Best Associate Degrees in Database Management


Updated September 27, 2023

Discover the top associate degrees in database management for 2023. Embark on a journey towards a tech career with our comprehensive guide. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Associate degrees in database management are designed to develop skills in creating, maintaining, and optimizing digital databases. Data drives decision-making in many industries, and database management professionals are at the helm of these essential operations.

The database management field rose with the advent of electronic databases in the 1960s, and its evolution has paralleled the tech revolution. A 2018 whitepaper from the International Data Corporation predicted global data will reach 175 zettabytes by 2025, a number that will only continue to grow in the coming years. Consequently, the demand for workers with database management skills is high.

This page provides a comprehensive list of the best associate degrees in database management for 2023. Our rankings will highlight top programs that can help you qualify for careers in this dynamic field.

Why Get a Database Management Associate Degree?

Database management evolves alongside society's increasing reliance on technology and digitized information. Professionals in this field find employment in various industries — from tech firms to healthcare organizations. They can work from home or in the office as full-time employees or freelancers.

Workers with database management skills can hold positions like back-end web developer, data analyst, and database developer. 2021 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports there were 144,500 database administrator and architect jobs — a broad category that includes multiple careers in this field. The BLS also projects a 9% increase in employment for these positions from 2021 to 2031.

Database management professionals organize, secure, and extract value from data sets to provide pivotal insights for decision-making. Individuals drawn to this field typically possess a blend of analytical thinking, problem-solving skills, and technological aptitude.

Although pathways like certificates and coding bootcamps provide specific skill sets on accelerated timelines, an associate program offers a more comprehensive understanding of the field. These degrees also provide an academic credential that can be advantageous when seeking employment or pursuing further education.

Benefits of a database management associate degree can include:

  • Career Flexibility: An associate degree in database management equips you with versatile skills applicable across industries. This education can qualify you for career paths in fields like finance, healthcare, and tech, enhancing your professional flexibility.
  • Earning Potential: Even entry-level careers in the database management field offer higher-than-average salaries, signaling that earning a degree in this subject can offer a positive return on investment.
  • Foundation for Further Education:This degree can lead to additional education by providing foundational knowledge in database management. Students can often transfer their associate degree credits toward bachelor's programs to qualify for more jobs and further increase their earning potential.

Popular Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What To Expect From Two-Year Database Management Programs

Database management programs aim to provide students with the technical skills to manage and leverage data effectively.

An associate degree usually requires two years of full-time study and 60 credits. These credits are often transferable, allowing for seamless progression to a bachelor's program. The curriculum usually covers data structures, database design, and SQL programming. Students may need to complete capstone projects to demonstrate their skills at the end of the program.

Though you can earn a degree in this field online, some distance learning programs require on-campus attendance for practical components like hands-on labs. Some schools may also require internships or professional experience.

Admissions Process

Applying for a database management degree generally involves submitting an application form and a fee. Requirements usually include a high school diploma or equivalent with a minimum GPA. Some schools also require standardized test scores from the SAT or ACT. Other programs may ask for letters of recommendation, personal statements, or admissions essays.

Some institutions may require applicants to demonstrate foundational knowledge in math or computer science through previous coursework or prerequisites upon admission. Although not typically mandatory, prior experience with database systems can be beneficial.

Associate Degree Options

Associate degrees in database management sometimes include coursework concentrations in subfields like data analytics or cybersecurity. These specializations let students focus their education toward niche career opportunities.

Online, in-person, and hybrid degrees each carry their own benefits. Online and hybrid programs — especially those with asynchronous courses — offer greater flexibility, which may be preferable for working professionals or those with family obligations. Synchronous programs with real-time virtual interactions may be ideal for learners who thrive in structured, collaborative learning environments.

Associate in Database Management Courses

Associate degrees in database management are designed to teach students about building and managing databases as well as understanding data security. We explore common classes for these programs below.

