Whether you're just starting on your career path or you're hoping to make the jump to a more interesting or more lucrative career, database server management is a solid choice. In 2017, people in the industry earned an average of more than $87,000, and the number of available jobs is expected to grow faster than average through 2026.
Of course, you do need a degree to enter the field. Busy lives mean you can't always head to a physical campus for classes. Luckily, there are a variety of colleges and universities that offer online courses for database server management. Check out these top choices to help you get started.
How We Chose Our Ratings
When rating the best online courses for database management, we looked at several factors. In addition to offering a flexible online program that would work around students' busy schedules, we also learned about each school's accreditation.
Other factors included the price, the length of the courses and the number of courses. Finally, we considered reviews from previous students to determine how good the school is and whether the degree is truly beneficial.
Top 11 Best Online Courses for Database Server Management
Image from University of Massachusetts Lowell
Serving nearly 18,000 students each year, University of Massachusetts Lowell is one of five campuses throughout the state. The school, which has one of the largest online programs available through a traditional university, thrives on bringing an in-person experience to the online classroom format.
Full-time professors teach each class, of which there are 120 credit hours to earn a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. The program includes a specialization in database management and features a range of project-related classes.
The school offers a long list of electives, some of which include network management, Linux/UNIX systems administration and website database development. The campus was named among the top 10 for value by Forbes and at just $375 per credit hour, it is quite affordable.
Even better, UMass Lowell has a 100 percent recommendation rate. Each student also said his or her career improved after graduating. Overall Rating: 5/5 stars.
At $285 per credit hour, University of Maine at Augusta is one of the most affordable schools on this list. A public university, UMA offers an online Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems.
The degree includes a concentration in web development and networking, programming and data science. The most unique feature of this degree is the e-portfolio which helps students to advertise their skills and education as soon as they graduate.
The program, which requires 121 credit hours, includes 78 in computer information systems, 30 in electives and 21 in a concentration. Some of the data science courses include database management, data mining and data visualization. US News & World Report ranks University of Maine at Augusta in the top 50 best online bachelor's programs, and the school provides online courses for the Maine Army National Guard and troops who are serving in Afghanistan.
The school has a 100 percent success rate across the board from students who have reviewed it, although it should be noted that there aren't many reviews yet. Overall Rating: 5/5 stars.
Image from New York University
Known as one of the top five schools for online degrees, New York University Bachelor of Science in Applied Data Analytics and Visualization features a specialization in database management programs.
The degree includes a core curriculum, data science and visualization courses, electives and foundation classes for a total of 128 credits. Sample courses include business intelligence, cultural and legal implications of digital technology and much more. Each student will also be required to complete a senior project.
Classwork includes homework assignments, reading and discussion posts, as well as team activities, all of which the student can complete on his or her own time. Live web conferencing from the professors is also common.
Students who graduate from the university, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, go on to work in such locations as political organizations, nonprofits, consulting firms and more. More than 85 percent of the school's graduates recommend its distance learning, and 88 percent of those students saw career improvement after graduating. Overall Rating: 4/5 stars.
Image from Arizona State University
Providing an online bachelor's degree in business data analytics, Arizona State University requires students to complete 120 credit hours that teach them skills in cleansing, analysis, integration and data aggregation.
Each of the 41 classes lasts just shy of eight weeks, and classes include instruction in business data mining, enterprise analytics and dimensional modeling. A capstone project is required, and applicants must submit their ACT or SAT scores. GPA minimums are also enforced.
However, if you have the grades, the low cost of the university is an excellent choice for people on a budget. About 87 percent of previous students recommend Arizona State University, and 84 percent now have better careers. Overall Rating: 4/5 stars.
Image from Western International University
Known as a Bachelor's Degree in Informatics, Western International University teaches students how to blend the technological and business worlds to make the most of their careers. The degree, which includes a focus on database management, takes as little as 63 months to complete and costs about $6,000 per year.
Students learn about data structures, software applications, computer architecture and much more. Nearly 90 percent of the school's students are distance learners who attend classes online, and financial aid is available for qualifying students. Tuition covers a range of materials including practice exams and interactive learning tools.
The school is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Of graduating students, 76 percent recommend the school and 75 percent say earning a degree from Western International University improved their career outlook. Overall Rating: 3.5/5 stars.
Providing a physical campus in Fort Collins and an international online campus, Colorado State University offers an online bachelor's degree in database management for a price of $350 per credit hour. The school, which has nearly 33,000 students, has an 86 percent retention rate and is known for its international education programs.
