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7. Database Administrator
Database Administrator
Jones says DBAs are needed “no matter what industry you’re in.”
Top 100 rank: 7
Sector: Information Technology

What they do: Organize and manage data, update software, and troubleshoot when problems arise.

What's to like: As businesses accumulate more and more data, DBAs are in demand everywhere. "If you are concerned about having a job that will be around for a while, database administration is the way to go," says Patt Patterson Jones, 52, a DBA for 17 years, including six years with Baltimore fund manager T. Rowe Price. This job gives you the satisfaction of solving problems and seeing how your work benefits your firm.

What's not to like: Be prepared for middle-of-the-night tech meltdowns to set off your pager. The technology also changes rapidly. DBAs typically need to master new programs every six to nine months. And as with many tech jobs, outsourcing is a risk. But Boon Lim, 37, a senior database administrator with MGM Studios in Los Angeles, notes that high turnover at outsourcing firms can make that option unattractive to employers.

Requirements: Many DBAs start out elsewhere in IT, usually as developers or programmers. Database certification isn't mandatory -- classes alone may be enough -- but if you're starting out, the credential can help you land a job. Lim recommends certifying in SQL Server, Oracle, or DB2 database management systems.

Do Database Administrators have great jobs, or what?
Database Administrator stats
Pay
Median pay
(experienced)
$93,000
Top pay $129,000
Opportunity
10-year job growth
(2008-2018)
20%
Total jobs
(current)
110,000
Quality of life ratings
Personal satisfaction A
Job security B
Future growth A
Benefit to society C
Low stress C
Flexibility B
From the November 2010 issue
Notes: All pay data from PayScale.com. Median pay is for an experienced worker (at least two to seven years in the field). Top pay represents the 90th percentile. Job growth is estimated for 2008-18. Total current employment level is estimated number of people working in each specific job

Sources: PayScale.com, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and MONEY research
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MONEY and compensation experts PayScale.com used Bureau of Labor Statistics growth forecasts for 7,000 jobs, and identified industries with the biggest increases in jobs requiring bachelor’s degrees. Ranked them by 2008-18 growth and pay. More

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