  • Introduction to Database Systems: This foundational course delves into basic database systems concepts, including database design, data modeling, and SQL. Students learn to structure and manipulate databases, essential skills for careers in this field.
  • Database Security: This class focuses on data security and preventative measures that protect databases from unauthorized access. Enrollees learn about topics like encryption, access control, and auditing.
  • Data Analytics and Visualization: This course teaches learners about interpreting and presenting data. Employers who use data-based decision-making particularly value workers with these skills.

How Much Do Associate Degrees in Database Management Cost?

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the average tuition and fees in academic year 2020–21 for two-year public colleges was $3,900. The cost at two-year private nonprofit and for-profit colleges was $18,000 and $15,800 per year, respectively. Online programs sometimes offer reduced tuition or in-state rates for all learners.

As prospective enrollees calculate their budgets, they should also consider costs like books, software, and housing. Financial aid options like scholarships, grants, and private or federal student loans can help students pay for their degree.

Careers in Database Management

Graduates with database management associate degrees can qualify for roles focused on back-end web development and SQL programming. Some employers may also hire workers with associate degrees for jobs as database administrators or developers.

These programs also lay the foundation for careers in data science or business intelligence, which typically require a bachelor's degree.

Below, we explore several database management-related careers for workers with associate degrees in the field. Some of these roles may prefer a bachelor's degree, though employers also consider candidates with associate degrees and relevant skills.

Database Administrator

Database administrators store, organize, and secure organizations' data. They often work in tech services, finance, and healthcare. Advancement opportunities include roles like senior database administrator and IT project manager.

  • Required Education: Associate degree in computer and information technology or a related field required; bachelor's degree preferred
  • Job Outlook (2021-31): +9%
  • 2021 Median Annual Salary: $101,000

Database Developer

These professionals design and implement databases to meet user needs. Developers often work in tech-related sectors. An advanced degree or certification can expand database developers' skills and make them eligible for senior developer or database architect roles.

  • Required Education: Associate degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field and knowledge of SQL required; bachelor's degree preferred
  • Average Annual Salary: $83,050 (June 2023)

Data Scientist

Data scientists analyze and interpret complex digital data to assist businesses in decision-making. Data scientists use machine learning algorithms, predictive models, and statistical tools to discover trends and patterns.

  • Required Education: Bachelor's degree in mathematics, statistics, computer science, or a related field
  • Job Outlook (2021-31): +36%
  • 2021 Median Annual Salary: $100,910

Top 5 Database Management Associate Degrees

Discover the top five database management associate degrees of 2023. This comprehensive ranking profiles five leading schools.

Uncover our unique ranking methodology and learn more about these top institutions at the link below.

American River College

Sacramento, California's American River College (ARC) is a two-year public institution. Established in 1955, it has remained committed to empowering students through comprehensive educational opportunities.

The student population is close to 26,000, and its beaver mascot symbolizes the college's industrious spirit.

Database Management

The Computer Information Science Department at ARC offers a database management associate degree. This program focuses on relational database technology, structured query language (SQL) programming, and problem-solving in business environments.

Diverse courses like design and development of desktop database applications and database programming equip students with practical skills. Graduates can pursue roles as database engineers and SQL developers.

The blend of business and technical subjects enhances critical thinking and communication skills, which are essential in this field. This program offers a solid foundation for database professionals, fostering networking opportunities and long-term career success.

Applying to ARC

Apply to ARC by creating an OpenCCC account and completing the online application.

A Social Security number (SSN), work authorization SSN, or individual taxpayer identification number is necessary.

Students must reside in California to enroll, including for online courses. The application fee information is not publicly available.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC)
  • Tuition: $46/credit (in-state)
  • Required Credits: 60
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Delivery Format: Hybrid (online and on campus)

Eastern Iowa Community College District

Eastern Iowa Community College District (EICCD), established in 1965, is located along the Mississippi River in Davenport. With a mission to provide accessible, quality education, EICCD serves approximately 7,500 students.

