Should I Get Certified as a DBA? (Dear SQL DBA Episode 41)

Find out if getting certified will help you land an entry level DBA job. If you do want to get certified, get Kendra’s tips on preparing for the exam in this 17 minute episode.

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Option 2: Watch the YouTube video

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9 Comments. Leave new

  • Microsoft Certs are interesting. I have my MCSA and MCSE in SQL Server Development on 2008r2. They actually do help with the resume in that many companies that have dedicated HR will see that as a match. They don’t know the worth of the actual exams… All they see is that you are certified in the main area of the job.

    That being said, Kendra is TOTALLY correct in that experience is FAR more worth while.

    It’s also worth knowing that the answers Microsoft is wanting on the test isn’t necessarily the real-world solution.

    • “It’s also worth knowing that the answers Microsoft is wanting on the test isn’t necessarily the real-world solution.”

      There’s a joke that the possible answers will include a SQL 2000 feature, an Oracle feature, a feature from the latest SQL Server version, and a goat. So your job is just to not pick the goat.

  • I found the prep for the tests to be invaluable as it made me touch some of the technology I usually do not have an opportunity to do in my day to day. I have yet to take one of those tests where I did not find at least one question that was just a gotcha with no real good answer.

    True story: I took my first test for SQL 7 and after about 10 questions I got up and asked the test admin if she accidentally gave me the wrong test. She did not. Pretty embarrassing, but the next time I took it I had a solid year’s worth of everyday experience and it was a breeze. But without getting your hands dirty, even just on your own VM or made up project you come with, will never be replaced by just reading a book.

  • I am in my mid-fifties and been a DBA for about 7 years. I feel I need to get my certification to show that I am current with the times.

  • This made me remember the time that a new dev was hired and he was introduced to the team as an MCSD & MCTP. I found out a couple of days later that this was his first job writing code, and my first thought was “You must be good at studying for tests.”

  • Wes Crockett
    June 1, 2017 10:26 am

    I am revisiting this post because I just got my MCSA DBA for SQL 2016 and thought it may be valuable for some to hear my thoughts on it… I attended a boot-camp that included the test vouchers and on-site testing.

    1) It feels like a huge Azure marketing scheme.
    2) 70-765 (Provisioning SQL Databases) was MUCH easier than 70-764 (Administering a SQL Database Infrastructure)
    3) The courses (labs + lecture material) and tests seem to test a much deeper understanding than the old tests do…
    — Honestly, it frustrates me that it took the two tests to be an ‘Associate’ and ‘qualified for entry level positions…’ the 2008r2 Dev. tests were not nearly as difficult for the MCSE.

    Sorry for the lack of cohesion on this post. I would be happy to answer specific questions if you have any (that don’t violate the conditions of the certification)

    • Hey Wes – I’m flailing & failing my 2016 bootcamp right now. missed my 764 pass by 5 points!! ggrr.~! They’re telling me to take it again tomorrow AM, but I’m worried I’ll possibly fail even worse. I was outright guessing at some of this stuff, though I was a DBA for years a decade ago, albeit dealing very little with MS SQL. Any advice most welcome.

  • I did the MCDST/MCSE stuff back in 2012/2013, and I was getting nervous about the natural progression that lay before me, and then, phew, they nixed the MCM and MCSM. So “should I go for that” is a problem Microsoft solved for me :).

    Certification exam prep really helps me learn and is worth it to me for that alone. This year I went outside the normal MS stack and did the Security+ from CompTIA and CISSP from ISC(2). That’s not an obvious approach for most MSSQL DBAs, but the material in the CISSP body of knowledge is certainly something that would make a DBA better at their job (in less obvious ways than “do you know the syntax of xQuery”)….a lot of stuff I sort of half-knew, I know more properly know (looking at you, Kerberos the Three Headed Dog of Authentication).


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