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Oracle OCP vs. SQL Server MCDBA Certification
March 26, 2004
Mark Rittman

There's a useful article over at that compares the DBA certification schemes run by Oracle, Microsoft and IBM. The key points in the article?
  • The Oracle DBA OCP is the most generally marketable, but is also the most expensive to obtain because of the one “Oracle-approved course” requirement
  • Each certification path differs in the amount of exams you have to take to achieve a certification level, with IBM awarding a certification level for each exam taken, Microsoft making you take all four exams before issuing the one certification level (MCDBA), and Oracle making you take up to two exams for each certification level.
  • As Microsoft MCDBA candidates can elect to take a whole range of Microsoft server certifications for two of their required exams, they can pass the MCDBA by passing only two database-specific exams (the others being around .net, programming, Windows and so on). In addition, the regular changes to the Microsoft MCDBA, plus their policy of desupporting old certifications, potentially reduces the value of achieving this qualification (i.e. you'll have to recertify whenever a new version of SQL Server comes out, with your old certification expiring)
  • Whilst one certification path might be easier or more valuable than others, the prime reason for choosing one path rather than another in the end comes down to what vendor's database you have to administer



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