IT Database Concentration

The IT database concentration AAS applies career-focused coursework at its Clinton, Muscatine, and Scott campuses of EICCD. Students use industry-standard programming languages like SQL, PL/SQL, and Java for data input and retrieval resources. Classes also cover how to maintain data integrity and security.

The curriculum includes unique courses like Oracle Academy: database design and database programming with PL/SQL. An IT specialist capstone and internship further enrich the learning experience by providing students with real-world experience. Students benefit from a vast network through EICCD's robust connections, setting them on the path to pursue relevant career opportunities.

Applying to EICCD

After submitting an application, you must provide transcripts and scores from standardized tests such as ACT, SAT, or HiSET for English, reading, and math placement. You may be exempt from the placement if you've previously completed a college-level math or English course with a C or better.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $195/credit (in-state); $262/credit (out-of-state)
  • Required Credits: 62 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Delivery Format: Online (synchronous or asynchronous)

Forsyth Technical Community College

Forsyth Technical Community College was established in 1960 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The college serves over 7,700 students and is known for its innovative learning environments.

IT Database Administration

The associate degree in applied science focusing on IT database administration is a standout program at Forsyth Tech. Students in this program learn about the design, maintenance, backup, and recovery of databases, along with SQL, tuning, and normalization.

The curriculum covers foundational network security and specialized database classes, with flexibility that caters to various schedules with day, evening, and online offerings. Graduates have the credentials and expertise to work across sectors, including government agencies and the private sector, in roles like data specialist, business analyst, or data engineer.

This comprehensive, accessible program reflects Forsyth Tech's commitment to innovative and applicable education.

Applying to Forsyth Tech

To apply to Forsyth Tech, verify your North Carolina residency through the Residency Determination Service for potential in-state tuition savings. Then, complete the application on the College Foundation of North Carolina website.

After applying, Forsyth Tech will email you its decision. Specific requirements like minimum GPA, standardized tests, or cost details for the program are not publicly available.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $2,152/year (in-state); $7,168/year (out-of-state)
  • Required Credits: 64-65
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Delivery Format: Online, on campus

Long Beach City College

Nestled in sunny California, Long Beach City College (LBCC) is a diverse educational institution with a rich history dating back to 1927. LBCC serves thousands of students annually across its two campuses.

Database Management

LBCC features a database management associate degree within the Computer and Office Studies department. This program equips students with the skills to design, develop, and maintain relational databases. The curriculum includes courses such as database programming with SQL and database essentials in Amazon Web Services.

Graduates are proficient in analyzing an organization's data needs, designing web applications for data manipulation, and understanding the roles and responsibilities of a database administrator. With many potential careers and solid salary prospects, this program prepares students for employment in a technology-driven world.

Applying to LBCC

Each candidate starts by creating a free account on the college's website, then follows the guided process to complete their applications. Key information includes personal details, education history, and residency status. There is no application fee.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC)
  • Tuition: $1,556/year (in-state); $11,440/year (out-of-state)
  • Required Credits: 60
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Delivery Format: On campus, hybrid

Mt. San Antonio College

Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) is a community college located in the heart of Walnut, California. Since its inception in 1945, Mt. SAC has provided accessible, high-quality education to its diverse student population. The college serves over 25,000 students, making it one of the largest community colleges in the country.

Database Management Systems

The database management associate degree at Mt. SAC, under the Business Division, offers a comprehensive two-year program to train students in database management. This program stands out for its balanced curriculum that provides students with essential skills for handling small and large-scale computer databases.

Students explore critical techniques in relational database management systems, including VBA programming, database design theory, and SQL development for enterprise-level databases. Graduates can pursue employment in database administration, development, and systems analysis. The program is flexible, offering transferable courses for those seeking bachelor's degrees.

