Database management plays a vital role in information-driven industries such as finance, government, education and health care. Using special software applications, database managers organize and store information ranging from a hospital's patient medical files to a retailer's customer financial and shipping records. Database specialists focus on keeping this data secure and private, while providing access to authorized users.
Studies usually cover the basics of database languages, such as Structured Query Language (SQL) and its variations, and relational database features for data storage and retrieval. Related classes include computer science, information security and management information systems (MIS). Students may also explore business administration courses with a concentration like information systems or health informatics.
Database management includes responsibilities such as design and testing, server administration and data mining. Database developers design warehousing systems according to an organization's requirements and resources. Database administrators (DBAs) perform system maintenance, including monitoring, updates and backup. Admins may also support a particular application that uses databases, such as customer service software. Data analysts compile reports for management to support decision-making based on business intelligence.