Is Database Administration Hard? Career Requirements for DBA

Database administrators are responsible for setting up databases according to their company’s needs and making sure databases operate efficiently.

They have a vital role for companies, increasing the demand for this position. Therefore, more and more IT enthusiasts pursue this career.

Is database administration (DBA) hard?

Yes, this job requires you to possess knowledge, such as development to system administration and management.

In other words, you will need a significant level of experience and knowledge, which you cannot achieve overnight.

Is Being a DBA Difficult?

Pursuing a career in DBA is not easy. You’ll need to start by completing challenging DBA courses, and it is essential to have solid knowledge.

  • Networking
  • System administration
  • Hardware
  • Basic knowledge of SQL, PL/SQL, etc

Is being a DBA Stressful?

Yes, of course. The responsibilities of DBAs are crucial to the success or failure of an organization or company because they work with their organization or company’s data.

Therefore, becoming a DBA is difficult and stressful as you will have to shoulder many responsibilities.

Is Database Hard to Learn?

SQL is an easy language to learn. As long as you understand programming and already know some other languages, you can expect to learn SQL in a few weeks.

If you are a completely new beginner to programming, it may take longer.

Some Requirements

Most employers require their candidates to possess a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of experience.

It’s not easy to land this job.

In addition, many potential candidates also receive certifications, which can certify their specialized skills, such as their knowledge of database languages.

1. Education

Most candidates for the DBA will have completed a bachelor’s degree in:

  • Computer engineering
  • Information systems
  • Computer science

Many candidates pursue a master’s degree to increase their knowledge in their field and enhance their career opportunities.

On the other hand, some new DBAs only hold a high school diploma but gain relevant experience after working in the technology industry.

2. Training

In most cases, training for DBAs is on their job. Their companies will provide instructions related to their procedures and databases.

In addition, DBAs also have various opportunities for continuing training in seminars and conferences.

3. Certifications

There are different types of databases available. Therefore, depending on your particular specialty, you could receive a related certification that proves you already possess extensive knowledge of a particular database:

Oracle Certified Professional Certification:

The fact is that Oracle provides various certifications based on its server releases. If you want to earn any certification from Oracle, you will have to pass an exam (online form) to prove you understand the release version.

Many DBAs choose to get certifications for different versions since different companies utilize varying releases. Therefore, you should take various online courses to prepare for an exam from Oracle.

Microsoft SQL Server Database Certification

It is Microsoft’s entry-level certification. It is related to basic skills for a DBA.

Once you achieve this certification, you can conquer the many Associate Level Microsoft Solutions certifications. However, before taking the exam, it is wise to learn to gain SQL server skills.

IBM Certified Database Administrator certification

If you have this certification, employers will know that navigating an IBM database server is one of your capabilities.

4. Skills

As a DBA, you should have the following hard and soft skills:

Hard Skills

Database languages & management systems

If you want to succeed in this field, it is essential to possess in-depth knowledge of database languages and applications, like SQL, MySQL, Oracle, or SAP.

Desktop operating systems

DBAs sometimes have to work with database applications. In addition, they may also have to assist users with database-related issues.

Therefore, it is essential to have a solid knowledge of well-known operating systems such as macOS, Windows, and Linux.

Server operating systems

Databases have a close relationship with the server operating system. As a DBA, you should be familiar with the relevant operating systems, such as Linux, Unix, and Windows Server.

Installing hardware component

DBAs will be responsible for the replacement of the malfunctioning component.

They must have a basic understanding of the hardware included in the server, including the central processor, random access memory, motherboard, and hard drive.

Capacity planning & database design

As a DBA, you will also have to complete capacity planning to create processes for situations, such as more user licenses and vast storage space.

Backup solutions & data restore

One of the most critical responsibilities of DBAs is the recovery of their database servers. Therefore, they must handle backup solutions most efficiently.

Besides, they need to restore the database when requested.

Soft Skills

Communication skills are necessary.


As a DBA, in managing the database systems process, you will have to monitor or evaluate most aspects related to information technology.

As a result, you will often have to develop solutions to problems and get them to work quickly and decisively.


DBAs also often have to communicate with their partners and colleagues, including other IT professionals, developers, and superiors.

By possessing communication skills, it will be easier for you to coordinate and work with others, making it easier to get things done.

Critical thinking

If you want to succeed in this fast-paced environment, the ability to assess situations quickly is necessary to come up with solutions quickly.

This skill will enable you to make the right decisions by analyzing available data and information.

Work Environment

As a DBA, your job opportunities are great, and you can land a job in:

  • Computer-system design companies
  • Government departments
  • Healthcare sector
  • Telecommunications
  • Banks
  • Universities
  • And more

DBAs commonly do their job in an office setting. Yet, sometimes they can perform work in server rooms. In addition, they often sit and work in front of their computer for extended periods.


Becoming a database administrator is not easy. You should know many things to pursue a career in this field.

Many different paths allow you to pursue becoming a DBA, depending on your qualifications and experience. However, if you are a beginner, you should follow these three steps:

  • Step 1: Obtain a bachelor’s degree.
  • Step 2: Get database languages & management systems knowledge.
  • Step 3: Gain a certification

With patience and effort, we believe you will succeed in this field. Good luck!