Database Certification

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Microsoft MCSA & MCSE Database Certification

Database training can lead to two very different types of career, so care must be taken to select the database course that's right for you.

It's obviously very important to end up in a career that you enjoy - and one that suits your personality. Most people who are interested in training and working with databases choose to become a Database Administrator (DBA). It's a well respected senior position in a company, and can command a very attractive salary. Database administration appeals to those who have an excellent eye for detail and accuracy, alongside good communication and management skills.

The role often involves managing both databases and a team of data input/admin clerks, as well as creating reports for senior managers. Checks and balances are often carried out several times a day to ensure accuracy, and the information is regularly 'backed-up'. That way a computer failure or crash can only lose a small amount of data or work at the most.

Databases can be the eyes and ears of a company. All relevant business statistics are kept on databases, and a good administrator is expected to be able to interpret the information and produce meaningful reports for senior management. The work will often involve discussions with managers, who'll sometimes request certain information and explanations. The database administrator will then interrogate the data to locate any additional or supporting facts. If you have a business or accounting background and have an understanding of business process, then you'll find this very rewarding - there's a real sense that you're contributing to the effective running of a company.

A typical example of using a database for 'Business Intelligence' could be in a supermarket chain. The database may show that 62% of all shoppers who buy strawberries also buy some type of cream. If it emerges that in one store this statistic is only 29%, then that information is very useful - as it highlights a possible sales/supply problem. If the supply is available, then the company may decide to discount cream in that store when it's purchased with strawberries, to 'educate' more buyers into buying cream with their strawberries. We've all seen multiple examples of this happening whenever we do our shopping. There are always offers being run to induce us into buying a connected product.

Store-cards are a prime example here: If you've ever wondered why after buying a dog, you suddenly get bombarded with dog-food offers from your local supermarket, then now you'll see that the first couple of times you bought dog food, it was registered as new activity on your card - and then the marketing people kicked in! Company databases are incredibly closely guarded - a lot of security is put into place around them as they contain the life-blood of a business - its customer 'intelligence' and buying patterns.

An alternative career track available is to become a Database Developer. Developers pursue a different database training track to administrators, (along a programming/analyst direction), and the work suits those who wish to be more involved in the design and creation of database software. Someone who has a more task-orientated personality (similar in profile to a computer programmer) may find database development work fascinating. Employment can be found in software companies, who need database developers to create, design and build their database systems.

There are 2 MCSA groups relating to database technologies. Each MCSA has 2-3 required exams that constitute the overall certification:

  • MCSA: SQL Server 2012
    • 461 : Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012
    • 462 : Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases
    • 463 : Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • MCSA: SQL Server 2008
    • 432 : Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance
    • 448 : Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance

NOTE: All new MCSE certifications are designed to build on a base MCSA, meaning that progression from MCSA to MCSE is very streamlined. While there is an MCSA based around SQL Server 2008, the MCSE progression path ONLY utilises the MCSA SQL Server 2012, so if you intend to progress your MCSA through to an MCSE, you'll need to stick to the SQL Server 2012 certification.

There are 2 MCSE groups relating to database technologies. Each MCSE has 5 required exams that constitute the overall certification, with each progressing from an MCSA 2012 grouping of 3 exams - see above - by adding 2 more exams :

  • MCSE: Data Platform
    • MCSA: SQL Server 2012 (461, 462, 463)
    • 464 : Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases
    • 465 : Designing Solutions for SQL Server
  • MCSE: Business Intelligence
    • MCSA: SQL Server 2012 (461, 462, 463)
    • 466 : Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server
    • 467 : Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server
MCSA/MCITP Database Certification Programs(8 Related Products)

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