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Oracle Certification Exam Changes

March 9, 2003

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

This article shows the Oracle 11g core database certifications, a bewildering array of certification choices.

Oracle OCP certifications (Source: Oracle Corporation)

   1 - Oracle has a new policy that in order to become an OracleOCP, you must take a class through Oracle University or an approved Oracle University Education Partner.

   2 - The OracleSQL exam is now offered over the Internet, without proctoring.

Let's look at each change and see comments in the industry:

Un-proctored to SQL Exam

According to Oracle's web site:

? The new exam is un-proctored, meaning that you can take the exam unsupervised at your own location. If you do not have good internet access, proctored exams are delivered in a secure testing environment, at an Oracle University Training Center or Authorized Prometric Testing Center.?
This new unsupervised approach to Oracle knowledge testing leaves some experienced Oracle professionals feeling as if their certification has now been downgraded, as widespread cheating may become commonplace.
According to 
"Lynne McLaughlin, Sun Microsystems' worldwide training manager for software and technology, says there's currently no way to know whether the people taking an online test are who they say they are.

Someone could easily log on and then have someone else sit down and take the test. "You can't call it certification and do it over the Web [un-proctored] and stay out of legal trouble," she cautions, "because you can't prove that the person is who they said they were."

Many experienced OCP Oracle professionals have expressed outrage, especially those who have paid thousands of dollars for a certification that is now perceived as worth less money in the marketplace.

Many are also concerned about another recent requirement on the OracleOCP certification that the candidate take at least one class directed from Oracle University or an "Oracle Partner".  Many independent Oracle training companies (who claim to offer superior training) are upset about this requirement.

Other critics want a return to the Oracle7 Certified DBA requirement that all candidates offer proof of at least three years experience.

Oracle University training required for OCP

According to Damir Bersinic, an Oracle Certified DBA, author and trainer, has written an excellent article about Oracle OCP educational changes in this Certcities article

It was a money grab after all.

Bersinic writes:

"I have three problems with this requirement. First, who is to say that Oracle University is the best place to acquire the necessary skills to become Oracle certified? There are other resources that can provide the same level of coverage of the exam topics and DBA roles. Granted, Oracle's exam objectives map nicely to the courses offered (on purpose, I'm sure), but how about those organizations that decide on bringing in someone to train their people on the same topics outlined in the exam objectives using non-Oracle material or instructors? Is the quality of their training different if the person performing the training is as qualified or better qualified than Oracle's own instructor? Furthermore, they're not breaking any licensing rules since they are legally allowed to use their Oracle licenses to train their own staff.

My second problem relates to the reason someone may decide to use a third-party training organization to provide these in-house classes -- the cost. Oracle University classes are quite expensive. By forcing OCP candidates to attend an Oracle University class Oracle is helping to ensure a revenue stream for its education division. Unfortunately, it may also have the effect of discouraging potential OCP candidates from pursuing their certification past the OCA stage. I always thought it was about getting qualified candidates out into the workforce, though it now appears the OCP certification is about filling seats in Oracle University classes.

This leads me to my third problem -- any of the Oracle University classes outlined above is valid in satisfying this requirement. Essentially, simply by sitting an Introduction to SQL you have satisfied this requirement, but have not learned any of the skills being tested on the Oracle Database: Fundamentals II or the Oracle Database: Performance Tuning exams, which are required to attain the OCP credential. If Oracle wanted to introduce a course requirement and gear it towards the OCP credential, why not require that candidates attend a class corresponding to the exams required for the OCP designation specifically instead of any Oracle class?"


Read other Oracle News on OCP Oracle certification:
My notes and news on Oracle OCP certification

If you like Oracle tuning, see the book "Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference", with 950 pages of tuning tips and scripts. 

You can buy it direct from the publisher for 30%-off and get instant access to the code depot of Oracle tuning scripts.



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