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Database Specialists

History

During the 1950s, computers were big—they easily filled entire warehouses—and they were not considered practical for anything other than large government and research projects. However, by 1954, the introduction of semiconductors made computers smaller and more accessible to businesses. Within 30 years, computers had influenced nearly every aspect of life, such as work, entertainment, and even shopping. Today, computers are everywhere. Technology has continued to make computers smaller, more productive, and more efficient. 

Technological advances have made database computing a subfield of tremendous growth and potential. Businesses and other organizations use databases to replace existing paper-based procedures but also create new uses for them every day. For example, online catalog companies use databases to organize inventory and sales systems, which before they did by hand. These same companies are pushing technology further by investigating ways to use databases to customize promotional materials. Instead of sending the same catalog out to everyone, some companies are looking to send each customer a special edition filled with items he or she would be sure to like, based on past purchases and a personal profile.

Database specialists are crucial to database development. In fact, many companies who took an inexpensive route to database computing by constructing them haphazardly are now sorry they did not initially hire a specialist. Designing the database structure is important because it translates difficult, abstract relationships into concrete, logical structures. If the work is done well to begin with, the database will be better suited to handle changes in the future.

Most commercial computer systems make use of some kind of database. As computer speed and memory capacity continue to increase, databases will become increasingly complex and able to handle many new uses. Therefore, the individuals and businesses that specialize in inputting, organizing, and making available various types of information stand at the forefront of an ever-growing field.

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