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What does a masters degree in database administration give you


What does a masters degree in database administration give you

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SQLTestUser
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Is there any justification for pursuing a masters degree in database administration? what would be the positives and the negatives?
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I'd say the majority, if not most, of the main posters on this site are self-trained and have taken specific training courses, but not a full degree. Hopefully someone around here has gone through the process and can answer your question, but you're not being ignored for no reason.

Most of us wouldn't know what to expect out of that.


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SQLTestUser (7/23/2014)
Is there any justification for pursuing a masters degree in database administration? what would be the positives and the negatives?


To be absolutely honest and with the understanding that it's just one person's opinion, I don't believe a Master's Degree will buy you anything other than a heavy bill to pay back and unreasonable expectations of how far you should be able to walk over the proverbial water. In fact, it may hurt you as being "over-qualified" unless you're going to work for "someone special".

You'll also run into people like me where I don't hire nor even consider a resume based on how many letters a person may or may not have after their name even if they're MS Certs. You'll still have to pass my interview and, although I'd likely give you a break on your length of experience, I wouldn't give you a break when it comes to answering questions about things even if they require experience to find such things out UNLESS you're applying for a Junior position (usually temporarily Junior for a year or so to earn the "Senior" label) where training is expected.

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Much of the expectations will depend on whether the Masters degree follows the teaching route or the research one.

For the teaching path I'd expect a solid grounding of the theory expanding on that which would be gained from a Batchelors degree probably with a significant practical project which would probably be the main area of database experience gained albeit still very limited.

If it is gained through the research route then I'd expect very good and detailed knowledge of a very narrow aspect of the subject.
Shawn Melton
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SQLTestUser (7/23/2014)
Is there any justification for pursuing a masters degree in database administration? what would be the positives and the negatives?

I will touch on the negatives first...

There really are not any, an education is an education at any level. No one can tell you it was a waste of time, only you can.

If you are going to go for it then focus on what you want to get out of it and make sure the curriculum the college offers matches to that, if it does not then I would not bother with it. The college local to me does not offer any technical depth or science to a master level in databases, just business side of things. There is one a few towns over from me that I would love to take just for the pure education of it, but the commute is to much to bother. I have come across one masters degree program that I would love to go through at Boston University, and is offered online; just have to find the funds.

You will come across companies that are not going to hire anyone with degree, whether bachelor or masters, without having experience. You will come across other companies that master degree puts your resume at the top of the list. You may not get a job right off as a Senior but should be able to as a mid-level at most.

I can tell you if you are interested in government work (state or federal level) then master degrees are shined upon and in some positions required.

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Grant Fritchey
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Nothing but opinion follows. Take due notice and govern yourselves accordingly.

If we're talking a database administration job working anywhere outside academia (or evidently, the government), the degree itself is unlikely to go anything for you directly, at all. I was the primary hiring point for a team of DBAs and database developers for about 6 years. I never even looked at people's educations. I didn't care. I cared about real world, demonstrated experience. Whether or not you have a thorough and complete grounding in all aspects of database theory doesn't mean a darned thing when I need a recovery run at 3am. Sorry, but that's the truth of the matter.

Now, if we're talking the very small area of data scientist, whether in research or in business, then I think the masters degree can absolutely help. But, only if it's in the area of data science. If it's some sort of general data theory degree, then we're back to useless again. But there, you may be better served by going on to get your doctorate.

Education, for educations sake is fine. But if you're looking at this as a "will I make more money with the masters than without it" situations, in most circumstances, I'd say no.

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Those who can, do

Those who can't, teach
(after they get their Masters)

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Rudy Komacsar
Senior Database Administrator

"Ave Caesar! - Morituri te salutamus."
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