// The Vanishing Database Administrator: Survey Of Data Professionals’ Career Aspirations

Date: 05/29/2015

Contributors: Joe McKendrick


Enterprises today face a shortage of database talent that is only going to grow more acute. This new study indicates that 41% of database professionals intend to leave the data management field within the next 10 years. About half of this group will be retiring, while others will be seeking other opportunities in management or self-employment. In an era in which data analytics is seen as the most effective competitive tool, there will be a shrinking pool of qualified professionals to help manage, secure and store data. At the same time, there has never been a more exciting time to be a database professional. Most entering the field tend to be quite satisfied with their jobs, and they recognize the crucial role they are now playing in today’s analytics-driven organization.

The survey also uncovered these key findings:

  • More than two-fifths of data professionals say they will be leaving the field within the next decade, either due to retirement or to move into business roles. Overall, however, data professionals are bullish on their long-term prospects. There is a yawning gap in age differences: younger professionals are highly optimistic about growth in the field, while their more senior counterparts are more pessimistic.
  • Respondents are more energized by technology opportunities than other factors in selecting or preferring employers. Data management professionals tend not to be job hoppers.
  • Most data professionals admit their jobs are stressful, and there is a substantial pool of dissatisfaction due mainly to the need for emergency “firefighting” that gets in the way of more innovative, higher value tasks; lack of staff support; and salary stagnation.
  • Data professionals want to be more where the “action” is. Data science represents the next growth stage for the database professions. While traditional database roles and challenges dominate data professionals’ days, virtualization also dominates the database scene.
  • Data professionals are highly educated, and show a strong desire to keep learning and growing professionally.