This year Microsoft reinvented its certification program
to support the industry shift to cloud-computing. Microsoft is introducing new cloud-related
certifications that focus on using multiple technologies to create business
So in my first post I decided to write about some changes in
SQL Server certifications and describe steps to earn Microsoft Certified
Solutions Associate (MCSA) certificate.
New in Microsoft
As you can see on this picture Microsoft changed certification
tracks. Three new certifications were added for SQL Server technology:
Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)
Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
Certified Solutions Master (MCSM)
Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certification is for IT professionals
and developers looking to get their first job in Microsoft technology. Whether
in the cloud or on-premise, this certification validates the core platform
skills needed in an IT environment. The MCSA certifications are a requirement
to achieve Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certification.
Solutions Expert (MCSE) certifications are designed to recognize IT
professionals who can design and build solutions across multiple technologies,
both on-premise and in the cloud.
Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) program recognizes the most experienced
IT professionals who demonstrate and validate their deep technical skills to
successfully design and implement technical solutions in a complex business
Note: MCSM is not available for SQL Server Business
Intelligence Certification pathway.
As Microsoft states,
the names of certifications were changed to better reflect the
experience, knowledge, and skills that IT professionals and developers need to
build and manage technology solutions that may include multiple technologies,
whether on-premise or in the cloud.
Path to MCSA: SQL
MCSA: SQL Server 2012 certification is a first step towards
earning an MCSE:
Data Platform or MCSE:
Business Intelligence certification.
If you are new to SQL Server certification then you have to
pass 3 exams to get MCSA: SQL Server 2012:
70-461: Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012
70-462: Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012
70-463: Implementing a Data Warehouse with
Microsoft SQL Server 2012
Exams 461, 462, and
463 are not yet available (expected to be available in June 2012).
So to earn MCSA: SQL Server you should prove your skills not
only in database development, but also in SQL Server administering.
Upgrade path to MCSA:
SQL Server 2012
Your path to MCSA will be shorter if you have any MCTS on
SQL Server 2008. In this case you have to pass only 2 exams to upgrade to MCSA SQL Server 2012:
70-457: Transition MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to
MCSA: SQL Server 2012 – Part 1
70-458: Transition MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to
MCSA: SQL Server 2012 – Part 2
Exams 457 and 458 are expected to be available by August
I hope my post was interesting for you. Next time I will
write about earning MCSE certification (next level after MCSA). Wish you good
luck and high scores in you certification exams!
Updated: Just saw a similar post in Jeff Wharton's blog on this subject (here). So there is no reason to write my Part 2.