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IT Database Administration

Learn to ensure the quality, availability and security of data.

A man wearing headphones sits at a desk with five computer screens in front of him.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
2 Years

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Information is the main commodity of all organizations. IT database experts identify, organize, analyze and store this important asset, focusing on the three main data priorities: big data, cloud deployment and data security.

Throughout the program, you gain a broad understanding of the IT field. You develop in-depth skills around database management, including how to write data governance policies that direct the configuration of data management systems and ensure quality, availability, recoverability, scalability and security.

You learn to work with current industry tools to analyze, manipulate and administer database structures and infrastructures. Your knowledge is developed and demonstrated through applied learning and best practices. An emphasis is placed on understanding business needs and translating them into technical ideas and solutions.

Work experience

  • Work placement is a mandatory credit course, providing the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
    • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
    • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • This program is eligible for an optional cooperative education (co-op) credit course between year one and two.
    • Co-op placements provide the opportunity for paid, full-time work in a field related to your program. Opportunities typically last 12 to 16 weeks.
    • Our co-op program follows Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) guidelines.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities.

Choose NSCC

  • You benefit from faculty who bring years of industry experience to the classroom.
    • You have opportunities to attend information and communications technology (ICT) functions, such as conferences, collaborative workshops and special interest groups.
    • You can use industry resources to gain further ICT knowledge and obtain vendor-specific certifications.

Other info

  • It's encouraged that applicants have strong verbal and non-verbal skills, and have an interest in solving challenging puzzles, innovating, leading and collaborating.

2023-24 programs

Program delivery may be subject to change based on Public Health guidelines.

September 2023

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Institute of Technology Campus Halifax Full time In person Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements. Waitlist

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details

Program requirements

  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


Tuition amounts are for the 2022-23 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional. 2023-24 tuition will be announced in the late Spring.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

Graduates of this program can work in the following positions:

  • Database engineer
  • Information analyst
  • Database programmer
  • System analyst
  • Data analyst
  • Data steward
  • Information privacy/security analyst
  • Data governance analyst
  • Data quality assurance analyst
  • General ICT support

Future study options

  • Continue your studies at university – This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

COMM 1700 - Professional Practices for IT I
This course exposes learners to tools and process that support professional continuous improvement. Focused on communication, collaboration and career development, you will begin to develop the 21st century skills essential for success in the information technology industries. This course will build the foundations for professional habits and methodologies that help graduates remain current and relevant in an ever evolving profession.

COMM 2700 - Professional Practices for IT II
This course develops tools and process that support professional continuous improvement. Focused on communication, collaboration and career development, you will begin to develop the 21st century skills essential for success in the information technology industries. This course will establish professional habits, methodologies and strategies to help graduates remain current and relevant in an ever evolving profession. Learners will also begin to cultivate critical thinking skills and apply processes that support and validate professional decision making.

COMM 3700 - Professional Practices for IT III
This course develops the skills, attitudes, processes and habits required to successfully prepare for a variety of interview scenarios and the associated presentation techniques. Emphasis is on the development of a professional portfolio and the part that personal marketing plays in gaining successful, relevant employment. The course will also continue to build professional habits, methodologies and strategies to help graduates remain current and relevant in an ever evolving profession.

COMM 4700 - Professional Practices for IT IV
This course is the final in a suite of four, and as such provides learners with the skills and knowledge to curate a personal, professional portfolio in readiness for employment in the IT industry. Learners will also regularly practice and prepare for numerous interview situations and scenarios by honing the skills and techniques previously acquired. New, essential competencies are introduced focused on diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace and the challenges surrounding ethical decision making processes.

DBAS 1007 - Data Fundamentals
This course introduces students to the concept of a database management system and its role in the IT infrastructure of any business. Students will use a database management system to develop a database and use this database to store and manipulate data. Students will also be asked to interpret database diagrams and create database objects based on their meaning.

DBAS 2104 - Business Analysis Essentials
This course teaches the fundamental business processes that govern the operation of any business. The focus is on the tools and methodologies used by business analysts to gather information regarding those operational processes and how the gathered information is used to support strategic and tactical decision-making in the business. This fundamental understanding of the business and analysis is then used by the learners to accurately interpret the detailed business requirements that drive design and implementation of supporting IT products and services. Extensive use is made of real world case studies from the local area, including guest lectures from local business analysts. Tools and software used in the course will be chosen according to current local industry standards.

DBAS 3018 - Data Movement and Integration
The course is designed to familiarize learners with the process and methodologies used to discover, analyze, cleanse, integrate and provide large and potentially volatile datasets from heterogeneous data sources to complex processing environments. Progression of skill in this course is done in the end-to-end context of the ETL process within an encompassing Data Governance structure. Enterprises that have adopted a modern data architecture including noSQL platforms must reconcile data management realities when they bring existing and new data from disparate platforms under management. Learners will investigate, discover and identify data sources based on analyzed client requirements, link to those data, perform cleansing, perform any necessary transformations, accurately integrate and load the data to its end platform. Due to the fact that in production, data programmers may be applying all or any component of the ETL process, a variety of platforms will be used ranging from command line ANSI standard SQL to comprehensive ETL suites. Every platform choice in the course will reflect current local industry standards.

DBAS 3021 - Metadata Management
This course introduces learners to the concept of managing data assets across an organization to improve business efficiencies and quality, reduce redundancy, and maintenance of data. In order for business to achieve productive data analysis, there needs to be measures set up to control the volume, velocity and variety of the information. Concepts will introduced to learn about the current strategies and challenges of an organization’s data assets for management, storage, movement, provisioning and access.