Applying to Mt. SAC

Candidates who are 18 or older, or those with a high school diploma or equivalent, can apply. The application is free and involves submitting an online form on the Mt. SAC website and providing official transcripts from all previous education.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC)
  • Tuition: $46/credit (in-state)
  • Required Credits: 56.5-59
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Delivery Format: In-person, online, hybrid

Popular Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Choosing the Best Database Management Associate Degree

When choosing a database management program, consider the following factors:

  • Accreditation: Ensure each potential school holds institutional accreditation from a recognized agency. Accreditation ensures institutions meet standards of academic excellence.
  • School Size and Student/Teacher Ratio: Smaller schools or classes can provide more individualized instruction.
  • Staff Credentials and Diversity: Look for experienced, qualified faculty with diverse backgrounds to gain a variety of perspectives.
  • Cost and Financial Aid: Calculate a program's total cost and explore financial assistance at the institution.
  • Location: For on-campus programs, research the cost of living near the school to determine your overall budget. If considering online degrees, determine whether your learning style better aligns with synchronous or asynchronous coursework.
  • Available Specializations: Explore each program's concentration options to ensure you can pursue a degree that aligns with your career goals.
  • University Resources: Access to career services and extracurricular activities can enrich your academic experience.
  • Admission Requirements: Ensure you meet the program's prerequisites and application requirements.
  • Future Education Opportunities: If you plan to pursue further education, check if the school offers advanced degrees or partners with four-year institutions to facilitate transfer into a bachelor's program.

Should You Get Your Associate Degree in Database Management Online?

Online education continues to grow in popularity because of its accessibility and flexibility. These factors mean online degrees can be especially beneficial for enrollees balancing their education with work and family obligations.

However, students should consider their learning style, tech proficiency, and the need for hands-on instruction when deciding to pursue a distance learning program. They should also ensure each prospective online degree maintains rigorous standards and offers student support.

Should You Go to an Associate, Certificate, or Bootcamp Program?

Associate degrees, certificates, and bootcamp programs in database management offer different advantages. An associate degree provides a comprehensive education and a broad skill set. Certificate programs are typically quicker, focusing on specific skills. Bootcamps are intense, short-term training programs that aim to make you job-ready in a particular subfield.

Choosing the right path depends on your career goals, time commitments, financial resources, and learning style. We compare these options below:

Associate vs. Certificate vs. Bootcamp Programs
Comparison Point Database Management Associate Degrees Database Management Certificates Bootcamp Programs
Program Length Two years (full-time) 3-12 months 12-26 weeks
Course Load 60 credits 9-30 credits Variable modules or units
Types of Classes Database management foundational classes and general education courses Database management foundational classes Intensive modules or units
Program Focus Broad scope of skills and knowledge, including database management Specific areas of database management Fundamental coding skills and practical training
Admission Requirements Transcripts with minimum GPA and standardized test scores High school diploma or equivalent Aptitude/skills tests

Popular Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Furthering Your Education in Database Management

In addition to helping you qualify for a wider array of jobs, pursuing bachelor's or master's degrees in database management can also increase your earning potential. Advanced academic credentials confer deeper knowledge bases and further develop hard and soft skills for careers in the field.

Database Management Associate Degree Questions

What can you do with an associate degree in database management?

An associate degree in database management can lead to entry-level positions such as back-end web developer or database developer. It can also provide a foundation for further education.

Is an associate in database management worth it?

An associate degree in database management offers foundational knowledge for an in-demand field. Graduates can qualify for entry-level positions offering higher-than-average salaries, which can signal a positive return on investment for these programs.

Is getting a database management degree hard?

As with any degree, a database management program can prove challenging. This technical field involves analytical thinking, problem-solving, and understanding complex systems. Learners who are good with technology may thrive in this field.

Are database managers paid well?

Careers in database management offer higher-than-average salaries. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for database administrators, which includes database managers, was $101,000 in 2021 — more than double the median annual wage for all occupations, which was $45,760 in 2021.

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