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Olga's SQL Server and .NET Blog

SQL Server 2012 Certifications. Part 1 – Earning MCSA

Apr 13 2012 12:00AM by Olga Medvedeva   

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 solutions.

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 Certification Tracks

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)

-          Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

-          Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM)

The Microsoft 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.

Microsoft Certified 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.

The Microsoft 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 environment.

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 Server 2012

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 Databases

-          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 2012.

Read more

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.

Tags: SQL Server 2012, Certification

Olga Medvedeva
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