SQL Server 2012 Certification: Get your 2008 Certs first!

Get certified in two releases rather than one...

With every release of SQL Server come the new Microsoft certification exams. In 2000 we had the MCDBA. In 2005 and 2008 we had the MCTS and the MCITP. Now in 2012 we have the MCSA and the MCSE. (Not to be confused with the old Windows 2003 MCSA and MCSE). Did someone say something about re-inventing the wheel? Well, experience is key but certfication is still worthwhile. Let's take a look... The new Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) for SQL Server 2012 is the foundation level of certification. If you are starting from scratch you can pass three exams on Querying, Administration and Data Warehousing to get your MCSA. If you already have your MCTS on SQL 2008 you can upgrade by passing two exams, which are really a combination of the same three exams. The new Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) for SQL Server 2012 is the expert level of certification. Here there are two separate paths: Data Platform and Business Intelligence. If you have attained the MCSA for SQL 2012 above, then you can pass two more exams on Developing and Designing Databases to get your MCSE: Data Platform. There are also two exams for the MCSE: Business Intelligence. So from scratch, your MCSE requires 5 exams minimum. If you already have your MCITP on SQL 2008 you can upgrade by passing just three exams, which are really just a combination of the same five exams. That gets you both the MCSA and the MCSE. If you are just starting out down the certification path, my advice is to get certified on SQL Server 2008 first. The MCTS is a single exam on Administration and the MCITP is one more exam on Design. Then you have your MCITP: DBA for SQL Server 2008 for just two exams. You can then follow the MCSE Upgrade exams above and you are certfied in SQL Server 2008 and 2012 by taking a total of 5 exams. But you need to be quick. The MCTS/MCITP exams are being retired in July 2013. Don't worry, the MCITP 2008 cert will continue to be honored as an MCSA for SQL Server 2008 which you can upgrade from at a later date. At Global Knowledge, we are still running the [url=http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/it%E2%80%99s-bootcamp-time]MCITP Bootcamp for SQL Server 2008[/url]. Actually, it is getting more popular now that the end is near. This is a special immersion class where we lock you in a room for 5 days and you come out with your MCITP. Of course, I am just kidding...partially: it is five 12-hour days and the exams are included but with no guarantees. However, if you fail an exam, you get a free retake voucher so you can't really lose. And you learn a lot about SQL Server in an intense format. I think most folks would rather take these two quick exams, get certified on SQL 2008 then look forward to the three SQL 2012 upgrade exams. And before you know it, you are an MCTS, MCITP, MCSA and MCSE for SQL Server. Time to get new business cards and update your resume. cheers Brian MCITP: Database Administrator, SQL Server 2008 Boot Camp: http://www.globalknowledge.com/training/course.asp?pageid=9&courseid=12717&catid=184 MCSA: SQL Server 2012: http://www.globalknowledge.com/training/certification_listing.asp?pageid=12&certid=1134 Confused? As always, each certification is fully documented at http://www.microsoft.com/learning

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