In 2000, we worked on our MCSE and MCDBA certifications. In 2005, Microsoft changed things up with the MCITP and MCM programs. Things are about to change again – we’ve got the new MCSA, MCSE, and MCSM certifications. Join Kendra Little to learn more in this 30-minute webcast:

Learn More About Changes in Microsoft Certifications

Links from the webcast, and answers to some Q&A:

One insightful viewer asked about the differences between the two MCSE exams for Data Platform. They are titled “Developing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases” and “Designing Solutions for SQL Server 2012.” I recommended checking out the skills measured for the exams (here and here). I re-reviewed these after the webcast and the “Developing” exam really isn’t about what we would typically think of as developer tasks– it includes things like index maintenance, automation of backups and jobs, and interpreting perfmon data as well as what we’d typically think of as developer tasks. Similarly, the “Designing” test also contains a mix of topics between what we have treated as two disciplines in the past.

Kendra Little
My goal is for you to understand your SQL Server’s behavior– and learn how to change it. When I’m not figuring out the solutions to your database problems, you’ll find me at user group meetings in Portland, Oregon. I also love to draw.
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  1. Thanks Kendra, very informative.

  2. Anyone who has the MC-ITP DBA & Developer certifications for SQL Server 2008 might be might well advised to have a go at the MCM exams before moving on to SQL Server 2012. I took the MCM 2008 knowledge exam on Friday and thought the questions were excellent. All the answers lay somewhere in the recommended prequisite books, whitepapers and other resources. The funny thing about it was you can tell exactly who wrote each question, Paul Randall, Kimberley Tripp, some questions looked very Brent centric 🙂

  3. Hi Kendra,
    Just wanted to follow up my earlier post by letting you know I passed the MCM SQL Server 2008 knowledge exam. It’s the biggest achievement of my life and I’m really proud. The lab exam is really expensive though so will reread all books, whitepapers and readiness videos before attempting that one.

    • Hey, congratulations, Paul, that’s amazing! Great work!!!

      The best advice I can give for the lab exam is one thing: It’s a lab exam where you’ll be doing stuff, so warm up by actually doing stuff in a lab without pre-written scripts, vendor tools, etc. Make yourself comfortable working regularly in a “clean” bare-bones install so it doesn’t feel foreign when you get to the test.

      Reading and studying are definitely helpful, but you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble by just getting yourself used to the format before you even start. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

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  7. Hi Kendra,

    This was a very inciteful video. Thanks a great deal.
    Can you please also confirm if doing the MCSA for 2012. may hinder me getting jobs with 2008. Not many companies have done the upgrade here down under!

    • Logan – unfortunately, we just can’t tell how a given employer will react to a certification.

      • Thanks so much for the reply. Would you be able to provide an idea as to which I better off undertaking (in terms of having better skills) 2008 MCSA or 2012 MCSA given that 2008 MCTS is almost phased out.

        • Brent wrote a blog post a while back about certifications that I think is good reading (I completely agree with it):

          He has a note at the end about opportunity cost and things you can do. It’s pretty killer.

          If you’re really dying to take a certification, I would just advise: do what you’re interested in. If you’d love to spend all that time learning about 2012, do it! If you think you’re close to the 2008 and it’ll take less effort, do it. You’ll use your skills on either version.

          So the answer to your question, I think, is that honestly I wouldn’t say either is more useful or less useful than the other. The good news there is that I don’t think you can choose incorrectly (but in terms of getting jobs I don’t think certs are the way to go anyway).

          • Thanks so much for the reply. You guys are really great. I need a foot in the door and I believe the Icing is the way to go for me to overcome Inertia. Thanks again.

          • Heh, well both Brent and I clearly like to take tests, so we aren’t going to fault you for doing it. 🙂 I personally take SQL certs because I love the subject and I find the achievement meaningful, for myself. I’m always really excited for people when they make their way through the certification process triumphantly and have that pride of having passed the gauntlet.

  8. Thanks Kendra for making it nice and clear what we have to do for the next level of certification.


  9. Actually, I do have an additional question for you. Should I start working towards the MCSE in 2012 or save it for 2014? TBH, it’s a bit of a nuisance Microsoft have brought out a new version in just two years!


  10. I don’t like see this website because trouble sound the speaker and the background nose. Before you teach other show us you are experts in the area by using the right tools and technology.

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