QA | 13 April 2012
Microsoft are changing the certifications for SQL 2012
Microsoft certifications are changing. The MCTS and MCITP qualifications are being phased out, to be replaced by the completely new (drum roll please)..... MCSA and MCSE.
Completely new? Wait, weren't those the certifications thrown out the door by Microsoft a few years ago? Well, yes and no. Certainly the letters are the same, but like new Coke, the formula has changed. I suspect they've preserved the old acronyms because of the strength of the brand. MCSE has been dead for years, but look at the number of job advertisements that still require applicants to hold an MCSE.
So what are these new and improved certifications? Are they just the old certs rebranded? Certainly not for SQL 2012. To gain a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (Do I really associate with solutions?) you need to pass no fewer than three exams:
Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012
Administering a Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Database
Implementing Data Warehouses with Microsoft SQL Server 2012
Not an administrator? Wouldn't know a stored procedure from a system function? It doesn't matter. There is now only one MCSA certification for database geeks. The barriers are down. Microsoft doesn't recognise the demarcation anymore. You're both if you want your MCSA.
Want to be a Microsoft Certified Solution Expert: Data Platform? ('Engineer' met legal problems in some countries, and I rarely walk around with a wrench and a greasy cloth) First you need your MCSA, then another two exams:
Developing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases
Designing Database Solution For Microsoft SQL Server 2012
For the Business Intelligence MCSE you need your MCSA (yes, you still need to know to develop OLTP solutions in SQL). Then you'll need:
Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server 2012
Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server 2012
Wait, there's more. No resting on your laurels. As soon as you gain your MCSE the clock starts ticking. An MCSE has a life of only three years. After that you will have to re-certify, even if it's the same version of SQL.
Though the exams are not out yet, we are ramping up for the demand. QA is already delivering SQL 2012 classes. There are quite a few changes, and you'll need to know them all for that treasured certificate on the wall.