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What's the future for Oracle DBAs?

What is the future scope for Oracle DBAs? I have finished my engineering in computers and can't decide between networking and database administration although I love the latter more. Can Oracle DBAs survive for a long time to come? Will data warehousing replace databases in the near future?

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DBAs of all sorts are needed now and will be needed in the future. What will change is what the DBA does on a daily basis. Oracle's last two major database versions, 9i and 10g, have automated many of the DBAs more mundane tasks. And future versions will automate more. Does this mean that a DBA is out of a job? Not at all. But DBAs won't be doing exactly what they were doing before. Instead of writing complex backup scripts, RMAN's interface will do all the work for them. Instead of determining storage parameters, Locally Managed Tablespaces will do the work for the DBA. This leaves the DBA with more time to architect database systems, monitor security, and many other things. In addition, shops that used to have a ratio of 1 DBA to 20 databases might find that they can get by with a ratio of 1 DBA to 50 databases since each doesn't take as much administration time (those numbers are just an example and not meant to be taken literally). The DBAs role has always evolved and will continue to evolve. I don't see DBAs being phased out any time soon. There will always be a need to store the company's valuable data and manage it to some degree. What the DBA of tomorrow does may be much different than yesterday's DBAs. Those DBAs who can roll with the changes and adapt will still have a job.

This was first published in May 2004

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