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I am royally confused about the certifications Microsoft has out for SQL server.

From what I can gather from reading their site as well as others is there are various levels of tests (like in university) they have level 100 series tests, 200, 300... up to about 400 for the new master of SQL Server level.

I wanted to knock a few out since I am doing daily SQL work now I figure I can get on the job practice and learning where I fall short.

Where do I start? What test and test details do I need to know to take and pass each exam? what order should I take them in?

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Please use caps. This is hard to read. –  bigown Nov 30 '10 at 21:47

1 Answer 1

Microsoft has switched to 2 levels of certification [A]: Technology Specialist and IT Professional for most things [B]. The idea is to measure basic and advanced proficiency in all sorts of areas, so it ends up looking far more tangled and complicated than it really is. This is aggravated by fact that their site is frequently not up to date, as exams which are to be retired frequently show up on lists as still required/optional, and new exams frequently don't get added to the site until months after they have been released.

The Technology Specialist is the entry level version (100 level if you prefer) which usually consists of 1 exam.

The IT Pro certification builds on the MCTS cert and adds a number of other exams to it. Not all "technologies" have an IT Pro cert.

So, presuming you are interested in SQL Server 2008 administration, you would take exam 70-432[C] to get the MCTS. Then when you have more experience, you would add 70-450 and the pair of those would get you "MCITP: Database Administrator 2008". They broke SQL Server certification into 3 parallel tracks: admin, development and "business intelligence"[D]. You can get MCTS or MCITP in any of the 3 you wish. You only need all 3 if you think you will someday get the master certification.

You can take exams in any order you feel like. Do not get the idea that you must take them in any particular order.

Notes:
A - There is a third level, the "master" level, but since that costs about $18k for the on-site portion at Microsoft in Redmond, that it is basically a "forget about it" type of thing.
B - The MCPD ("professional developer") certifications for developers are quite complicated and I can go into those if you wish.
C -If you are still a student, there are some student/academic priced exams that start with 72 instead of 70 and cost a lot less ($55 vs $125). Your transcript will not specify if they were academic priced, regular priced, or beta exams.
D - Cynical folks would call that "reporting."

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i work with SQL as a developer. what exams would i need to go the sql dev rout? since i use it daily i can get on the job training. Thanks –  kacalapy Dec 6 '10 at 14:54
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@kacalapy, you want exams 70-433 and 70-451. See microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-sql-server.aspx (in particular the MCTS and MCITP tabs). –  Tangurena Dec 6 '10 at 16:07

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