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Which route to cert should I take? (SQL)

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by Inspiration, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. Inspiration

    Inspiration Bit Poster


    A little about myself..

    I've been in IT for roughly 12 years. In that period I've used Microsoft products heavily, including setting up Windows NT 4 machines, Windows 2000 Server machines, installing SQL 2000, setting up a pretty big SQL database and writing various Access applications.

    I've supported these systems in terms of adding users, setting up IIS, setting up exchange users, that sort of thing.

    I've decided that 2008 is finally going to be the year that I get my act together and actually become certified in something. Currently I've no IT qualifications yet I've a heap of experience and knowledge.

    I can't afford to pay the thousands of pounds to go on a nifty course, so I'm considering self study.

    I'd like an SQL qualification to go with my recent few years of database experience. However I'm open to other options too.

    My questions, if anyone has time to reply with some advice...

    1) Which SQL qualification is best? I understand the MSDBA has been split into several different exams? Is this true? If so, which would suit me?

    2) Is it really possible to self study and still pass? Would my experience help me with this?

    3) How long should I give myself per exam to self study before taking an exam?

    4) Based on my experience, should I perhaps consider some of the other exams too? Or should I focus on SQL first?

    I've a spare PC so having a dedicated server with some VM clients wouldn't be an issue for me.

    Any suggestions or advice would be much appreciated. I feel I can do this, but want to be armed with as much information as possible before I begin my journey.

    Thanks for your time.
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Hi Welcome to CF

    You could look at becoming MCDBA certified http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcdba/default.mspx this should compliment you SQL knowledge and experience nicely, also perhaps look into MCSE certification http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcse/default.mspx there are people on here who have lots of certification and have done them all by self study, its cheaper and can be better than a classroom especially if you have experience.

    I myself am only starting out with A+ cert but I can definetly recommend self study. If you have a machine with VMware or Virtual PC that will definetly help you in your studies.

    How long it takes is entirly upto you, only you can answer this.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    Hi inspiration and welcome to CF:) with regards to a cert in database I'd advice you have a good look at Microsoft's web site and also the MCDBA if still applicable would be a good start. Best wishes.
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  4. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    The MCDBA would be just fine, as many companies are still using SQL 2000 in their infrastructure... then you can easily upgrade to the MCTS and MCITP SQL certifications for SQL 2005.
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  5. Inspiration

    Inspiration Bit Poster

    Thank you for such great advice and also for such a warm welcome. Of the many forums I've joined over the years, that has to be the best welcome I've ever had.

    I looked on the Prometric site and discovered that my nearest test centre is 10 seconds walk away. I'm not kidding. I can see the building from my window here. I appreciate that makes me very lucky but I'm also taking it as being a good sign that I need to get this done. :)

    I'm thinking I'll tackle the MSDBA.

    One more question if I may. Is it the accepted way of doing things that you tackle each exam in turn? So for example I may take 70-229 first and then the next one, and so forth? Once all exams that make up MSDBA are taken and passed, does that then convert into the qualification?

    Thanks again folks. :)
  6. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Yes and you can do the exams in any order you want, you are lucky my nearest test centre is 55 miles away. :(

    BTW its MCDBA
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  7. nXPLOSi

    nXPLOSi Terabyte Poster

    Ouch, thats rough. I have about 10 in a 5 mile radius! :p
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Security+, MCSA 2003 (270, 290, 291), MCTS (640, 642), MCSA 2008
    WIP: MCSA 2012

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