DBAS 3025 - Information Governance
The course is designed to familiarize learners with data governance practices and principles to assist business with solving data-related challenges. Learners will understand the importance and value data governance brings to an organization. They will be introduced to different strategies and controls that can be used to access the readiness for data governance and to be able to incorporate new processes in existing practices such as Change Management, Project Management, and the Data Lifecycle.

DBAS 3035 - Information Systems Design
This course will introduce the learner to the concepts and approaches for improving system wide efficiency at the application level through proper design and implementation. They will cover the system modifications necessary to enhance overall performance. The course will cover logical and physical recommendations for the system from analysis to recommendations.

DBAS 3080 - Database Backup and Recovery
The course will explore the comprehensive range of backup and recovery strategies available to leading DBMS platforms. Tools to implement the strategies will be practiced hands-on using case scenarios. Platforms enabling point in time recovery through the use of repository managed change archives will be explored and mastered through applied work. The specific platform choice during the course will be based on current local industry standards.

DBAS 3085 - Data Security
This course focuses on the concerns around security in the age of big data. Learners will identify the best practices required to equip an organization for potential data breaches or threats, address roles and responsibilities regarding regulation and examine the requirements for the data lifecycle of an organization.

DBAS 4002 - Transactional Database Programming
This introduction to SQL and transactional processing is designed to give learners a familiarity and hands-on practice with the basic command line interface to an RDBMS. SQL query and data manipulation commands will be fully developed. Data definition language (DDL) commands including CREATE, ALTER and DROP will be developed and practiced to fine-tune database structure and architecture. The course will move on to cover transactional processing, and learners will be challenged to complete a project that demonstrates their mastery of database SQL concepts.

INET 3700 - Server Operating Systems and Scripting
This course focuses on the skills needed to manage an operating system and automate the management of the same operating system. Learners will be able to configure, maintain and troubleshoot the operating system using industry standard toolsets and be able to automate simple management tasks in various platforms. The significant learning of the course will be focused in the command line interface of the operating system.

INFT 2007 - Applied Semester Project I
This course provides learners with an opportunity to synthesize the concepts, skills and practices acquired in the program through a learning experience combined with an industry project, directed study, or applied research. The course will allow the learner to engage with other learners and apply integrated learning objectives from all courses in semester one and semester two.

INFT 3000 - Capstone
Learners acquire hands-on experience on a group project applying much of the material learned throughout their program. Throughout this course, learners will apply their skills to prepare and deliver technical documentation and presentations using various media platforms.

INFT 4100 - Work Experience
This course is a summative experience in the context of a real-world organization. Students will apply learning in an authentic professional IT working environment and gain hands-on industry related skills and knowledge.

INFT 4100 - Work Experience
This course is a summative experience in the context of a real-world organization. Students will apply learning in an authentic professional IT working environment and gain hands-on industry related skills and knowledge.

ISEC 3050 - Ethics and Law in Data Analytics
This course will explore what it means to use analytics ethically and how to think about its ethical implications. The approach is from the perspective of professionals who lead analytics-oriented teams or organizations, and whose success depends on the ability to recognize the ethical issues at stake and resolve these to the satisfaction of multiple stakeholders. This course provides an overview of current emerging Canadian legislation affecting information technology and management, with a focus on the intersection of these legal principles with business ethics. Learners will practice thinking through and processing legal problems consistent with ethical norms and analyze business risk, taking into consideration ethical issues, to arrive at business decisions.

NETW 1300 - Small Business Infrastructure
This course provides the skills and knowledge to design, implement and manage a small network (fewer than 100 nodes).

NETW 1700 - Introduction to Networking and Security
This course introduces the models, components, functions, architecture, and structure of computer networks. The principles and Internet Protocol (IP) addressing and the fundamentals of Ethernet concepts, media and operations are introduced to provide a foundation for future courses. By the end of this course, learners will be able to build simple Local Area Networks, perform basic configurations for routers and switches, and implement IP addressing schemes.

OSYS 1000 - Operating Systems - Linux
This course introduces the skills and knowledge that will enable the student to install, configure, maintain and troubleshoot a current UNIX based operating system (OS) in standalone workstation mode.

OSYS 1700 - Introduction to Hardware and Operating Systems
This course is an introduction to the unsophisticated user regarding the questions “What is a computer?” and “Why won’t it work?” Learners explore, for desktop class machines, the hardware components that provide functionality for processing, memory, storage, communications, and input/output. Learners study the operating system in its role as a package of software that enables a collection of hardware components to function as a computer. The learner will learn the terminology associated with purpose, specifications and capacity for hardware components and operating systems. The learner will learn to read, understand and apply installation guides and troubleshooting guides to determine the specifications for supporting components and systems. The learner will examine an existing computer system to determine if its components are capable of meeting each other’s requirements.

OSYS 3017 - Data Server Management in Linux
This course introduces learners to the concept of administering a data server system in Linux. Concepts will Include the management, movement, provisioning and security of data files and storage through a Linux command line and scripting environment. Scripting functions related to system monitoring, user data access and log creation and analysis will be examined.

PROG 1400 - Introduction to Object Oriented Programming
This course is an introduction to the essentials of object oriented programming (OOP). This course provides an explanation of the paradigm on which OOP is based, and how it affects programming strategies and solutions.

PROG 1700 - Logic and Programming
This course introduces the fundamentals of logic and computer programming and their role in the creation of software solutions for any problem. Logic is used to break down complex problems into manageable tasks to allow for comprehensive problem-solving using computer code. This course covers the process of creating logical designs and implementing them as programmatic code to build computer software programs.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

WEBD 1000 - Website Development
This course provides an introduction to website development. Emphasis will be placed on development processes, usability, and adhering to current industry standards.

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