There are a limited number of people who want to be a database professional, and a small group of people who are really talented. In a recent survey by Unisphere Research, they showed that at least 41% of data professionals intend to leave the field within the next 10 years. If this is true, that means almost half of database professionals employed today will no longer be available in the next 10 years. The pool of qualified database professionals is getting smaller, which is both good and bad news.
If you are someone who is getting into this profession, that is great news for you and your career prospects. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has been listing Database Administration as one of its “Top 10” professions for the past several years, due to the strength of job prospects, growing need of employers nationwide,and the high earning potential of the position. With the growth of almost 15% each year, there appears to be a solid job market for anyone interested in joining this challenging career path.
If you are an employer, this is bad news for your ability to find a new Database Administrator, or hold onto the one you have today. Database professionals are one of the most sought-after of IT professionals and, despite the fact that US News & World Report ranks a Database Administrator as the #5 best IT job and the #12 overall best professional job, are among the hardest professionals to find. You are trying to find someone to take a high stress job in a market where too many other employers are fighting over the same small talent pool. You will need to appeal to the applicant with what makes them happy. That may mean extra cash, more training, or even perks like extra time off, cool side projects, etc.
Another option for an employer is cultivating internal talent. Take that really smart developer or server administrator and provide the training and support they need to move into a database professional role. It might be cheaper to send that really smart person you already have through some quality training than to bring in the expensive talent you need. Just be careful not to train the next person to leave for a better opportunity. Make sure the person selected for training gets the support they need to fill comfortable in their new role and not stressed out doing their old responsibilities while also doing the new Database Administrator job.
The good news from this survey is you have time, the bad news is your Database Administrator may already be thinking about leaving. Make sure you have a conversation with your existing database professionals to keep the one you have, before you find yourself with an open position.