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SQL Server 2008 Certification

Microsoft Releases Details of SQL Server 2008 Certification

With SQL Server 2008’s release imminent , Microsoft has released the details of the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) and Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) certifications.

(Microsoft have also released a new certification, called Microsoft Certified Master, as I have blogged about before.)

I have posted some resources (somewhat dated) on SkyDrive that you might find handy:

The official preparation guides for all of the SQL Server 2008 exams can be found here:

  • TS: SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance (70-432)
  • TS: SQL Server 2008, Database Development (70-433)
  • TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance (70-448)
  • PRO: Designing, Optimizing, and Maintaining a Database Administrative Solution Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (70-450)
  • PRO: Designing Database Solutions and Data Access Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (70-451)
  • PRO: Designing a Business Intelligence Infrastructure Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (70-452)

It will be interesting to see how the industry adopts the new certification. From my experiences around the world, industry no longer seems to value Microsoft Certification like it once did. Whether it’s due to the current lack of IT professionals in the industry, or a lack of confidence in the MCITP certification is worth blogging about later. The fact remains that the industry is continually seeking highly-skilled DBAs and DBDs.

Perhaps in response to some of the above "concerns", Microsoft has recently revamped it’s certification with announcements about the Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) and Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) certifications.

The more cynical of us will also note that the New Generation Certification Lifecycle Policies "force people to re-certify". Interesting Microsoft changed their initial communication which stated that a "refresh" would be required every 3 years. The current status is that a MCITP certification will be retired when mainstream support for the related technology retires according to the Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

Undoubtedly all existing Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCT) will be getting their SQL Server 2008 certification as soon as possible. They have to, as without them they cannot officially teach SQL Server 2008 Microsoft Official Curriculum (MOC) courses. Actually, MOC is now referred to as Official Microsoft Learning Products (OMLP), but I digress…

The fact remains though,  that as of April 2008, the statistics for Microsoft Certification worldwide in SQL Server 2005 were:

Certification

Numbers
MCTS: SQL Server 2005 29,038
MCTS: SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence 1,279
MCITP: Database Administrator 4,701
MCITP: Database Developer 1,841
MCITP: Business Intelligence Developer 556
MCA: Database 13

Which can be hard to interpret, but consider SQL Server 2000:

Certification

Numbers

MCDBA

150,347

Of course you might recall that to get a MCDBA certification, an MCSE only had to do 2 additional elective exams. But there is still some orders of magnitude difference between the MCDBA and the MCITP: DBA.

You can find out more about SQL Server 2008 certification at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/sql/2008/default.mspx

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Categories: Certification

MCITP: SQL Server 2008

Change in the Microsoft Certified IT Professional: SQL Server 2008 Certification

Attaining a Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) level certification for SQL Server 2008 will be easier than in SQL Server 2005.

Why? Quite simply because you will have to pass less exams.

For the MCITP: Database Administrator 2008 you will need to pass just the following exams:

  • TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance (70-432)
  • PRO: Designing, Optimizing, and Maintaining a Database Administrative Solution Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (70-450)

For the MCITP: Database Developer 2008 you will need to pass just the following exams:

  • TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Database Development (70-433)
  • PRO: Designing Database Solutions and Data Access Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (70-451)

With respect to the BI track you will still have to pass 2 exams (as before) for to become a MCITP: Business Intelligence Developer 2008:

  • TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance (70-448)
  • PRO: Designing a Business Intelligence Infrastructure Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (70-452)

So why the change?

Perhaps to encourage a higher adoption of certification… I certainly would suggest that the MCITP certification has not been "pursued" as much as Microsoft would have liked. Reducing the number of exams required to attain a MCITP certification might encourage IT professionals, who would otherwise be "daunted" by the number of exams required, to go for it… The danger, of course, is that the industry might perceive this as "diluting the quality" of the MCITP certification.

I certainly am glad I’m not trying to get the MCITP: Enterprise Administrator on Windows Server 2008, it requires passing 5 exams!

More information: Microsoft Certified IT Professional Developer (MCITP) Certifications for Microsoft SQL Server 2008

Categories: Certification

MCTS: SQL Server 2008

Change in the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist: SQL Server 2008 Certification

Earlier this year I was involved in helping create the Objective Domain(s) for the new Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification for SQL Server 2008.

The decision was made to separate the MCTS exam into 2 separate exams, for:

  • Database Administrators (DBA)
  • Database Developers (DBD)

You will recall that for SQL Server 2005 there was a single exam (70-431) that covered both the DBA and DBD domains.

The consensus was that it was not fair to test both domains in a single exam where a candidate potentially wanted to be only a MCITP:DBD or MCITP:DBA. The other consideration was that we could not adequately test these two domains in a finite pool of questions.

Consequently, for SQL Server 2008 there will be 2 separate MCTS exams:

  • TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance (70-432)
  • TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Database Development (70-433)

More information: Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) Certifications for Microsoft SQL Server 2008

Categories: Certification

Microsoft Certified Master

New Microsoft Certification – Microsoft Certified Master

Microsoft will be launching a new certification at Tech·Ed IT Professionals 2008 in North America this week. Titled the Microsoft Certified Master (MCM), it is aimed at identifying individuals with the deepest technology skills on a given Microsoft platform.

The MCM program will consist of the following:

  • 3 weeks of mandatory training that involve core technical content
  • Written exams
  • A Qualification Lab Test

Candidates will have to:

  • Have a minimum of 5 years hands-on experience on the respective technology
  • Have the appropriate MCTIP certification
  • Submit a resume for assessment
  • Speak, understand and write in fluent English

They will also have to pay USD $18,500.

The MCM will initially be available in the following flavours:

  • Microsoft Certified Master: Exchange Server 2007
  • Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008
  • Microsoft Certified Master: Windows Server 2008 – Directory

With a plan to offer the following in the near future:

  • Microsoft Certified Master: Office Communications Server 2007
  • Microsoft Certified Master: Office SharePoint Server 2007

Although the MCM program is not designed to replace the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) program, Microsoft is currently looking at the evolution of the MCA program.

It will be interesting to see how the industry responds to this new certification from Microsoft. Having gone through the SQL Ranger (MCA:Database) program I can attest to high entry bar and the commitment required. It remains to be seen as to what demand will be generated by organizations, vendors and IT professionals. The first couple of SQL Ranger rotations certainly proved to be very popular.

More details about the MCM will be available on http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/master.

Categories: Certification