Do You Need an IT or CS Degree to be a Successful DBA?

When I am making small talk with DBAs I know, one of the things I like to ask them is what their college degree is in. While Information Technology (IT) or Computer Science (CS) degrees are common responses, most DBAs I know don’t have a degree in IT or CS. In fact, the types of degrees they hold range wildly. Some of the responses I have gotten include:

  • PhD in Clinical Psychology
  • BA in Creative Writing
  • BS in Geology
  • Masters in Engineering
  • PhD in Organizational Psychology
  • Pharmacy
  • BA in Philosophy
  • BS in Hydrology
  • BA in Linguistics
  • Masters in Business Administration

Personally, I have a BA in Economics and a Masters in Business Administration, and I only took one computer-related course during my undergraduate and graduate studies.

Once I find out what degree a DBA friend has, I often follow up, asking them how they became a DBA. This provides an even more diverse set of stories, most of which are rooted in a deep interest in technology, and through some unplanned and convoluted set of events, they are now successful DBAs.

So my question to you is, what is your college degree in? And to follow up, how did you get from where you stated to where you are today? And last of all, does your college degree really make all that much difference in your success as a DBA?