The online degree allows you to choose one of 12 undergraduate degrees which include options such as information technology, and then add a data management specialization which is an additional 15 credits. Upper-level classes include database concepts, cloud computing and big data, data mining, statistics and SPSS, and database management. Ranked 121st in the country by US News & World Report, the university has high status among public universities. In fact, 90 percent of its graduates say the degree improved their career.
However, it should be noted that only 63 percent recommend the online classes, mainly because they feel the portal is down for maintenance too often for them to be productive. Overall Rating: 3.5/5 stars.
Image from Southern New Hampshire University
A private university comprised mainly of online learners, Southern New Hampshire University has nearly 60,000 students, of which about 57,000 are distance learners.
The school's Bachelor of Science in Information Technology offers 10 possible concentrations, including database administration and management, which focuses on Oracle Database 11g. Students learn how to design a similar system as well as how to implement each stage.
The program requires 120 credit hours, some of which are spent in courses such as Oracle SQL Fundamentals, human relations in administration, and database design and management. The school was recently named one of the most innovative organizations in the world, and 65 percent of students who have attended it recommend it. Of those, 64 percent saw career improvement upon graduation. Overall Rating: 3/5 stars.
Offering a main campus just outside of St. Louis and satellite campuses on three other continents, Webster University provides an online-only Bachelor of Science in data analytics.
Coursework focuses on the foundational methodologies, technologies and concepts related to the process of analyzing and managing data. To earn their degree, students must complete 128 credits, 36 of which are related to the major. Some of the courses include data warehousing, e-commerce and decision support systems.
Each class only has about 25 students to ensure they receive one-on-one time with instructors as needed, and all coursework is completed at the student's convenience. Classes are available in eight-, nine- or 16-week formats to provide as many options as possible. Students are expected to read, participate in activities, discuss the course with other students and do assignments and projects.
Admissions are accepted on a rolling basis, and all students pay the same tuition as in-state students. The regionally accredited university has a 64 percent recommendation rate from former students and 63 percent say the degree improved their career choices. Overall Rating: 3/5 stars.
The largest private online university in the United States, Liberty University was founded in 1985 and features a Christian-based curriculum while still teaching everything needed to earn an online Bachelor of Science in Information Systems.
Offering a database specialty, the program teaches administration, analysis, development and management of databases.
The coursework, which takes 120 credit hours, allows students to transfer credits to complete their degrees more quickly. The university also provides a range of resources, including industry-recognized prep exams for JAVA, Oracle, Apple and more.
About 60 percent of the university's former students recommend the school while 65 percent say graduating from the school improved their careers. Overall rating: 3/5 stars.
For just under $11,000 a year, Colorado Technical University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a specialization in data management.
The university is quickly climbing the ranks as a contender and was named "Best for Vets" by Military Times two years in a row. It was also a top school on the "Top 100 Producers of Minority Degrees" list. The degree covers a range of topics, including SQL technology, operating systems and programming logic.
A highly qualified instructor teaches each course, and the online options mean you can work your classes in around your schedule. Of Colorado Technical University's former students, 64 percent recommend the program and 61 percent feel their careers have improved. Overall Rating: 3/5 stars.
People who prefer to learn at their own pace and choose their own courses can check out Vertabelo Academy, although it may not hold as much clout as a traditional online university. Still, the SQL and database management courses are a great way to dip your toe into the water or to take a refresher course.
Start with SQL Basics before moving on to learning how to operate data in SQL, create tables in SQL and finally, manage the databases. Each course has dozens of exercises and detailed explanations. Complete every lesson and then take a final quiz to see how much you learned.
Beginning courses doesn't require registration, although you'll need to sign up with your email address or a social media profile once you complete a few exercises. One downside is that Vertabelo Academy is rather new and doesn't have a lot of reviews, meaning you'll likely be one of the guinea pigs. Overall Rating: 2/5 stars.
With so many excellent options, it can be hard to decide which online school is the right one for you. Chances are you need to consider several factors, such as the courses you want to take, how fast you want to graduate, how much schooling you can fit into your schedule and, of course, your price range.
While most of these degrees include the same basic set of courses, some of the electives may be different and determine your choice. Of course, if you are on a time constraint or want to start earning more money as soon as possible, you'll need to choose a school that works around your schedule and offers an accelerated pace.
Price range is often the most important factor for potential students, but you must remember that you get what you pay for.
On one hand, the cheapest courses probably don't offer much in the way of providing you with a competitive edge in the industry; on the other hand, just because you pay a lot for a degree doesn't make it the best option.
Carefully weigh the pros and cons before handing over a check to any university. Doing so ensures you make the best choice possible for your needs.