.
If you’re serious about breaking into the industry, you’ll need to develop a series of specific skills and abilities required to succeed in this challenging, but exciting role.
What Skills & Abilities are Needed to Become a Successful Database Scientist?
Specific skills and abilities are required to become a successful database scientist.
For example, to deal with the large amounts of data that are common in modern businesses, you’ll need exceptionally strong computational thinking abilities.
You should also have strong problem-solving skills and excellent programming skills so that you’re capable of solving problems quickly, and accurately.
To become a successful database scientist, you will want to focus on developing the following skills and abilities:
- Expertise in database design principles and theories.
- Knowledge of computer programming, mathematics, statistics, engineering, data analysis, and modeling.
- Ability to write SQL queries and update data.
- Strong analytical skills for data interpretation and problem-solving.
- Good communication, teamwork, and collaboration skills.
You should also work on developing strong leadership skills so that you can lead teams and individuals responsible for the different parts of the data collection, storage, and interpretation process.
And finally, keep in mind that you may also have the option to specialize in a particular industry, such as healthcare, finance, or e-commerce, and that the skills and training required in each of these different fields may vary.
Do I Really Need a Degree to Become a Database Scientist?
It may be possible to become a successful database scientist without getting a degree in the field, but employers are likely to prefer candidates with a bachelor's or even a master’s degree.
An advanced degree may not be required to become a database scientist if you have a strong background in programming or data modeling, experience working in IT or with databases, and a demonstrated interest in technology, but keep in mind that completing a relevant degree is likely to help you stand out in this competitive field.
In this specific role, it’s also important to develop both hard skills (knowledge and experience relevant to your specific tasks as a database scientist) as well as soft skills (communications, critical thinking, problem-solving, etc.).
Hard skills are critical to achieving success as a database scientist, but those soft skills can provide a great deal of value when it comes time to work with other teams and coworkers to ensure that the databases are being designed, accessed, and optimized in a way that suits your organization’s needs.
The best way to develop your expertise in all of these areas is to complete a degree in data analytics, as this will ensure you’ve got the foundational knowledge, skills, and abilities required to become a professional database scientist.
How Will CSU Global’s M.S. in Data Analytics Program Help Prepare Me to Become a Data Scientist?
Completing our online Master’s Degree in Data Analytics will provide you with the opportunity to develop critical, workplace-relevant skills, like:
- Math skills (like linear algebra, statistics, etc.)
- Software engineering practices
- Database administration principles
- Business communication
To give you an idea of the topics you’ll study with us, this program’s core courses include:
- The Fundamentals of Quantitative Analysis
- Foundations of Data Analytics
- Introduction to Business Intelligence
- Data Mining and Visualization
- Predictive Analytics
- Business Analytics
Please keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of courses, but that these are indicative of the types of topics you’ll be studying in our program, which was designed to prepare you for modern jobs in database science.
Completing our online M.S. in Data Analytics program will ensure that you’ve gained the foundational knowledge and critical skills needed to succeed in this competitive, challenging industry.
What Can I Do to Increase My Chances of Success?
Whether you’re just beginning to consider a career in database science or you’ve already begun your journey, there are several things you can do to improve your chances of success.
First off, make sure to learn SQL! There are lots of reasons why learning SQL will benefit your career as a database scientist, including:
- SQL is used by a large percentage of databases, so learning how to write queries and work with data in SQL will provide you with a solid foundation for working with modern databases.
- SQL is one of the most popular programming languages in use today, so if you know how to code in SQL, you may have an easier time finding work.
- SQL is a relatively simple language to learn, especially if you’re being trained by a qualified teacher, so it shouldn't take too long before you can begin working with data and practicing your database science skills.
You might also want to consider completing relevant industry certification programs, which could be an excellent asset for your resume.
According to CIO.com, the best industry certifications for anyone looking to build a career as a database scientist include:
- Certified Analytics Professional (CAP)
- Cloudera Certified Professional (CCP) Data Engineer
- Google Professional Data Engineer Certification
- IBM Data Science Professional Certificate.
- Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Fundamentals
- Open Certified Data Scientist (Open CDS)
- SAS Certified AI & Machine Learning Professional
Finally, remember that while hard skills like SQL and data modeling are required to get a job in this field, soft skills could also play an important role in helping you excel in your new career path.
CSU Global’s Master’s in Data Analytics program focuses on developing your hard skills, ensuring you’re fully qualified to take on the responsibilities of a professional database scientist, but we also provide instruction on soft skills as well.
Should I Get My Degree Online?
Yes, there are numerous advantages to obtaining your degree online.
First, studying online means that you can study and complete coursework wherever and whenever it is convenient for you.
If you’ve already got a busy schedule full of family and work-related responsibilities, then studying online may make it much easier to find the time required to complete your degree.
If you choose to study online with us at CSU Global, you’ll be able to take advantage of several excellent benefits provided by our unique, fully online programs, including:
- No requirements to show up at set times or in physical locations.
- Monthly class starts.
- Accelerated courses.
These benefits will be especially helpful for anyone looking for an efficient degree program since being able to avoid commuting to and from campus could save you a tremendous amount of time.
If you have any concerns about juggling your current responsibilities with the time needed to complete a degree, then you should consider studying online with us.
Why Should I Choose CSU Global’s Data Analytics Program?
Our 100% online Master’s Degree in Data Analytics was designed to provide you with everything you need to launch a successful, lifelong career as a database scientist.
This program is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which ensures that your degree will help you earn the respect of hiring managers looking to employ skilled experts in the field.
Our program is sure to help set your resume apart from other applicants, as it currently holds several excellent rankings, including:
- A #3 ranking for Best Online Degree in Data Analytics from Best Master Programs.
- A #9 ranking for Best Online Master’s in Data Science Programs from Intelligent.
CSU Global itself is also widely regarded as an industry leader in higher education, as we recently earned several important rankings, including:
- A #10 ranking for Best Online Colleges for ROI from OnlineU.
- A #1 ranking for Best Online Colleges & Schools in Colorado from Best Accredited Colleges.
- A #1 ranking for Best Online Colleges in Colorado from Best Colleges.
To learn more about our fully accredited online Master’s Degree in Data Analytics, please call (800) 462-7845 or fill out our Information Request Form.
Are you ready to get started? Apply today!